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Could somebody please explain the difference between the adverbs hac/hic/huc (or illac/illic/illuc etc.), the dictionaries don't seem to differentiate.

My understanding is hic is 'positional' i.e. in this place, whereas the other two seem to be more about movement (to this place). Is there any discernible difference between hac and huc, or do their meanings overlap somewhat?

Thanks in advance for any help :)

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Hīc means "here", as in "at this place". Historically, it was the locative of hic "this".

Hāc can also mean "here", as in "at this place". This is a less common usage, though; it's the ablative of hic, so it can be used for various other ablative things, like "in this way" or "by this means". Since hīc is specifically only "here", it's the more frequent choice for that meaning.

Hūc means "hither", as in "to/toward this place". It's focused on the direction rather than the location; the idiom hūc illūc, for example, means that people are running around to all different places ("hither and thither").

Bonus: the opposite of hūc is hinc "hence", as in "from this place". This one is also focused on direction rather than location, but it's the source rather than the destination.

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  • I thought "hāc" and the similar correlatives indicated "method, path and (general) place, so that often it means something like "this way" or "hereabouts." Jul 11, 2022 at 15:10
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    @Vegawatcher Pretty much. My understanding is that it doesn't have any special meaning, it is really just a demonstrative ablative, so it can be used in the ways any other ablative could.
    – Draconis
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:32

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