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    Volerci e Metterci

     

    Two Italian verbs, volerci and metterci, can be used with time expressions in Italian to express the amount of time it takes to perform an activity: It takes two hours to get there by car. It takes me four hours to get there by bus.

     

    1.     The subject of volerci is the amount of time in question.

     

    2.     Volerci can be conjugated in all tenses, but only in the third person.

     

    For expressions of time in the singular (one hour, one week, and so on), use ci vuole, ci vorrà, ci è voluto/a, and so on.

     

    For expressions of time in the plural, use ci vogliono, ci vorranno, ci sono voluti/e, and so on.

     

    3.     Note that volerci takes essere in compound tenses.

     

     

    Ci vuole un giorno per leggere questo libro.

    It takes a day to read this book.

     

    Ci vogliono due settimane per visitare bene questa regione.

    It takes two weeks to really see this area (i.e., visit it well).

     

    Ci vogliono tre ore per andare a Napoli in macchina mentre in treno ce ne vorrebbero cinque.

    It takes three ours to go to Naples by car, while it would take five by train.

     

    Volerci can also be used to express the number of objects or people needed.

     

    Ci vuole mezzo chilo di zucchero.

    It needs a pound of sugar.

     

    Ci sono voluti tre uomini per spostare quell divano.

    It took three men to move that couch.

     

    Ci vorranno otto scatole.

    It will take eight boxes.

     

    Ci vuole una busta per questi fogli.

    One envelope is needed for these sheets of paper.

     

     

    1.     The subject of the verb metterci is the person performing the action.

     

    2.      Thus metterci can be conjugated in all persons and tenses.

     

    3.     Metterci takes avere in compound tenses.

     

    Gli studenti ci hanno messo tre ore per scrivere la relazione.

    The students took (It tooke them) three hours to write the paper.

     

    Tu sei veloce! Io ci metterei due ore per pulire questa casa!

    You are fast! I would take(it would take me) two hours to clean this house!

     

    Ci metteremo circa due mesi per finire la casa.

    We will take (It will take us) about two months to finish the house.