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  1. esme Junior Member

    Texas
    U.S.A- Eng, Spa, Fre...in that order
    i never knew that there was a difference between "alli" and "ahi" or what it is...I grew up speaking Spanish, but linguistically there is not much of a difference; however, I have noticed that there is one and I would really appreciate if someone would explain it to me...thanks!
     
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Could you explain what you think the difference is?

    According to what I've been told, they are the same thing. They are simply different ways to spell the word.

    Can a native clear this up?
     
  3. cubaMania Senior Member

  4. esme Junior Member

    Texas
    U.S.A- Eng, Spa, Fre...in that order
    the previous thread does not help much...i guess i just want to know if there is a difference between "ahi" and "alli" or if they are the same thing, and just spelled differently. They sort of sound the same, you see...
     
  5. uaxuctum New Member

    Madrid
    España/Spain - español, English
    Oh, no, not at all. They are as different words as "ese" vs. "aquel".

    - "aquí" means "(en) este lugar": where the speaker is, or some nearby location
    - "ahí" means "(en) ese lugar": where the hearer is, or some location that is neither near nor far but somewhere in-between
    - "allí" means "(en) aquel lugar": where neither the speaker nor the hearer is, or some far away location

    Two simple examples:

    - "Yo estoy aquí, tú estás ahí y él está allí."
    - "Esto está aquí, eso está ahí y aquello está allí."

    Certain English dialects make a similar three-way distinction of distance (here/there/yonder), but in standard English the distinction is reduced to the pair "here" vs. "there" for near vs. far locations. In Spanish, the emphatic variants "acá" (from "aquí") and "allá" (from "allí") can create a similar two-way distinction of near vs. far since there is no analogous variant from "ahí" (because "ahá" would be cacophonous).
     
  6. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Examiné recién este hilo y estimo que no aporta demasiado sobre esta consulta específica. Estimo que entre "ahí" y "allí" existe la misma diferencia, a veces sutil si se quiere, que entre "ese" y "aquel". En efecto, "ahí" = "ese lugar" y "allí" = "aquel lugar". Ahora bien, la diferencia entre "ese" y "aquel" es más fácil de percibir que entre "ahí" y "allí". Tal es así que, "ese" es más próximo que "aquel" y, quizás por lo mismo, menos indeterminado también.
     
  7. cubaMania Senior Member

    Wow, fascinating uaxuctum. I have never heard that of allí and ahí. May I ask you whether those two words are pronounced differently? (Though I realize that may be regional.) Also, I'm interested in what you said about acá and allá being "emphatic variants." I can't begin to tell you how much confusion there is among us English speakers about all of the seemingly contradictory things we are told about those words and their relationship to aquí and allí. (Motion is the most common theme, but they say that and then they go and use them otherwise.) Very interested in your perspective.
     
  8. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    Normally we're reduced to pointing as we say "there" (near you) or "over there" (nowhere near either of us).

    Although we Brits say it all the time: "Ahá! I've found it! It's over there!"
     
  9. uaxuctum New Member

    Madrid
    España/Spain - español, English
    Yo no percibo que la diferencia entre entre "ese" y "aquel" sea menos marcada que entre "ahí" y "allí" (quizá en Latinoamérica la diferencia se haya erosionado debido a que "acá" y "allá" son más comunes). Desde luego, yo nunca los confundiría diciendo "aquel de ahí" o "ese de allí", sino "ese de ahí" y "aquel de allí"; para mí la asociación "ese"<-->"ahí" y "aquel"<-->"allí" es clara.

    But in English you pronounce the "h" that keeps the two a's apart, while in Spanish the "h" is mute and "ahá" would be pronounced as "aá".
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  10. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    That's what I get for leaving the smilie off my post. :p
     
  11. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Ojo!! Yo no señalé que la diferencia entre entre "ese" y "aquel" sea menos marcada que entre "ahí" y "allí", sino todo lo contrario. En efecto, yo señalé que: "la diferencia entre "ese" y "aquel" es más fácil de percibir que entre "ahí" y "allí". Tal es así que, "ese" es más próximo que "aquel" y, quizás por lo mismo, menos indeterminado también."

    De hecho, tanto en este hilo como en el otro la consulta se refiere a "ahí" y "allí" y no a "ese" y "aquel".
     
