Any difference between aquí and acá

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ENGLISH

I've been taught that aquí and acá are completely interchangable.

From personal observation, acá seems to be used more often than aquí in the context of "I live down this road." Example:

Vivo por acá.

I don't think I've ever heard a person say vivo por aquí, even though I think they have the exact same meaning, right?

I'm wondering if there are any guidelines for when one is preferred over the other.


ESPAÑOL - Diferencias entre "aquí" y "acá".

Me han enseñado que "aquí" y "acá" son completamente intercambiables.

Por mi observación personal, "acá" parece ser utilizado con más frecuencia que "aquí" en el contexto de "I live down this road". Ejemplo:

Vivo por acá.

Creo que he nunca he oído a nadie decir vivo por aquí, aunque pienso que tienen exactamente el mismo significado, ¿verdad?

Me pregunto si hay pautas para decidir cuando se prefiere una sobre la otra.

Flimzy

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 7 534

1I think originally they were different cases. One means "here" and the other meant "to here". I'm not sure to what degree this is still the case.hippietrail 2011-11-15T23:28:07.653

1In Spain you do hear acá when aquí and acá are not intercheangeable. When they are intercheangeable, Spain uses aquí.guifa 2014-12-02T13:22:56.023

3Here in Spain almost nobody will ever use "acá".Daniel López 2012-10-04T14:24:46.017

2Agreed with Daniel. The best guideline: check the regional preferences. In Spain, "acá" is not used, and no one says "vivo por acá". As a curiosity and as I posted in an answer check Google and you'll see "vivo por aquí" is much more frequent. – None – 2012-10-04T16:06:00.110

Answers

29

In situations where aquí and acá are both acceptable, aquí would connote more precision. It's worth considering all four words together:

  • Aquí: here
  • Acá: over here
  • Allí: there
  • Allá: over there

In cases where the location is very specific, you must use aquí (or allí):

Bajo la ley federal, el edificio debe permanecer aquí. (not acá)
Bajo la ley federal, el edificio debe permanecer allí. (not allá)
"Está, como he dicho, aquí en el margen escrito" (not acá)

Acá is better when referring to a general area, for movement, and in combinations such as "por acá" (around here), "más acá" (closer to here). Allá follows the same patterns, and can also connote a farther distance than allí.

Acá tenemos otra forma de jugar. (aquí less common)
Ven acá. (aquí less common)
Por acá viven muchos estudiantes, pero los maestros viven por allá.
"Acá es al revés, que quien canta una vez llora toda la vida."

EDIT: I don't have much experience with "ahí" and "acullá", but this page explains them.

krubo

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 658

2This seems like a very complete answer, however it doesn't mention one deictic at all: Ahí. How does it fit into the picture?hippietrail 2011-11-16T12:03:45.573

15

This is just a matter of regionalisms or variations of Spanish.

In the case of Spain "acá" is very rarely used (I can only think of the (somehow rural/regional) expression "ven p'acá" = "ven aquí"). If you use "acá" in Spain people will of course understand you but immediately identify you with South America.

"Vivo por aquí" is exactly the way we say "I live around here" in Spain. Not only is it perfectly valid and is heard everyday in Spain, it is also much more frequent in Google:

"Vivo por aquí": 1.640.000 results. "Vivo por acá": 327.000 results.

user1025

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation:

1And yet in Spain,you won't hear "pa(ra) aquí/allí" very much, but you will hear "pa(ra) acá/allá". You will rarely hear "más aquí/allí" but you will hear "más acá/allá". These are places where aquí and acá are not generally considered interchangeable, and in these cases, Spaniards have absolutely no problem naturally saying acá or alláguifa 2014-12-02T13:21:37.523

I'm downvoting this by now because it doesn't reply exactly the question. It's good information as a side note, but not a real and useful answer.JoulSauron 2012-10-04T15:25:35.373

3@JoulSaron. The question was "I'm wondering if there are any guidelines for when one is preferred over the other." The guideline is clear: "Aquí is used in Spain, acá in South America". In fact, ALL OTHERS answered exactly the same thing I did.

I think your vote is deliberate and unfair. – None – 2012-10-04T15:32:46.440

I'm sorry you don't agree with my vote, but I think the accepted answer it's much more accurate than yours as it seems to be some slight differences in Latinamerica that Spaniads might not see. No te lo tomes como algo personal ;)JoulSauron 2012-10-04T15:39:37.850

I think this provides additional useful information: When I visit Spain, I shouldn't use 'acá'... But it's not a complete answer.Flimzy 2012-10-04T15:44:35.963

2My point, as a native speaker and having visited and lived in lots of Spanish regions, is that he information that "aquí" is "more frequent" in Spain than "acá" is FALSE. "Acá" is ABSOLUTELY NEVER used in Spain. And I posted the Google facts to show that "vivo por acá" is not more frequent either, which was THE SPECIFIC QUESTION.

What is exactly wrong or false with that answer to be worth a vote down? I want facts, not opinions. – None – 2012-10-04T15:51:10.567

That he is not in Spain, simply that.JoulSauron 2012-10-05T07:45:24.853

2The question was asked in general ("I was taught...") and it's tagged as "regional-references". Furthermore, the guy said "I don't think I've ever heard a person say vivo por aquí" and I showed him that this is what nearly 50 million people say and it is even more frequent in Google. A very useful information, I'd say. Okay, you voted down my answer, be happy and enjoy it, but please stop trying to find absurd justifications. The harder you try, the more you discredit yourself. Thanks ;) – None – 2012-10-05T09:36:30.427

7

From the RAE:

acá.

(Del lat. eccum hac, he aquí).

