CI and NE in Italian

Ci and Ne in Italian
Ci and Ne in Italian

The difference between CI and NE in Italian

Many people learning Italian struggle with understanding the difference between CI and NE in Italian. I will briefly try to account for this difference here.

In this page you will find:

  • how CI and NE are used in Italian
  • some exercises on CI and NE


Look at these sentences:


Salve, vorrei delle mele.  (Hello, I would like some apples.)

Quante ne vuole?  (How many [of them] would you like?)

Ne vorrei quattro, grazie.  (I would like four [of them], thank you)


NE in Italian can replace a noun when this is introduced by a number or an expression of quantity (molto/i/e, tanti/e, un po’, etc), such as in (1) and (2):


Quanti libri hai?  (How many books have you got?)

Ne ho un po’.   (I have got a few [of them])


It can also substitute a complement introduced by preposition DI  when it refers to a topic (=”about”, in this case):


Chi parla di semiotica?   (Who talks about semiotics?)

Ne parla Umberto Eco.    (Umberto Eco talks about it)


You can find it also in some idiomatic verbs, such as andarsene (=to leave):


Basta, me ne vado!    (Enough of it, I am leaving [this place])


CI in Italian, instead, can replace a phrase referring to a place, introduced by A, IN, SU:


–  Sei andata in banca?   (Have you been to the bank?)

Sì, ci sono andata due ore fa.   (Yes, I was there two hours ago)


It also replaces A + person depending from verb PENSARE, CREDERE:


Credi agli alieni?  (Do you believe in aliens?)

No, non ci credo.  (No, I don’t believe in them)



Pensi mai alla morte?   (Do you ever think about death?)

No, non ci penso.    (No, I never think about it)


Finally, you can also find CI in some idiomatic verbs and phrases, such as ci vuole / ci vogliono  (=it takes):


Da Venezia a Roma ci vogliono 5 ore di treno.   (It takes 5 hours by train to get from Venice to Rome)


I hope I managed to clear some doubts! If you have any questions about this, just email me at



CI and NE in Italian