Meanings of Italian “CI”
Posted by Monica Corrias on June 4, 2009
Italian language teacher with many years of experience here for your Italian lesson
Some students have a lot of trouble with the Italian “CI” because it has several different meanings.
The most common meaning of “CI” is the adverb of place = “There”, do you remember “c’è” and “ci sono”= “There is” and “there are”? (also we use it to avoid repeating the name of a place which we have already mentioned).
In everyday speech the “CI” is often used with the verb “avere” and means possession. Generally we used it to reply:
Hai una sigaretta? (or, very informal language, “ c’hai una sigaretta?”) –> Do you have a cigarette?/ Have you got a cigarette?
In the answer we have to use “CI” + the direct pronouns (lo; la; li; le) and “CI” becomes “CE”:
Sì, ce l’ho! –> Yes, I have
But today I’ll focus on one of the most difficult uses of “CI”. It’s not actually difficult, but anyway you have to know and memorize the right Italian preposition used after a verb. In fact “CI” sometimes takes the place of a sentence introduced by “a” or “su” or “con” or “in” (even though mostly it takes the place of “a questo”), moreover “CI” is used in some idiomatic phrases e.g.
Ci puoi scommettere (or puoi scommetterci)! –> You bet!
Ci sono! = ho capito –> I’ve got it! (I have understood)
Io ci sto! –> Count me in!
Contaci! –> Count on it!/Bank on it!
- Here I would like to give you some examples of “CI” when takes the place of the prepositions “CON” or “A” … [read more]