I understand that each refers to a place where neither the speaker nor the listener are. But Im just wondering what the difference is?

  • 4
    Hi Jim, and welcome to Portuguese SE. Could you tell us why looking them up in a dictionary fails to answer your question? "Lá" is "there", "acolá" is "yonder", and "além" is "beyond".
    – stafusa
    May 4 at 8:32
  • @stafusa Hi, thanks. Looking in the dictionary fails to answer the question because while the dictionary does define Além as "beyond" (as with many Portuguese words) it isnt the only definition. And another one is "there". "Vou estar além, adoro estes." or "Quando chegámos, mandei-te sentar além." are phrases the dictionary provides for além meaning "there" and not "beyond" but doesnt give any indication of how it is different to "lá"
    – Jim stoke
    May 5 at 19:09
  • @stafusa And disregarding the fact that the dictionary states "there" and "yonder" as a translation for acolá and not just yonder , "the distinction between yonder and there is that 'yonder' is somewhere distant from both the speaker and the 'spoken to' whereas 'there' just means somewhere distant from the speaker" and that doesnt hold true for acolá and lá, because both of them must be away from the speaker and spoken to and so there must be another difference as the difference between "there" and "yonder" doesnt explain the difference between "lá" and "acolá"
    – Jim stoke
    May 5 at 19:13
  • and so there is, as so often no a satisfactory English translation for these words that sufficiently does them justice and highlights their differences
    – Jim stoke
    May 5 at 19:16
  • 1
    Ok, Jim, I see what you mean and I guess that, if inspired, someone could write a small essay on their meanings and the subtle differences between them. FWIW, I'd say that, for the most part, "beyond" really captures well the meaning of "além" in this context, at least in pt-BR ("mandei-te sentar além" is certainly pt-PT), and "acolá", which is rarely used, is essentially a synonym of "lá", except perhaps by expressing a somewhat larger distance.
    – stafusa
    May 6 at 11:15

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