Using aquí, ahí and allí = here and there

In Spanish there are three adverbs that express distance which are:

aquí (here)

ahí (there)

allí (there)

Aquí = here

AQUÍ is used to refer to a near distance, i.e near the speaker, the same way it is used in English. Have a look and listen to these examples:

Mi cuaderno está aquí.
My notebook is here.

Aquí están las llaves del coche.
The car keys are here.

Ahí and Allí = there

Unlike in English there are 2 adverbs to express the notion of there. The difference can be tricky to understand for learners, but basically AHÍ is used to express a "nearer" there than ALLÍ which is even further away. Let's look at each in turn.

Ahí

AHÍ is used to talk about a middle distance (between the speaker/s and the object or person they are talking about) or to talk about an object or person that is near the listener. Have a look and listen to these examples:

Ahí está Fernando, vamos a saludarle.
Fernando is there, let's say hello to him.

Ahí está tu bolígrafo, al lado de tu libro.
Your pen is there, near your book.

In the first example, the speakers are together and are talking about another person (Fernando) who is a bit further away from both of them.

In the second example, the speaker is pointing at something (el bolígrafo) which is near the listener.

In both cases we use ahí.

Allí

ALLÍ talks about a further away distance from the speaker, the same way "there/over there" is used in English.

Have a look and listen to these examples:

Los servicios están allí, al fondo del pasillo.
The toilets are over there, at the end of the corridor.

Me encanta Japón. Quiero ir allí este verano.
I love Japan. I want to go there this summer.

Bear in mind that using ahí or allí will depend on how near or far the speaker "feels" the object/place/person is, which is always subjective.

 See also Difference between este, ese and aquel (demonstrative adjectives).

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Aquí están las llaves del coche.
The car keys are here.


Me encanta Japón. Quiero ir allí este verano.
I love Japan. I want to go there this summer.


Mi cuaderno está aquí.
My notebook is here.


Los servicios están allí, al fondo del pasillo.
The toilets are over there, at the end of the corridor.


Ahí está tu bolígrafo, al lado de tu libro.
Your pen is there, near your book.


Ahí está Fernando, vamos a saludarle.
Fernando is there, let's say hello to him.


Q&A

Simón

Kwiziq community member

11 January 2019

3 replies

You should also mention the use of "acá" in this article

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

12 January 2019

12/01/19

Hola Simón,

The synonyms "acá" and "allá" (here and there) are more commonly used in Latin America. So far we are focusing on the uses of Spanish from Spain but we are planning to extend our lessons to Latin American Spanish as well, so that's something noted for when we develop that in Kwiziq, hopefully soon. 

Gracias por la sugerencia.

Saludos

Inma

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

5 February 2019

5/02/19

Hola, Inma,

How will we know when Latin American lessons are available?

Gracias,

Ricky

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

6 February 2019

6/02/19

Hola Ricky

We are now looking into it. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestion about any grammatical point that is a priority for you that we are not covering at the moment because it is exclusively Latin American, please let us know. We are noting down all suggestions from students.

Saludos

Inma

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