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Grammar tip#2

On several occasions some students have twisted their face in a baffling expression when faced with the prospect of learning or reviewing the pronoun ci. They knew from somewhere it’d be a pain to learn these minuscule two letters.
The infamous ci has an awful reputation due to its multi-faceted semantic - it carries so many fleeting meanings that students find it hard to grapple with.
In fact, the tale of the menacing ci is well-known among our tutors. Perhaps, it is for this reason that we thought the time was ripe to come up with something that would clarify the obscurity of this Italian particle. So, we hope you enjoy this.

The 8 colored meanings of ci

The Italian pronoun ci can be challenging.
 We can count 8 meanings of ci that can be classified by type and can be color coded.

The first 2 “blue” meanings

The first two meanings of ci have to do with the pronouns him/her, it and them.
We will give them the color code blue

1. ci =  con lui/lei - with him/her, with it
2.  ci = con loro - with them

Lavori con lui? Si ci lavoro spesso. Do you work with him? Yes I work with him often.
Parli mai con lei? Si ci parlo sempre.  Do you ever talk with her? Yes I speak with her all the time.
 Hai usato la mia penna? Si, ci ho appena scritto una lettera. Did you use my pen? Yes, I just wrote a letter with it.

The 3 “green” meanings

The next 3 meanings have to do with verbs taking the pronouns to, in and on (a, in, su). These are verbs like credere a (believe), pensare a (think), contare su (count), scommettere su (bet), credere in,
We will give them the color code green.

3. ci = a questa cosa -  to this thing -(the word 'to' in Italian translates into 'a' but in this context it actually means 'about')
Pensi ancora a Giovanna? Si ci penso di tanto in tanto. Are you still thinking about Giovanna? Yes, I think about her from time to time.
Stai pensando all’esame? No, non ci sto pensando affatto. Are you thinking about the exam? No, I am thinking about it at all.

4. ci = in questa cosa - in this thing (not referring to a place)
Non credi nella politica? No, non ci credo.  Don’t you believe in politics. No, I don’t believe in it.

5 ci= on this - su questa cosa (not referring to a place)
Sei sicuro di volerlo fare? Ci puoi scommettere. Are you sure you want to do this? You can bet on it.

The 2 “red” meanings

Meanings number 6 and 7 have to do with the object pronoun us.
We will give them the color code red.

6. ci = noi - us
Guarda, Giovanni ci sta salutando. Look, Giovanni is greeting us.
7. ci = a noi - to us
Papa’ ci ha portato i regali. Daddy brought our presents to us.

The “purple” meaning

The last meaning of ci is the adverb there.
We will give it the color code purple.

8. ci = there
Sei andato in Italia? Si ci sono andato l’estate scorsa. Did you go to Italy? Yes, I went there last Summer.

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