C'è un gatto in cucina
Hi! I’d be very grateful if anyone could explain this for me: C'è un gatto in cucina. - There is a cat in the kitchen. I understand the sentence, but I don’t understand the "c'è". What is the c'? I’ve learned that lí and lá means "there" so I don’t understand what c' is shortened from. I hope someone understand what I mean and can explain. :-)
Ciao, CI or C'(I) is a particle with many functions, but giving a really simple and short definition, it can have an adverbial or pronominal nature, i.e. it's an adverb or a pronoun, and often when it acts as an adverb they also speak of an adverbial pronoun, so a particle with a double nature.
Main functions of CI in general (your case is in points 6/7).
1] PERSONAL PRONOUN FOR THE 1st PERSON PLURAL - CLITIC FORM
It acts as direct or indirect object pronoun e.g.
Tu ci hai visto. = Tu hai visto noi.
(You saw us. - direct)
Lui ci ha dato un libro. = Lui ha dato un libro a noi.
(He gave us a book./He gave a book to us. - indirect)
Lui ci ha fatto una torta. = Lui ha fatto una torta per noi.
(He made us a cake./He made a cake for us. - indirect)
us > complemento oggetto or accusativo
to us > complemento di termine or dativo
for us > complemento di vantaggio or dativo benefattivo.
As it happens for all the other personal pronouns this clitic ci working as a dative could take special nuances sometimes:
1) it could replace the possessive adjective our, and for this reason it becomes a possessive dative (and usually when the object of the verb is a body part but sometimes also clothes it's pretty much mandatory) e.g.
Ci (= a noi) hanno rubato la macchina.
= Hanno rubato la nostra macchina.
(My car was stolen.)
Ci (= a noi) è morto il gatto.
= Il nostro gatto è morto.
(Our cat died.)
La mamma ci (= a noi) ha pettinato i capelli.
= La mamma ha pettinato i nostri capelli. (not used)
(Mom combed our air.)
2) it could be used to emphasize the emotional partecipation of the subject in the action, and in this case it becomes an ethical dative (optional solution in the colloquial language) e.g.
Cosa hai combinato qui?!
Cosa ci (= a noi) hai combinato qui?!
(What have you done here?!)
In these two cases only the clitic form ci is correct and you cannot use a noi since the pronoun doesn't really mean to us.
2] REFLEXIVE PRONOUN FOR THE 1st PERSON PLURAL - CLITIC FORM
As every reflexive pronoun it's coupled both to proper reflexive verbs i.e. the ones that have a reflexive meaning as well as a reflexive conjugation, and to the apparent reflexive verbs i.e. that don't have a real reflexive meaning but that only follow a reflexive conjugation. For reflexive conjugation we mean:
- infinitive with -si
- reflexive pronouns in conjugation (here ci)
- auxiliary essere in compound tenses with clitics
lavar-si, riposar-si, arrabbiar-si
Noi ci laviamo. = Noi laviamo noi stessi. (real reflexive)
(We wash ourselves.)
Noi ci riposiamo. (fake reflexive)
Noi ci stiamo arrabbiando. (fake reflexive)
(We are getting angry.)
And we use ci for a reciprocal reflexive verb as well
Noi ci stiamo guardando.
= Noi ci stiamo guardando l'un l'altro/a vicenda.
(We're looking at each other/one another.)
So, according to the examples, literally ci is equal to ourselves only with proper reflexive verbs that is to say when there is a transitive verb and its direct object is the reflexive pronoun e.g. lavar-si.
In English we could have this "ourselves" (explicit or implicit e.g. I cut myself. / I shave.) but also some other construcions sometimes (e.g. I dress myself. / I get dressed.).
On the other hand, apparent reflexive verbs can be divided into more categories:
pronominal intransitive verbs, the reflexive pronoun has no meaning when its verb is intransitive, since it's only a formal element for it in Italian e.g. vergognar-si i.e. "to shame" ("to shame yourself" has no sense);
careful, a part of them can be only intransitive with -si (reflexive form) like vergognar-si, but others also have an intransitive version with -e (not reflexive) like seder-si / seder-e or even a transitive version with -e (not reflexive) like spaventar-si / spaventar-e;
pronominal transitive verbs, we have a transitive verb however it generally follows a construction where the reflexive pronoun is only a dative, an ethical dative, a possessive dative (also called "indirect reflexive form") rather than a direct object like with proper reflexive verbs. In detail:
1) dative: the action expressed by the transitive verb does not fall just directly on the subject because there is another object for it, then in these situations the reflexive pronoun literally means to ourselves and not ourselves e.g.