  12. mylam Senior Member

    Texas
    United States English
    The emphatic variants means that the first time I call my son I say "Ven aquí". The fourth time I repeat myself, it's "¡Ven acá ahora!" :) :eek:
     
  13. esme Junior Member

    Texas
    U.S.A- Eng, Spa, Fre...in that order
    Okay....gracias por las respuestas...rayb, estoy de acuerdo contigo--creo que las diferencias entre "ese" y "aquel" so mas marcadas (en el español que yo aprendi, por lo menos), y es por eso que tengo yo el problema...

    Ahora bien, todavia no puedo destinguir muy bien...que seria si dijiese "es bueno tener una amiga que esta [ahi--alli] para aydarme"..??? Creo que es alli, pero no diera mi vida por ello.
     
  14. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Si a tu amiga la quieres muy cerca: "aquí". Si la quieres más bien cerca: "ahí". Si la quieres no tan cerca: "allí". Si la quieres más bien lejos: "allá"..... Y si no das la vida por ella, entoces será ella quién eligirá.;)
     
  15. anafernan New Member

    Spanish
    "Allí" is like "over there", and "ahí" is similar not the same than here, but i think is like "there", the diference is in the distance, " allí" is used for objets more far than objets that are "allí"
     
  16. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Aquí, ahí, allí...

    It is indeed regional. In most Spanish dialects, ahí and allí are pronounced almost the same way, because ll is pronounced as y. However, in ancient Spanish and even today in some dialects, they sound quite different.
     
  17. Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano/Argentina
    Descubrí una excelente perla idiomática!...Los hispanohablantes también lo usamos muchísimo: Entonces, no es ni acá, ni allá, sino "ahá o ajá"?. Ahaha!!....(just kidding).
     
  18. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Outsider, no comparto totalmente tu impresión que los hispano parlantes "ah" y "allí" de la misma manera. Si no me crees pregúntale a un uruguayo o un argentino.;)

    Saludos
     
  19. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng

    Sí Rayb, pero sacándonos a nosotros la pronunciación de ambas es casi igual ;)
     
  20. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng
    Encontré esto >> "¿Cuándo usar allí y cuándo ahí?" Allí debe usarse cuando se precisa un lugar determinado, y ahí puede usarse en forma indeterminada aquí
     
  21. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng
    Using 'Aquí,' 'Allí' and 'Ahí'
    Broadly speaking, in English something can happen in one of two places: here or there. But Spanish has three equivalent choices, making matters somewhat confusing for English speakers learning the language. ....
    Read more here
     
  22. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Art, allende los Andes, aunque no tan pronunciadamente como ustedes, también distinguimos claramente "ahí" de "allí".

    Saluditos de "acullá" y no de "acuha".;)
     
  23. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Art, no comparto esta explicación, que por suerte no es tuya. A mi mejor entender y la RAE esta vez sí que está de mi lado, la diferencia entre "ahí" y "allí" es de grados de proximidad. En cambio la menor o mayor indeterminación de un lugar se expresa mediante el "allá". Por lo demás, exactamente lo mismo ocurre con "aquí" y "acá".

    Saludos
     
  24. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    From Artrella's second link:

    Do the native speakers agree with this? Because in Portuguese it's the other way around... :confused:
     
  25. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Art, now I do share your quote. Effectively, in Spanish we recognize three levels of proximity: "aquí", "ahí" and "allí".

    However, by using "acá" y "allá" we recognize also that a given location is not so precise.

    Finally, my favorite one is "acuyá" which is used precisely to contest an indication of proximity provided by someone.;)

    Saludos
     
  26. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Outsider, I do agrre with Art's quote. Effectively, you have to consider that the autor is speaking of three levelas of proximity, which may physical or emotional. Just, take into consideration the entire quote:

    "The three choices are aquí, roughly the equivalent of "here," allí, roughly the equivalent of "there" when speaking of an object or action that is close to the person being spoken to, and ahí, roughly the equivalent of "there" when speaking of an object that is distant from both the speaker and the person being spoken to."

    Of course, I don't know how these terms work in portuguese.

