Non gli credevo.

What is the direct object in this sentence? I guess “si”.

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Ciao Robertbehere. Just a welcome to the forum! I’ll be interested to hear the answer too, I’m a bit weak on the technicals:-(

Thanks. Still getting used to it :slight_smile:

Hi Robert. I have probably posted in the wrong place occasionally but people are kind and I’ve learnt a lot by just reading other comments. 2021 not far away so Buon anno nuovo!

For reference, “Non gli credevo” is a translation of “I didn’t believe them.”

My grammar and dictionaries don’t have much to say on the subject, and neither does Wiktionary, but my understanding is that the pattern is “credere a qualcuno/qualcosa”, so there is no direct object.

From that follows that if you didn’t believe the liars, it’s non gli credevo; if you didn’t believe the lies, it’s non ci credevo.

Any insights are welcome.


Ciao. Ah, che interessante, I thought “Non ci credevo” was “I didn’t believe them” and “Non gli credevo” was “I didn’t believe him”. And “You won’t believe it!” - “Non ci crederai!”

Just my few cents worth;-) Buona giornata!

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@Floria7, I think we have discussed elsewhere that gli is only occasionally used for the plural; loro being more common. As for ci when used with human referents, wouldn’t that be understood as us?


Ciao. I take gli as to mean “to him/them”. Loro can also be used “Ho spiegato loro il problema”. Ci covers “there, us, it, ourselves” so I tend to go with the one I recognise first. It’s a tricky but useful little word I tend to use as follows:

Ci vediamo sabato - we see us/each other saturday
Non ci credo - I dont believe IT
Andiamoci - let’s go There

As always, felice to be corrected. A dopo…


I knew a guy a few years ago who took great pleasure in saying “Non ci credo” in a voice impersonating the character Victor Meldrew from the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave. Instead of his famous catchphrase of “I don’t belieeeeve it” it was “Non ci creeEEEeedo!”


Bravo Victor M! Posso immaginarlo! Montalbano helps me remember other useful frasi (Ma dai, Fazio! and Che c’è Mimì? not to mention Non rompere le palle, Catarella o Pasquano! ) All the M’s eh!


I think “non gli credevo” can be both “I didn’t believe him” and “I didn’t believe them”. For the latter it is, I have read, an informal but officially accepted form.

“Loro” doesn’t have a clitic form, so the more traditional sentence would be “Non credevo loro” (or “a loro”). I wonder if “non gli credevo” is now more commonplace?

As for “ci” - this is one of my nightmares. Yes, it can be “us” or “there”, but I think when used with “credere” it is more often an “it” or a “them”, replacing the “a …”.

So (with no other context) I would read “non ci credevo” as “I didn’t believe it”.