'ci' is referring to 'us', either the reflexive ('each other'), direct ('us') or indirect ('to us' etc) pronoun. In the imperative, it is attached to the end of the verb, in this case 'pensiamo'. In the indicative it would be 'ci pensiamo' (we think about each other), but in the imperative it is 'pensiamoci!' (let's think about each other).
The imperative (l'imperativo) is used to give orders, advice, and exhortations.
Examples: Spiegaci!, = Explain to us!, Girati! = Turn around!, Non tormentarmi = Don't torment me!, Sbrigati = Hurry up!, Chiamami! = Call me!, Scrivimi! = Write me!, Sta' zitto! = Shut up!, Lasciami in pace. = Leave me alone., Mettila dietro. (una bici) = Put it in the back. (a bike), Non dirmelo! = Don't tell me!, Non fare l'innocente. = Don't play innocent., Divertiti! = Enjoy yourself!, Dille di riprendersi. = Tell her to get better., Non preoccuparti. = Don't worry yourself., Calmati! = Calm down!, Digli di chiamarla. = Tell him to call her., Tocca a te! Your turn!, Si accomodi. = Make yourself comfortable., Trascinalo a scuola! = Drag him to school!, Coprimi! = Cover me!, Vattene! = Get out of here!, Concentriamoci. = Let's focus., Tienili! = Keep them!, Finiscila. = Finish it., Prendilo. = Take it., Non farti beccare. = Don't get caught., Lascia perdere! = Let it go! Forget it!, Dimmi quand'è iniziata? = Tell me when it started?, Girati, amico. = Turn around, friend.
imperativo presente [pensàrsi] = present imperative [to think about oneself]
pènsati [ non ti pensàre / non pensàrti ] (tu) .......... think about yourself [ don't think about yourself ] (informal, singular)
si pènsi (egli) .......... think about yourself (formal, singular)
pensiàmoci (noi) .......... let's think about ourselves, let's think about each other
pensàtevi (voi) .......... think about yourselves , think about each other (informal, plural)
si pènsino (essi) .......... think about yourselves, think about each other (formal, plural)
There may be a couple reasons.
- "Pensiamoci" indicates it is an imperative, which in English would be "Let's think about each other".
- "We think about us" doesn't sound right in English. Because it's reflexive we would say "we think about OURSELVES" or "we think about EACH OTHER" rather than saying "us". But both those sentences in Italian would be "Ci pensiamo", which is not the same as "Pensiamoci" (See point 1)
Struggling with the imperative big time, it's so complicated and illogical. 'Pensiamo' means we think, 'ci' means us. So why isn't 'we think about us every evening' accepted? And don't say because it is the imperative, how would I know it was the imperative if I came across it outside of DL.
The thing I'm struggling with is that the only thing that makes the imperative different to the actual translation of the words, is that we are told it is the imperative. Taking all these sentences in isolation, what makes them the imperative?
Surely it's not just as simple as there is an exclamation mark!