Ci (= a noi stessi) stiamo chiedendo questo.
(We are asking ourseves this. = We are asking this to ourselves.).
here the direct object is "this";
2) ethical dative: colloquially and optionally every normal transitive verb can be turned into an apparent reflexive verb to emphasize the partecipation of the subject in its action and the reflexive pronoun inserted in the phrase, here ci, lit. means to / for ourself but actually it's like the english intensifier ourselves and the rule also works for the normal personal pronoun us as said in point 1 e.g.
mangiare > magiar-si; studiare > studiar-si ect
(Noi) Abbiamo mangiato una pizza.
= (Noi) Ci siamo mangiati una pizza.
(We ate a pizza ourselves.)
(Noi) Dobbiamo studiare questo pronome.
= (Noi) Ci dobbiamo studiare questo pronome.
(We must study this pronoun ourselves.)
(Noi) abbiamo comprato un televisore.
= (Noi) Ci siamo comprati un televisore.
(We bought a television ourselves.)
(Noi) Ricordiamo tutto.
= (Noi) Ci ricordiamo tutto.
(We remember everything ourselves.)
3) possessive dative: already mentioned with regard to the normal personal pronoun in point 1, it is also expressed through a reflexive personal pronoun and in these cases ci literally means to ourselves but it's equal to our e.g.
perdere > perder-si
Ci siamo persi i documenti
= Abbiamo perso i nostri documenti.
(We lose our documents.)
This form is required in place of the possessives with regard to body parts, and it's a normal choice with clothes / wearable objects since we prefer to use reflexive verbs in most cases e.g.
rompere > romper-si; lavare > lavar-si
Entrambi ci siamo rotti il braccio.
(Both of us broke our arm.)
Mi sono lavato il viso.
(I washed my face.)
mettere > metter-si
Ci siamo messi le scarpe.
(We put our shoes on.)
3] IMPERSONAL FORM FOR REFLEXIVE VERBS
A verb with an impersonal form always needs a particle placed before it that acts as its generic subject meaning you, one, we, they, people, noramally that is the impersonal si ,and to be conjugated in third person singular, e.g.
In Italia si mangia bene.
In Italy one can eat well.
in this specific example I choose "one" as a general subject but I could also use "they" or "people" ect. and the translation would be always the same: si + verb in third p.s.
However that particle is turned into ci whenever the verb has a reflexive conjugation, a reflexive form, e.g. rilassar-si, salutar-si:
In vacanza ci si rilassa.
(You can relax on holiday.)
Qui ci si saluta sempre.
(Here people always say hello.)
this happens because when using a reflexive verb you need its reflexive pronoun before it (e.g. io mi rilasso, lei si rilassa, noi ci rilassiamo ect.) but when making it impersonal, it also requires an impersonal si before it and a conjugation in third p.s. so we would have:
si (impersonal) + si (reflexive pronoun in third p.s.) + rilassa (verb in third p.s.)
and this would be a problem.
Pay attention to ci / si:
- ci could also be the normal indirect personal object to us followed by a reflexive verb with the subject in 3rd p. singular/plural and then that requires the reflexive pronoun si with it e.g.
La finestra si è rotta. (reflexive verb)
(The window broke.)
La finestra ci (= a noi) + si è rotta. (personal pronoun before it)
(lit. "The window broke to us." i.e. Our window broke.)
to us indicates a possessive dative our;
- ci could be an adverb of place here / there or adverbial pronoun having a particular function (more in the next sections) followed by a reflexive verb with the subject in 3rd p. singular/plural and then that requires the reflexive pronoun si e.g.
Carlo si è sdraiato qui / lì ieri. (reflexive verb)
(Carlo lay here/there yesterday.)
= Carlo ci si è sdraiato ieri. (adverb before it)
ci > here / there (place)
Carlo si fotografa con esso. (reflexive verb)
(Carlo is photographing himself with it.
[e.g. a cellphone])
= Carlo ci si fotografa. (adverbial pronoun before it)
ci > with it (instrumental meaning)
4] ADVERB OF PLACE 'HERE' / 'THERE' – CLITIC VERSION
We also consider the ci as an adverb / adverbial pronoun, exactly as qui / qua (here) and lì / là (there) in a clitic form, and in this instance it becomes a verbal ending in infinitives of verbs and consequently it is present in their conjugations, so in summary we get pronominal verbs, e.g.
andare > andar-ci (to go there); mangiare > mangiar-ci*(to eat here / there) ect.
