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

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.


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.


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 7 answers

AnneA2Kwiziq community member

: ___, donde tú vives ¿hace mucho frío?

The speakers are having a phone conversation.There, where you live, is it cold? : ___, donde tú vives ¿hace mucho frío?

Why is alli not possible in this question? Considering that they are on the phone, they might feel quite far apart from each other.

Asked 1 month agotest, specific, topic
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Anne

One of the explanation for "ahí" in the lesson is saying that we use "ahí" to refer to something that is "near the listener" not the speaker. Here the distance is not important, the speaker and the listener could be 2 metres apart or 3000 kilometres apart. The important thing is that what the speaker is referring to is something that is/is placed where the listener is at the moment of speaking.

As this is a phone conversation and the speaker is referring to the weather "where the listener is" (donde tú vives) we need "ahí", not "allí". Allí would be used if the speaker were talking about somewhere far away from both.

I hope this clarified it.

Un saludo

Inma

: ___, donde tú vives ¿hace mucho frío?

The speakers are having a phone conversation.There, where you live, is it cold? : ___, donde tú vives ¿hace mucho frío?

Why is alli not possible in this question? Considering that they are on the phone, they might feel quite far apart from each other.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

TonyaA2Kwiziq community member

Kwiz score

My Kwiz score is not showing up.

Tonya

Asked 5 months ago
ShuiKwiziq team member

Hello Tonya

I've asked someone on the team to get in touch with you about this - should be something in your inbox soon!

Saludos

Shui

Kwiz score

My Kwiz score is not showing up.

Tonya

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

HansC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

La pelota ha caído ________, en el jardín de al lado. alli or ahi

Hola,

La pelota ha caído ________, en el jardín de al lado.

If i follow the lesson it seems to me that the correct answer should be alli, not ahi

Asked 7 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Hans

we included in this sentence "en el jardín de al lado" meaning "the garden next door" to imply it is a middle distance, (ahí) so it doesn't feel that far away. 

Hope this helps.

Inma

HansC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

yes, thank you

La pelota ha caído ________, en el jardín de al lado. alli or ahi

Hola,

La pelota ha caído ________, en el jardín de al lado.

If i follow the lesson it seems to me that the correct answer should be alli, not ahi

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

SimónB2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 10 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

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

RickyA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hola, Inma,

How will we know when Latin American lessons are available?

Gracias,

Ricky

InmaKwiziq team member

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

Simón asked:View original

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

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.