LÀ, LÀ-BAS or ICI in French? - The ultimate guide
ICI in French
The difference between là, là-bas and
ici in French is not always intuitive.
Also, a common mistake among the French learners, is to use là instead of là-bas.
Here's how it works!
Table of content
The word ici in French
The word ici in French refers to the place where you are.
The word là in French
The word là refers to a person or an object that is close to you.
You may use là when you can see the object, or when you can walk a few steps to reach this object.
In most cases, you may use là instead of ici
As explained above, there exists a difference between là and
ici in French.
However, the French often use one word for the other.
For example, the following sentences are also correct:
When to use là-bas in french?
To refer to objects or places that are further away, you need to use the word là-bas.
For example, if you go to Spain every year, you can say:
Therefore, with the verb aller (to go), we use the word là-bas most of the time, because the place you’re going to is necessarily further away than the place where you are.
Here is an example:
But beware… The opposite is not true. You can never use the word là to refer to objects that are far away.
A common mistake...
Don't confuse LÀ and LÀ-BAS
We’ve seen that the difference between là and ici in French
is not that important, as most of the time, you may use one word for the other.
Also, with some practise, you will mimick the French, and use the word là most of the time.
However, be careful with the words là and là-bas. They don’t mean the same at all.
This is a common mistake among the people who learn French.
Remember that you can only use the word là to refer to objects that you can see or which are only a few steps away.
Otherwise, you need to use the word là-bas.
A Real-Life Example
Imagine you are in Paris.
You stand in front of your hotel with your friends.
You start walking towards a nearby restaurant, but after a few steps, you realize that you forgot your wallet at the hotel.
You need to go back to your room before going to the restaurant.
You may tell you friends:
But you can also tell:
It's not the same!
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