Italian Grammar

Ciao. I am studying Italian and have two questions.

I was reading a short story here in Lingq and the sentence reads “Ci rilassiamo e guardiamo la tv insieme”. Why do you need the “Ci” before rilassiamo? Isn’t rilassiamo conjugated to the noi form?
2. “Anche Frederico si addormenta subito”. Why do we need to the “si” in front of addormenta?
Grazie Mille.

I’m learning also, but I can give a bit of info for why “ci rilassiamo” has “ci” to help out if people don’t see your post,

“ci” in this case is a reflexive pronoun, and “rilassiamo” is being used in a reflex way (to do something to oneself, a reflexive verb), so in this case it’s saying “we relax ourselves and we watch the TV together”.

To steer you in a particular direction, you can lookup reflexive verbs and reflexive pronouns and they will be able to go in depth a lot more.


Like @andrewdaniele said, those verbs are in their reflexive form: rilassarsi, addormentarsi.

In the first sentence “Noi” is omitted. The sentence could have been: “Noi ci rilassiamo e guardiamo la tv insieme”.

Noi rilassiamo chi? cosa? → noi stessi → Noi ci rilassiamo.

Anche Federico addormenta chi? cosa? → se stesso → Federico si addormenta…

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Grazie Mille. I appreciate your feedback


I have another question I was hoping you could help me with. Another story I am reading says “questa e la storia di Andrea e della sua fidanzata” Why did they add the word della? Doesn’t that say Andrea and of the his girlfriend? Thank you for any help you can provide.

Ciao John,

You’re correct on the literal translation, it’s one of those grammar rules that wouldn’t translate in English very well if you go word-for-word. When you’re referring to something that someone possesses/owns, and you’re using a possessive adjective (mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs) the order is always this -

“article of the subject’s possession” + “subject” + “subject’s possession”

for example if I’m talking about my mother, I’d say “La mia mama”.

(also notice how both the article and the subject takes the gender of the subject’s possession as well).

La mia mamma isnt the best example here, as Italians omit the article for members of the nuclear family and grandparents, Ho visto mio nonno e mia mamma. For almost all other nouns, however, the poster is right. You just have to throw in the article. Except when you don’t. But that’s language for you.:laughing:

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This is a great point, as the article can be omitted in certain cases and it’s still correct. I often hear my family keep the article so this may be a regional thing, they’re from the South of Italy, Calabria more specifically.

Interesting (but not surprising) that the presence or absence of the article may depend on the region. That sounds very likely to me.

I noticed something interesting using reverso, for the most part the article was used, but when using a verb the article was not used (i.e. “Questo è il mio nonno” vs. “ho visto mio nonno”). Maybe @davideroccato can shine some light on this :slight_smile:

Hey guys,
it’s not that simple :slight_smile:
I am linking an article of “accademia della crusca” which is a great reference for all the cases which are not clear or not following the general rules etcetera.

In general you don’t put the article for family members, but you can if you want to provide a “sentimental” or “emotional” connotation