• Stefano Chiaromonte

How to Use CI in Italian (Part 2)

Today we're talking again about the pronoun CI. We'll see some more advanced uses of the particle CI in Italian and how to use it correctly.


Ciao! In today's article, we will be talking again about the pronoun CI. Before reading this article make sure to read the first one on the basic uses of CI.


1. Ci vuole/Ci vogliono


The verb volerci is used to say it takes, usually referring to time. You will use ci vuole if the amount of time is singular and ci vogliono if plural. For example:

  • Ci vuole un'ora per arrivare a Roma → It takes one hour to get to Rome.

  • Ci vogliono venti minuti per arrivare a casa mia → It takes twenty minutes to get to my house

  • Quanto tempo ci vuole? → How long does it take?

  • Ci vuole molto tempo → It takes a lot of time.


2. Metterci


The problem with the verb volerci is that it's very general and impersonal, therefore you can conjugate it only in the third person form singular or plural.


What if you want to say that it takes you or a specific person a certain amount of time to do something or to get somewhere? In that case, you will have to use the verb metterci, that is personal!


So you conjugate the verb mettere as a normal verb and then add ci in front of it. Adding CI is very important! If you forget CI, then you're just saying to put. Here's the conjugation:


Ci metto

Ci metti

Ci mette

Ci mettiamo

Ci mettete

Ci mettono


Let's look at a few examples:

  • Ci metto 20 minuti per venire a casa tua → It takes me 20 minutes to come to your house.

  • Ci vogliono 2 ore in macchina per andare a Firenze, ma io ci metto solo 1 ora con il treno ad alta velocità → It takes 2 hours to go to Florence by car, but it takes me only 1 hour with the high-speed train.



3. Ci di proprietà


It is used in colloquial Italian to emphasize the fact of you having or not having something. For example:

  • Hai un fazzoletto? Do you have a tissue?

  • No, non ce l’ho → No, I don't have it.


  • Hai portato le chiavi? → Did you bring the keys?

  • Sì, ce le ho in tasca → Yes, I have them in my pocket.


In this case, CI becomes CE because we’ve got a pronoun (direct object pronoun) and when CI is found before another pronoun then you change it to CE. These are called double object pronouns and I've never talked about them on my website or my YouTube channel, so if you're interested in a video on this topic, let me know!



4. CI + NE


Sometimes you might need both CI and NE in one sentence. For example:

  • Quante opere ci sono alla Pinacoteca di Brera? → How many artworks are there at Pinacoteca di Brera?

  • Ce ne sono oltre 200 → There are over 200.


In this case, you are saying there are (ci sono) which I explained in the previous article. CI becomes CE in front of another pronoun NE. That’s why we say CE NE SONO. Therefore, NE is replacing artworks, but unfortunately, I can't use a normal direct object pronoun as I am talking about a quantity (200).


I hope you enjoyed this article and learned a lot from it. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a message in the contact section of my website.


A presto,


Stefano

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