In a hypothetical dialogue between two friends:

– I love that theater.
– I have been there yesterday.

It seems to me that I can translate the second sentence to "ci sono stato ieri" or "sono stato lì/là ieri". Is there any difference between both?

1 Answer 1


The only difference is a difference of emphasis. It's not uncommon in Italian (and in other Romance languages) to have two sets of pronouns, one clitic and unable to carry the stress and one not clitic.

For example see Mi ha chiamato and Ha chiamato me, where the only difference is that in the second sentence there is more emphasis put on the fact that I was the person called. The same pattern can be found here, where ci is a clitic variant of and (and in fact it can also have the meaning of qui).

Normally (and especially in the spoken language) one does not feel the need for the added emphasis that the non-clitic particles provide, so clitics are used.

  • 1
    Thanks! It seems to me that the construction with "ci" is much more usual? If so, it'd be nice to add that information to the answer. Aug 24, 2019 at 16:05
  • @AlanEvangelista Usual is in the eye of the beholder. Usually there's no need the added emphasis that the lì,là construction provides and so the clitic are preferred. I'll add a paragraph on this to the answer anyway.
    – Denis Nardin
    Aug 24, 2019 at 16:07

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