"Noi ce l'abbiamo."

Translation:We have it.

June 19, 2013

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Noi ce l'abbiamo = We have got her ??

Duolingo, this is BEYOND incomprehensible. Please provide us with a guide on ci, ce, ne.

In the third lesson of the Clitics section, absolutely nothing makes sense, with the exception maybe of "si". (eg: "lei si mette i vestiti")


(from an italian book might make this clearer for "ci/ce" in this instance)

Like ne, ci can be used as a pronoun, as an adverb of place, or idiomatically in several expressions. Like the conjunctive pronouns, it is normally positioned before the verb, but after an infinitive, certain imperatives, the gerund or the participle.

When avere is used with a direct pronoun such as lo or li, ci is often added. It is used idiomatically with certain verbs:

Non ci vedo. I can’t see.

Ce l’hai? Have you got it?

ci changes into ce when used before pronouns:

Avete La Repubblica?
 Do you have the Repubblica?

No, non ce l’abbiamo oggi. No, we haven’t got it today.

Ha il passaporto, signora?
 Do you have your passport, madam?

Sì, ce l’ho.
 Yes, I do have it.


I think dhunteroz is on the right track. Ce is actually Ci but because it comes before a direct pronoun it changes to Ce. Mi would change to Me Vi to Ve etc. But what is Ci doing in this sentence.

We have got her has become We have her.

We have her is Noi la abbiamo , the direct object pronoun 'la' would elide to l'.......so the sentence becomes Noi l'abbiamo. = We have her.

However the verb 'to have' (avere) is not the verb in this sentence ..... the verb in use is ' Averci' which is avere with a pronoun attached to it. The verb averci means exactly the same verb as avere .....so what does the 'ci' mean ??...........

Ci in this sentence means nothing!.....absolutely nothing. There is no grammatical reason for it. BUT BUT....It is OBLIGATORY when using the verb avere WITH a DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN.

Do you have the apple = Hai la mela? .... Yes, I have it = Sì, ce l'ho.

Do you (all) have them? = Ce li avete?.......Yes, we have them = Sì, ce li abbiamo.

Attaching a pronoun onto a verb...makes it a pronomial verb. Italian has many of them......Do not confuse Averci with Avercela which means to be angry with. Ce l'ho con il (col) mio amico...This does not mean I have it with my friend but it means ...I am angry with my friend....the good news in this case 'con' always follows.

Hope this helps


I believe in this case the use is emphatic or idiomatic (but generally consistent in use). You could probably use the word "like" in the english version of this sentence. Probably bad english but it illustrates the point, if I know what i'm talking about.

e.g. noi …/ce/ l'abbiamo = We …/like/ have it.


I do agree it is probably helpful just to know this as an idiomatic way of using Ci. I can't really agree with the use of the word "like" in english which has to be one of the most incorrect , clumsy an annoying teenage inventions which clutters some young people's every sentence when describing a conversation. I know language has to evolve but I sometimes get the impression that things that are dropped in every other word, the language is not enriched. Don't get me on the rising inflection sentences! Whoops, I should calm down, sorry


confusedbeetle: I heartily agree with you. It does seem that our language(English) is deteriorating badly, so much so that when I'm on public transport in the UK it can often take me a minute or two before deciding that the words I am hearing in a conversation are in fact english at all. This is particularly so now with the multiplicity of foreign languages in addition to foreign english speakers with heavy native accents plus the conversation bespeckled with their own native words. It's not really possible these days to enjoy eavesdropping as was possible even only 20 or 30 years ago. In fact as a boy in the UK I didn't hear a foreign language spoken in public until my adulthood into the 1970s. But as you say, the real irony is typically teenagers... oftimes unfathomable. Che è la vita!


