Qui, qua, lì, là, laggiù, lassù, quaggiù, quassù… No, it’s not a riddle nor a tongue twister: those are Italian adverbs of place that you better know! Watch this lesson with Rocco and Graziana to learn more (and don’t forget to do the exercises!).
Qui, qua, lì, là… and their compounds (quaggiù, quassù, laggiù, lassù)
Today we will talk about the adverbs of place QUI, QUA, LÌ, LÀ, LAGGIÙ, LASSÙ, QUAGGIÙ, QUASSÙ (here, there, down there, up there, down here, up here) … it’s a mess, isn’t it? But this lesson will make everything clear! 🙂
Let’s begin with QUI and QUA: these two are used to indicate a place close to who is speaking, so they replace the expression “in questo luogo“ (in this place)
Some grammars assume that QUI is more specific, that indicates a closer place than QUA… but do you want to know the truth? Italian people make no distinction and they use them as synonyms.
Che freddo fa qui! (It’s so cold here)
As for LÌ and LÀ, these two are used to refer to a point that is located far from who is speaking, so they replace the expression “in quel luogo” (in that place). In this case as well, some grammars assume that LÌ indicates a place not so far and more precise than LÀ. But again, Italians don’t make any particular distinction.
Guarda là, c’è un cane! (Look there, there is a dog!)
C’è or ci sono? Review them with us!
Instead, if we want to be more specific we can use:
QUI/QUA SOPRA or QUASSÙ to indicate a place that is not far from who is talking, but in a higher place.
Guarda quassù quante cianfrusaglie! (Look up here, so much junk!)
QUI/QUA SOTTO or QUAGGIÙ, instead, indicate a close place, but located in a lower position.
– Dove sei? (Where are you?)
– Sono qui sotto.. Mi vedi? (I’m down here.. can you see me?)
LÀ / LÌ SOPRA or LASSÙ indicate a far and high place.
C’è un un gatto lì sopra! (There is cat up there!)
Finally, LÀ/LÌ SOTTO or LAGGIÙ indicate a far and low point.
Guarda quel ragazzo laggiù: è mio fratello! (Look at that guy down there: he is my brother)
But, be careful!
LAGGIÙ can be used as a synonym of LÌ, LÀ!
Guarda laggiù, c’è un cane! (Look there, there is a dog!)
These adverbs can also be followed by others like IN MEZZO (between/among/in the middle), DAVANTI (before/in front of), VICINO (close to/around), DIETRO (back)… to be more specific!
Mi scusi, c’è un bar qui vicino? (Excuse me, is there a bar around here?)
– Sì! Proprio là dietro ne trova uno. (Yeah, you can find one right back there)
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