Spanish adverbs of place

Spanish Adverbs of Place: Aquí, Acá, Ahí, Allí, and Allá

Leonor Garcia Published on January 23, 2024

Have you ever felt dizzy when trying to describe where something is in Spanish? Don’t worry, because we’re here to clarify any doubts about these specific adverbs of place. The Spanish adverbs of place make discussions about locations easier to explain. In this article, we’ll be talking about the following adverbs: aquí, acá, ahí, allí, and allá.

To help you make sense of this word puzzle, this article is organized into these concepts: “here,” “there,” and “over there.” We use the Spanish translations of these words to put emphasis on or describe different levels of distance. We’ll teach you how to use these adverbs to give specific descriptions of how close or far an object is from you. We’ll also show you examples to make sure you understand. Let’s get started on our journey to mastering adverbs in Spanish. ¡Vámonos!

Spanish adverbs of place

Adverbs of Place: Aquí

Let’s start with aquí, which translates to “here” in English. Whether you’re pointing to your current location or indicating a place nearby, aquí is your choice when you want to express close proximity. We use it when things are close to us. 

Let’s take a look at the following example sentences:

-Estoy aquí para ayudarte. / I am here to help you.

Aquí está mi casa. / Here is my house.

-¿Puedes vernos aquí en el parque? / Can you meet us here in the park?

-Ella siempre está aquí puntualmente. / She is always here on time.

Aquí es donde compramos los boletos. / Here is where we buy the tickets.

-Pon las llaves aquí en la mesa. / Put the keys here on the table.

Adverbs of Place: Acá

Similar to aquí, acá also means “here,” but with a touch of informality and perhaps a friendlier tone. So, if you’re in a casual setting or chatting with friends or family, acá is your choice for creating that warm and friendly atmosphere.

-Ven acá y mira esto. / Come here and look at this.

-No te preocupes, estoy acá contigo. / Don’t worry, I’m here with you.

-Los mejores tacos están acá en la esquina. / The best tacos are right here on the corner.

Acá es donde solíamos jugar de niños. / Right here is where we used to play as kids.

-¿Quieres sentarte acá? / Do you want to sit here?

-Estamos acá esperándote. / We are right here waiting for you. 

In summary, both aquí and acá translate to “here” in English. Aquí is slightly more formal, while acá adds a friendly and informal touch to your conversations.

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Adverbs of Place: Ahí

Ahí is another adverb of place that translates to “there.” When you use ahí, you’re indicating a location that is close, but not as close as when you use aquí or acá . Ahí refers to something a bit further away, like saying, “There, right there!”

-Está ahí en la sala conversando con Carlos. / (He/she) is there in the living room talking to Carlos.

-¡No busques más! La respuesta está ahí. / Don’t look any further! The answer is right there.

-Pon las llaves ahí en la silla, por favor. / Put the keys there on the chair, please.

-¿Has visto mis llaves? Creo que las dejé ahí. / Have you seen my keys? I think I left them there.

Ahí es donde yo estudio Español. / That’s where I study Spanish.

-Deja el juguete ahí, por favor. / Leave the toy there, please.

Adverb of Place: Allí

Allí loosly translates to “over there” in English. It suggests a location with a bit more distance, often referring to a spot across the room or down the street. It’s useful when you want to say, “over there, a little farther away.” This makes allí the right option when you want to express a greater distance from your position or location.

-Ese es el restaurante, justo allí al final de la calle. / That’s the restaurant, right there at the end of the street.

-No vayas allí; es peligroso. / Don’t go there; it’s dangerous.

-Dejé mi chaqueta allí, al lado de la puerta. / I left my jacket over there, next to the door.

Allí en la esquina hay una tienda de antigüedades. / Over there on the corner, there’s an antique store.

-Ese libro está allí en aquel estante. / That book is over there on that shelf.

-¿Viste a María? Sí, está allí, en la cafetería. / Did you see Maria? Yes, she’s over there, in the cafeteria.

Adverbs of Place: Allá

Like allí, allá also refers to a sense of distance, indicating a location farther away from the speaker. When you use allá, you talk about a spot far away, beyond your immediate surroundings. When we use allá, we’re indicating a location that is more distant from the speaker, emphasizing an even greater distance compared to allí. It’s like pointing to a spot and saying, “Over there, way over there!” These examples show how allá is the best choice to refer to a more significant distance in your Spanish sentences.

For example: 

-Vive allá en la montaña, lejos de la ciudad. / (He/she) lives over there in the mountains, far from the city.

-La tienda que buscas está allá, al final de la calle. / The store you’re looking for is over there, at the end of the street.

-No mires solo aquí; busca también allá. / Don’t just look here; search over there as well.

Allá en el horizonte, se ve un hermoso atardecer. / Over there on the horizon, you can see a beautiful sunset.

-Dejé mis libros allá, en la mesa del fondo. / I left my books over there, on the table at the back.

Allá es donde encontramos el río durante nuestra caminata. / Over there is where we found the river during our hike.

How to practice aquí, acá, ahí, allí, and allá.

You can make learning Spanish more interesting with language learning apps. They teach vocabulary and basic grammar with quick and fun exercises. You can also sign up for an online Spanish course for simple explanations of how these words are generally used. Some of them even offer the private guidance of an online tutor to help answer questions about the language.

Books are also amazing resources. They usually have stories and activities to make these words run smoothly in your Spanish dialogues. They often provide Spanish grammar resources to help you understand tenses and how to modify verbs. You can also speak with real Spanish native speakers through language exchange meetups.

There are also tons of resources available online. You can watch Spanish movies (if you prefer, turn English subtitles on for better understanding), listen to music in Spanish, and look for YouTube channels that teach Spanish. Learning Spanish is an adventure, so why not make it fun? Using a combination of these study methods will help you improve your Spanish skills.

Final Thoughts

After learning the Spanish adverbs of place, from aquí to allá, we can see that these little words play a big role in expressing the degree of distance in Spanish. Whether it’s pointing out something nearby or describing something further, these adverbs make a help us describe where something or someone is located.

As you embark on your Spanish language learning adventure, remember that learning a foreign language is more than just structured lessons and reading new information. The key to progress is in daily practice, speaking the language, and immersing in real-life scenarios. ¡Vamos allá! (Let’s go way over there!)

Leonor Garcia

Leonor García is a Peruvian ESL teacher with a bachelor's degree from Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal. She is fluent in Spanish and English and is currently learning Portuguese. She is passionate about cultural exchange and using languages to drive globalization. Through her writing and teaching, Leonor aims to help people achieve their language learning goals. Connect with Leonor on LinkedIn.

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