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"La prima volta non ci credemmo."

Translation:The first time we did not believe it.

April 10, 2014



Why does in this case "ci" mean "it" as opposed to "ourselves/ each other"? How would one say "The first time we did not believe each other"?


The Italian language knows a lot of kinds of "ci", the first and the second are the direct and indirect object pronouns, the third is the reflexive pronoun (ci = to/for us (indirect pronoun); ci = us (direct pronoun); ci = ourselves (reflexive pronouns).

  • Ci vedi?= Do you see us? (direct pronoun)

  • Domani ci porti la torta? = Do you bring us the cake tomorrow? (portare a = indirect object pronoun)

  • ci laviamo = we wash ourselves (lavarsi = reflexive pronoun)

"ci" can also replaces locations preceded by a, in, su, per, da

  • Vorrei andare in Italia. Ci vado domani. (replaces Italia)

  • Sei stato alla spiagga? Sí, ci sono stato. (replaces spiaggia)

Ci with the meaning of "at it/on it/ with it" (replaces additions with "a/su")

  • Pensi alle nostre vacanze? Sì, ci penso sempre.

  • Possiamo contare sul tuo aiuto? Sì, ci potete contare. (anche: Sì, potete contarci)

ci is used in a lot of idiomatic expressions

  • c'è / ci sono (there is, there are); C'era una volta... Once upon a time there was.... (the tipical beginning of every fairty-tale)

  • ci vuole / ci vogliono (it is required, necessary);

  • pensarci, crederci

ci credo = I believe it. Potresti chiudere le finestre. Sì, ci penso io. (refers to the sentence)

Greetings Sandra


Thanks. But could you also answer the question: How would one say "The first time we did not believe each other"?


Not a native speaker and not very professional, but I guess it would be the same phrase :)


I think maybe that would use the reflexive "si" or "se stessa". I hope an Italian can come along and help us out.


Si/se stessa is only used in the third person.


how can you tell if "ci" means "it" or "us"?


by context. In this sentence it makes no sense to say: "we don't believe us".

The sentence: "La prima volta che non ci crederono", instead, can be ambiguous.

"the first time they didn't believe us" or "the first time they didn't believe it."

So you need the context to decide which would be the best translation.


THANK YOU THANK YOU I had somehow never found this simple rule in a grammar book and was always left confused by the ambiguity. Ora che ci penso, è molto semplice!


Awesome! Can I just toss away all the lo la gli stuff and just use ci for everything? This course would become so much easier.


It can also mean "each other", cant it (when the verb is not reflexive, i suppose)?, for instance: "Ci incontriamo". Then i wonder, too, if "Ci crediamo" could also mean "We believe each other", which, btw, is not accepted in this translation. Wondering also if "Ci laviamo" could also mean "We wash each other", or else how we would say the latter.

It occurs to me that in these cases we could say "Laviamo uno all'altro" and "Crediamo uno all/nell'altro" instead (to mean each other). Just my guess, unless we have to resort to the context in order to find out the actual meaning of "ci" in the sentence.


the reciprocal verbs are normally verbs that seems to be reflexive but involve more than one person or in other words.. verbs that describe actions ONE person could not do alone: baciarsi, incontarsi, vedersi, aiutarsi, conoscersi, parlarsi, salutarsi, scriversi, separarsi, telefonarsi

credersi = to consider oneself to be sth is reflexive.. . .. credere can also be used in a reciprocal way but in this case in Italian one would express it using "a vicenda"

ci crediamo a vicenda

In Italian normally you would use "a vicenda" to avoid confusion or ambiguity

ci laviamo a vicenda.. (ci laviamo would always be understood as there are more than one person and each one is washing himself...)


Oh, that's great, Grazie Mile. I hope I won't forget it (a vicenda, a vicenda...). Nice explanation about the reciprocal verbs too. Leggiamo a vicenda! (al meno, io ti leggerò xd).


An alternative to "a vicenda" may be "l'un l'altro/a".


Ótima explicação. Muito obrigada.


Sandra, will you marry me?


Notice that "ci" in this case has a "dative" meaning (although Italian does not have cases like in German for example, it descends from Latin). So this "ci" literally means "ad esso" ( = "to it")


Is it really mandatory to use the article "the"? "First time we did not believe it" marked as wrong.


"At first we didn't believe it."?


How can i distinguish "credemo" and "credemmo", because they sound familiar?


AFAIK, "Credemo" is never a valid conjugation.


Thank you! I was confused. I thought "credemo" is the present form for the verb "credere", but it is "crediamo".


Well, now that you've made me think about it, that could be the "romanesco" regional dialect from Lazio :)

"Daje che ce credemo!" :))


What is the difference between this lesson, past perfect, and past imperfect? Someone please help me because i see that the verb conjugation is different for all three.

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