FR: y / là / là-bas

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by garavak, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. garavak Senior Member

    I think the proper way to say: I will be there is...Je serai la. Buy why not...J'y serai. When do you use "Y" instead of "la" when referring to "there"? I'm going there is : J'y vais. Why not Je vais la. Thanks for the help!!!!

  2. DDT

    DDT Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Italy - Italian
    "Je serai là/là-bas" (depending on context) can be replaced with "J'y serai", just a matter of style IMHO
    "J'y vais" can be replaced with "Je vais là-bas" since là-bas corresponds to "(over) there", to a place far from who's speaking (you cannot but "go" somewhere else ;) ); you cannot say "Je vais là" since "là" corresponds to "here"

    Hope it helps,

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  3. marget Senior Member

    I think that j'y vais means I'm going ...there (to a place that has been previously mentioned or that is implied)), but how does correspond to here if one were to say "Je vais là"? I also feel that one cannot say "Je vais là", I just don't understand how là could mean here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  4. garavak Senior Member

    I think that la can mean both here and there. Je suis la...I am here. Il est la...he is here. Maybe I'm wrong. Chuck
  5. FrançoisXV Senior Member

    Français, France
    Well... DDT is not perfectly right...
    I'll be there can translate both with "là or y" except in some cases, where one is better than the other.
    don't know if there is a rule, i guess that if you are lasting, preferred use of là, and if you are moving, preferred use of Y.
    (but both seems correct)

    -Demain, je compte sur ton aide.
    -ne t'inquiète pas, je serai là.

    -n'oublie pas, rendez-vous devant la gare à 7 heures et demie.
    -ne t'inquiète pas, j'y serai.

    I'm going there:
    -vas au marché (m'acheter des légumes.)
    -d'accord, j'y vais. (not je vais là)

    Showing something on a map: je vais là (not j'y vais) because là means here
    Here = ici, là and there = là-bas

    j'y vais pour faire quelquechose.
    je vais là pour faire quelquechose. (in fact, -bas is dropped)
    common use, but I don't know if it is perfect french.
  6. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Yes I agree, exactly as you said
    j'y vais pour faire quelquechose.
    je vais là pour faire quelquechose. (in fact, -bas is dropped

    And this is what DDT meant by là as là-bas.

    In Je vais là, là means here and not there, which 'there' here would be 'là-bas''.

  7. star5432 Senior Member

    I know the usuage of "y" and "là" in the sentence structure (generally "y" precedes the verb and "là" is put after, no?) but I was wondering if one is more formal or better to use in certain contexts. For me, I tend to always use "là" because it is less confusing!
  8. Bléros Senior Member

    USA, English
    No one is more formal than the other, but 'y' refers to an already mentioned word.

    -Dois-je mettre la nourriture sur la table?
    Non, je l'y ai déjà mise.

    'Là' refers to an unmentioned, unspecified location. You can also use 'là' with 'bas', making 'là-bas' (over there).

    -Ne vas pas ! Ces chiens te mourdront.
    -De quoi tu parles? Où sont ces chiens méchants?
    -Dans le jardin.
    -Vraiment? Alors, je n'y irai pas.
    (OR... Je n'irai pas là-bas.)
  9. Bléros Senior Member

    USA, English
    By the way, 'y' sounds like 'i' (like E in peek) "J'y" would sound like "jee", and "y irais" would sound like "ee eeray". Also, 'y', in a sentence goes right after the pronoun, even before 'en', its buddy.
  10. maybe4ever Senior Member

    Rennes, France
    US english
    It doesn't have to come directly after the pronoun in a sentence.
    If direct object (le, la, les) comes before the verb then the direct object comes before the y or en. Also if a direct object (me, te, se, nous, vous) is before the verb then it would precede the other direct object and also the y or en.
  11. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    We don't say "je n'y irais pas"... "y" doesn't match with the vowel "i".
    In that case we avoid to use a pronoun. We drop it or we use the complete phrase :
    - Alors je n'irai pas !
    - Alors je n'irai pas dans ce jardin !

    I wouldn't say : "je n'irai pas là-bas."
    là-bas : is a place far from here (or far in my mind)
    "Mon ami est parti en Amérique.
    - Ah bon ? Qu'est-ce qu'il fait là-bas ?"

    "Où est Paul ?
    - Au fond du jardin
    - Qu'est-ce qu'il fait là-bas ?"

    Another little thing : we usually have rather to replace objects than other complements : (but of course, it is not wrong to do it)
    - Est-ce que j'apporte les plats à table ?
    - Non, c'est fait, je les ai déjà apportés.
    ("à table" is obvious so we don't repeat it)

    They are really little things but I think you can speak a better french if you know these tricks !
  12. star5432 Senior Member

    So you're saying to omit the "y" when it proceedes a vowel, or is it jus the vowel "i"? Also, I've heard the "là-bas" thing before; I'd equate it to the English "over there."

