• Stefano Chiaromonte

How to use CI in Italian

CI can be so many things in Italian. Do you know how to use it properly? Well, let's find out in today's article.

The first thing we need to understand is that CI is a pronoun, therefore it replaces things.

As you probably know, ci can be a reflexive, direct object, and indirect object pronoun. We are not going to focus on these functions of CI in today's article, but let me give you some examples anyway:

  • Ci laviamo → we wash (ourselves)

  • Chiamaci! → call us!

  • Ci hai detto una bugia! → you told us a lie

1. CI as THERE

One of the first functions of CI is "there" in the expressions c'è and ci sono. Let me give you some examples:

  • C'è l'acqua in frigorifero? → is there water in the fridge?

  • Ci sono 22 studenti in classe → there are 22 students in class

Don't forget that you can apply this also to past and/or future tenses:

  • C'erano alcuni problemi con i documenti → there were some issues with the documents

  • Ci sarà molto sole domani → there will be a lot of sun tomorrow (= it will be very sunny tomorrow)

2. CI is used to replace expressions of place

One of the reasons why I love ci is because it replaces anything else that other pronouns can't. Ci can replace a word or expression introduced by these prepositions: a, in, su, and da.

  • A) Sei mai stato in Italia? B) No, non ci sono mai stato! → A) Have you ever been to Italy? B) No, I've never been there.

  • A) Ti piacerebbe andare a Roma? B) Certo, vorrei andarci subito! A) Would you like to go to Rome? B) Of course, I would like to go there now!

  • A) Sei mai salito sulla terrazza del Duomo di Milano? B) No, non ci sono ancora salito → Have you ever been on the terrace of the Duomo di Milano? B) No I haven't been up there yet.

  • A) Vai da Marco stasera? B) No, non ci posso andare perché ho la febbre! → A) Are you going to Marco's house tonight? B) No, I can't go there because I've got a fever.

3. CI is used to replace words introduced by CON

Ci is also used to replace words or names introduced by the preposition con (with). Let me give you two examples:

  • A) Esci con il tuo ragazzo oggi? B) No, ci esco domani! → A) Are you going out with your boyfriend today? B) No, I am going out with him tomorrow!

  • A) Che farai con la farina e il lievito? B) Ci faccio una pizza per stasera! → A) What are you going to do with flour and yeast? B) I am making a pizza for tonight with them!

We're done with today's article! If you'd like a more in-depth explanation of the uses of CI, don't forget to check out my YouTube Video on this topic!

Anyway, CI has also many other uses in the Italian language such as the expressions ci vuole and ci vogliono, CI used with some verbs, the so-called ci di proprietà and more!

If you want to know more about these other uses, let me know and I'll make sure to make another video and article about this topic!

A presto,