Così è la vita* I actually had a lot of fun in Rome eavesdropping some immigrants' colourful language on the bus to work; every fourth or fifth word was an Italian swearword in extremely fluent Roman dialect, while the rest was alien to me. Italian teenagers don't speak badly, they just created their own pidgin from dialect and foreign words, and they can be nice to listen to. And on the internet, at least, they write better than their parents; it's funny and terrifying at the same time how most Italians complaining about foreigners on social media aren't even able to write it in Italian...


f.formica, yes you are right (sorry KenHutley, I have nabbed your reply button, F.formica didn't have one) It is important for language to evolve, and especially for young people to "own " some words. I used to ruin it by adopting one of their words-killed it dead! Young people refresh the world and challenge us oldies, as they should. It is rather concerning that the older generation often cannot write good italian, maybe some had less access to education than their children. On the subject of accents we last week struggled to understand an American due to her accent. I am trying hard not to learn Italian swear words or vulgar words in case I let one slip. Your posts are always well informed and helpful, thank you very much. Have a lingot


While I am on the subject, have you noticed in radio interviews; when someone is asked to comment or explain, that they always start the sentence with "So" ? The scariest thing is when you accidentally pick up and repeat one of these nightmares. How are you? Good, thanks aaargh! He He Mustn't grumble



You ask why you have -17 (down-votes). I don't claim to know what others are thinking but I will try to share my take on your post.

In a discussion that revolved around the use of an Italian pronoun, you chose to discuss your dislike of how you see things going in the UK and how you are offended by "deterioration" of the English language. I would have preferred that you stay on topic and use the space to provide something that actually helps us solve the problem and learn.

Instead, you managed to insult peoples from countries other than your own simply because they speak a different language. You are distraught that you can't understand what they are saying as if it was any of your business.

You ignore the fact that they are probably learning a new language and somehow forget your own struggle to learn italian. In a few years they will likely be bi- or multi- lingual and contributing to the richness of your society with exciting foods, cultural identities and art forms, and being productive members in society.

You are offended that they are even in the UK and want to return to a time when the British Empire was practicing Nationalism, Colonialism, Racism, and economically subjugating entire countries.

On top of those faults, you manage to practice Ageism, insulting teenagers simply because they have a different way of communicating. You don't take the time to observe and learn how the world is changing. Your ideas are concrete overshoes anchoring you solidly in a harmful past. That is what is unfathomable!


A naive question perhaps but I am puzzled as to why I have managed to accrue 17 minuses -17 for my comment. Not a complaint but I do wish to genuinely learn as I cannot fathom the reason. I know... 5 years is probably too long a time to respond, but 'Hey', as they say Stateside!


You got down voted because the UK is an achingly politically correct country where people are discouraged from thinking for themselves.


Dhunteroz wouldn't "Non ci vedo" mean "I can't see us" instead of "I can't see" if not why?


'vederci' (conjugated as 'ci vedo') is the name of the verb. Sometimes in Italian, as with prepositions in English (e.g. 'look up'), the pronoun changes what the verb is, but usually it has a derivative or identical meaning to the base verb.

Conjugation table:

In the dictionary:
http://www.wordreference.com/iten/vedere (avere la facoltà della vista)

In the translation ("I can't see"):

If you really wanted to say "I can't see us" you could say "non vedo noi", if you said the other they would assume the other more dominant meaning "I can't see".

By the way, if you look at the conjugation table you'll notice "ci vediamo", but it's unlikely that someone would interpret "non ci vediamo"/"we don't see each other" as "we can't see", unless the context made it clear, again because certain usages are more dominant.


Non ci vedo ....definitely means.....I can't see us.

The ci in this sentence does not mean us. Here is the bit you won't like. It does not mean anything. That's right ...it means nothing.

You may think a simple sentence like..... (We have it) could be translated as

We have it = Noi lo abbiamo....elided to ....Noi l'abbiamo. Not true

I have it = l'ho.....Not true........

It seems that just to make it sound better... Ci is added.... which , of course, becomes Ce because it precedes a direct object pronoun.

Ce l'ho....I have it..... but it could mean I have him / her.....but I have seen translations .....Ho lui....or ....Ho lei.

This only applies to the verb avere as far as I can see.....


Sorry I have highjacked your reply button. It would seem ioarmcl has vetoed commenting. Ironic considering the idiotic ans small minded reply he/she/they have written. I use the word they deliberately to wake the non woke dragon. Hey, amazing I can think for myself!


Awesome explanation, thanks!


