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I understand that ci can be used for a number of purposes. Indirect/direct object for us, place adverb, demonstrative pronoun, reflexive pronoun, part of idiomatic verb like metterci.

I do not understand which is these applies to the use of ci in the phrase ci vediamo.

Can you help explain? Thanks!

3 Answers 3

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La particella ci, è usata anche con verbi riflessivi o pronominali, e nella costruzione impersonale. Ad es:

Fate i bravi, altrimenti ci arrabbiamo!

Ci si vede più tardi

(Treccani.it)

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  • The ci in these examples are used differently from the ci in the OP's phrase. Ci arrabbiamo, for instance, is an example of an intransitivo pronominale, which ci vediamo isn't.
    – DaG
    Mar 29, 2023 at 15:24
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I'd say it's still the direct object there (that happens to be the same as the subject). The meaning normally is the reciprocal "we see each other" and not the reflexive "we see ourselves", but we still see "us", don't we?

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Among the uses you mention in the question, the relevant one is that of direct object: here, more or less, ci = “us”. In fact, the phrase ci vediamo might be slightly ambiguous in Italian.

The most immediate meaning is “we see each other”, especially as a form to say goodbye (“see ya”). But, within a suitable sentence, it might also mean “we see ourselves” (in a mirror, say, or figuratively, we see ourselves in some role or situation).

The former, most obvious interpretation is known in Italian as a riflessivo reciproco; the latter is a simple riflessivo.

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