The Pronoun "Y"
I know "y" is used to indicate the forfeiture of a place that's preceded by "a, aux, en, etc.," but what is the point of doing it? I feel like saying "J'y vais" instead of saying "Je vais a Paris" is the equivalent of saying "I go there" instead of saying "I go to paris," which is just making it vague. Can we only substitute a place for the pronoun "y" if it is already known (If the listener knows where "there" is)? How do you structure the sentence if you use "y?"
It is my understanding that "Y" substitutes the place when it has already been previously mentioned. It would be for avoiding redundancy. It is quiet frequent in spoken French.
It avoids repetition of the place name. It can also be used to mean simply 'let's go' (on y va), 'go on' (vas-y) and 'i'm off/leaving' (j'y vais). There is also another use/meaning of the word 'y', but as a beginner I wouldn't worry yourself with that as it is more complicated grammar