5

I've been noticing several uses of guardarci as a demonstrative pronoun:

Is there a reason or a rule to not use "guardare" in these cases?

  • 2
    The first two, as they are, don't sound quite Italian, unless one constructs some ad hoc context in such a way that -ci makes sense (Ho costruito un telescopio per guardarci il cielo etc.). Where did you find them? – DaG Aug 26 '15 at 8:15
  • 2
    I think the sentences you are suggesting refers to "ci" as the pronuoun "us". Andiamo a guardarci il cielo o a guardarci un film, let's go and watch the sky or a movie. That would be an informal , probably dialectal use of the expression. Andiamo a guardare il cielo o un film would be the correct form. – user519 Aug 26 '15 at 9:39
  • 1
    @Charo - Mi sto riferendo alle frasi proposte nella domanda. 'Guardarci un firm' si usa anche se non e' corretto, e significa 'guardare assieme un film'. Frasi come 'Andiamo a farci un giro, a berci un aperitivo, etc ' sono spesso usate. – user519 Aug 26 '15 at 10:32
  • 2
    @Josh61's interpretation is interesting; especially in the spoken language, it is frequent to say things such as mi mangio una bella bistecca, che ci vediamo stasera? and so on. It is almost some kind of a middle diathesis. Unfortunately, in nachocab's examples the context is missing. – DaG Aug 26 '15 at 10:36
  • 1
    @Josh61: I think you can be true (and it's quite plausible for "guardarci un film"), but the interpretation of DaG is also possible. As DaG has stated, it would depend on the context. – Charo Aug 26 '15 at 10:46
5

This -ci particle just means “with it”, “in it” and the like. (It is not to be confused with the homonymous -ci meaning “to us”, as in Devi darci una risposta, “You have to give us an answer”).

In a sentence like Stavo per guardarci dentro, you are saying “I was about to look in it”. You might well say Stavo per guardare dentro, just like in English you might say something like “I was about to look inside”: in both cases you are not explicitly specifying dentro, or “inside” what, but often it will be clear from the context.

Analogously, if you have a sentence like Ho costruito un telescopio per guardarci il cielo (“I built a telescope to look at the sky with”), you might modify it in Ho costruito un telescopio per guardare il cielo (“I built a telescope to look at the sky”).

Notice that this -ci (just like the -ci meaning “to us”) can also be used by itself, rather than as a suffix: Ci guardo dentro (“I look in it”).

| improve this answer | |
3

Guardarci le stelle / i film =~ "The act of looking at the stars / watching "the" movies for ourself" or "The act of looking at the stars / watching "the" movies in there"

Apologizes for the "for ourself" part, which is hard to translate (at least for me), but I think I've got pretty close with it: expanding its meaning a bit, "for ourself" should be intended as "in a way so that the purpose of the whole thing is just for us to enjoy it". Again, still not quite there, but to understand this meaning thoroughly try to consider also, e.g., "Mi mangio una mela" compared to "Mangio una mela".

I second Josh61 in stating that the first acceptation is probably dialectical; However that doesn't make it incorrect, it's perfect italian. It's just that, in my experience, I've never heard of it, e.g., being used in Tuscany but I've heard of it, e.g., being used in Puglia.

In any case, as remarked in the comments by DaG already, the first two probably miss a context regardless; in that case, the "-ci" particle could mean "for ourself" as much as it could mean "in there" ("in there" in the same way it does in the third one). As you may know the "-ci" particle is very tricky in italian and its meaning can vary within a wide range depending on the actual context; therefore adding some context to both we could make four correct sentences out of them, two with "-ci" actually meaning "for ourself" and two with "-ci" actually meaning "in there":

Andiamo a guardarci le stelle?
Andiamo a guardarci i film?
Cosa sei andato a fare nel giardino? - Sono andato a guardarci le stelle
Cosa sei andato a fare nella sala proiezioni? - Sono andato a guardarci i film

Answering the question itself: "Andiamo a guardarci le stelle / i film?" and "Cosa sei andato a fare nel giardino / nella sala proiezioni? - Sono andato a guardarci le stelle / i film" could be substituted with "Andiamo a guardare le stelle / i film?" and "Cosa sei andato a fare nel giardino / nella sala proiezioni? - Sono andato a guardare le stelle / i film" leaving the phrases grammatical, but in both cases part of the meaning would be lost (in the first case due to the reasons explained above and in the second case due to a missing implicit remark of "in there");

"Stavo per avvicinarmi e guardarci dentro, ma ho ricevuto un messaggio" could be substituted with "Stavo per avvicinarmi e guardare dentro, ma ho ricevuto un messaggio" as well but again, part of the meaning would be lost (again, due to a missing implicit remark of "in there")

| improve this answer | |
  • "Sono andato in giardino a guardarci il cielo" mi suona male. Diresti una frase così? – user519 Aug 26 '15 at 11:39
  • 1
    @Josh61 No, perché in una frase che inizia con "Sono andato in giardino" "in giardino" è già esplicito fin dall'inizio, ma se dovessi rispondere ad una domanda "Cosa sei andato a fare nel giardino?" credo che potrei benissimo rispondere "Sono andato a guardarci le stelle", non è ridondante come "Sono andato in giardino a guardarci le stelle" – kos Aug 26 '15 at 11:48
  • @Josh61: A me non sembra strano: in catalano si dice "mirar-hi". In questa poesia si va a una fontana per guardarci le foglie (ma potrebbe essere anche un giardino e si potrebbe guardare il cielo). – Charo Aug 26 '15 at 12:14
  • 1
    A pensarci bene, forse l'esempio della fontana sia meglio di quello del giardino perché le foglie si guardano veramente nella fontana, cioè l'acqua riflette l'immagine delle foglie. In questo senso, mi sa che l'esempio del telescopio di @DaG è più adatto o magari si potrebbe dire qualcosa come "si può usare un specchio per guardarci il cielo". – Charo Aug 26 '15 at 12:52
2

1) They three phrases are all in perfect Italian and perfect Tuscan. I was born in San Miniato - between Pisa and Florence, from a Tuscan father and mother and I had four Tuscan grandparents. 2) "Guardarci i film" (considering the full sentence) could not mean "let's go and watch a movie" (movies, more precisely). That "ci" could only mean "in it" (say, a room) or "with it" (say, a projector) and not "for us" or "ourselves" or similar. 3) In the third case, "guardarci dentro" can only be "in it". 4) Only in the first phrase, the "ci" can relate to "us". In that case it reinforces the idea of "on our own", "alone", "for our pleasure", etc.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.