Consider the following context: Un grand magasin est situé en ville. What would be a better continuation and why?

On peut y acheter des meubles.


Là, on peut acheter des meubles.

1 Answer 1


The first continuation is definitely the best. The use of is more or less reserved to oral language to refer to the current location of the speaker or a location he can point to. According to the TLF, :

Adverbe de lieu (plus rarement de temps) marquant le lieu où se trouve le locuteur ou un lieu plus ou moins éloigné de lui.

[Accompagné d'un geste ou déterminé précédemment dans le discours] Dans tel lieu (autre que celui où se trouve le locuteur, désigné par lui et plus ou moins éloigné de lui).

may also combine with complements là-bas (this one means “slightly far away”), là-haut, là-devant, là-derrière

In some formulations like être là ou jusque-là, the word has a figurative or temporal value. Also “Là où [j'étais]” is used for “the place where [I was]”. This common in written language as well. But to refer to a previously mentioned location (as opposed to an abstract or a new specific location you designate), whenever the pronoun y can be used, use it instead of the demonstrative adverb .

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