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
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.
(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 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...
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
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
'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.
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.
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
"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)
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 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".
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
Regarding 'ce,' someone posted this on another question which helped me: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1883864
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/
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.
I quite agree with vtopphol and very much disagree with confusedbeetle.
This is not your ordinary idiomatic phrase or structure that you have to remember. Those usually have some kind of idiosyncratic structure which makes them impossible to translate literally in any sensible way, so all you can do is memorize them, but they are also of limited variety, so you don't have to recall much else.
Some might have a pattern which makes application to other instances easier to figure out.
The particular usage of ci/ce without any explanation by Duo is nothing short of infuriating. 50+ comments by people who've done a lot of homework over 4-5 years to try to figure this out, and it's still confusing.
This is irresponsible teaching by Duo. There should be something in the Tips and Notes which gets into this concept, or more drills which makes clear what's going on.
This is one where I'd love to be able to give the Duo moderators any number of Italian hand-gestures which express nothing friendly.
Good morning jeffery. I am sorry you strongly disagree. Wading through all the posts on this page gives a huge variety of "explanations" or rather adults trying to rationalise this. I am a simpler soul altogether. I am in Italy and I am hearing "ce l'ho" frequently. Just as a child learns, I am just accepting it's usage. There are worse ways to learn. You can over think things. I do agree the pronouns often give emaphasis. And sometimes our english ears see no reason. Ask an Italian and many have no idea either. They just accept it is so. English also plays this game. Have fun.
You are right in so far as for me it is no surprise to come across this after being engaged in Italian quite a long time. But then I accept that i will always come across things I don't know yet and that even my grammar book doesn't explain in this case.Fortunately these posts can give explanations.
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.
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.