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  5. "Vogliamo che tu ci provi."

"Vogliamo che tu ci provi."

Translation:We want you to try.

November 30, 2013



Please, any suggestions that would help me understand this untranslated "ci"?


untaught by duolingo, "ci" and "ne" are special pronouns. like english ones, an italian verb sometimes have a preposition after it, which changes, or at least alters the meaning.

these don't mean the same:

  • to go to somewhere
  • to go for something

the only difference is the preposition. in italian verbs are most commonly followed by two prepositions: "a" and "di".

  • parlare di
  • parlare a

the two above don't mean the same. the first is "speak about" and the second is "speak to/with". now look at this

  • parlo della geografia
  • parlo a te

now this the part where "ci" and "ne" come in: "a te" can be replaced with "ci", and "della geografia" can be replaced with "ne".:

  • parlate della geografia?
  • ne parliamo.


  • parli a tuo padre?
  • sí, ci parlo.

so to sum up:

  • verb+a=ci
  • verb+di=ne

in this sentence, duo uses "provare a" structure, and "a" can be replaced to ci:

  • No, io non posso farlo!
  • Vogliamo che tu ci provi.

list of the most common italian verb+prep. combos: http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/aa031908a.htm


Thank you for trying, but I am still VERY confused.

I thought the translation was "we want you to try us" or "we want that you try us", because "CI" can be translated as "us" ,and we do have the "vogliamo" .

How would you translate "we want that you try us" into Italian?

Also could you translate "we want you to try it" as "Vogliamo che tu lo provi"? and "we want you to try" as "vogliamo che tu provi" ?


easiest way ive been able to get a grasp on it is whenever u see "ci" translate both 'it' , 'us' and 'we' and see which makes the most sense lol


I also don't understand why "We want you to try us" is not correct. It is not common to say this in English, but completely correct, used to suggest that one may be willing to do something unexpected or unlikely


This is a limitation of DL . . . not having any context for the sentence.

We use ci and ne to replace nouns that the speakers know they are talking about. Just imagine that the previous sentence between the two speakers was, "This soup is terrible." Then, when the sentence in question comes as the response, "I do not want to try it", we understand that "ci" is being used to replacing the noun, "soup."


Does it mean that the correct answer would be: "We want you to try IT". Thus, CI would appear in the translated sentence.


I thought that too. presumably it's the sort of thing you learn by hearing it situ.


"Ci" seems optional here. I left it out and my answer was accepted. But from all I have read here I still don't understand why it is o.k. to put it in.


This video cleared up ci and ne for me .. (edit .. see link below)


Your link just take me to a bunch of songs.


Sorry, that link must no longer be valid for some reason. Try this: http://youtu.be/vvAip0RqN1A


If you know French it is the same as en and y. Or if you know Dutch then er is kind of like this.


I disagree. The words "y" and "er" may mean "it" or "there", but never "us". In italian "ci" could mean "it", "there", or "us" depending on the context. But I believe that sometimes the context doesn't tell you if "ci" refers to "it" or "us".

And "en" in French is used pretty much like "ne" in Italian. Not like "ci".

Any Italian speaker who can confirm whether "ci" is ambiguous in this sentence? How can we tell if it refers to "it" or "us"?


I live in Italy and no one has managed to explain it this clearly...thanks!


It doesn't help when the slower audio says "si provi" (the "normal" audio says "ci").


Thank you so much, after thousands of videos and articles about ci and ne your reply finally managed to teach me. Take this 5 lingots.


Nitram. Finally i got it. Thank you. This is a perfect explanation. You are the best of the best.


They're directly analogous to the French pronouns "y" and "en" then, aren't they?


Why "en" (fr)? Isn't that more related to "ne" (it)?


Nitram: Grateful, 2 years later!


Grazie! Best explanation yet for "ci" and "ne".


Ti ringrazio tanto!


Many thanks. Xx


Thank you for taking the time to explain this. Your answer is the most useful I have ever seen in the Duo discussion boards.


Thank you! This is amazingly clear and concise.


What works for me is to memorize the verbs that take "ci" as separate constructions. So, in my notes I've got 'provare' meaning 'to try', but I've also got 'provarci' in the sense of "to give it a try" or "to make an attempt". That distinction seems to cover when the two forms get used in real life.


In English it is sufficient to say...'I will try'... it appears in Italian that you have to be more complete with the sentence..and say... 'I will try (it)' . Ci is the way to do this. Just the same way, the sentence...'I want six'... should be ..'I want six (of them).' ..Ne voglio sei'


There are some good comments in the discussion. Allow me to add something, which I hope will be helpful. Re: "ci " vs "ne"---The former means "there" and the latter means "from there " For example: Adesso vado al ufficio postale. (Now I'm going to the post office. ) Use "ci" to replace post office. To do that, you can say in Italian: Ci vado adesso. (I'm going there now. ) "Ci" goes before the verb "vado" . So, literally, you're saying: "There" I go. Another example: Ci andrò domani. (I will go there tomorrow. In this case, I'm using the future tense of the same Italian verb "andare".) Let's take a look at "ne", which is about coming "from there ". So in Italian you can say: Adesso ne vengo. (Now I'm coming from there. ) For such sentences, you can also use the present continuous tense. So you can say: Io ne sto venendo adesso. Likewise in the first case: Io ci sto andando adesso. For beginners, it pays to learn the Italian verbs "andare" and "venire" . Then you'll know if you're coming or going lol. Then ,of course, one can use "ci" and "ne" accordingly. (Concerning the subject here, we're dealing with advanced idiomatic usage with respect to the verb "provare" ---see comments in the discussion section. ) Ciao.


