placement of 'ci' in a sentence

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pitchy
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placement of 'ci' in a sentence

Post by pitchy » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:46 pm

Hey everyone. I was just wondering about the placement of 'ci' (to mean 'to it', etc.) in a sentence. Does it follow the same rules as object pronouns? So could I say, for example, 'non voglio andarci'? How about 'non voglio ci andare'? Or would it have to be 'non ci voglio andare', in the same way that we say 'lo voglio studiare' (or 'voglio studiarlo') rather than 'voglio lo studiare'?

I'm just speculating, but Italian grammar generates so many 'what if?' questions inside me, I'd be most grateful if someone could answer this one!

Thanks a lot,
pitchy

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:58 pm

'non voglio ci andare' doesn't exist. Either of the other two are fine. The general rule is that pronouns either come before the auxiliary verb (here 'volere') or follow and are attached to the infinitive (here 'andare')

The same is true with other auxiliary verbs such as 'dovere' and 'potere'.

So you can either say:

'Posso mandargli una lettera'

or

'Gli posso mandare una lettera'

biagio
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Post by biagio » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:51 pm

In Davide's example (non ci voglio andare) "ci" acts as an adverb (meaning "there"), not as a pronoun.
As far as I know "volere" is not an auxiliary verb.

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:35 pm

Volere, dovere and potere are all used as auxiliary verbs as are essere and avere. Auxiliary verbs are 'helper' verbs and volere, dovere and potere are known as 'modal auxiliaries - unless of course, Lepschy is wrong.

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Peter
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Post by Peter » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:21 pm

Davide wrote:Volere, dovere and potere are all used as auxiliary verbs as are essere and avere. Auxiliary verbs are 'helper' verbs and volere, dovere and potere are known as 'modal auxiliaries - unless of course, Lepschy is wrong.
It's not only Lepschy, Davide. All my books refer to those three verbs as modal auxiliaries.

What is puzzling me is that recently I have seen sapere referred to as a modal. I would not even consider it to be an auxiliary of any description. But then........ :)

biagio
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Post by biagio » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:29 am

"Modal auxiliaries": I must confess to never having heard such a definition, so it's quite possible I'm wrong.
As to "ci", I stick to my position: in that sentence it acts as an adverb.

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Peter
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Post by Peter » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:37 am

I am sure my dear friend Alessandra will not mind me quoting something that she wrote on the About Italian forum - http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.asp ... n&tid=7326. Her's is the 3rd post, between 2 of mine. (Alessandra is a Professor of Linguistics, by the way.) :)

biagio
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Post by biagio » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:46 am

Dear Peter, it seems that the link you provided doesn't work properly (on my pc at least).
Can you please copy and paste?

Thanks in advance.

pitchy
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:43 pm

Post by pitchy » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:23 am

Thanks for your replies, guys! Your help is invaluable to me!

pitchy

Tom S. Fox
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Re: placement of 'ci' in a sentence

Post by Tom S. Fox » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:14 pm

I will copy and paste my explanation from Stack Exchange:

The following explanation has been adapted from Grande grammatica italiana di consultazione. Vol. 1, pages 572-574, which is also where all the examples are from:

A clitic can move from the infinitive of the subordinate clause to the verb of the main clause (which is usually done in Tuscan and central-southern Italian) if
  • the subject of the main clause is identical to the implicit subject of the subordinate clause and
  • the verb of the main clause belongs to one of the following classes:
Modal Verbs
Mario vuole farlo da solo. / Mario lo vuole fare da solo.

Mario wants to do it on his own.
Antonio deve comprarlo. / Antonio lo deve comprare.

Anthony has to buy it.
Frederico può mangiarli. / Frederico li può mangiare.

Frederick can eat them.
Ugo sa prepararlo. / Ugo lo sa preparare.

Hugo knows how to prepare it.
The modal use of sapere in the last example needs to be distinguished from its non-modal use, in which it takes an infinitive complement introduced by the preposition di. The latter does not permit clitic climbing:
Ugo sa di comprarlo. / *Ugo lo sa di comprare.

Hugo knows that he is buying it.
Aspectual Verbs
La mamma comincerà a cucirla domani. / La mamma la comincerà a cucire domani.

Mom will start sewing it tomorrow.
Carlo finisce di dipingerlo oggi. / Carlo lo finisce di dipingere oggi.

Charles will finish painting it today.
Sandro continua ad amarla. / Sandro la continua ad amare.

Alex continues to love her.
Andrea sta per comprarla. / Andrea la sta per comprare.

Andrew is about to buy it.
Motion Verbs
Piero andò/venne/tornò a chiamarlo. / Piero lo andò/venne/tornò a chiamare.

Peter went/came/returned to call him.
Conative Verbs (Only Marginally)
Marco tenta di studiarlo. / ?Marco lo tenta di studiare.

Marcus is trying to study it.
Elio ha cercato di raggiungerlo. / ?Elio lo ha cercato di raggiungere.

Elliot has tried to reach it.
Anselmo prova a costruirlo. / ?Anselmo lo prova a costruire.

Anselm is trying to build it.
In the following examples, clitic climbing is *not* possible:
Aldo ha deciso di leggerlo. / *Aldo lo ha deciso di leggere.

Aldo has decided to read it.
Maria dice di scriverla domani. / *Maria la dice di scrivere domani.

Mary says to write it tomorrow.
Luisa ha promesso di spedirla. / *Luisa la ha promesso di spedire.

Louise has promised to send it.
Carlo vuole che lo compri. / *Carlo lo vuole che compri.

Charles wants me/him/her to buy it.

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