A bit more about ‘ne’ Posted by Geoff on Sep 20, 2012 in Grammar
We recently published a blog about ‘ne’ (of it/them), a very important little word that is quite tricky to use correctly. I’m going to continue the theme in today’s blog by looking at how we use ‘ne’ as a substitute for ‘of it/them’ or ‘about it/them’, after verbs that are normally followed by the preposition ‘di’. This use of ‘ne’ is a bit more complicated, especially as in English we don’t usually use ‘of’ (di) with these verbs. E.g. we say ‘to need’ instead of ‘to have need of’ (Avere bisogno di)
Here’s a list of common verbs that are normally followed by the preposition ‘di’ with some useful examples to help you understand how we use ‘ne’ to substitute the noun or the pronoun. N.B.: Several of the verbs in this list are reflexive, therefore when using ‘ne’ the reflexive pronoun (mi, ti, si, ci, etc.) goes first and should be modified in the following way: ‘mi’ becomes ‘me’ (myself) , ‘ci’ becomes ‘ce’ (ourselves), ‘vi’ becomes ‘ve’ (yourselves) etc.
Accorgersi di – to notice/to be aware of: Il gatto era entrato dalla finestra e non me ne ero neanche accorto! (The cat had come in through the window and I wasn’t even aware of it!)
Avere bisogno di – to need: Laura: Vuoi un analgesico? … Bruno: Grazie, ma non ne ho bisogno per adesso (Laura: Do you want a painkiller? … Bruno: Thanks but I don’t need it at the moment)
Dimenticarsi di – to forget: Laura: Hai comprato il latte? Bruno: Scusa, me ne sono dimenticato (Laura: Have you bought the milk? Bruno: Sorry, I forgot it).
Innamorarsi di – to fall in love with: Era una bella casa, me ne sono innamorato subito! (It was a beautiful house, I fell in love with it straight away!)
Interessarsi di or Occuparsi di – to deal with / to look after / to take care of: Bruno: Dobbiamo comprare i biglietti per il teatro Laura: Va bene, me ne interesso/occupo io (Bruno: We have to buy the tickets for the theatre Laura: Okay, I’ll take care of it)
Parlare di: – to talk about: Mario: Ciao Giovanni, devo parlarti di una cosa importante. Giovanni: Va bene, ne parliamo dopo la riunione (Mario: Hi Giovanni! I need to talk to you about something important. Giovanni: Okay! We’ll talk about it after the meeting).
Pentirsi di – to regret: Sì, ho perso un po’ di soldi, ma in fondo non me ne pento (Yes, I lost a bit of money, but in the end I don’t regret it)
Rendersi conto di – to realize: Lui se ne è reso conto solo una mezz’oretta più tardi (He only realized about a half an hour later)
Ricordarsi di – to remember: Mia mamma mi ha detto che da bambino avevo un bel maglione azzurro che mi aveva fatto la nonna. Ma a dire il vero non me ne ricordo per niente! (My mum told me that when I was a child I had a lovely blue jumper that my grandma made me. But to tell the truth I can’t remember it at all!)
Soffrire di – to suffer from: Mario: Hai mai avuto la tonsillite? Laura: Sì, da bambina ne ho sofferto molto! (Mario: Have you ever had tonsillitis? Laura: Yes, when I was a child I suffered from it a lot!)
Stancarsi di or Stufarsi di – to be tired of/to be fed up with: Ho provato a guardare quel film ieri sera, ma dopo dieci minuti me ne sono stufato (I tried watching that film yesterday evening but I got fed up with it after ten minutes)
Vergognarsi di – to be ashamed of: Tutti dicono che mi hanno visto in giro con Sara, ma io non me ne vergogno! (Everyone says that they’ve seen me going around with Sara, but I’m not ashamed of it!)
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