Ci as a pronoun referring to places

Ci is an extremely useful and frequently occurring pronoun in Italian. Pronouns are words that refer and substitute nouns, usually expressed in a previous sentence or implied in the context.

  • Ci has a few different uses and meanings, and this lesson focuses on its use when it refers to previously mentioned places. For example:

Sei mai stato in Italia? – No, ma ci voglio andare l’anno prossimo.

Have you ever been to Italy? – No, but I want to go there next year.

Non voglio andare al cinema oggi, ci siamo andati ieri!

I don’t want to go to the cinema today, we went there yesterday.

Vieni alla mia festa? Sì, ci vengo!

Are you coming to my party? Yes, I’m coming (to your party).

Quando andate a Roma? – Ci andiamo domani

When are you going to Rome? – We are going there tomorrow.

  • As all other Italian pronouns, when ci is used with verbs in the infinitive form, it it is attached to the end of the verb, as follows:

Sei mai stato in Italia? – No, ma voglio andarci l’anno prossimo.

Have you ever been to Italy? – No, but I want to go there next year.

Quando devi tornare in ospedale? – Devo tornarci domani.

When do you need to go back to the hospital? – I need to go back there tomorrow.

Ci in the expressions c’è / ci sono

This ci is the same used in the expressions c’è / ci sono, where it usually implies the meaning of “here”, “there”, or “this/that place”, as in the following examples:

Qui non c’è nessuno.

There is nobody here.

Ci sono molte persone in questo ristorante.

There are many people here in this restaurant.

Ci in idiomatic phrases with the verb entrare

Ci is used in some common idiomatic phrases together with the verb entrare (= the literal meaning of entrare is to go in, to fit inside). In this case, “ci” refers to metaphorical place or situation. These phrases are idioms, so they cannot be translated literally in English. Let’s look at some examples:

Io non c’entro.

This has nothing to do with me. (literally = I do not fit anywhere in this situation)

Cosa c’entra questo?

What’s this got to do with it?


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