"Ci" in this case doesn't mean nothing! It's just to make the sentence more emphatic. It's often obligatory, when the sentence is very short, for exemples "Ce l'abbiamo noi" (like... "Who has my smartphone?!" - "We have it" ... "It's us who have it")

"Ci" before an object pronoun changes to "ce". For instance: "C'ho ragione io!" ("I have right", but very emphatic, the "i" is truncated), "Vuole sempre averci ragione!" ("He always wants to have right!", informal, equal to "Vuole sempre avere ragione!"), "Ce l'ho io" ("It's me who has it") = "Sono io ad avercelo!". Like in this sentence.

It's difficult to find examples with the passive case...

But don't confuse with the pronoun (complemento di termine) "ci" ([to] us), that also changes to "ce" before a pronoun, like all those pronouns "mi, ti, gli, ci, vi, ...loro", which becomes "me, te, glie-, ce, ve, ...loro". For instance "Ci ha dato il suo numero." (He gave us his phone number), "È contento di averci dato il suo numero" (He's happy to have given his number to us), "Ce li ha dati" (He gave them to us), "È contento di averceli dati" (He's happy to have given them to us), "Ce le ha date" (He hit us ... ...)

In these two cases, as you can see, before the object pronouns "lo, la, li, le" it changes to "ce", also i the infinitive "avercelo".

But don't confuse it with the pronoun of place "ci" which means "there" and which never changes! "Vi ci porto, se volete" (I take you there if you want), "Lì, non voglio più mangiarci" (I don't want to eat there anymore) = "Lì, non ci voglio più mangiare".

Yeah, Italian is a mess...

(I'm sorry, but my mother tongue is italian, so I don't know the proper grammar words in english)


Thanks a lot, PorcoTheDio - very helpful!

So, this was an example for the 'pleonastico' (= pleonastic = redundant) use of the demonstrative pronoun 'ci'.


Thanks for that definition of "pleonastic" :)


PorcoTheDio: Thanks for your help Porco... but I can't help but point out, particularly as you are a native Italian speaker that, ""Ci" in this case doesn't mean nothing!" is a grammatical error. It states a double negative which cancels itself out. I know it is commonly used in U.S. movies, particularly 'westerns'. It is also used in the UK but not normally by educated people. The correct syntax would be, "Ci" in this case doesn't mean ANYthing! I don't wish to sound over pedantic but as this is a language 'forum' it helps other students if the basic rules of a language are observed, if for no other reason than to help prevent second language speakers to avoid as many pitfalls as possible. Inteso col buon cuore!


I see your point Ken, but it is logical in Italian, where a double negative is common, and does not cancel itself out, so I can see how a native Italian speaker would express it this way


tl;dr Not your fault, it's funky grammar


tell me about . It is similar to spanish then it isnt and turns abit like enlglish the ot isnt and it leaves my head spinning .. love the challenge thanks for your explanation


Amazing explanation ,thank you so much!


Thank you for this helpful explanation. I wouldn't say Italian is a mess - it's one of my favourite languages to listen to, but it certainly is complicated!


Anna I feel sorry for anyone trying to apply logic to learning english


Oh, you're absolutely right! The spelling is a nightmare, and there are so many exceptions to the rules of grammar!


From what I understand, the "l'abbiamo" could mean "we have it", "we have him", or "we have her", since the L apostrophe is an abbreviation of either "lo" or "la". I guess Duolingo just gave you one of the three interpretations as an example.

Having said that. I don't know what the "ce" is doing there haha


I completely agree. This is the 3rd time I have tried this lesson and cannot finish it. It makes absolutely no sense to those of us trying to learn, it seems the meanings change from phrase to phrase.


I think that the use of "ce" is to clarify the object. For instance if I want to say "I have it", I don't just say "L'ho". The single syllable doesn't convey the meaning. It sounds exactly like the definite article "lo". Therefore, I would say "Ce l'ho" to indicate that the "l" is a direct object. Not an expert but this is just how I interpret it.


OK gang have fun>>>>this is the DREADED double pronoun. Hateful, hateful lesson. I sworn I would never speak in double pronouns. WELL, here is the link...look at the chart http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare168a.htm

Next to "ci" is ce lo (in this case one use l' instead of lo)

translation: we have it (whatever the H... it is I HATE IT)


The ce here is not the pronoun ci. You use double pronouns to replace a direct object and an indirect object. There is no indirect object in this sentence, and since "we" is already the subject of the verb, it doesn't make much sense for it to be an IO at the same time. For the real explanation for ce, see mario.a's two posts above.


