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Verbi Idiomatici in Ci Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Grammar

Some time ago I wrote an article about the particella ‘ci’: Tricky Little Words “ci” . Let’s revisit the topic and have a look at idiomatic verbs that use ‘ci’, with a few examples of their usage:

Volere (to want) + ci = Volerci (to need, to take, as in quantity, time, materials, etc.):

dalla stazione a casa di Giacomo ci vuole un quarto d’ora a piedi = to get from from the railway station to Giacomo’s house takes a quarter of an hour by foot

per fare un maglione da uomo ci vogliono sette etti di lana = to make a man’s jumper you need seven hundred grams of wool

Mettere (to put) + ci = Metterci (to take, as in amount of time):

ci abbiamo messo tre giorni per andare da Pontremoli a Nottingham in Inghilterra in macchina = it took us three days to travel from Pontremoli to Nottingham in England by car

l’aereo ci mette due ore da Pisa a Londra = the plane takes two hours from Pisa to London

Arrivare (to arrive) + ci = Arrivarci (to get it, to be able to understand):

questo problema di matematica è troppo difficile, proprio non ci arrivo = this maths problem is too difficult, I really can’t understand it

mi c’è voluto un mucchio di tempo, ma finalmente ci sono arrivata! = it took me a long time, but I’ve finally got it!

Essere (to be) + ci = Esserci (to get it, to be able to understand):

ci sono! Ho capito finalmente come funziona = I’ve got it! I’ve finally understood how it works

allora, ci siete? Avete capito la differenza fra il passato prossimo e l’imperfetto? = So, have you got it? Have you understood the difference between ‘passato prossimo’ and ‘imperfetto’?

Cascare (to fall down) + ci = Cascarci (to fall for it, or ‘to swallow the bait’):

mi avevano detto che ci sarebbe stato anche il Presidente, ed io ci sono cascata! = they told me that even the President would be there, and I fell for it!

vediamo se Giovanni ci casca! = let’s see if Giovanni will swallow the bait!

Contare (to count) + ci = Contarci (to count on, to rely):

promettimi che appena arrivi vai a trovare la mamma. Ci conto, eh! = promise me that you’ll go and see mum as soon as you arrive. I’ll be counting on it, o.k.!

Giovanni aveva promesso di aiutarmi col trasloco, ma poi ha disdetto all’ultimo momento. Peccato, ci contavo = Giovanni promised to help me with the move, but at the last moment he said he couldn’t do it. What a pity, I was relying on him.

Entrare (to enter) + ci = Entrarci (to have something to do with):

allora ragazzi, chi ha fatto questo casino? (well then kids, who made this mess?) Io non c’entro niente! (I didn’t have anything to do with it!)

ma cosa c’entra quello? (but what’s that got to do with it?)

Stare (to stay) + ci = Starci (to agree with, to join in):

ci state a fare il regalo di nozze per Maria tutti insieme? = do you agree that we should all get Maria’s wedding present together?

se stasera andate in pizzeria, io ci sto = if you’re going to the pizzeria this evening, I’ll join you.

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