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italian relative pronouns 2: preposition + cui

OK guys, we saw last time that you use che to replace subjects or direct objects. With verbs that take indirect objects (usually a noun preceded by a preposition) use the preposition + cui. In English this is rendered by expressions like “to which,” “with whom,” etc.

For example:

C’è un negozio qui vicino.

Sono stato altre volte in questo negozio.


C’è un negozio qui vicino in cui sono stato altre volte. (There’s a store near here I’ve been to before.)

Ti faccio conoscere una ragazza.

Ti parlavo della ragazza ieri.


Ti faccio conoscere la ragazza di cui ti parlavo ieri. (I'll let you meet the girl I was talking to you about yesterday.)

This can be a bit tricky for English speakers because we now just tack the preposition onto the end of such a sentence – “What’s the name of that place we went to?” (Instead of, "What's the name of that place to which we went?")

When forming these types of sentences in Italian, translate from a stiff prissy Victorian English version of what you want to say.

Preposition + definite article + quale means the same as preposition + cui, but is more clear and specific.

For example:

Ecco Marco e Maria con cui ho seguito un corso di matematica. (Here are Marco and Maria with whom I took a math class.)

Ecco Marco e Maria con la quale ho seguito un corso di matematica.

In the first sentence you took math with both, in the second with Maria only.

As usual, hopefully some practice in the activities section will help you get it. If not, feel free to email! C4N.

Reader Comments (1)

Great post on cui! It's such a tricky part of Italian grammar!
March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

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