ICER...That was very helpful, especially since most of the time I have no idea if I'm coming or going! Seriously, very helpful! Grazie.


Prego. Buona fortuna negli studi della lingua italiana--anche si dice in bocca al lupo! Ciao.


We could just do with a ci lesson


What's wrong with 'we want you to try us'?

  1. it doesn't make much sense
  2. a better, more sensible translation of ci is "it"
  3. but when translating ci = "it", you don't say "it" - the word is left out of the translation. This often happens in Italian, but I don't know any hard and fast rules for determining when the "silent Italian it" is left out of the translation. In other words, "we want you to try it" is not a good translation - it's "we want you to try".

  1. I don't know if in Italian it would make sense, but in English it certainly does.

For example a conversation could go like this:

  • My questions are too technical, you guys wouldn't understand them.

  • Try us!

  • It's pointless.

  • We want you to try us

I do understand that this is way less common than "We want you to try it". I'm just trying to figure out if the Italian sentence could ever be interpreted as "We want you to try us", or if it wouldn't make sense at all in Italian to say it that way.

  1. Well, no. One of the joys of DL is making contexts for some of its sentences. How about, "We are introducing our new cleaning service. We want you to try us so we're offering a discount." Perfect sense.

  • 2127

I've edited my previous comment (now that I know better), as I think the reason may folks are confused about this (like I was), is that this is actually the verb provarci - one of many pronomial verbs. There are many dictionaries on the net that go into and describe many of the pronomial verbs. In this particular case, provarci means to give it a try/take a shot at/etc. Personally, I would translate this to "We want you to give it a shot".


I think this answer is wrong. there is no context to imply that 'we want you to try, let's say, liver'. we want you to try, to make an attempt, to make an effort. therefore no 'ci' is necessary. you can argue that this is reflexive--provarsi. that would be defensible, but the answer would be "vogliamo che ti provi". but, I believe that "vogliamo che tu provi" would also be correct, that the reflexive verb is not necessarily required based on sample sentences in several verb compendiums. thanz xyphax for the youtube link. it's a good explanation, but it doesn't speak to this issue. I've been thinking about this sentence for a month. 'ci' is, in this instance, 'it'. it's unspoken in the translation. if you read an English text next to the same text in Italian (Italian to English or English to Italian), you will find this construction often. the English seldom makes any acknowledgement of the 'ci'. here is a webpage that references the 'ci' universe. https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/tricky-little-words-%E2%80%9Cci%E2%80%9D/ as an aside, the harry potter books are readily available on Italian Amazon. and if you don't have the English versions, the library or someone you know does. they don't have a lot of complicated vocabulary or idioms. looking at them side-by-side is a good way to get a feel of how the two languages work side by side. you will also laugh at how some of the everyday English sounds so colorful when you see it in Italian. other series are surely available--twilight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Lord of the Rings and lots of others.


Then how would one say: "We want you to prove yourself to us" ?


Somebody please answer Killary's question


Does anyone else hear, "Vogliamo che tu ci PROGGI"? When I listen to this sentence at normal and slow speed, I don't hear the "v" sound in the last word, I hear a hard "G" sound.


yes i do not understand what they say


I thought 'ci' meant 'us' ????


carolfair, unfortunately 'us' is only one of its several meanings/uses. I also find it hard to pin down. For example it'll often mean 'it' as in "Ci penso io! (I'll take care of it/I'll think of it) or "Pensaci!" (Think about it!). etc. I think of it in this usage as the singular equivalent of 'ne' meaning 'them'. It might not be grammatically accurate to describe it that way, but it does help me remember "it".


Provi sounds like 'proggy' to me, no matter how many times I listen to the audio. Is it supposed to?


No matter how often I listen to the sentence, fast or slow, "provi" sounds like "trovi", which made me think the sentence was: "We want you to find us." Needless to say, I was wrong.


It in the DO pronoun is lo or la depending upon whether it is m or f. I reviewed the link http://youtu.be/vvAip0RqN1A and I still do not know why "ci" is here. The link reviews "ci" as used as "there" "us" and to replace a phrase like ' to go to Italy ' ,,,, etc. So "ci" here could be "to sing" or any phrase. But we can only conjecture that ci replaces a prepositional phrase that is introduced by "a" ,etc. . The video is well done.


