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Qui, qua, lì and là

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by iacino, Dec 13, 2004.

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  1. iacino Junior Member

    Boston, MA
    US/English
    These are referred to as "adverbs of place" in my textbook. Whis is proper: "La biblioteca è là" or "La biblioteca è lì"? Or doesn't it matter? Are qui and lì masculine and qua and là feminine? Adverbs usually don't take on the gender and number of the noun.

    Grazie tanto.




     
  2. carlafed Senior Member

    Right, adverbs do not have gender and number. So it is not a question of gender.
    Lì and là both mean there, but lì is slightly closer than là, while qui and qua are pretty much the same.
    This is regular speech. But the language experts may want to add some comment :) :)
     
  3. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Carla explained very well.

    How do you use them?

    Let's be a little graphic then.

    You are in the street and ask for some directions. You are looking for a newsagent's. You ask a guy and he says to go straight on, the newsagent's over there. But you are so lazy and don't want to waste your time, so you want to know which side of the street. However, :eek: you forgot how to say right and left in Italian :D
    You are on the left side of the street and just ask: è di lì (pointing to the left) o di là (pointing to the right)? Or è di qui o di qua?

    Is that any clearer now?! :D
     
  4. paolorausch Senior Member

    Cape Coral, Florida, USA
    USA, English, Sicilianu
    I always heard "ccà" while growing up. Paolo veni ccà!

    But when I went to Italy i was exposed to all of this Qua-ing and Qui-ing!

    What exactly is the difference between Qua and Qui?, When I asked a Policeman in Svizzera (in il regione che parla italiano), he said there was none.

    Thank you for any input!
     
  5. Rob625

    Rob625 Senior Member

    Murlo (SI)
    English - England
    Qua and qui both mean here.
    La and li both mean there.

    Ora aspettiamo ulteriore precisioni dalla parte degli italiani madrilingua. ;)
     
  6. DDT

    DDT Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Italy - Italian
    You're definitely right, Rob! ;)
    It's just a matter of taste, there is no difference between "qui" and "qua" nor between "lì" and "là"
    Just let me correct you:
    Ora aspettiamo ulteriore :cross: precisioni dalla parte degli italiani madrilingua :cross:
    Ora aspettiamo ulteriori :tick: precisioni dalla parte degli italiani madrelingua :tick:

    DDT
     
  7. paolorausch Senior Member

    Cape Coral, Florida, USA
    USA, English, Sicilianu
    many thanks again silviap! I searched "qua qui difference" to know avail, but that link helps.
     
  8. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Yeah, I hear you. I know what the problem is. 2/3 letter words cannot be searched. I hope the Administrator will fix that somehow.
     
  9. Steven Ross New Member

    English, USA
    Di qui e di la'........

    When do we use "qui" or "qua"? When do we use "li" or "la'"?

    Thanks,

    Steve

     
  10. Andre Balian

    Andre Balian Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English, uSA
    I've been told that they are 100% interchangeable. But note that both li' and la' have accents.
     
  11. Drusillo

    Drusillo Senior Member

    Stuttgart- Germany
    Italian-Italy
    Qui and qua are used to indicate a place near to the person that is speaking, lì and là to indicate a place far from the person that is speaking.

    From "Corriere della sera" http://www.corriere.it/Rubriche/Scioglilingua/scioglilingua011102.shtml

    La differenza è sottilissima per "lì" e "là" che significano entrambi "in quel luogo", preceduti in genere da un verbo di stato o di moto, con riferimento a un luogo decisamente lontano ("là") o non molto lontano ("lì), da chi parla e da chi ascolta. "Qui" e "Qua" sostanzialmente si equivalgono, con una sfumatura. Qua" e "qui" stanno per "in questo luogo", dopo un verbo di stato e di moto indicano un luogo vicino a chi parla, "qua" rispetto a "qui" ha un valore leggermente più indeterminato.
     
  12. Steven Ross New Member

    English, USA
    Is it possible that even though qui and qua, li' and la' are interchangeable, qua and la' are more frequently used in cities like Rome and Florence whereas qui and li' are used in other areas of the country?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  13. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    As far as qui/qua are concerned, I think it is possible. But lì e là are quite different, so I guess there is no regional dependence...

