¿Allá? ¿Acá? ¿Allí? Or is it aquí?
Today, we're using the mega popular Latin American band Bacilos to help you master distance adverbs.
In the chorus of their hit Pasos de gigantes, they sing:
Se fue complicando la situación
Y no hay que olvidarse que al corazón
Le puedes decir de todo menos mentiras
Tu ibas para allá yo iba para acá
Fue tan bonito verte cruzar
Al menos por un ratito por mi camino
Allá y acá or here and there, are two adverbs that express distance. They're similar to allí y aquí, which also express here and there, however, they have some subtle differences:
One variance is that acá y allá denote a location that's less precise than allí y aquí, meaning that it can be used for situations that are more vague.
Allá, a lo lejos.
Translation: Over there, far away.
Acá parece que no va a llover.
Translation: Here, it seems like it's not going to rain.
In these sentences, the location isn't specified, so it makes sense to use allá y acá. If they were, however, it would make more sense to use aquí and allí, like in these cases:
Aquí en Valencia comemos mucha paella.
Translation: Here in Valencia, we eat a lot of paella.
Hice una reserva en el bar, nos vemos allí a las 15h.
Translation: I made a reservation at the restaurant, see you there at 3pm.
In Bacilos' song, we have no idea where they're going when they sing 'tu ibas para allá yo iba para acá', so it's more fitting that they use the more general adverbs rather than the more specific allí and aquí.
¡Use Bacilos' reference and you'll remember the difference!
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