Need clarification on use of Ci (pronoun)

hayxx045

Member
English
I am doing an assignment using the pronoun ci and this is confusing me:

...mostrera il suo capolavoro al proprietario del museo: I am supposed to use a pronoun to substitute these two subjects, and i already conjugated the verb.

I thought it would be ce lo (making the sentence "celo mostrera") because ci can substitute for a noun with a preposition (a) in front of it, but the correct answer was glielo. I was hoping someone with a good understanding of italian can tell me why ci cannot substitute for al proprietario del museo...

Thanks in advance
 
  • brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi hayxx045 and welcome to WRF. :) I'll give you a quick answer for now, but I'm sure others can give you more detailed answers if you're still confused.

    It's true that "ci" replaces "a" + word/phrase, but not always. In particular, not when it's "a" + a person, i.e. an indirect object ("to someone").

    Some cases when "ci" = "a" + word/phrase (something):

    (1) Pensi spesso alla vita? -- Do you often think about life?
    Sì, ci penso sempre. -- Yes, I think about it all the time.

    (2) Sei mai andato a Parigi? -- Have you ever gone to Paris?
    No, non ci sono mai andato. -- No, I've never gone (there). <-- "ci" required in Italian

    [Note: sometimes there is no explicit "a" phrase, or sometimes it's actually "in" and not "a," but the idea is the same.]

    (3) Tu credi in Dio? -- Do you believe in God?
    Sì, ci credo. -- Yes, I do (believe [in him]).

    (4) Ci sei? -- Are you there?

    Some cases when "a" + word/phrase (someone) does NOT = "ci":

    (5) Hai dato il libro a Marco? -- Did you give the book to Marco?
    Sì, gliel'ho dato / Sì, gli ho dato il libro. = Yes, I gave it to him / Yes, I gave him the book.

    and so:

    (6) ...mostrerà il capolavoro al proprietario del museo.
    ...glielo mostrerà / gli mostrerà il capolavoro.

    Edit: I just wrote this thing thinking about to people ("gli," "le," "loro) vs. things ("ci") and then just realized I put "God" (arguably a person) as an example. So maybe you should think of it more as direct vs. indirect objects. :)
     
    Last edited:

    hayxx045

    Member
    English
    Cool, thanks man. I suppose its one of those things I will just have to memorize, like a lot of other things about Italian. I also read in my notes that you need credere, or pensare for it to be ci. Out of curiousity, why is that? Does it have to be about believing or thinking about something in order for it to be ci?
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Sorry, I accidentally made my post before it was finished. So it's longer now. And my edit may answer your question.
     

    hayxx045

    Member
    English
    Well, now I have another question, could you come to Minnesota and take my final for me? I've got money haha
     
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