This is a difficult sentence. My grammar book gives another example that seems clearer to me: Hai le chiavi? - Sì ce le ho qui. (Do you have the keys? - Yes, i have them here.) In this examples "le" is used to refer to the keys and "ce" to refer to the location ("here").

Maybe "Noi ce l'abbiamo" should be translated as "We have them here".


Good example of the double pronoun usage (ce + l') but misinterpreted. Ce is not "here". That is the word "qui".


That is certainly possible. The above sentence is different because it's about "us" so "ce" may also be "us."


That's an interesting explanation! However, in another book I found, that "ci" is used colloquially to put more emphasis on "avere". E.g.: Ha una sigaretta? Si, ce l'ho! (Do you have a cigarette? Yes, I do have one.) Used this way "ce" doesn't carry any meaning.


Agreed re: emphasis, but I disagree with the comment about 'ce' referring to 'here' - that's the function of 'qui' (in "Si, ce le ho qui").


I love that! The other explanations still render 'ce' unnecessary or not playing any obvious role so I'm going with 'ce' leading to emphasis and 'do'. Makes my brain hurt less.


I agree, I think it is for the emphasis


That's a perfect solution.


Viaggiatore No, not us in this example


That was my exact answer and it was marked wrong =(


The qui tells you "here" not the ce, not a location in this instance


I think there should be more than three pronouns lessons, as this is a pretty vast topic. Duolingo is combining direct object and indirect object pronouns with reflexive pronouns, and the whole thing is a mess.


I agree. DL has this one very wrong.

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I am confused! I translated it as, "We have it ourselves", since "Ce lo beviamo noi" meant "We drink it ourselves"... WRONG! I can see the word order is different but I do not understand!


According to my grammar book, Ci changes to Ce when used with another pronoun. Uses of Ci including meaning "to us", are to mean "there" when functioning as an adverb, Ci vado ogni giorno. to replace adverbial expressions, in there, by there. to replace a or in + a thing, and in various adverbial expressions such as about/of/on/from it Ma cosa ci posso fare io? But what can I do about it? Quello che dici non c'entra What you say doesnt come into it Dicono che verranno ma non ci possiamo contare They say they will come but we can't count on it


It is unhelpful that when you hover over 'ce' it is translated as 'us' or 'there'. In fact, neither words appears in the translation.


There are many so called pronomial verbs that have...ci attached to the infinitive. In many cases the meaning is changed but in this case it used to provide emphasis. The verbs Avere and Averci both mean ..To Have. But..Averci means to have in the sense of right now!, right here! C'hai le chiavi....I have the keys (Right here!, Right now!) Most of you have been using such a pronomial verb without realising it...I was!. The verb is Esserci. This becomes C'è (Ci è) ?.Ci sono ..meaning There is..There are.


Thanks, the information about pronomial verbs helped me a lot!

What was not so helpful was that you knew about pronomial verbs while we didn't. Because Duolingo did not care to explain this AT ALL.


I was confused about the ce here as well, thank you for explaining..5 lingos given..cheers!


Some below have mentioned the 'ce' is used for emphasis.
At times in English we might colloquially say "Have you got er done there?" In that case 'there' would just be a term thrown in. Or another example: "How's it going there, pardner?" Basically you are asking "how is it going", but 'there' is thrown in as an extra. Maybe I am way off, but when I started interpreting them this way, I started getting them correct a bit more.


I think a better way of thinking is that the verb is a pronominal "averci" Have you got the keys, yes I've got them. Ci hai le chiave? Si, ce le ho. I do not think there is any implication of place , either here or there. To think so causes more confusion. Ci as a pronoun of place is another matter altogether


Yes agreed. Looks like my sentences above perhaps didn't convey that clearly. In the english examples I gave, in those cases 'there' would not refer to a place.


I hear what you're saying, Dino. The "there" in your sentences convey a sense of "right there, right now", like German4me22 was saying above. I like this as a way to remember.


Ce is not there, it is another form of Ci. It is used when the sentence has another pronoun, in this case "l'", essentially doubling up on the "it". See comment from JxPatrizia below.


