La-bas o au bas?

Dan-S45

Hello, I'm in section 2.8 "where am I" and am wondering about these 2 phrases.  Its hard to tell them apart
La-Bas is "over there" but Au bas is "at the bottom".

I looked up bas in the phrase finder but it only came back with these.  Except it also has Parler Bas means "Speaking softly"? 

I'm certain I would get these confused in a conversation when asking for directions and they are quite different places/meanings!

Any suggestions?

Thank you

toru e

Yeah, I don't know the etymology of là-bas and why it uses «bas» [adj.] (meaning "low"), but always means "there" {note the accent grave), so that may help in remembering. As you noted, parler bas means to speak "low" (speak softly). Another is en bas for "downstairs".

From experience, I've found that and là-bas are roughly interchangeable, so I don't tend to use là-bas a lot, unless I was giving a one-word answer, or making a point that it's "that, over there".

Je vois la pharmacie. Vous pouvez m'arrêter là ?
I see the phramacy. Can you drop me off (over) there? [Literal: Can you stop me (over) there?]

Où se trouve la pharmacie ? - Là-bas !
Where is the pharmacy? Over there! [Literal: Where does the pharmacy find itself? Over there.]

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Bonjour Dan,

Sorry for the late reply, I had to take some time off for a little bit. Still, torusan has provided you with a very good answer. I can understand that it may be a little confusing but I would suggest trying to separating them into completely different set phrases, and trying not to draw any direct links between them.

Thank torusan and keep up the good work both of you!

   -   Marie-Claire

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