Italian Phrase of the Week: Ce la faccio! (I can do it!)

If you are brimming with confidence before a difficult task or simply feel ready to take on any challenge the world throws your way, here is the perfect Italian phrase for you! 🙂

Ce la faccio! is the way Italians say I can do it! It comes from the pronominal verb farcela, meaning to manage or to succeed at something, and contains the following grammatical elements:

Ce (pronominal particle, same meaning as ci) + la (pronominal particle) + faccio (I do)

Sei sicuro di farcela? – Sì sì, ce la faccio.

Are you sure you can do it? – Yes yes, I can do it.

ce la faccio

Pronominal verbs are very common in Italian. They comprise a base verb, in this case fare (to do / to make), along with pronominal particles such as ci, ne or la that modify its meaning. (Note that when ci is followed by a second pronoun, it becomes ce.) Some other common pronominal verbs include andarsene (to leave) and sentirsela (to feel like).

Below is the complete conjugation for the verb farcela in the present tense:

(Io) ce la faccio

(Tu) ce la fai

(Lui) ce la fa

(Lei) ce la fa

(Noi) ce la facciamo

(Voi) ce la fate

(Loro) ce la fanno

I can do it

You (singular) can do it

He can do it

She can do it

We can do it

You (plural) can do it

They can do it

Two people with their thumbs up
Ce la facciamo! = We can do it!

An alternative way of saying exactly the same thing is Ce la posso fare! which simply incorporates the first person form of the verb potere (to be able) into the phrase.

Sei sicuro di poter finire tutto entro stasera? – Si dai, ce la posso fare!

Are you sure you can finish everything by tonight? – Yes, I can do it.

A phrase you’ll hear just as frequently is the negative Non ce la faccio! (I can’t do it!)

Scusa, non ce la faccio a venire stasera. Ho troppi impegni.

Sorry, I can’t come this evening. I have too much to do.

And if you want to let everyone around you know that you’ve reached the end of your tether, simply stick the handy word più (anymore) onto the end to create the expression:

Non ce la faccio più!

I can’t take it anymore! / I’ve had enough!

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