Today we will find out about two very peculiar words, ci and ne in Italian. You may have heard of them in books and other printed materials, you may have found them in movies and TV programs, and you might by now have a slight clue of what this article will be about. Here we will be showing in detail how to use these very Italian particles.
CI AND NE IN ITALIAN
USE OF CI IN ITALIAN
Normally, we will use CI in lieu of places that have been named in the sentence. For example:
Sei già andato a casa? – No, non ci sono ancora andato (Have you gone home? – No, I haven’t gone home yet. Here CI takes the place of home).
Generally, we place CI before the verb every time it is signifying a place.
- Ci has some other functions. It can substitute phrasal elements that are presented by other propositions. For example:
Ti piacciono molto quelle scarpe? – Sì, ci tengo moltissimo [alle scarpe] (Do you like those shoes very much? – Yes, I am very affectioned to them).
Chi vincerà il Derby? – Chiunque può vincere, ma non ci scommetterei (Who will win the Derby [football match scheduled to take place between teams from the same city, e.g. Inter and AC Milan]? – Anyone can win, but I wouldn’t put my money on it).
Credi in Dio? – No, non ci credo (Do you believe in God? No, I don’t).
Hai parlato con la vicina stamattina? – No, ma ci parlo stasera (Have you spoken with the neighbor this morning? No, but I will this evening).
- In the oral language, CI tends to go with the answers for questions containing avere as a verb. In this case, we use CE instead of CI:
Hai la macchina? – Sì, ce l’ho (Do you have a car? Yes, I do).
USE OF NE IN ITALIAN
- As this article is devoted to ci and ne in Italian, now it is time to approach NE. Using this, we can express amounts, numbers, or negative amounts. Thus, it works as a direct object.
Let us see some examples:
Desidera dei posti per lo spettacolo di stasera? – Certo, me ne dia un paio. (Do you wish seats for tonight’s show? – Sure, please give me a couple of them) [NE takes the place of dei posti].
Sembra buono questo tiramisù, ce ne dia tre pezzi, per piacere. (This tiramisu looks good, please give us three slices) [NE fills in for questo tiramisù].
- NE can be used with the past participle as well:
Devo darmi una calmata con i dolci. Oggi ne ho già presi quattro! (I need to cut down on my sweets consumption, I’ve already had four today!) [NE is at the place of i dolci].
- However, because they mean “it all” and should not be divided, tutto/tutti/tutta/tutte receive a different treatment, then they go with lo/li/la/le:
Siamo sinceri, questo tiramisù è troppo buono. Non ne voglio solo un pezzo. Lo voglio tutto! (Let’s be honest, this tiramisu is yummy. I don’t want just a piece. I want it all!).
- As you will see, NE is quite ubiquitous. It can substitute sentence parts that are headed by di as a preposition:
Il calcio non mi piac per nientee, quindi non ne parlo mai (I don’t like football at all, so I never talk about it).
- Additionally, NE can be placed in phrases where a place of origin is being stated (using da):
Sono entrato un attimo in banca, ne esco fra qualche minuto (I came in the bank agency for a little, I will be out of there in a few minutes [NE represents where you will be out from, i.e., the bank).
- Every now and then, ci and ne in Italian team up.
Siamo d’accordo che quello yogurt era strepitoso. Infatti ce ne siamo mangiati diversi vasetti (We agree that the yogurt was awesome. In fact, we have eaten several containers).