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I would like to know which of the following sentences is correct.

  1. "Where is it there," or

  2. "Where it is there"

Now what I'm trying to project in the question is: "Where or what is that place?" Like asking: "Where was the example picture taken" I have been trying to translate "Adónde es alli?" from my native language Spanish to English using Google Translate, but I don't trust it since it won't translate correctly sometimes. It does translate "Adónde es alli?" to "Where it is there" but I'm not sure whether it's correct or not.

I would like to ask where this truck is located in this picture:

I would like to ask where this truck is located in this picture

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    Thank you for teaching me something about Spanish on ELL! I understand why Google Translate does it that way - "Adónde" = "where" "es" = "it is", "alli" = "there", but it's an excellent example of why you can't translate palabra por palabra. Es can mean "it is", but it also sometimes just means "is", but Google is not smart enough to get that subtlety here. I thought you would say "dónde" in this case, and "adónde" meant motion towards a location (like "where to"), but my Spanish is very weak! – stangdon Mar 27 '16 at 17:02
  • So since Google translates "es" to "it is" and "es" simply means "is" sometimes. I would like to know if I can say "where is there." I really wanna get to the bottom of this. – Manuel Hernandez Mar 27 '16 at 17:58
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Neither of those two sentences is correct. #2 is completely grammatically incorrect. When we make a question, we reverse the order of words, so "It is _____." becomes "Is it ____?" or, if using an interrogative like who, where, when, etc., "Where is it?"

#1 comes closer to being grammatically correct, but still doesn't really make sense.

It seems like you already know the way to phrase the question: "Where is that?" or "What place is that?" or "What is that place?" or maybe "Where was that picture taken?" All of those would sound normal and unremarkable to my American English ear.

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Neither one of the two is correct.

Although I am a native English speaker, Spanish is the most common language in my household, and ¿Adonde es alli? sounded strange to my ear. So, just to check I looked it up in DRAE and also called my mother-in-law (a retired Spanish grammar teacher) to check.

Adonde functions as a relative adverb and Donde is a preposition. So correctly speaking…

¿Donde es alli? can be used to locate an address as well as talking about a picture.

If you are using the situation of asking about a picture:

Where is this? (putting your finger on the picture)

Or as you had it in your question…

Where was this taken?

For locating an address:

Ex.

“I’m at the theatre.”

Where is it?” or “Where's that?

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