    Regards
     
  27. Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano/Argentina
    Apenas un bocado (dada la hora): Cuando lo uso solo, digo "allí". Pero en cambio uso "por ahí" (no muy seguido: "Salió por ahí", o en su expresión que es casi muletilla= tal vez: "Por ahí tenés razón", aunque esta última acepción ya se aleja de la discusión).
     
  28. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    My doubt is not about the three degrees of proximity. We have that in Portuguese, too. However, in Portuguese it's:

    este -- aqui
    esse -- aí
    aquele -- ali


    According to the Answers.com website, in Spanish it's:

    éste -- aquí
    ése -- allí
    aquél -- ahí


    The two latter adverbs seem to be reversed! :confused:
     
  29. rayb Senior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Sorry Outsider, I didn't realize that further on, in the same paper, the author reverses the correlation between "allí" and "ahí" compared to "aquel" and "ese".

    Effectively, after stating correctly that "aquí" means near the speaker, while "allí" means near the person beeing spoken and that "ahí" means somewhere in between, the author mixes up these degrees of proximity stating now that:
    • Adverb of location: aquí. Demonstrative: este (this), éste (this one).
    • Adverb of location: allí. Demonstrative: ese (that), ése (that one).
    • Adverb of location: ahí. Demonstrative: aquel (that over there), aquél (that one over there).
    Of course, you are absolutely right the correlation in Spanish is:


    este -- aquí
    ese -- ahí
    aquel -- allí

    Regards
     
  30. malaikamkuu New Member

    My native language is Kiswahili, which is very much like spanish. We also have the three terms in kiswahili, so I would like to put it more clear:

    aqui = over here, where I (the speaker, first person) am. In kiswahili: hapa
    ahi = over there, where you (the listener, second person) is. In kiswahili: hapo
    alli = over there, where he/she/it is (third person, a person/thing not involved in our conversation). In kiswahili: pale

    Hope that helps. So ahi and alli both mean there, but one means "there, near you", while the other means "there, away from both of us".
     
  31. lazarus1907 Senior Member

    Lincoln, England
    Spanish, Spain
    This is already a long thread, and I haven't read every post, so apologies if I repeat stuff:

    Aquí (esto): To describe the place or the time in which the speaker is (no matter how large this is) or which is considered to be very close, even subjectively.

    Ahí (eso): A place (normally not used for time) which is perceived to be reasonable close, but is not where the speaker is. When talking to other people, this place is also close to them. Normally, things or people referred to with this adverb are in sight.

    Allí (aquello): A place or time which is regarded to be further than that described by "ahí". When talking to others, this place is also far from them.

    The distinction between these adverbs is obvious when they are used distributely: "Coged esta caja de aquí, la de ahí y la de allí" (every time farther).

    Ahí and allí sometimes are used indistinctively depending on the subjective perception of the speaker about the thing which is being referred, and of course, the regional uses.

    In any case, when used together, ahí is closer than allí.
     
  32. Bit

    Bit New Member

    United State
    United States English
    ¿Es posible tambien decir que ahí describe algo que se puede ver o en el mismo cuarto y allí describe algo más lejos que eso? Sé que no hay distancias específicas, pero eso es como yo lo comprendo.
     
  33. Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano/Argentina
    Welcome Bit: this is a perfect explanation (the persons who speak are the referents, although the difference between ahí y allí is actually very subtle; in Argentina, at least, we use them indistinctively).
     
  34. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Hmm... As far as I know, "allí" may be used for visible things. They just have to be far from both the speaker and the addressee. For things which are out of sight, I'd rather say "allá".

    Allí en mi casa --> right in front of us.
    Allá en mi casa --> far away from where we are now.
     
  35. VivaReggaeton88

    VivaReggaeton88 Senior Member

    Santa Ana, Costa Rica / New York, NY
    US/EEUU; English/Inglés
    Siempre pensaba que aquí = here, ahí = there pero no está tan lejos, allí = there pero un poco más lejos, y allá = there pero muy lejos de ti.
     
  36. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    That's a good way to put it. :thumbsup:
     
  37. VivaReggaeton88

    VivaReggaeton88 Senior Member

    Santa Ana, Costa Rica / New York, NY
    US/EEUU; English/Inglés
    Gracias, Outsider. Estoy seguro de si los hubieras usado incorrectamente, todavía se te puede entender.
     