Ci vado spesso.
= Vado spesso là.
(I go there often.)
Ci mangiamo spesso.
= Mangiamo spesso qui / là.
(We eat here/there often.)
Often ci can be used even though the place is already mentioned, as a renforcement (especially in the colloquial language) e.g.
Ci mangiamo spesso al ristorante.
= Mangiamo spesso qui / là al ristorante.
(lit. We often eat here/there, at the restaurant.)
Sì, domani ci sarò a casa.
= Sì, domani sarò qui a casa.
(lit. Yes, tomorrow I'll be here, at home ).
translating into English normally this extra here / there is missing.
5] SUBSTITUTE OF SOME PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE + PLACE
it can also replace in , into, on + it / them considering that “here / there” often have those implicit meanings, and as above the verb takes the adverbial particle as an ending in its infinitive e.g.
mettere > metter-ci (to put > to put in, into, on something = here / there)
Ci metto un'altra scatola.
= Metto un'altra scatola dentro di esso.
(I'll put another box in it. [e.g. in the closet] )
6] FUNCTION OF 'CI' WITH THE VERB 'ESSERE'
Whenever the verb essere (to be) is preceded by ci > c' this means that we have an adverbial particle and it takes -ci just as verbal ending in its infinitive becoming the pronominal verb esser-ci…and a verbo procomplementare as we'll see in the next point.
That particle literally means qui / qua, lì / là i.e. "here / there" in a clitic version like the previous cases in 4, but it's better to remember that not all linguists think that we have the ci with the standard meaning of the adverb “here / there” in this instance, speaking about an element that only serves to create a new verb and that consequently loses its original function. More in the next point.
Made that clear, the verb essere (to be) becomes esser-ci whenever you need to express new and different meanings in Italian i.e.
to be present
and with regard to both of these meanings we can consider two different types of constructions for esser-ci:
esser-ci like to be here / to be there e.g.
Sì, ieri c'ero pure io.
(Yes, yesterday I was here / there, too.)
No, Paola non c'è in questo momento.
(No, Paola is not here at the moment.)
Voi ci sarete alla festa?
(Will you be at the party?
lit. "At the party will you be there?")
Fortunatamente, Dio c'è!
(Fortunately, God exists! / is there!)
The particle could also be missing, using the adverb qui / qua, lì / là in place of it (literal translation of "here / there") e.g. Sì, ieri ero là pure io., clearly this doesn't happen if you mean “to exist”.
A more formal version of to be here / to be there is essere presente (lit. to be present - not lit. to be here / there) e.g.
Sì, ieri io ero presente.
(Yes, yesterday I was present.
Yes, yesterday I was here / there.)
esser-ci like to be there, different from [A] because you must consider an adverb that acts just like a subject in third person singular / plural of the verb essere, as it happens with "there" in English (naturally the real subject is the one that follows):
c(i)'è... > there is...
ci sono... > there are...
C'era un gatto in cucina.
(There was a cat in the kitchen.)
C'è una casa lungo la costa.
(There is a house along the coast.)
Ci sono molte persone in piazza.
(There are many people in the square.)
Ci sono molte specie di piante nel mondo.
(There are many species of plants in the world.)
C'era una volta un castello magico.
(Once upon a time there was a magic castle.)
This type of particle in [B] is sometimes called ci presentativo, to distinguish from the one in [A].
1) for formal contexts and especially in written language these expressions are replaced by vi è and vi sono (ci > vi);
2) when these expressions are in the infinitive mood coupled to modal verbs (can, may, must) can have two positions as any clitic pronoun e.g.
Può esserci / Ci può essere una ragione.
(There may be some reason.)
Dovrebbe esserci / Ci dovrebbe essere del formaggio.
(There should be cheese.)
7] ACTUALIZING CI
As anticipated in point 4, when using the standard adverb of place ci (here / there) coupled to verbs as an ending in their infinitives we'll have that locative element more to be considered, that is to say “here / there” e.g.
andar -ci = Io ci vado.
(to go there = I go there.)
But careful, several times that doesn't mean “here / there” having a different nature.
