How to master the Italian pronouns CI and NE

Have you learned Italian for a while? Then, I am sure you have been faced with my two favourite Italian pronouns CI and NE (particelle pronominali ci ne, in Italian). And you have been wondered how to use ci and how to use ne. Maybe you have also started to hate them. 

On my side, I love them.

And you should love them too.

Why? Using correctly ci and ne will make your Italian sparkle the moment you use them, because they will make you sound 10 times more natural.  Guarantee. 

Quick tip:

To master the Italian pronouns ci and ne, you’d better learn the recurring combinations of verbs and pronouns in which they appear.

HOW TO USE THE PRONOUN “NE”

 

there are some typical verbs using the pronoun ne, such as:

  • parlare di – to speak about
  • essere sicuro di – to be sure about
  • avere bisogno di – to need
  • avere nostalgia di – to feel nostalgic

What do all these verbs have in common? They are followed by the preposition “di”.

In other words, we can say that…

NE replaces the combination of di + something (complemento di specificazione, in Italian) when you don’t want to repeat something that has already been mentioned.

  • Che pensi di Maria
  • Che ne pensi? – What do you think about her?

 

  • Noi parliamo di politica. 
  • Ne parliamo. – We talk about it

 

  • Hai bisogno di una macchina per andare a lavoro?
  • No, non ne ho bisogno – No, I am not in need of it

 

  • Sei sicuro di quello che hai detto?
  • Sì, ne sono sicuro – Yes, I am sure about it

 

In a nutshell, the Italian pronoun NE means of it/of them or about it/them.


There is a second usage of the pronoun “ne”, and it occurs when ne indicates quantities and amounts and it means some of something previously mentioned. 

  • Vuoi del formaggio? – Do you want some cheese?
  • Si ne voglio – I want some of it

 

  • Vuoi un pezzo di torta?
  • No, ne voglio due! – I want two of them

 

In short, in this case “ne” indicates some of something else (some of it or some of them)

 

How ce ne sono is different from ci sono?

  • ci sono means there are 
  • ce ne sono means there are some of them

You are using ce ne sono in Italian, to refer to something that has already been mentioned.

 

The pronoun “CI”

The use of CI is similar to the use of NE, but CI is required with the verbs followed by prepositions a, in, su. 


Typical verbs followed by such prepositions are

  • pensare a – to think about
  • credere in/a – to believe in
  • contare su – to count on
  • andare a/in – to go to

We use the pronoun ci to replace something that has already been mentioned in the conversation.

  • Pensi a Maria? Ci penso – I think about her
  • Credi in Dio? Ci credo – Yes, I believe in him 
  • Conti su di me?  Sì, ci conto  – Yes, I count on you
  • Vai a Milano ogni venerdì? Sì, ci vado – Yes, I go there

 

 E adesso? Use it or lose it! Leave a comment and try use in or two sentences the pronouns ci and ne.


Related posts:

JOIN MY NEWSLETTER

get vocabulary bite-sized lessons and Italian updates each month