Regarding 'ce,' someone posted this on another question which helped me: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1883864


Just a thought. Is the use of the word 'ce/ci' in these kinds of sentences akin to the use of 'myself', 'ourself' and the likes in sentences like "I'll have myself a nice cup of coffee" or "Find yourself a place to sit."? I'm not certain about the terminology here, but maybe as a sort of intesifier? I know it is grammatically incorrect to omit this word in Italian, but at least from a historical perspective it seems likely that the origin could be something like this.


Was really enjoying learning italian until this section . Absolute mind field of different uses of the words ci ce ne si etc doesnt seem to be a consistant pattern like the earlier lessons . Ive resorted to.writing down the answers to get through the lessons as without a photographic memory its near on impossible.


hmmm... I can't even find "ce" in my grammar section let alone work out what the sentence means!


"Ce" is the form that "ci" takes before a pronoun like "l'".


To generalize a bit, the rule I learned was that when a verb takes both a direct and indirect object pronoun, then the indirect object pronoun changes form.


I hate this chapter because hints don't help whatsoever and I just want to increase the clutter on this question to give Duo the middle finger.


This is one of the most complete explanations I found in one place (read both parts). http://ciaoitaliablog.wordpress.com/classes/meanings-of-italian-ci-1/


I am glad to see that I am not the only one suffering with the ciclics. Thanks to mario.a and all the others who cotrubute with some literature to figure this mess out.


Duolingo must do a lesson, maybe a video of few minutes, to explain us this hard lesson, this method of teaching doesn't seem working for this types of subjects...


A suggestion: Since "we/us" in the clue for 'ce' isn't used in the translation, perhaps DL instead could indicate that it's present for emphasis.


"There we have it" - why is it wrong? I think there should be some more info in the usage of "ce" on DL!


Clitics need more context than one sentence because they refer to things already spoken about/known. Duolingo's biggest con might be the one sentence activities.

[deactivated user]

    I cant believe im on the laat clitics lesson and don't understand it at all


    The translation "We have it" ignores "ce". In order to mean "We have it", why would any native Italian not simply say (or write) "Noi l'abbiamo"? Not a native Italian, I find this lesson as confusing as reading the commentary here. At the time of this posting (the one you are reading now) DL has worded the "correct" translation as "We have her", which is even more confusing. Clearly, DL needs an expert commentary when introducing this lesson, and/or this discussion needs a native Italian or at least someone who has spent considerable time in Italy -- more than a few weeks.


    There is a problem with taking the ci as a separate entitity and translating it Much easier to think of the verb as averci meaning possess have or possess,eg have you got the keys, ci hai le chiave? Si ce le ho. Etc similarly with volere and volerci where the meaning subtly changes to be necessary or needs. These constructs are not simply explained, native or not. They just "are". To delve into the grammar is a whole world of pain. Easier to hear how they are used almost aa if it was a different verb. We dont alway need to know the why. But we do need to know the how. Another eg is "ci ho una pistola tedesca" , have, possess. I dont think duo has a huge role in explanation, rather a huge one in familiarising


    confusedbeetle, thanks, your argument is well taken and tries to be helpful but carries a few remarkable points. First, there is no apparent good reason to subordinate "why" to "how". Knowing "why" leads to progressive change with circumstances; knowing "how" does not. Second, you wrote of the comparison "averci" with "volerci" that it is "[E]asier to hear how they are used almost aa if it was a different verb", but is it the same verb or did you mean "... as if it WERE a different verb"? If it is a different verb (I think so) then there is no apparent reason WHY they would be used differently. Finally, in your examples, the use of "ci" produces no change in the translation that is clear to this reader, so that in creating a useful tip, Duo would do well to explain WHY the use of "ci" is necessary. Thanks again, your keen interest in linguistics and helpful intent are striking.


    DL tells me the correct answer is "We have her." There is absolutely nothing here to suggest feminine gender. All discussion below uses "We have it" , so DL needs to correct it's reply.


    Confusing! The answer they showed me translated ce as her. We have her! Weird. These clitic lessond are doing my head in.


    It isnt the ce that was translated as her, it was the "l'"


    How exactly do you know that "l'"is short for "le" and not for "lo" or "li"?


    It can't be "li" because "li" doesn't take a short form. No need for "ce". Just "Li abbiamo".


    Duo gave an alternative meaning 'We have her' I don't follow that.


