How to say here and there in Spanish
In Spanish there are five common adverbs that express "here" and "there":
- aquí (here)
- acá (here)
- ahí (there)
- allí (there)
- allá (there)
Aquí and acá = here
Aquí and Acá are used to refer to a near distance, i.e near the speaker, the same way it is used in English. Acá can be used for a more "vague/less specific" here/somewhere here, but aquí and acá are usually pretty much interchangeable. Have a look and listen to these examples:
Ahí, allí, allá = there
Unlike in English there are 3 adverbs to express the notion of there. The difference can be tricky to understand for learners. We need to look at these from two different perspectives/scenarios:
- relative distance from both the speaker and listener when they are together
- relative distance to the listener who is not close to the speaker, i.e. they are some distance apart
When using ahí, there are two different perspectives/scenarios to consider:
1. relative distance from both the speaker and listener when they are together
2. relative distance to the listener who is not close to the speaker, i.e. they are some distance apart.
Scenario 1 - the speaker and listener are together:
- Ahí refers to a middle distance between the speaker and listener and the person or object they are talking about.
In this example, the speaker and listener are together and they are talking about another person (Fernando) who is a further away from both of them.
Scenario 2 - the listener is not near the speaker:
- Ahí refers to a person or object near the listener.
Bear in mind, that even when the speaker and the listener are far away from each other (for example, they are having a phone conversation) the speaker is going to use ahí (despite being far away from the listener) to refer to anything that is near the listener, in the listener's area, something that happens where the listener lives. For example:
Allí and Allá
In both scenarios, Allí and Allá refer to anything at a greater distance from both the speaker and listener, the same way "there/over there" is used in English. Although Allá very often refers to a very remote place, it is pretty much interchangeable with allí. Have a look and listen to these examples:
Have a look and listen to these examples:
See also Difference between este, ese and aquel (demonstrative adjectives)
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