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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Marika here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Italian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: How can I use the particle ci?
The little Italian word ci can have different roles and thus, different meanings.
It can be a personal pronoun for the first person plural. In this case, it means “us.” Here are some examples:
Paolo ci ha invitato alla festa.
“Paolo invited us to the party.”
La nonna ci leggeva dei libri.
“Grandma used to read us books.”
You have to use ci with reflexive and reciprocal verbs, when referring to the first person plural “we.”
Let’s consider the reflexive verb svegliarsi, “to wake up.” “We wake up at six.” In Italian that’s Ci svegliamo alle sei.
Here’s another example with iscriversi, which means “to enroll.”
Ci siamo iscritti all’università.
“We enrolled at the university.”
An example of ci used with a reciprocal verb is the well-known expression Ci vediamo! This stands for “See you soon!” but literally means “We’ll see each other.”
Ci can also be an adverb of place, meaning “there.” Let’s see a couple of examples:
Someone asks you, Quando vai in biblioteca? (“When do you go to the library?”). You could answer, Ci vado tutti i giorni. This means “I go there every day.”
Another example:
Ci sono molte regole in italiano.
“There are a lot of rules in Italian.”
Lastly, sometimes ci takes the place of noun phrases introduced by the preposition a, especially with certain verbs. Let’s see a few examples.
First let’s consider pensare a..., which means “to think about…”
You may hear: Non ci pensare, meaning “Don’t think about it.”
Here ci may stay for a quel problema, “about that problem.”
Next is credere a, “to believe in.”
You may hear: Ci credo. This means “I believe in that.”
Here ci may stand for a Dio, “in God,” or alla notizia, meaning “in the (piece of) news.”
Last let’s see giocare a, “to play (at).”
Ci hai mai giocato? means “Have you ever played at it?”
Here ci may stand for a questo gioco, “(at) this game.”


It’s not as difficult as you thought, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
Ci vediamo! “See you soon!”