    Uinni
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  14. Gemelle Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    Are "qua" and "la" dialect forms of "qui" e "li' ".

    E' vero oppure no?

    Gemelle.
     
  15. TimeHP

    TimeHP Senior Member

    Liguria
    Italian - Italy
    Non direi.
    Sono usati indistintamente. E anche là vuole l'accento.
    Ciao
     
  16. Willi

    Willi Senior Member

    Milano Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Qui is a bit nearer than qua as is a bit nearer than
     
  17. Gemelle Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    Va bene - ho capito.

    Grazie,
    Gemelle.
     
  18. toscairn Senior Member

    Japan
    Beh, non lo sapevo. Interessante! Grazzie a te.
     
  19. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Ciao Dylan,
    c'è un thread identico qui. ;)
     
  20. diddue Senior Member

    Firenze
    Italian/Italy
    Ciao Dylang,
    Non so com emettere il link, ma se fai una ricerca scrivendo "qua e qui" trovi il thread che ti interessa :)

    Cristina

    Brava Elisa, io sono arrivata tardi, ma è meglio così ;)
     
  21. dylanG3893

    dylanG3893 Senior Member

    CA
    United States
    Ah! Adesso ho capito che è intercambiabile! Grazie.
    Anche, è 'Ciao per ora!' corretto?
    Grazie
     
  22. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Sì, Dylan, è corretto.
     
  23. DiFossa Senior Member

    United States of America English|Italian Dialect
    Ciao a tutti!

    Allora... mi chiedo se ci sia una differenza fra qui e qua? Che ne dite voi? Grazie mille!
     
  24. soulpaolo Senior Member

    italia
    Nessuna differenza, è un raro caso di sinonimia perfetta:)
     
  25. DiFossa Senior Member

    United States of America English|Italian Dialect
    Lo stesso riguardo li e la?
     
  26. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    Hello,
    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to when to use these words? I understand that li and la mean 'there' and qui and qua mean 'here', however I am unsure as to whether or not these words are interchangeable..?

    E.g. Is there ever a time when 'qui' is more suitable than 'qua' (question also applies to 'li' and 'la')? :confused:

    This may seem trival to some, but it is bugging me and I had to ask!

    Thanks
    James
     
  27. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Ok..

    When you are at a certain point and you look down, to say "here" you would say "qui".. now, say if you asked someone "Where is the market?" then if they pointed to a map and wanted to say "here", it's common to use "qua"..

    One for, being right there and being able to see it, I have always thought as "li/qui"..
    And for pointing on maps or, basically, where you can't point you finger to something and say "here/there", then it's "là/qua"..

    Native confimation?
     
  28. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    Thanks, but I'm still not too sure because I am currently in Bologna and I have heard people say, for example, 'sono qui' and 'sono qua'...

    Can anyone else takle this problem- maybe I am just not hearing things correctly...

    Jimi
     
  29. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Sono qui - I am here...
    Sono qua - They are here

    Remember that it can also refer to "they" aswel as "I", if that clears anything else up I hope so, it could be down to preference, let's wait for natives, cos I'd like to know a final answer to this question aswel.
     
  30. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    "sono qui" and "sono qua" have the same meaning that is either "I am here" or " they are here".
     
  31. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    So maybe it is just preference? This seems so 'un-Italian'... there are always specific rules...
     
  32. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Maybe with the Italian they speak on Mars, but the Italian here on Earth, not so specific rules, lol.
     
  33. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    There are a lot of specific rules in grammar, but "qui" or "qua" is just up to your personal choice, like saying "hello" or "hi".
     
  34. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    Thanks everyone- I guess they are the same!
    Jimi
     
  35. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    In the Italian Only Forum a few natives said that to them "là" indicates something farther away than "lì":

    But I think most Italians don't make or perceive this difference.