We speak of the actualizing ci referring to different cases in which the ending -ci could even be desemantized, that is totally or only partially emptied of its original and normal locative meaning "here / there", to perform different functions...it's a kind of adverbial pronoun basically.
Exactly, here are all the functions of the actualizing ci:
[ A ] ci like element that gives some meaning or nuance to the "verbi procomplementari";
[ B ] ci like element to include an indirect complement or parts of phrases in only one verb;
[ C ] ci like element to renforce the meaning of a verb;
[ D ] special use with the verb 'avere'.
some verbs called verbi procomplementari always need -ci simply to get a specific meaning different from the usual one (completely different or only with a difference nuance), and in these cases the particle is just a grammatical element without any meaning to create a "new" verb, even though in some instances it could partially keep its locative nuance according to some linguists (as we'll see with esser-ci).
For instance, here are a couple of verbi procomplementari:
essere > to be
esser-ci > two constructions: (1) to be here / there i.e. “to be present” or “to exist” (2) to be there i.e. “there is / are…” indicating presence or existence
Lui non c'è, è uscito.
(He is not here, he has gone out.)
(Fortunately...God is there-here!/God exists!)
Ci sono solo due persone.
(There are only two people.)
Ci sono molte specie di piante nel mondo.
(There are many species of plants in the world.)
this is a particular verb because some linguists think that the actualizing ci is not a "locative ci" since the particle is only an instrument to create a new verb, "to be present" or "to exist", as it generally happens with all the other verbi procomplementari, however some other linguists, in particular F.Sabatini, president of the Accademia della Crusca, defines the particle in esserci as a "locative ci", he says that even in the further meaning of existence it recalls the original idea of "placement"...so this could be a case where the particle keeps its nature, partially, in a verbo procomplementare.
andare > to go
andar-ci > to be necessary, to be appropriate, to fit (usually for dimensions)
Quanto zucchero ci va nella torta?
(How much sugar do we need in the cake?)
Normalmente in una camera ci andrebbe un letto!
(Normally in a bedroom would be necessary a bed!)
Questa valigia non ci va nell'automobile.
(This suitcase doesn't fit in the car).
as you see andarci is not like the normal "to go here / there", even though it could recall the concept of "placement" in the examples (putting something in...).
volere > to want
voler-ci > to take, to need (time, quantity, need, effort)
Quanto tempo ci vuole per finire questo?
(How long does it take to finish this?)
Mi ci vuole più tempo!
(It takes me longer!)
Ci vuole più zucchero.
(You need more sugar.)
Quante mele ci vogliono per preparare la torta?
(How many apples do you need to prepare the cake?)
we only have ci vuole (3rd person singular) or ci vogliono (3rd person plural), since subjects can be only third people (in the examples time/sugar/apples).
mettere > to put
metter-ci > to take (time)
Quanto ci hanno messo per costruire questo edificio?
(How long did it take them to build this building?)
rimettere > to put (something) back
rimetter-ci > to loose, to waste (time, money, ect)
Lui ci ha rimesso la casa a causa del suo vizio del gioco.
(He lost his house because of his gambling habit.)
stare > to stay
star-ci > to agree, to say yes/ok (in general), to be available with someone who is courting you, to fit (in something, about dimension)
Vuoi uscire? - Sì, ci sto!
(Do you want to go out? - Yes, ok/I agree!)
Maria non ci sta con Piero.
(Maria doesn't like Piero/is not "available".)
Questo non ci sta nell'armadio.
(This doesn't fit in the closet.)
rimanere > to stay, to remain
rimaner-ci > to be upset / to feel bad about that,
to be surprised, to die (+ adjectives or colloquial terms)
Ci sono rimasta male.
(I was upset./I felt bad.)
Ci sono rimasto sorpreso/di stucco.
(I was surprised. )
Quell'uomo c'è rimasto secco.
(That man dead.)
entrare > to enter, to come in
entrar-ci > to have to do with it, to fit (in something, about dimension)
Questo non c'entra nulla.
(This has nothing to do with it.)
Le mie scarpe non ci entrano nella valigia!
(My shoes don't fit in the suitcase!)
entrar-ci = X ci entra = X c' entra
centrare = X centra (qualcosa)
without apostrophe "X centers (something) / X hits (a target)
provare > to try
provar-ci > to make a move on someone / to hit on someone
Voglio provarci con lei.
(I want to make a move on her.)
pensare > to think
pensar-ci > to take care about something or someone
Ci penso io a fare tutto.
