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“Ne” explained: Italian grammar lesson 130

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To practice this grammar topic, take lesson


of the audio course “Ripeti con me!”

The particle ne in Italian: Explained

First of all, we need to distinguish between and ne. They might sound the same in spoken language, but that accent makes all the different in grammatical terms! In this lesson we are only going to talk about the use of ne.

Let’s have a look at some examples of the use of the particle ne:

  • Io ne ho due.
  • I have two of those.
  • Ha avuto un incidente, ma ne è uscito illeso.
    He had an accident, but he came out unharmed.
  • Ne vuoi?
    Would you like some?
  • Me ne vado.
  • I am out of here.

Use ne in Italian

The particle ne: Rules

As you can see, ne usually comes before the verb it goes with.

In the four examples above, the particle ne has three different grammatical functions. Let’s see what they are:

It can stand for a pronoun such as di ciò, di questo/a, di quello/a etc. (of it, this, of that, of those, etc.), and can be used to talk about quantities. In this case, if you do not mention what you’re talking about, it is not optional:

  • Non ne voglio parlare.
    I do not want to talk about it.
  • Tu quanti anni hai? Io ho 23 anni. = Io ne ho 23.
    How old are you? I am 23.
  • Quanti bicchieri vuoi?
    Voglio quattro bicchieri, per favore. = Ne voglio quattro per favore.
    How many glasses do you want?
    I want four, please.

It can be used to indicate a removal from a place or a situation, standing for da lì (from there).

  • Ha avuto un incidente, ma ne è uscito illeso (dall’incidente).
    He had an accident, but he came out unharmed.

It can mean “some” and can be used to substitute a noun that has been mentioned (or is implied in the situation.)

  • Ho comprato del pane. Ne vuoi?
    I bought some bread, would you like some?

Sometimes, ne can be used to intensify the action of some intransitive verbs together with the personal pronouns mi, ti, ci, vi, si. It is very common to see it with the verb andare:

  • Me ne vado.
    I’m out of here.

ne in Italian

The particle ne: How to use

As we have seen, ne almost always comes before the verb. However, there are some exceptions:

It comes after the verb when the verb is in the infinitive form (parlare, fare etc.), and the particle ne joins onto it to form a single word (the same that happens with pronouns):

  • Voglio parlarne.
    I want to talk about it.
  • Mi ha detto di comprarne due.
    She told me to buy two.

It also comes after the verb when it is used with a verb in the imperative form and with a pronoun. In this case, it joins onto the verb with the pronoun, creating a single word.

  • Compramene uno, per favore!
    Buy me one of those, please!
  • Dammene tre, grazie.
    Give me three of those, thank you.

what does ne mean Italian

To practice “Ne” explained: Italian grammar lesson 130, take lesson

of the audio course “Ripeti con me!”

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