  38. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I suppose the most important is not to mix up aquí/acá with ahí/allí/allá. The rest is more fuzzy.
     
  39. jcrada New Member

    Spanish - Venezuela
    That is not true, there is a BIG difference in pronunciation between "ahí" and "allí". And it is the other way around, the "y" is pronounced like the "ll". I am native speaker from Venezuela, and I hear this difference everyday in Spain. I do not know about other Latin-American countries, but I am quite sure the difference is not that subtle.
     
  40. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi,
    I agree, it's not that subtle; and I agree "ahí" is a place closer to the person I speak to, while "allí" is a place adistant from both him and me.

    When speaking by phone—or a cell phone—:
    ¿Recuerdas el supermercado a la entrada del barrio? De camino a casa, por favor, entra allí y cómprame algunas cosas.
    Do you remember this supermarket at the neighborhood's entrance? When comming home, please, get go in there and buy me some stuff.

    Ya que estás ahí en el supermercado, por favor, cómprame algunas cosas.
    Since you are there already in the supermarket, please, buy me some stuff.

    "Allá" is less accurate than "allí". It's like "allí" is a place both speakers know while "allá" is a place the person listening doesn't really know.

    ;)
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  41. estrar New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    I am from the Northern mountains of Mexico, South of the New Mexico/Arizona border. This area was for long time isolated from the rest of Mexico. There were not that many roads or any other ways of communication, TV was introduced in the early 80's.

    When I moved to Mexico City I always was corrected when I used alli because I didn't differentiate between alli/ahi.

    Then i moved to Colorado, USA, here a lot of the native Spanish speaking use a lot "alli" my logic is that the area of the Mexican Northern Mountains as well as the Southwest of USA got isolated, in the language point of view, and the language didn't changed. That is why we speak a similar Spanish. For example, nochi, ansina, etc.
     
  42. ManoloVM New Member

    Monterrey, Mexico
    Spanish - Northeastern Mexico

    That's right. There is a common misunderstood by some English Speakers that the letter "y" and the diagraph "ll" because of Yeismo, is a Palatal aproximant, like English "y". But in Spanish, It is not an aproximant, It represents a Voiced Palatal Fricative in most of the Countries except for Argentina and Uruguay, where it represents a Voiceless or Voiced palato-alveolar fricative. The first sound doesn't exist in English and the one for Argentina and Uruguay is the same as "sh" in English or "j" in French. So, all Spanish Speakers hear a clear distinction between "ahi" and "alli". I have never listen a Spanish Speaker who pronounce the letter "y" or "ll" as an aproximant, except maybe some Cubans and Puerto Ricans in Florida.
     
  43. span29 New Member

    English - British/Australian
    I just noticed the date on this post and that the conversation was about 8 years ago but it posed an interesting question for me. In this case, where esme had said "Ahora bien, todavia no puedo destinguir muy bien...que seria si dijiese "es bueno tener una amiga que esta [ahi--alli] para aydarme"..??? Creo que es alli, pero no diera mi vida por ello." she was talking about being "there" for someone, as in in being emotionally available if needed. What is the best way to say this in Spanish, considering it doesn't really have anything to do with physical location but with this idea of availability?

    Thanks very much,
    :)
     
  44. Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano/Argentina
    Está bien de cualquier manera. Yo en este caso usaría "ahí" porque da una idea más general de la ubicación de la persona. "Allí" da una idea más concreta de ubicación espacial. "Ahí" es más indefinido, más "etéreo", si se quiere.
     
  45. span29 New Member

    English - British/Australian
    thanks very much, Ines. That was very helpful. :)
     
  46. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi,
    Besides, a person to whom you'd like to talk must be ahí; "ahí" referring to the place (near, around) that this person needs to be located at. "Ahí" as opposed to the physical space you occupy yourself (your aquí, which is their ahí). If they were allí (far from you and a speaker), they wouldn't be available to count with.

    Es bueno tener una amiga que siempre está ahí. <—Where a friend is supposed to be.
    Es bueno tener una amiga que siempre está allí. <—In that physical place over there.

    I think I've just said the same as Rayines. :D

    Regards,
    ;)
     
  47. span29 New Member

    English - British/Australian
    Thanks, Milton. That definitely adds to what Ines said. :)
     

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