How do you end your conversations in Italian? Do you go for a simple ciao (or two, or eight: have you ever heard how long it takes Italians to wrap up a phone call?), or do you prefer the formality of arrivederci?
Those are both fine ways to say goodbye, but what if you want to say it’s only bye for now? There’s a presto (‘see you soon’), a dopo or a più tardi (both ‘see you later’), or a cheery ci vediamo (literally ‘we’ll be seeing each other’ or ‘see you’).
All of those imply that you’ll soon be meeting again. But you might simply plan to call or write. That’s where ci sentiamo comes in.
It works in the same way as ci vediamo – taking the ‘we’ form of the verb to show reciprocity – but with the verb sentire, ‘to hear’ or ‘to feel’.
Sentire is shorthand for ‘to hear from’ or ‘to be in touch with’.
Ci sentiamo spesso.
We’re often in touch.
So when you sign off with “Ci sentiamo!“, you’re telling the other person: ‘Speak soon!’ ‘Let’s be in touch!’
Grazie Mamma, ci sentiamo.
Thanks Mum, speak soon.
Ora non posso parlare, ci sentiamo dopo.
I can’t talk right now, let’s speak later.
Ci sentiamo domani! Non vedo l’ora!
Talk to you tomorrow! Can’t wait!
And when your plans aren’t entirely clear, ci sentiamo is also a handily vague way to end a conversation: sure, we’ll talk, we just haven’t decided how or when.
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