Translation:Her son is there.
I think I'm going to struggle when hearing 哪里 (nǎlǐ) and 那里 (nàlǐ). Hopefully my ear will "tune-in" with time, but... Are there specific rules for using 哪儿 rather than 哪里 to avoid this problem?
It's more of a regional difference, with 哪儿 usually being used in Northern China, whereas 哪里 is more of a South China thing.
My understanding is that both are for the most part the same, but the latter is more for a direction. In this sentence I would have probably omitted the 里.
The pattern I see is that the first is used in questions and the latter is used in statements, so that should help you tune your eye for the difference. As for the difference between "na'r" and "nali": they mean the same thing - one is used more in northern China and the other in southern (respectively)
I think na er is more for question. But it can work both ways depwnding on who is saying it. 那 and 哪 are two different words though pronunced the same. 哪 can also be used as a word by itself. Lol... its very confusing. Im sorry if I'm confusing you more. But it really is the tone of voice. You can add words to be more specific with your question like 在哪裡? You can see the difference in writing but its definetly different when speaking.
I've been studying Chinese in college and both my native and non-native teacher told us that 里 means "in/ inside'' and things don't really make sense to me now.
Your teachers are right that 里 does mean "inside," like "水果在箱子里". However "这里", "那里" are kind of fixed phrases and don't necessarily have the sense of "inside." Just treat them as "here" or "there."
"Her son is over there" is the natural way to say it in English, and is accepted for other questions but not this one. Of course the context makes a difference but either could be correct for this sentence in isolation.
I encountered this on an audio excerise (translating audio Chinese to written English). In that case, why would 他的儿子在那里 be a wrong answer? I would think that "ta" could be 他，她，or 它 equally, correct? Please let me know if there is more context I am not understanding.
So are we learning erhua or not? Or both? Seeing as we were already taught 这儿, 那儿, etc. in previous lessons.
Even though they sound identical there are two different characters for he and she (both are pronounced ta), so his is 他 的 and her is 她的. However if you are asking how to differentiate when you are just listening then I think you have to rely on the context as they will sound the same.