lì vs. là, qui vs. qua

I seem to see and hear "lì" and "là" both used for "there" and "qui" and "qua" for "here" pretty equally and I'm wondering if there is a difference or if either one can be used. Do they have different connotations? For instance, do the sentences "Lui è qui" and "Lui è qua" mean the same thing or not?

June 6, 2014


Although most people (native speakers included) seem to claim that lì and là are comlpetely interchangeable, there is a small difference in meaning.

Namely, "lì" stems from latin "illic", which means "exactly there, at that place" (, whereas "là" stems from latin "illac", which means "over there, in that direction" (

The same difference exists between "qui" ("right here") and "qua" ("around here").

April 22, 2015

You're the best! Thanks!

March 4, 2016

Nice! Thank you. You get a lingot.

April 19, 2016

As I understand it, "lì" is for something closer than "là." "Qui" and "qua" are pretty much interchangeable, though someone once told me that "qui" was more "elegant."

June 6, 2014

I fully agree with you.

I should anyway say that according to Treccani dictionary, there should actually be a little difference between "qui" and "qua" and between "lì" and "là", but I think that at least 99% of the Italian native speakers are not really aware of that and use those forms interchangeably (and that's what I do too).

June 6, 2014

I'm impressed by your languages!

February 17, 2017

Exactly :)

June 6, 2014

if you have to translate "come here", "vieni qui" is definitly more elegant than "vieni qua". Qui and Lì are nearest than Qua and Là.

June 11, 2014

Thanks, that really helps

September 7, 2017

So I learned that in French "là" is supposed to mean there whereas "ici" means here. However most of the time they just use "là" to mean either here or there. Except when they talk about two objects or places and want to compare with one another, then for the distant one they use "là" and for the one closer to the speaker they use "ici".

Is it somewhat the same in Italian for "lì" / "là" and "qui" / "qua"?

October 30, 2017

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