(I'll take care of everything.)
vedere > to see
veder-ci > to be able to see
Io ci vedo bene.
(i can see well.)
sentire > to hear
sentir-ci > to be able to hear
Il mio dottore dice che non ci sento molto.
(My doctor says I can't hear much.)
Be careful, a few verbs of these above can have two versions, that is they can be a verbo procomplementare or not, such as:
(1) "to make a move on X" procomplementare
(2) "to try to do something" not procomplementare
because in the second case the -ci only serves to anticipate, to remplace a part of the sentence e.g.
Ho provato a farlo. = Ci ho provato.
(I tried to do it/that. = I tried to/it.)
(1) "to take care about X" procomplementare
(2) "to think about X" not procomplementare
because in the second case -ci only serves to anticipate, to remplace an indirect complement i.e. "about X" e.g.
Ci penso sempre. = Penso sempre a lui/lei/esso/loro.
(I always think about him/her/it/them.)
This topic is explained in the next points.
it can express various indirect complements, exactly:
1) it expresses indirect complements introduced by prepositions con, su, a and indicating people that can be different from 'us' (this is not the the normal personal pronoun with its meanings us > to us / for us) e.g.
- ci = con expresses company or instrumental value e.g.
uscir-ci, parlar-ci, giocar-ci
Ci uscirò domani.
= Uscirò con lei / lui / loro domani.
(I'll go out with her/him/them tomorrow.)
Ci parlerò domani.
= Parlerò con lei / lui / loro domani.
(I'll speak with her/him/them tomorrow.)
Cosa fai con quel pallone? Ci sto giocando.
= Sto giocando con esso.
(What are you doing with that ball? I'm playing with it. )
with con the particle can only indicate the 3rd person singular/plural (him / her / it / them).
- ci = su expresses a (figurative) place e.g.
Posso contare su di te? Sì, ci puoi contare.
= Sì, puoi contare su di me.
(Can I count on you? Yes, you can count on me.)
- ci = in expresses a (figurative) place e.g.
Tu credi in Dio? No, non ci credo.
= No, non credo in Dio/esso.
(Do you believe in God? No, I don't believe in God/it.)
- ci = a expresses a (figurative) place e.g.
Ci tengo molto.
= Tengo molto a lui / lei / esso / loro.
(I care about him/her/it/them very much.)
Pensi a lui? No, non ci penso affatto.
= Non penso affatto a lui.
(Are you thinking about him? No, I am not thinking about him at all.)
1) with pensarci / tenerci the adverbial particle only correspond to
a + 3rd person singular/plural (him / her / it / them);
2) using -ci with pensare, instead of a normal personal pronoun as object, you can change its meaning, e.g. ci instead of him:
A. Io ci ho pensato. = Io ho pensato a lui.
(I thought about him. - here the concept is "to turn your mind towards a figurative place" with sentiment, in this example a person.)
B. Lo penso. = Io penso lui.
(I think about him. - like "to imagine/represent him in my mind", less emotional than the first one.).
also in the first case the verb is intransitive while in the second one becomes transitive.
2) it can also introduce indirect complements following the pattern preposition + demonstrative pronoun "that" speaking of specific subjects previously mentioned e.g.
creder-ci, contar-ci, sperar-ci, capir-ci
Non ci credo.
= Non credo a quello.
(I don't believe that/it.)
= Conto su quello!
(I'm counting on it!). Ci spero così tanto.
= Spero così tanto in quello.
(I hope so much.)
Non ci capisco nulla.
= Non capisco nulla riguardo a quello.
(I'm not getting anything about that!)
Furher, sometimes it could be used to not repeat longer parts of phrases (with verbs and not only) e.g.
Proverai a fare quel lavoro? Sì, ci proverò.
= Sì, proverò a fare quel lavoro.
(Will you try to do that work? Yes, I'll try [to/it].)
sometimes -ci can only have a function of intesifying the meaning of a verb, considering some examples already mentioned e.g.
tenere a / tener-ci a (to care about)
parlare con / parlar-ci con (to speak with [/to])
Io tengo molto a te. / Io ci tengo molto a te.
(I care about you very much. - ci underlines your feeling because it repeats the meaning "about you")
Non parlo con quella gente. / Non ci parlo con quella gente.
