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  5. "Ci abbiamo creduto."

"Ci abbiamo creduto."

Translation:We have believed it.

January 13, 2013



"We believed in it." is accepted, but "We believed in ourselves" is not. But why? Ci means us, doesn't it?


Ci can also mean "at it" like the "y" in French, just as ne means "of it" as in the French "en". It seems that credere takes the preposition a after it, also as in French, and therefore the sentence literally translates to "We have believed at it." The ci here replaces a phrase that starts with "a" that would make more sense in context.


now this is a very clear explanation. Thanks


Especially since 2 previous sentences (both used ci siamo) asked us to use "ourselves", and marked "it" as incorrect!


Please someone help us :)


I believe then you'd have to use essere instead of avere.


you are so right! That's why I was wrong! Thanks


Both lo and ci mean "it" here, but I have the impression that lo is more limited in scope, and ci is broader. For instance (and this is just a gut-reaction), someone says, "She is 21 years-old today", and you wanted to say "I believe it" you'd use lo, while "The President has engaged in a broad conspiracy of lies", you might be more inclined to use ci. I don't think there's a clear dividing line, but it's just based on general familiarity with the way Romance lanagues work. [Corrections, even complete denials that this is correct, are very welcome.]



  • ci = a qualcosa (indirect object or prepositional phrase). Examples: ci credo (credere a qualcosa), ci penso (pensare a qualcosa)

  • lo/la/li/le = qualcosa (direct object). Examples: lo compro (comprare qualcosa), lo do a mio padre, glielo do (dare qualcosa)

  • lui/lei/loro/gli/le = a qualcuno (indirect object or prepositional phrase). Example: credo in lui, gli credo (credere a qualcuno)

As mentioned in another comment, "ci" in this context works identically as "y" in French.


Very helpful. Thanks.


Interesting! I hadn't picked that up, but you might be right. I'd love to hear from a native speaker on this.


If you want to say "we believed in ourselves " i think you need to use the verb essere "ci siamo creduti " as J.F.Baaij says beloew


i'm just a little confused why it's not Lo abbiamo creduto. Anyone else confused by this?


I think I have the answer for this, people who know are not explaining it well. "CI" is there for a reason and it doesn't mean "it". I'm still a learner but I'm pretty sure this is right.

In the case of "avere" {avere, ho, hai, abbiamo} it must have an object. In english we don't have to do this, this is why this is confusing. "Ci" is simply used as a placeholder for the object, it is "null" meaning it forces the verb to take no object.

"ci abbiamo creduto" means "we believed"

"lo abbiamo creduto" means "we believed it"

"non ci credo" means "I don't believe" or "I don't believe this"

"non lo credo" means "I don't believe it".

Also see http://www.wordreference.com/definizione/ci for definition in italian (this is case 3: pron. dimostr), technically "Ci" means "to this" but it's often implied in english.

Up vote this post if it helped you because I think this confuses a lot of people.


My year old post needs an update:

Credere is used intransitively meaning "believe":
Ci credo = credo a ciò = I believe this/it (ciò means this/that)
Gli credo = credo a lui = I believe him OR = credo a loro = I believe them
Le credo = credo a lei = I believe her
Ti credo = credo a te = I believe you

Credere is used transitively meaning "think+is":
Lo credo furbo = credo che lui sia furbo = I think he is clever
La credo più furba = credo che lei sia più furba = I think she is smarter / more clever
Li credo intelligenti = credo che loro siano intelligenti = I think they are intelligent
Ci crede felici = crede che siamo felici = he thinks we are happy
Lo credo = I think it is / I believe it is / I think he is / I believe he is
Ti credevo italiana = credevo che fossi italiana = I thought you were Italian (female).

Further information:


dhunteroz: Thanks! Really helpful. Have a lingot!


I think it might be simpler than that. The use of avere means it's not reflexive, so it can't mean "us", it has to mean "it", and a direct object "it".

It get's more difficult when the subject is not the same as the pronoun, e.g., "Lui ci non ha creduto/a/i/e".

If ci in my example means "it", then creduto is probably the only optional participle [the default masculine singular].

However, if ci in my example means "us", then agreement becomes optional, because mandatory agreement of the participle with the direct object pronoun only applies to 3rd person objects, and ci = "us" is 1st person plural. That would leave it open to creduto/a/i/e - under a strict reading of these rules. Actual usage might change that.


This comment is wrong. The answer to it done by the same author explains it better.

"ci" is simply a pronoun which means "a qualcosa" and the thing referenced by it is inferred from the context.


"Lo abbiamo creduto" is also correct.


I think DL should post more grammar rules. Especially does clitics. They are really difficult


Do remember this is a free service. We get the grammar rules by helping each other and sometimes we get the help of a vounteer native speaker.


where is the "it" in this sentence is it ci?


"ci" is the "in it" (it can be many other things like "about it", "of it", "there" etc.)


Is a reflexive verb always "essere", because this seems reflexive to me?


Yes, and here is used "avere" so this means that in this sentence "ci" means "it"


Thanks. I made that same mistake!


Credere a qualcosa, credere qualcosa. Both are fine, even though the first is more common. That's why you can use both "ci" = "a esso" = to it and "lo" = it.


Why is "We believed each other" not acceptable?


I'm 99% certain that that would require essere: Ci siamo creduto as a reflexive verb, literally "we believed ourselves", idiomatically translated into English as "each other"


Here is a lingot for this remark, Jeffrey! I always find your comments illuminating, but this one is particularly useful for those who translated 'ci' as 'us' and didn't really understand why they got it wrong.


What's wrong with " we believed each other"?


I'm guessing that would be "Ci siamo creduto (or creduti)", but I'm not 100% certain...


Probably the underlying verb is crederci: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/crederci It is transitive, so comes with avere. Quite confusing though...


Again a strange sentence. No one says"we have believed it" just "we believed it".


Sounds like "caduto" and not "creduto" which would make this sentence completely grammatically incorrect since with "cadere" you would say "ci siamo caduti."


If a native Italian speaker would please help out here:

We have believed it = Ci abbiamo creduto

We have believed in ourselves = ____


Look at stadden.ho's answer above. It's excellent. Since credere is normally followed by 'a', to be consistent, 'ci' replaces it. Ci therefore does not mean 'us' in this context.


Why not "We believed them"?


Because there's no word for 'them' in the sentence. "We believed them" would be "Li abbiamo creduto."


ARRRGGHH! Stupid bloody language!


Same as "nosotros hemos creído" (spanish), i think...


Whaat? Why is it "ci" and not "lo"? Because we are taught that "ci" means "us".

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