The tags "ne" and "ci" were created with this question: The use of ci when specifying locations. At first, I thought that it was unnecessary to keep such specific tags, but some people have expressed the opposite belief in a comment to that question. I would like to know what do you think about that.

  • I definitely agree with @DaG, it is ridiculus to create a tag for a specific word. We moderators shoul clean that question as soon as possible. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 16:51
  • OK @martina! And do you think we should create the tag "particles" instead of these tags?
    – Charo Mod
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 16:57
  • Yes, I do. Particles, at least in Italian are all those small synctactic words whose aim is to link two other synctactic elements and which do not have any standalone meaning, nor they fall in any of the regular syntax categories. Examples are ci, si, ne. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 17:00
  • 2
    I changed the tags into "particles". Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


I understand that ne and ci may be troublesome for learners of Italian, but having a tag for every single troublesome word (irregular verbs, ambiguous nouns, prepositions with or without articles and so on) would lead to thousands of them, and then they wouldn't be more useful than just searching for that word in the existing corpus of questions and answers.

I am strongly in favour of higher level tags: if one has a doubt about a difficult pronoun/particle, they may just look for “pronouns” or “particle” (if we deem this a suitable tag).

  • Agreed. We should introduce specific tags for a category, not for separate words. So, an umbrella tag, such as "particles", would be better than two different tags "ci" and "ne".
    – I.M.
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 9:11
  • I also agree with this view, but I would like to know the opinion of other users. On the other hand, we should think about how to define "particles" if we decide to introduce this tag. For me the definition isn't clear at all.
    – Charo Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 15:55

Here are some thoughts on why ci and ne should be tags:

  1. Commonly, ci and ne are taught as specific topics in Italian textbooks.

  2. They are problematic for people learning Italian as their usage is complex. Italian learners may want to browse all discussions for mention of these words.

  3. Though they are used either as adverbs or pronouns, they technically fall into their own category of small, invariable words with little to no meaning known as particles. (Perhaps particles should be its own category as well.)

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    I know I am off topic with respect to this question, but I'd rather say that a word such as ne is both a pronoun and an adverb, depending on how it is used, just like vecchio is both a noun (ho incontrato un vecchio) and an adjective (c'è un vecchio albero), or sopra is both an adverb (oggi mangiamo sopra) and a preposition (il quadro è sopra il tavolo).
    – DaG
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 15:06

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