(I don't speak with [/to] those people. - ci stresses the concept because it repeats the meaning "with them")
There is a further and particular use of the actualizing ci with the verb avere > aver-ci (to have), "particular" because in some cases the particle could be define as a facultative element to intensify the verb like in [C], however we cannot put it in that point because in other cases it becomes a formal grammatical element which is mandatory with avere, we have a verbo procomplementare like in , so there is a hybrid function...but I wrote more at the end (note 2) because the speech is linked to other rules in the next section...
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT ITS FORM
The ci is turned into ce whenever it's followed by some clitic pronouns - the direct object lo, la, le, li - or the pronominal particle ne (which has various functions). Exactly this happens:
- with ci as personal pronoun, indirect object e.g.
Lui vi ha dato il libro? Sì, ce lo ha dato.
= Sì, lui ha dato esso a noi.
(Did he give you the book? Yes, he gave it to us.)
I'll open a parenthesis, this change happens to all indirect personal pronouns:
- with ci as an adverb-pronoun and not a normal personal pronoun e.g.
Il sale basta? No, ce ne vuole di più.
(Is the salt enough? No, you need more of that.)
About c'è / ci sono and vi è / vi sono, they become ce n'è / ce ne sono and ve n'è / ve ne sono because of the ne e.g.
Ci sono gli studenti oggi? Sì, ma ce ne sono pochi.
(Are the students here today? Yes, but there are few of them.)
Di persone buone ce ne sono tante.
Ce ne sono tante di persone buone.
(There are a lot of good people.)
'CI' AS ACTUALIZING ELEMENT WITH 'AVERE'
The adverb of place -ci working as a verbal ending could be desemantized for other functions different from the locative one as already said in 7 and it's frequently used that way with avere > aver-ci as well, then it's better to speak of it. Three observations about this verb:
ci is an optional intensifier added to avere for emphasizing 'having something' in the colloquial language;
when used, this reinforcement is placed before the verb e.g.
(Io) Ho fame.
C(i)' ho fame.
(I am hungry)
(Lei) Ha molti amici.
C(i)' ha molti amici.
(She has many friends.)
(Noi) Avevamo un cane una volta.
C(i)' avevamo un cane una volta.
(We had a dog once.)
(Tu) Hai un ombrello?
C(i)'hai un ombrello?
- Sì, ce l'ho.
(Do you have an umbrella? Yes, I have it.)
You could also find, when there is a noun working ad a direct object for avere, an extra direct object pronoun that basically is a repetition of the noun, and it always stands before the noun e.g. Ce l(o)'hai un ombrello?
- this element becomes mandatory in any case, so also in the standard Italian, when using some pronouns after it i.e. direct object lo, la, le, li e.g.
(Tu) Hai un ombrello?
C(i)'hai un ombrello?
- Sì, ce l(o)'ho.
(Do you have an umbrella? Yes, I have it.)
(Tu) Hai una ragazza?
Ce l(a)'hai una ragazza?
- Sì, ce l(a)'ho.
(Do you have a girlfriend? Yes, I have her.)
while in English it's even possible to say 'Yes, I have.' only, in Italian 'Si, l'ho.' (Yes, I have it) is not enough, you need ce for expressing that 'in this moment I have X (girlfriend)' or 'I have X here with me (umbrella)';
instead when there is the particle ne you can choose answer A or B:
Hai delle penne?
C(i)'hai delle penne?
(Do you have any pens?)
- Sì, ne ho due.
- Sì, ce ne ho due.
(Yes, I have two [of them].)
In summary, we can say that ci as actualizing element can be facultative and mandatory at the same time with avere .
Ciao! : )
It's true Mabby, "nella cucina" is also correct, the problem is that you always use "the" before the names of rooms and some other places (at least I know so), whereas we can use it or not:
Dove sei Mabby? Sono in cucina or Sono nella cucina
maybe it's more common "in cucina" because it's easier and immediate.
We must use nella (= in + the) only when the sentence continues, specifying other information, e.g.:
Io sono nella cucina della mia amica (I'm in my friend's kitchen)
Io sono nella cucina che ho sempre sognato! (I'm in the kitchen that I've always dreamed of!)
because we're talking of a specific kitchen. This is a rule that you can also use in other cases, e.g.
Sono in stazione (I'm in the station)
Sono nella stazione di fronte al bar (I'm in the station in front of the bar).
"I'm in the bar": Sono nel bar and not Sono in bar
(nel bar, nella scuola, nel cinema, nel parco, nel viale ect).