Sorry, ci in this case is not us but it. See Nitram's post above and xyphax's link


Here is an excellent Duo sticky to bookmark:



A duolingo piace "ci"? "Voglio che ci lavori lui su tutto." "Lascia che ci segua." "Vuole che ci pensi io." etc


Provi sounded like froggie.


Judi, that's because the speaker had a froggie in her throat. :-)


Salve! (Another possible translation: We want you to "test us" or even "try us".) Provare can be translated by "test" and "ci" also means "us" in English) Ciao!


why can't this be "we want you to try us ?


The Italian verb "provare" is not always followed by the preposition "a". As a transitive verb, it is sometimes followed by a direct object. For example, in the sentence: Prova questo gelato; ti piacerà. (Try this ice cream; you'll like it. ) Another example:Ho provato il suo motorino. I tried his moped. All these sample sentences, however, involve inanimate objects. For example: "Provarci e vedrai. " Just you try it and you'll see. Another example: "Provarci ancora ". (Try again.) In these cases, "ci" is not translated as "us". Idiomatically, provare with ci seems to have nothing to do with animated objects. Ciao


i think you had it almost right when you referenced the phrase 'provarci e vedrai' and 'prvarci ancora'. this form of 'provare' is 'provarci' (a pronominal verb) and it is equivalent to 'provare a'. in present tense it would conjugate as 'io ci provo', 'tu ci provi', lei/lui ci prova', 'noi ci proviamo', 'voi ci provate' and 'loro ci provano'. the 'ci' need not translate. here is a page that mentions it. https://speakeatalian.com/2015/02/25/il-verbo-pronominale-provarci-provarci-con/


To get back to your question, in my opinion, it should be accepted, at least in the sense of "testing" or "putting" to the test. It would be grammatically and idiomatically correct. I'll give you an example: La sventura lo ha duramente provato. (The misfortune has severely tested him.) In this regard, the verb "provare " actually requires a direct object pronoun, which refers to a person in a difficult situation. So he was put to the test. In Italian, that's called---"mettere alla prova. " You can also say: sottoporre a prova, cioè provare il coraggio di qualcuno. Therefore, it should also work for the pronoun "ci " as explained previously. Ciao.


Couldn't this sentence also mean "We want you to prove us."?

"provare" can also mean "to prove" and "ci" can also mean "us".

Or am I wrong here in some way?


Even if that's the case in Italian, though, "We want you to prove us" isn't really a well-formed English sentence. You can say "We want you to prove it to us," but not "We want you to prove us."


could this sentence also say - We want you to test us. ?


I think I'm just never going to say that :)


Sometimes ci is a locative (location) preposition. It is unchanging when it is and context clarifies whether it is being used as a direct object, an indirect object, or a location. As a locative pronoun, it can replace prepositional phrases consisting of a, in,su, sotto, davanti a, dietro a + an inanimate noun.

La forza di una ditta sono le person che ci lavorano. (ci=nella ditta) The strength of a company is the people who work there. I ristoranti vicino all’università sono sempre pieni perché gli studenti ci mangiano. (ci= nei ristoranti) The restaurants near the university are always full, because students eat there. Dietro la casa, c’è un gran giardino. I bambini ci giocano tutto il giorno. (ci=nel giardino.
Behind the house there is a big garden. The children play there all day.

Ci can also replace prepositional phrases beginning with propositional phrases of location when the reference is notional. Pensi molto alla tua malattia? No, non ci penso mai. (ci = la malattia) Do you often think of your illness? No, I never think of it. Possiamo contare sull'aiuto di Giacomo? No, io non ci conterei. (ci=sull'aiuto di Giacomo) Can we count of Giacomo's help. No, I wouldn't count on it.

Ci follows the same rules of position as direct and indirect objects. Ti e piaciuto Venezia? Sì, ho voglia di tornarci.

I hope that this is helpful. I got it from a textbook "ULTIMATE ITALIAN, Review and Practice"


Could you also say, Vogliamo che tu provarlo?


to use an infinitive in the subordinate clause the subject of the subordinate clause must be the same as the subject of the main clause (regardless of any other condition). this is not true of this sentence.


Why not °Vogliamo che tu provare°_


Best explanation I found:

Here's a statement: Devi venire in Italia! = You have to come to Italy! Response: Sì, ci voglio venire! Or you could say, Sì, voglio venirci! Both of these mean "Yes, I want to come!" But think of it as "Yes, I want to come THERE" where THERE implies/takes the place of TO ITALY.



So it can't be "lo provi"?

  • 2127

Hrm, not really, although imo this lesson example is weird. . Provarci has a more or less colloquial use. Think of "give it a go" in this case, I suppose. Normally it is used as in "to flirt" or "hit on", with several other general uses. A decent explanation of the various usages can be found here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/provarci and here: https://italian.yabla.com/lesson-2-Words-about-TryingProvare-and-Provarci-1125 for a more detailed explanation of the nuances of the first usage, if you are interested.

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