"I had not thought about it."
Translation:Non ci avevo pensato.
I'm not native Italian and my understanding is weak, so someone with more experience can chime in and correct me:
"Ne" = "of them/it" but not "to it."
"Ci" = "to it."
In Italian, you say the English equivalent of "I think to x" when you say "Penso a x," which is grammatical. "Penso di x" on the other hand is not.
So when you say "Ci avevo pensato" you are saying "I had thought to it."
here is a page that may help: http://italianencounter.com/en/italian-grammar/ci-and-ne-in-italian/
I made a mistake, but hitting the enter I already felt it. My idea would be that 'ne' substitutes a prepositional phrase with the preposition "di", whereas 'ci' substitutes for the other prepositions.
I think because 'ci' replaces a prepositional phrase as an object of a verb. Ie, to say "I had not thought it", you would use 'Non l'avevo pensato', but to say "I had not thought about/of it", you would use 'ci' instead.
Yes. It's puzzling, because the verb "pensare" itself means to think, to think of, or to think about. Regardless of the why's or wherefore's, in standard Italian "ci pensare" means to think about it; "lo pensare" means to think it.
You can see my comment above. It becomes less puzzling when you realize that Italians use the English equivalent of "I think to x" instead of "I think of x."
Then you just note that "ci" means "to it."
Not quite so simple as that. Consider this (Pensa a questo!):
"Ci penso io" can mean "I will see to it (take care of it/give it thought)."
"Cosa ne pensi?" means "What do you think of/about it?"
"Penso di si/no" (and it is grammatical) means "I think so/not." and "Penso di partire" means "I am thinking of/about leaving."
"Pensare" is a verb with several usages, depending on the preposition, the tense of the verb, the complement, and the context. (But you are right about the difference between "ne" and "ci")
All good and interesting points.
But the specific point I was driving at was that Italians use the construction "Penso a x" to mean "I'm thinking of/about x." This makes the "ci" feel more natural.
As you showed, it behaves differently in different contexts.
So helpful! I put: "Non l'avevo pensato" and now, seeing your post, I understand why that was marked wrong. Thanks!
Once again I got the word order wrong. Arghh. I put ci non instead of Non ci because I knew ci did not go at the end. Frustrated.
Go to clitics and read about 'ci' and 'ne'. It's about the thing that 'pensare' goes with 'a' and you change 'a' + object to 'ci'.