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Wednesday
Jun202007

two more uses of ci

You have seen ci used as a direct object pronoun:

Luigi ci porta in banca. - Luigi is bringing us to the bank.

You have also seen it used as an indirect object pronoun:

Cameriere, ci porta il pane? - Waiter, will you bring us the bread?

And lastly you have seen it used with essere as the equivalent of the English “there is” or “there are”:

C’è una banca qui vicino? - Is there a bank nearby?

Ci sono molti turisti a Roma. - There are many tourists in Roma.

Today’s tip is going to teach you two more very valuable uses of ci: replacing a noun referring to a place that is preceded by a, in, da or su, and replacing a + infinitive.

Vai al mercato?

No, non ci vado oggi (= Non vado al mercato, a noun referring to a place preceded by a).

Andate in Italia quest’estate?

Sì, ci andiamo a giugno (= Sì andiamo in Italia, a noun referring to a place preceded by in).

Vanno da Mario venerdì? (Although “Mario” is not really a place noun, when introduced by “da” it carries the meaning “Mario’s place or house”.)

Sì, ci vanno.

Replacing these nouns with “ci” makes you sound much less choppy and repetitive.

Quando vai a ballare?

Ci vado domani (= Vado a ballare domani, an infinitive preceded by a).

So in these examples ci means “there” (We are going there in June), or “to do it” (I am going to do it tomorrow). In English we can leave these terms out but not in Italian. You cannot say, “Vado domani,” in this context, you have to say, “Ci vado domani.”

So there you have it, two more very important uses of ci. Next week we’ll learn another two.

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