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  5. Ci voglio provare un'altra vo…


Ci voglio provare un'altra volta.

I am doing the reverse tree and I am coming up against sentences that don't make sense to me! For example can someone explain why this means; "I want to try it one more time" My guess was " I want us to try again" but got it wrong. A few sentences I have found have different solutions to the one shown as the right answer,some quite a lot different. Are other people finding this the case?

February 7, 2018



Ci is the most versatile among the clitic pronouns (or atonic pronouns), but the trickiest for learners, because it can take five different meanings.

1) Direct object for the 1st person plural ("us"):

  • Tu ci aiuti. = You help us.

2) Indirect object for the 1st person plural ("to us", "for us", seldom "from us"):

  • L'insegnante ci spiega una regola. = The teacher explains us a rule. (here "us" = "to us")

  • (Loro) ci hanno rubato le valigie. = They stole the suitcases from us. (rephrased → They stole our suitcases.)

3) Locative pronoun, indicating a place ("here", "there", "in it", "on it", etc.):

  • Cosa c'è in quelle scatole? -- Ci tengo alcuni libri. = What's in those boxes? -- I keep some books in them.

4) Instrumental pronoun, which translates as "with it" or "with them", in most cases indicating a means:

  • Prendo sempre la metro, ci vado al lavoro. = I always take the underground, I go to work with it.

  • Ho messo da parte dei soldi, ci voglio comprare un'auto nuova. = I saved up some money, I want to buy a new car with it.

In a few cases ci means "(together) with it" or "(together) with them":

  • Bella camicia! -- Questa giacca ci va bene? / ci sta bene? = Nice shirt! -- Does this jacket go well with it?

5) Informally, ci can also refer to human beings and mean "with him/her" or "with them":

  • Conosci Paolo? -- Ci lavoro insieme. = Do you know Paul? -- I work together with him.

In order to understand ci correctly a context of speech is needed. In many cases only one meaning makes sense. But a sentence such as

  • Ci compra il giornale.

without a context can mean:

  • He/She buys the newspaper for us.
  • He/She buys the newspaper there (in that shop).
  • He/She buys the newspaper with it (money).

In a few pronominal verbs, -ci turns the original meaning of the plain verb into a more idiomatic one (so-called procomplementary verbs). Common ones are:

  • vedere = to see → vederci = to be able to see (literally, 'to see in this place')

  • sentire = to hear → sentirci = to be able to hear (literally, 'to hear in this place')

  • essere = to be → esserci = to be present (literally, 'to be in this place')

  • entrare = to enter → entrarci = to have to do with it (literally, 'to enter it')

  • pensare = to think → pensarci = to take care about it, to look after it (literally, 'to think of it')

  • provare = to try → provarci = to make an attempt (literally, 'to try doing this')

  • sperare = to hope → sperarci = to have (good) hope that something will happen

  • volere = to want → volerci = to take (time), to be needed (means, money).

February 7, 2018


So helpful. Thank you.

February 7, 2018


Thank you so much! So when is your clone going to be ready?? I know HelenDaisy wants one too!

February 8, 2018


Yes indeed! Am thinking of chartering a plane so that we can all go to Rome and take The Master out to tea. Then we can check on progress at the clone factory at the same time. I need my clone more than ever. The more I know , the more I realise how much more there is to know!

February 8, 2018


That's so right..... I want my clone NOW!!!!

February 9, 2018


Allora ci stai provando! = Allora stai provando a fare l'albero inverso... -> Then, you are trying at doing the reverse tree.. Ci is the indirect object here, and works as demonstrative pronoun..

Io ci voglio provare un'altra volta = Io voglio provare a fare ciò un'altra volta -> I want to try it one more time. The verb is provare+ci= provarci, and context is very important: eg.-Non ci provare!! = Stop flirting with me! (from a TV Series)

February 7, 2018


Ciao. I think the emphasis was on IT and ONE MORE. In bocca al lupo con L'inverso - you are very brave. Hope to do it myself soon. Ciao, L

February 7, 2018


Yes, a lot more than I expected. It’s good though for getting the real phrasing in my brain.

This one confused me a lot until I realized it was probably the verb ”provarsi” = ci provare = to try at doing something. Need our native italians to confirm though!

February 7, 2018


Beware not to mistake provarsi = 'to try on (a garment)', which follows the reflexive conjugation (as the -si pronoun suggests), with provarci = 'to make an attempt'.

The pronoun implies several differences in conjugating these two verbs.

1) Provarsi takes the auxiliary essere (which is mandatory for the reflexive conjugation), while provarci takes avere.

2) With provarsi the reflexive pronoun changes according to the person (mi, ti, si, etc.), whereas with provarci the pronoun is always ci.

3) Provarsi is transitive, despite having a reflexive conjugation (this is why it should not be mentioned as a 'reflexive verb', which would always be intransitive), so it can take a direct object.
Provarci, instead, is intransitive, and never takes a direct object.

The well-known rule according to which any transitive verb always takes the auxiliary avere, in the case of provarsi is overridden by the fact of having a reflexive conjugation, which forces any such verb to take essere.

Some practical examples:

  • (io) mi sono provato/provata la giacca = I (have) tried on the jacket

  • (tu) ti sei provato/provata la giacca = you (have) tried on the jacket

  • (lui) si è provato la giacca = he (has) tried on the jacket

  • (lei) si è provata la giacca = she (has) tried on the jacket


  • (io) ci ho provato = I (have) made an attempt, I (have) tried

  • (tu) ci hai provato = you (have) made an attempt, you (have) tried

  • (lui) ci ha provato = he (has) made an attempt, he (has) tried

  • (lei) ci ha provato = she (has) made an attempt, she (has) tried.

February 8, 2018
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