Happening here & there

We often want to communicate where both things and actions are located in space.

One way we do this is through the adverbs here and there.

Neither of these words are what you'd call super precise: basically here means 'happening towards or with us', and there means 'happening away from or not with us'.

When we speak, we use pointing gestures to make these words more precise:

"It says here you could power a lamp with it."


You can maybe imagine the speaker's fingertip pointing exactly to where in the text it says it can power a lamp, or maybe holding up the whole instruction manual and shaking it to show what they mean.

But even without pointing or other gestures, these words can be expressive.

Like in the next snippet: where did the speaker come to find herself and not haul rocks?

"I didn't come here to haul rocks. I came here to find myself, and I don't expect—"

It's not an exact location, but we understand that she means wherever she currently is.

What about this next snippet? Where do the relations live?

We all spoke Norwegian and all our relations lived over there.


This time we do actually know more precisely where 'there' refers to—Norway—because the narrator told us about speaking Norwegian.

One more: where would they like to go in this snippet?

"We would like to go there with helicopter."

Here, we don't have any clue where 'there' is, apart from knowing it's somewhere away from the speaker. But we could assume that it's somewhere that has previously been discussed.

So 'here' and 'there' act as placeholders for places that have been communicated by other means, such as gestures (like pointing), context (like physically being in the place in question), or through clues in previous conversation or text.

Here are some more examples of using 'here' and 'there' as part of pointing at somewhere

"Stand here so I can punch you in the face."

"Put the piano there by the skeletons."

Write a line of speech, using 'here' or 'there' as if the speaker was pointing to where they mean.

Here are some examples of using 'here' and 'there' to refer to a place the speakers already know about

"That's not the way we do things here, Agent Kumar."

"They say they'll detach the piranhas as soon as we get there."

Write another variation, this time using 'here' or 'there' to show an action happening in a place that has already been discussed.