Many times I am asked during my Italian online lessons if there is any difference between the two of them, well there is, even though is a small one. Both là and lì means there and are indicating something that is far from the person that is speaking.
However, while LA’ indicates something that is far from the person who is speaking and more approximate, LI’ also indicates something that is far from the individual who is speaking BUT with less approximation, in short, LI’ is more‘accurate than LA’
Also, lì and là appear in spoken Italian together with the pronoun QUELLO meaning ‘that one over there’.
Chi è quello là ? Who is that one there?
Popular expressions with LA’ and LI’
mettilo là/lì (put it here)
là dentro, là fuori , là sotto (in, out,
là dentro, là fuori, là sopra (in, out, up)
più in là: futher on (space), later on (time)
essere di là (to be somewhere else)
QUI and QUA both means here (in this place), and they follow the same rule the applies for lì and là.
QUI indicates something close to the person that is speaking and is more accurate than QUA.
For instance, if I say:
Qui si mangia bene, I am probably referring to my place, my house (thus a smaller or more specific place)
Qua si mangia bene , I am probably referring to my city or country (thus a wider or more general place)
Qui and qua appears in spoken Italian with the pronoun QUESTO.
Popular expressions with QUI and QUA
vieni qui/qua (come here)
mettilo qui/qua (put it here)
qua/qui dentro (in here)
qua/qui sotto (under here)
da quando in qua? (since when)