Japanese sentence structure: "There are 3 cats"
I have some background in the Japanese language, and I was taught that the correct way to say "there are (a number) of x" was for example, 三匹の猫がいます。However, the new Japanese Duolingo course uses the following structure: 猫が三つあります。I have never encountered this structure before. Are they both correct? Which one is more commonly used?
います is correct. I'm pretty sure あります is used for inanimate things/objects and vice versa, this is strange. Although i'm pretty sure there is a reason behind it. Although the sentence could be talking about cats as a statues or whatever, but it doesn't tell us that. Just try reporting it.
I'm pretty sure you're right about います and あります。That part may have been a mistake on my part in typing this question. Mostly I was wondering about the beginning of the sentences (三匹の猫が vs 猫が三つ) I have never seen the latter version, so I was wondering which if they're both correct and which is used more often.
三匹の猫がいます - I have three cats.
猫が三つあります - There are three cats.
That's pretty much it., my brain just turned on now lol. Stupid me. Sentences like these can sometimes be tricky.
My understanding is that 「三匹の猫がいる」means something like "there is a specific group of three cats" and 「猫が三匹いる」 means more "there are three cats" (not necessarily implying any grouping).
From this site
Kurosawa made the film "七人の侍” (the Seven Samurai) which by virtue of this construction we can recognise as a specific group. Rubin explains that if someone killed all seven members of the group, as opposed to killing any seven samurai then he would say:
as opposed to:
when the 七人 operates as an adverb indicating the extent of the killing.