    I hate this, italian grammar, in this case is horrible


    "We do have it" comes back wrong why? Thanks in advance.


    I hate to post more clutter, but I still do not understand ci and ce. I have read the articles that people have posted and I still can't figure it out. Is it needed and why? I hate to be the dumb one, but could someone put it in laymen's terms for me, please? Grazie


    I still struggle with it also. Sometimes it means "us" or "them", sometimes it is for emphasis, sometimes it means "ourselves". I've learned German and Russian in the past, and there was nothing comparable in either of those languages.


    Grazie per la risposta. I will slowly figure it out. If I could learn piace and manca, I think I should be able to understand this. Thanks!


    I think my eyes are now permanently crossed!...But I WILL KEEP TRYING to "get this"! THANKS to all for suggestions and help!♡♡♡


    No way does it sound like "l'abbiamo"!


    "We have it" I understand. The 'correct answer' I've been given is "We have got her".


    JLS...That would be incorrect. It'd be the wrong tense. That aside, it'd be awful English.


    I don't understand the "ce."


    You don't need to understand it, just remember it. "Ce l'ho" I have it,


    Well, you don't have to, but it sure helps to at least try. The way I understand it in this setting is for emphasis on the 'avere', and a way to understand it, in a less idiomatic English, would be "We have it for us'. Related to the way in which you sometimes can say "Have yourself a cup of coffe". The yourself is unnecessary for the meaning of the sentence, but functionally, it is used for emphasis.

    I might be wrong, but if this way of thinking about it helps in learning the language, I'll stick to it until I get a better explanation.


    Hunh???? This discussion page translates it as "We have it." (I wrote "We have it there": marked wrong.) The exercise page translates it as "We have got her"!!!


    Duolingo marked 'We have it here' as wrong and their "correct" answer was - We have got it- which does not match their answer above. I do not understand.


    we have got it, we have it, just about the same. There is nothing in this phrase that says "here".​ There are a lot of comments on this thread


    One translation supplied by Duolingo was "We have got her." That's not just about the same as "We have got it" or "We have it."


    The program does not accept my answer


    I made it right


    The program answered that I made it right, but it didn`t let me go on!


    ce and c'e anyone care to elucidate


    Ce= ci C'e = there is


    Bad translation. This says we have it. But my option was we have enough.


    Sorry mark, where dies enough come in?


    There's not it as an option. I could only choose enough or her. Needs to be fixed.


    I don't understand the use of 'ce' here...


    I don't understand the use of 'ce' here


    See my and other's comments near the top


    Question: What exactly is the function of "ce" in this sentence? What part of speech is it? Abbiamo can't be a reflexive verb here, can it?


    Ce is used when a sentence has no subject and is plural. Just like Se is used when a sentence has no subject and is singular. Basically the subject in this sentence is we. "We ourselves her have". If it was he has her and he was the subject it would be- lui se l'ha - he himself her has.


    Grazie! That was a very helpful clarification.


    Ce is used an impersonal sentences with no subject. In this sentence we ourselves are the subject and it is plural, so "ce" is used. "We ourselves her have. " The same is foe "se". It is used for singular, impersonal sentences with no basic subject. Where the subject is he or she or it. Ce is for us, them and it plural.


    Thank you. That helped me to understand the usage of ce.


    Dear Duolingo , Once again I earnestly request that idioms not be included with clitics until we grasp the basics.


    I dont believe this is an idiom, but that the ce is a clitic. If you want to drive yourself really nuts look up avercela which is idiomatic and means to be p....sed off with . I did think it could apply to this phrase to. Works a bit like " I've had it with you" ce l'ho con te"


    That's helpful. "Ce l'ho con te." can be a very useful phrase at times! : )


    l can get that the 'ce' is for emphasis, but how do we know it is 'it'. Couldn't it be her?


    what is the ce doing?


    ci ce c'e li gli le lo la ne


    'Noi ce l'abbiamo.' translates to"we have her or we have it" but where is It/her, in this affirmation.?


    this is wrong. "we have her" is "noi l'abbiamo"


    This whole Clitics section is more proof that DL really needs to hire some actual language teachers and curriculum developers


    Why not just "Noi l'abbiamo."?


    which is better than we have her. too many of these sentences sound sinister


    there was no it..only her....

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