  1. adv. l. En este lugar o cerca de él, a este lugar o cerca de él. No es tan explícito como aquí, por eso admite ciertos grados de comparación. Tan acá. Más acá. Muy acá.

and:

aquí.

(Del lat. eccum hic).

  1. adv. l. En este lugar.

So, they are the same, but acá are not so explicit as aquí, and therefore admits comparison. As you can see, each has a different Latin root.

Although nowadays, in a casual environment they are interchangeable. The main difference is acá is used more in Latin America (some countries) and aquí in Spain.

pferor

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 1 234

5

They are mostly interchangeable. In Argentina 'acá' is a little more common-colloquial, but both are used. I believe that in Spain 'aquí' is slightly more used.

leonbloy

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 6 943

2acá is absolutely used in Spain. In places where the two are interchangeable, Spaniards of course will use aquí, but where they are not (like ven para acá or ven pacá), Spaniards will use acá perfectly naturally.guifa 2014-12-02T13:11:11.303

1"Acá" is not "slightly more used in Spain. "Acá" is simply NEVER used in Spain. – None – 2012-10-08T11:21:44.553

1I am not sure if I ever heard "acá" in Spain while living there. For me, this word has a strong Latin-American flavour.rems 2011-11-18T20:47:57.510

1yep acá in Spain is only used by resident latin americansrupps 2013-06-27T02:44:49.977

3

They are interchangeable. Usage of one or the other is cultural/geographic.

Diego Mijelshon

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 2 470

3

Based on the RAE page and my experience.

Acá and Aquí is almost the same.

Except for:

  • Acá and aquí range, aquí has a shorter range than acá.

razpeitia

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 766

1Wow... "shorter range of here"...Flimzy 2011-11-15T23:32:05.020

2

En Cuba aquí se usa mucho mas que acá (al menos en pueblos y ciudades). Me atrevo a decir que el uso de acá se restringe a cuando aquí no es apropiado. Con esto afirmo ademas que no son iguales. Dificilmente diria "Muévete hacia aquí! senalando a un lugar cerca de mí... diría "hacia acá" (pa´cá...). Noten que el sentido de direccion es lo que definitivamente las diferencia en la definicion de la REA que da @pferor

In Cuba aquí is used much more than acá (at least in towns and cities). I dare say that using acá is restricted to when aquí is not appropriate. This further stated that they are not equal. Hardly would say "Muévete hacia aquí! Pointing to a place close to me ... I would say "hacia acá" (pa´cá...). Notice that the sense of direction is what definitely make the difference in the definition of the REA given by @pferor

(Por favor corrijan mi ortografía !) (Como rayos abro admiración e interrogación?)

qPCR4vir

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 336

0

In the North of Mexico we always say "aquí" even when we say "ven aqui" and we also use "allá" instead of "allí" but in the south of Mexico and most of south America "acá" is used. What is correct depends on where you are. By the way I'm in Monterrey very close to the US

pablo

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 1

0

Independently of different meanings in the past, both have come to be interchangeable, it's most a matter of regionalisms.

In Argentina you almost always hear acá instead of aquí, except sometimes in formal speech.
The same happens with allá which is almost always preferred over allí.

Petruza

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 859

0

I use them both interchangeable. The only difference in my opinion is that "aqui" is more formal than "acá". Usually you don't write "acá" in any letter or document. "Acá" that is more coloquial, for the spoken language. (Although I wouldn't say is slang, it's maybe a regionalism). As said before, in Spain they don't use "acá", as in America is widely used.

Delonix R.

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 201

2Welcome @Delonix R. to the SE. Please read the help and the rules of this forum. Notice that this question was fully answered including references more than 5 years ago. In the help you will find that you must answer only if you have information or references not included in other answers, otherwise repeating what has already been said does not add any value and you could get negative votes. Hope to see you around.DGaleano 2016-03-23T15:27:41.467

Fair enough, DGaleano!Delonix R. 2016-03-23T17:42:02.733

0

I have learned that acá and aqui mean the same thing "Here" but acá is more informal. And ahí and allí mean the same thing "There" but ahí is more informal.

Samantha

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 26

-1

The 2 are NOT interchangeable.

Acá is used for near situations that use verbs of motion Example: Juan, ven acá (Juan, come here).

Aquí is used for other near situations. Example: Puedes registrarte aquí (You can sign up here).

For describing "less near" things, use allí. Example: El hombre allí no habla ingles (The guy over there doesn't speak English).

For describing things much farther, use allá. Example: Yo vivo aquí en los Estados Unidos, pero mi hermana vive allá en Costa Rica (I live here in the states, but my sister lives over in Costa Rica).

Lorena

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 1

This does not explain the difference between "aquí" and "acá".Flimzy 2014-12-04T03:20:03.247

-1

Concentrate. Focus. You only need to know: aquí, ahí, allí.

"...They are aquí, roughly the equivalent of "here"; ahí, roughly the equivalent of "there" when speaking of an object or action that is close to the person being spoken to; and allí, roughly the equivalent of "there" or "over there" when speaking of an object that is distant from both the speaker and the person being spoken to. Note also that ahí is sometimes used to refer to something emotionally close rather than simply physically close to the listener, so allí can suggest emotional as well as physical distance...."

"...Regional variations: In some parts of Latin America, you may hear acá, allá and acullá used instead of (or in addition to) aquí, allí and ahí. You may also find some subtle variations in how these terms are used in different regions...."

For Simplicity's sake, I would have no problems only using aquí & allí. Every Spanish speaker in the world would what I'm talking about.

http://spanish.about.com/od/adverbs/a/here_there.htm

Raven Lee

Posted 2011-11-15T23:02:31.883

Reputation: 1