1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. In french when do we use " là…


In french when do we use " là"?

I want to know when we use là in a sentence. It confuses me a lot...

September 18, 2014



You will also listen something like "C'est là-bas", it's like: "It is over there/right there". In Paris, they use a lot this "Là-bas".

  • 1995
  • Là = there
  • Ici = here

but I remember coming across a few examples where "là" was used in place of "ici" as in "je vais rester " = "I'll stay here".

They are used in phrases like "ce livre-là" or "ce chien-ci" meaning respectively "that" and "this", since "ce" actually means both.


I hear very often "là" instead of "ici" from French people when the meaning is "here". I guess they consider them almost completely interchangeable in that case.


The way I understand it (and I'm happy to be corrected):

ici = here, right here at this same place I am
= in the area. Like if you call on the phone and say "Is George there?" and the person answers with "Yes, he's here"... both "there" and "here" are là.
là-bas = there, somewhere else


"Là" means "There".

Even in the cases which other posters mentioned as a prefix or suffix, it's still some variant of "there".

"ce livre-là" -- "that book there" (to differentiate between "this book here" since "ce livre" can be either "this" or "that")

"là-bas" -- similar to the English "down there".. even though technical "bas" means "low", not "down", it's a fairly close/direct translation. (ie. not here, a little further away, over there)

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.