    And maybe4ever, if you see this, could you please explain your comment further:
    It's been 3 years since I've taken a proper French course, this went a little over my head :confused:
  13. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Why wouldn't là-bas be suitable? To me it is a good alternative to y:

    — Es-tu déjà allé à Paris ?
    — Non, j'irai là-bas l'année prochaine.

    Anyway I agree that it is often possible to simply drop that y:

    — Es-tu déjà allé à Paris ?
    — Non, j'irai l'année prochaine.

    Just the vowel i because of the hiatus…

    Il y irait s'il le pouvait. (hiatus) → Il irait s'il le pouvait.
    Il y est bien. :tick:
    Il y a un lac devant ma maison. :tick:

    Anyway I'm not sure it is always possible to omit it…
  14. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    So... you agree with me ;)... I told that "là-bas" was fitting for a place far from here... I assumed that the garden Bléros spoke about was not so far...:D
  15. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    To me it doesn't need to be far… In other words, là-bas would also be fine for the garden example even if that garden is very close.

    In short, as suggested by Star5432, I think là-bas is indeed very similar to over there
  16. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    Alors là, ça m'inquiète !
    Si tu es dans la chambre d'un appartement, est-ce que tu pourrais dire :
    «Les assiettes sont dans la cuisine, je vais là-bas les chercher» ?
    Si oui, alors c'est un suissisme ! :D

    Mais comme je l'ai dit au début, comme toujours, il y a une possibilité d'intention stylistique du locuteur. Je peux considérer qu'un lieu géographiquement proche est loin dans mon esprit ou inversement...
  17. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Non, je ne le dirais pas… Mais je ne dirais pas non plus :

    Les assiettes sont dans la cuisine, je vais les y chercher.

    N.B.: Je ne dis pas que ce y est faux, puisqu'il est correct, mais je ne dirais pas cette phrase spontanément…

    En effet !
  18. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    Là, je suis bien d'accord, moi non plus.
    Je crois que l'enseignement du français-langue-étrangère fait une trop large place aux remplacements des compléments par Y (voir les exercices que font nos correspondants).

    En français, on ne remplace pas tant de choses que ça par Y...
  19. Chelsea19 New Member

    Je serais là ou J'y serais?


    I would like to know if two these expression are correct in French. is there any difference between them?

    Thanks a lot/Merci beaucoup
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  20. Welshie

    Welshie Senior Member

    England, English
    They are both grammatically possible:

    Je suis à ... => J'y suis => J'y serais
    Je suis là => Je serais là

    However they are different. "Je suis là" normally means either:

    1. I am physically here, in this place. Ie: "T'es où?" "Je suis là!" (Where are you?/I'm here)
    2. Figuratively - I am there for you, I will support you in times of trouble.

    J'y suis is less common, I think. Aside from being a fixed expression meaning "I've worked it out", you might want to use it in occasions like this:

    "Tu vas où?" "Je vais à l'école, j'y serai pendant un moment" (Where are you going? / I'm going to school, I'll be there for a while).

    You can extend these sentences to the conditional tense if you like..
  21. frenchlady

    frenchlady Senior Member

    French- France
    j'y serai (future) : implique que l'on a précisé le lieu avant : "y" remplace cité auparavant. "J'y serai " insiste vraiment sur le lieu.

    ex : Tu as rendez-vous à 10 heures, à la mairie . - OK, j'y serai.

    je serai là : insiste plus sur la présence de la personne (qu'elle soit physique, ou psychologique d'ailleurs = si tu as besoin de moi, je serai là).
  22. shapirog

    shapirog Senior Member

    New York / CT
    English - USA
    I'm curious about when to use y vs là when expressing the idea of going "there". For example, if you're saying "I'm going there tomorrow" do you say "J'y vais demain" or "Je vais là demain". When would you use y and when would use là?

    merci d'avance
  23. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    français Clodoaldien
    To make things simple "J'y vais demain" is what you would use in general.
    "Je vais là demain" could be used in some special cases, when talking with someone about a given place, like :
    "Tu connais le restaurant XX ? Oui, justement, j'étais là hier soir". But you could also as well say "j'y étais hier soir".
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  24. shanya Senior Member

    You use the " y" when you already mentionned the subject in the sentence before e.g:
    A: Tu vas chez le coiffeur là? ( means here right now)
    B: Oui, j'y vais tout de suite. ( subject= coiffeur=hair dresser if you don't know the meaning)

    C: qu'est ce que tu fais en ce moment?
    D: Je vais /pars au restaurant avec un ami. ( and not " j'y vais au restaurant, because the subject wasnt mentionned before i.e restaurant).

    E: Tu as vu Andy, je ne l'a vois pas?
    F: Bizarre, elle était juste là, non je l'a vois pas non plus !

    Is it less confused for you or need you some more details?
  25. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    français Clodoaldien
    This use of là, mentioned above , is different from the one we are dealing here.

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