    I have no qualms about saying Qua!...Qua!...even though that makes me sound like a duck:)
     
  36. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    Thanks duck ;)
    (please note my pun: duck as in quack- or qua!- and duck as in northern English term of endearment)... :D
     
  37. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Carlo, so I was sort of right, of "la" being FURTHER away than "li".. at least I got something right:D.. I have really learnt a lot today, I feel good about myself:D
     
  38. jimi_james Junior Member

    Currently in Bologna
    English, Australia
    I don't know who Carlo is, but it looks as though you were right indeed- well done!

    I can't believe the reply was so prompt. I only signed up 2 or so hrs ago... I'll definately be back... :)
     
  39. gurghet New Member

    Italia, Italiano
    Ora aspettiamo ulteriori precisazioni da parte degli italiani madrelingua

    however, there is no diference at all...
     
  40. filmdubsters New Member

    Italy, italian
    There is a light difference.

    "Qui" and "Lì" are referred to a more determined (and generally closer) place: "Vieni qui, vicino a me" or "Mettilo lì"

    "Qua" and "Là" are referred to a less determined (or generally more distant) place: "Andare di qua e di là" or "E' là che arriva"
     
  41. TinadV Senior Member

    USA-Calif., English
    Paolo, "ca'" is Sicilian dialect for qui/qua, not Italian, and therein lies the confusion for you.
     
  42. LaCosmopolitana Junior Member

    Hong Kong French
    A tutti!

    Non capisco che ci sono che dicono che "qua e qui" sono intercambiabili ed altri dicono che "qua è più lontano di qui"?

    Tutti i due sono probabilmente buoni!

    Grazie di spiegarmi la differenza se ne sia!

    P.S. (È il mio messagio scritto in buon'italiano?)

    Grazie di nuovo!
    La Cosmopolitana
     
  43. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Sono sicuramente intercambiabili, solo che 'qui' è più determinato, più preciso di 'qua', si può usare per indicare un punto, un luogo più ristretto, mentre a 'qua' si ricorre di preferenza per indicazioni più generiche.
     
  44. RICCARDOS Senior Member

    English - USA
    Ciao a tutti.

    Oh my, nothing is simple.

    From a previous post:
    Allora...vediamo un po'...il filo giallo va attaccato qua e il filo rosso di qua.
    Translated as:
    So...let's take a look...the yellow thread is to be attached here and (instead) the red thread over there.

    Non capisco. Why would it not be qui ... qua or qui ... la?

    I've researched WR and have not found a reasonable explanation (or, at least, one that I can understand).:confused:

    Aiuto, per favore.

    Grazie in anticipo,
     
  45. fitter.happier

    fitter.happier Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian
    Hi!

    It's not as bad as you think. Qui and qua are interchangeable, that's all :) Check out this old thread.

    Also, "vediamo un po'" is quite random and less specific than "let's take a look". I'd translate it as "let's see", which I think is more generic and applies to most situations.
     
  46. RICCARDOS Senior Member

    English - USA
    Ciao Fitter.

    Thanks for the response.

    I looked at the thread you suggest some time ago and from that had understood there is a subtle difference between qui/qua and li/la that had mainly to do with distance (i.e., qui/li refer to things relatively near whereas qua/la refer to things farther away).

    Based on that understanding I would think that the example from the previous post (which, unfortunately, I lost but it had nothing to do with the use of qui/qua) that was written and translated by the poster should be qui/qui because the sewing task was "in hand"/very near.

    But, you say that it really doesn't make any difference - use either qui OR qua regardless of near or far (and the same for li/la)?

    If I understand what you are saying correctly then it certainly does make things simpler!

    Just want to make sure I understand what you are saying.:)

    Grazie,

    Riccardo
     
  47. veronica55

    veronica55 Junior Member


    S
    o what is the exact difference between qui and qua. How do we use them?
    Potete dare un po' degli esempi per favore? (and is this sentence right?)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  48. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Qui and qua are synonyms: both mean here.

    Vivo qui/qua da tanti anni.
    Ecco (qui/qua) il passaporto.
    E' venuto qui/qua da me ieri.
     
  49. veronica55

    veronica55 Junior Member

    Grazié mille:D
     
  50. franz rod Senior Member

    Italiano
    Non sono proprio dei sinonimi. Qui ha un senso di maggior determinatezza e prossimità nei confronti di chi parla o scrive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
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