There's none. Just like tra vs fra, you can pick the one you like. In some cases it's better to pick the one that ends with the vowel that is different from what the next word begins with, like "Sono là i biscotti" vs "Sono lì i biscotti".
my Italian friend said she uses lì for places she can see and là for those that she can't, but as HavardF said, it has little difference :P
You can use it for example when you will be showing yourself on a photo among other persons...
Sono là. Sono al cancello. Apriamo la doppia porta. Quando muoiono. Il coltello è nello stivale. Loro vanno dopo mezzanotte. Sento poco...
i read that the difference between "li" and "la" is that "li" meas exactly over there and "la" means around there...hope this helps
Can anyone confirm this? I tried a few online dictionaries and they all seemed to present là and lì synonymously. And the "best" answer here https://it.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100604081439AAJaM8f says no difference, while multiple other answers support Ernesto.
U are right! There is the described difference in meaning. It's similar to the the usage of “hier“ and “dort“ in German. There're not interchangeable!
Does anybody know if the "li" and "là" in Italian are used in the same way as the "ali" and "lá in Portuguese?
Ive been curious about this too....
In my language (japanese) we have 3 words for space: "kore"(here), "sore"(there), and "are"(there). Imagine you are in a room with someone. There is an arms-length circle around you, and one around them. Everything in your space is "here (kore)". Everything in the person's space is "there (sore)". Everything outside of both of you is "there (are)".
Is li & là like sore & are?
Traditionally Romance languages used a similar three-way distribution. Italian however is losing the middle distribution (as "sore"). Additionally there is a differentiation of "exactly" vs "approximately".
Near the speaker ("kore")
- questo, quest', questa = this
- questi, queste = these
- qui = exactly here
- qua = around here
Near the listener ("sore") - obsolete/regional/poetic/formal words only
- codesto, codesta = (obsolete) that (near the listener)
- codesti, codeste = (obsolete) those (near the listener)
- costì = (formal) exactly there (at the listener)
- costà = (poetic) around there (around the listener)
Far from both speaker and listener ("are")
- quel, quello, quell', quella = that (far from both)
- quei, quegli, quelli, quelle = those (far from both)
- lì = exactly there (visible)
- là = around there (not visible)
Compare this to Portuguese, where most of the forms are still actively used:
Near the speaker ("kore")
- este, esta, isto = this
- estes, estas = these
- aqui = (exactly) here
- cá = (around) here
Near the listener ("sore")
- esse, essa, isso = that (near the listener)
- esses, essas = those (near the listener)
- aí = there (near the listener)
Far from both speaker and listener ("are")
- aquele, aquela, aquilo = that (far from both)
- aqueles, aquelas = those (far from both)
- ali = (exactly) there (visible)
- lá = (around) there (not visible)
- acolá = (around) there (not visible)
Thank you for the very detailed post. That has cleared up a lot of my uncertainties. I wish there was a way to bookmark posts like this on the Android app, so I can reference them when needed/studying.
I'm glad it helped. Unfortunately in the app there is no bookmarking, but you could bookmark the page in your web browser for reference. The browser also gives some additional advantages. Many skills have "Tips and notes" but you can see them only in the web version. Additionally if you use Chrome browser the voice recognition exercises will be much better and also you get read-translate-speak exercises. In some languages like Portuguese the usual voice recognition does not exist, but the Chrome (HTML 5) version works fine.
There are 3 ways to find a discussion page:
- If you make a post like you did in this case, you can find the page from your Duo stream here
- You can find this and similar pages from Duo Discussion (preferably selecting Italian from English and putting the text into "double quotes")
- You can find this and similar pages from Google or another search engine (preferably selecting "site:duolingo.com" and putting the text into "double quotes")
Here is the link to this discussion: click
Spanish: aqui, aca, aquel, alli, alla...sorry i don't know how to put accents with a keyboard!
My first two questions on this module were "sono li" and "sono la". An intriguing way to start a new topic...
How can it be that "I am there"? If I'm in one place I can't be in another.
Because "sono" means "I am" and also "they are". One could say "io sono" or "loro sono", but the pronoun can be dropped to improve efficiency.
They were different in Latin (sum, sunt). There must be a good story about why they're the same today.
Some people claim that lì and qui indicate specific places, while là and qua indicate approximate areas. Also lì is claimed to be a visible place, while là is not directly visible. Still others do not distinguish them, so there seems to be just a minor difference if any at all.
Awesome information. Thank you. I can remember it by thinking of lì and qui being the sharper sounding words, indicating a more accurate/specific place
With the accent the other way, but silly Hungarian keyboard is messing with me.
Is là the same "word" as la (the definite article) or does the accent make it count as a different word?
Yes, the accent mark is to distinguish the two forms when writing them. For example, the two forms of "e": the conjunction "and" is written without an accent, and the verb form "(he, she, it) is" has a backward-facing accent on top, as in è or È. Backward-facing sounds potentially offensive. Perhaps I should have said "retrograde".
Hi is the o at the end of sono silent or is it my speakers ? sono always sounds like son.
Duo says "I am over there" is wrong. Damned owl doesn't know what he's talking about.
some people say there is none
I found this though: Lì – indica in genere un luogo non molto lontano da chi parla o da chi ascolta, e con più esattezza dell’avverbio là:
The succession of question, I have just got, sound like the Barber of Saville. "Sono lì, sono la", I'm waiting for, "Figaro lì, Figaro la, Figaro su, Figaro gu..."
On a serious note, Duolingo, translations of famous songs and phrases in Films - there are odd moments in the Godfather which are Italian, without subtitles - would really add to the excitement.
re my question about the different usages of di and da (both seem to mean both to and from, alas), I found this lovely little video meant to teach the difference. It does not really answer my question (I suspect it depends on the direction of movement of the verb preceding it: venio probably needs da, and vengo needs di, though I am not sure), but I encourage you to check out the following UTube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xweam0FIa0