Lì or là? Qui or Qua? The difference

June 15, 2017

What’s the difference between and ? Qui and qua?

Many times I am asked during my Italian online lessons if there is any difference between the two of them, well there is, even tough is a small one. Both and 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, and 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 there)
là dentro, là fuori, là sotto (in, out, up)
più in là  :further 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)

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