"Sono là."

Translation:I am there.

April 1, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What is the difference between là vs lì ?


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".


There is, I don't know how to explain it for you, but it's the same difference between lá and ali in Portuguese. They both translate to there in English, but are different things in Portuguese


I am Finnish so explaining Portuguese differences, I'm sorry, don't clarify for me.


Picking the one you like gives a wrong response! There must be something more clear.


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


so it could be like "there" and "over there"?


It's probably the same as allí and allá in Spanish. Allí is kind of looking at a specific point but allá is just a general "over there yonder".


I was told lì means that "specific place there" while là means "generally over there, in that direction"


As a couple of people have pointed out, lì is used for specific locations and là is used for more approximate locations.

For example: if someone said

"il libro è lì sul tavolo", (The book is there on the table)

they would most likely be indicating (by pointing for example) a specific spot on the table, perhaps near the edge or in the center. They might also use other descriptive words to help specify the exact loction:

"Il libro è proprio lì sul tavolo" (The book is right there on the table).

However, if some one said

"Il libro è là sul tavolo" (The book is there on the table)

they are not indicating a precise location, so the book might be anywhere on the table and the listener would maybe have to search a bit to find it.

This distinction is more strict in writing. In spoken Italian, however, people often use lì and là interchangeably as they are likely to use other descriptive words to help specify specific locations. So you might hear someone say

"Il libro è da qualche parte lì sul tavolo" (The book is somewhere there on the table)

using the more specific lì instead of là, or you might hear someone say

"Il libro è proprio là sul tavolo" (The book is right there on the table)

using the more general là.

*NOTE: This same distinction applies to "qui" and "qua" as well.


Wiktionary Says "Lì" Is Referring To A Specific Place, While "Là" Is More Vague.


I shall think of La la land. Daydreamers, more vague


Thanks, this helped


It is quite strange that I am there and not here. haha!


You can use it for example when you will be showing yourself on a photo among other persons...


"Wherever you go, there you are" John Lennon.


I thought that was Brooke Shields


Sono là. Sono al cancello. Apriamo la doppia porta. Quando muoiono. Il coltello è nello stivale. Loro vanno dopo mezzanotte. Sento poco...


Yeah but this is used in English a lot too.


I am there for you. Yes!


lol I was thinking about that


I was thinking the same thing lol


This is common slang in American English. For example: You: I'm going to have a barbeque this weekend. Me: I am there!


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!


I think you mean "da" and "dort". They both mean "there".

  • 1259

That's excellent to know - thanks.


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:

  1. If you make a post like you did in this case, you can find the page from your Duo stream here
  2. You can find this and similar pages from Duo Discussion (preferably selecting Italian from English and putting the text into "double quotes")
  3. 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!


This is great but it does not explain how i am there - sono la. Unless it means they are there. Is that it? ie loro sono la.


"Sono là."

The Italian here can mean either "they are there" or "I am there", because "sono"is the verb form used both with "io" and with "loro", and in Italian the subject pronouns do not need to be stated. Context will tell you which is meant.

There is no logical contradiction, in Italian or English, in saying "I am there" (instead of "I am here"), because the adverb is used with reference to where the hearer is, not where the speaker is.


Thanks so much!


Why is it not "they are there"?


Why isn't "There they are." accepted?


It also accepts "they are over there".


sono li ... sono la...
it´s like a song (:


soytommy- The Beatles Ob la di, Ob la da. Di and da, different lesson.


Là and lì, quà and qui.....let's call the whole thing off!


Why am I getting a Groucho vibe here????


How can it be that "I am there"? Illogical.


See my comment below, in reply to the very same comment from you.


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.


I work at the bakers. I am there every day.


There is no logical contradiction, in Italian or English, in saying "I am there" (instead of "I am here"), because the adverb is used with reference to where the hearer is, not where the speaker is.

Alvaro, why do you post the same (rather dim) comment more than once on the same discussion page, and then again on other pages as well? Is it to show us how clever your analysis is? I'm afraid it has rather the opposite effect ...

  • 1259

My first two questions on this module were "sono li" and "sono la". An intriguing way to start a new topic...


Why not "they are there"?


Why does "Sono la" mean "they are there" and also "I am there" ?


What is the difference between "sono la" and "sono li"?


Some people claim that and qui indicate specific places, while and qua indicate approximate areas. Also is claimed to be a visible place, while 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 and qui being the sharper sounding words, indicating a more accurate/specific place


That makes it a lot easier to remember.


Same question...would it be correct to say 'sono lí' here?


With the accent the other way, but silly Hungarian keyboard is messing with me.


Là and lì are interchangeable :)


Someone please post a link about this là and lì


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".


is the o always silent in sono or is my speakers ?


Hi is the o at the end of sono silent or is it my speakers ? sono always sounds like son.


What is the difference between li and la?


what's the difference between li and la (for there) any differences?


I think that is no difference.


Duo says "I am over there" is wrong. Damned owl doesn't know what he's talking about.


So right and we can't even get it change apparently.


what is the difference between lì and là please?


What is the difference between "là" and "lì"?


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:


a translations would have been good since our level of italian is not up to this sentence you've posted yet.


What is the difference between "là" and "lí"?


They both mean there but apparently one is somewhat closer than the other if you talking about two different places or positions.

[deactivated user]

    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.


    He's talking about himself in the third person for the most part.


    And I thought it meant "they are there", which makes better sense!


    Sono la = I am there Sono la = Why not they are there (Loro sono la)


    why "I" not 'they

    • 2063

    Can I add to the question why is "They are there" not acceptable? Thank you.


    Why can't it be "They are there"?


    "They are there" is also correct


    I wrote: they are there. It was marked wrong. I disagree. The phrase as it stands has two possible meanings!


    là vs lì, qua vs qui...think of the "i" in both cases (there & here) as a finger pointing to a specific area and the other is the general area.


    Why not "she","he" or "it"?


    The verb sono belongs to io and loro only.


    If you mean "s/he/it is there", the Italian will be "E' la'".


    Non sei là, sei qua!


    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


    I use to write I am there, but was ticked wrong. The right answer was they are there so which is correct? I am there or they are there


    funnily, the person 2 comments above you has the opposite problem ;) both should be correct.


    the letters with the accent marks are missing


    When you say something you know is right, but it says you're wrong, I wish it would say why. Did it not hear a word? Is the pronunciation wrong? No idea and very frustrated - 3 times saying the same thing before it accepted it and I didn't change anything. Grrr.


    Can we translate by "I am here"?


    Could this not also translate as, they are there?


    Wow. I answered "i am there" and got marked incorrect.


    Today I am using my tablet, so I am using the earphones and micro.. Let mi know if you could not listen to me.


    could it be they are there?


    Fun fact: "là" also means "there" in French


    Is the "they're there" correct too?


    Could this also mean they are there?


    What is the difference between "ci" abd "là"?


    When sono means i When sono means they????


    It is determined by context. Unfortunately, there is NO context here. One could say "Io sono là." or "Loro sono là." for clarity.


    How can I differentiate btwn the sentences "sono lì "being THEY are here; and "sono là " I AM there? Where does THEY and I come from?


    The adverbs "lì" and " là" both mean "there" or "in that place". They are NOT used to differentiate "I am there" from "They are there".

    "Sono lì /là" can mean either "I am there" or "They are there". Only context will tell you which is meant.

    In your own speaking and writing, if you want to be super clear, you can add the appropriate pronouns:
    Io sono lì /là
    Loro sono lì /là

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