Translation:How many tables are in the room?
why は is used
I will add my comment here which was originally a response to another guy that deleted his comment, this is for reference to anyone looking for an answer to this in the future.
The topic of a sentence is something you want to talk about, the topic is not important, the important part is what you say/ask about the topic. So the speaker is declaring テーブル as the topic, and placing it at the end of the sentence. If you do this because in Japanese is understood that things closest to the verb are most important to the meaning. Even if that's a topic is makes an implicit emphasis on the topic to the listener. So let's break down what this means...
Originally the sentence does has a が where the は is... You could just say「テーブルがいくつありますか？」"How many tables are there?" this is the most simple sentence in there. Then you add the location, to specify that you are interested in the inside of the room「部屋にテーブルがいくつありますか？」
and now there are three paths you can follow (there are actually a lot more but will explain the relevant ones), you can either leave it like that, which is the most simple way of saying it, or you can declare a topic to make more emphasis on other parts of the sentence, your topic can be either the room or the tables.
「部屋にはテーブルがいくつありますか？」In this one, the speaker is setting the "inside the room" as a topic, it means that the most important part for him is to know how many tables are there, the room is just the topic.
「部屋にテーブルはいくつありますか？」and in this one (the one from duo) the speaker is setting the number of tables as the topic but at the same time is placing it near the verb, so both parts of the sentences have around the same level of importance, you could say that the speaker is trying to know "how many tables are in that specific room", maybe in contrast to other things that are in that room, for example, he might know how many chairs there are in there and he wants to compare with the number of tables for some reason, this is called contrastive は. And you know is a contrastive use because you expect が and there is a は so the contrast is more apparent with experience.
Heya (room) Ni (location particle) Teeburu (Table) Wa (Subject Particle)
Heya ni teeburu = Tables in the Room
Heya ni teeburu wa = As for the tables in the room...
The whole sentence would translate to= As for the tables in the room, how many exist?
How many tables are in the room?
I believe a more accurate translation would be "How many tables - are there - in the room?"
Notice that the sentence is divided in 3 parts with dashes. In ENG, questions are formed by inverting the positions of the subject and object
In this sentence, the first part is what is being questioned (the number of tables); the second part shows the subject-object inversion required for questioning (as opposed to an affirmative clause, in which case "there are..." is used); the last part locates where the tables are supposed to be
So, I think the way of improving your given answer is to not re-invert the parts of the sentence, since it is already inverted ("there are" is not present, but "are there" instead)
Hope this is helpful, despite the fact this answer may be late
Heya ni is indicating where the topic is taking place, followed by teburu wa, letting us know what the topic is. Ni is a location while wa is the topic particle. Ikutsu asks how many, and arimasuka asks how many of an object there are. Arimasu means there are when talking about inanimate objects. Ka makes it a question. You set up the information regarding a topic before or after the wa, but I think I see it much more often before the wa. Then the action or operation regarding the topic comes last. In this case, asking if it exists with the modifier (probably not the best choice if words) of how many.
If anyone can improve upon this explanation, please do so.
Hope this helped.
I was confused about that too. I found a youtube channel called PuniPuniJapan that has all kinds of cute little lessons on grammar, and a link with the video lessons to a page that talks about it more in depth. That really helped me. If you google "punipunijapan ni" it'll probably be the first thing that comes up. Hope that helps :)
No. There is a verb in this sentence - あります.
The easiest (for me, at least) way to think about は vs. が is that は stresses what comes after it, while が stresses what comes before it. So you'd use は mostly when talking about something that's already known and you're just clarifying that it's still that thing you're still talking about (which is why it's often omitted, like in the case of わたしは), while が is used when you're introducing new information before the が.
For example, let's compare the sentences 田中は先生です vs. 田中が先生です. Both are grammatically correct and mean the same thing - "Tanaka is a teacher." But the situations that you'd use them in are different. The first one stresses the 先生 part of the sentence, while the second stresses the 田中 part.
Let's say that someone asked you what Tanaka does for a living. It's clear you're already talking about Tanaka, so you want to stress what his job is, since that's the information they asked you about. In this case, you'd use 田中は先生です。(Notice how you could just drop the 田中は part of the sentence entirely, since it's obvious you're talking about Tanaka after just being asked a direct question about him.) You're stressing that Tanaka is a teacher out of all the possible professions.
Now let's suppose that you're in a room full of people and someone asks you, "Is anyone here a teacher?" In this case, you're introducing new information as the answer to their question and want to stress that new information. So you'd use 田中が先生です. You want to stress that out of all the people in the room, Tanaka is a teacher.
This sentence makes sense, however I'm curious about the term ”いくつ” I looked it up and I got two main definitions for it, one being "How many?" and the other being "How old?". Is this one of those cases where the term can be seen differently depending on the context, or is there something different about how the term is written in a sentence based on whether it's asking "How many?" or "How old?". Thanks!
I'm starting to get to the point where it's extremely hard for me to understand sentences when I first see them, even after looking at the definitions of each word. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, I wouldn't expect myself to be able to understand every sentence when I first see it after just being taught some of the words it uses, just need to practice more.
that's kinda wrong, it depends on the context and what sentence you are talking about. The は particle is about the topic and topic is different sometimes from the subject, like in this case the room is the subject while the "table is the topic", you can also say the topic is "the tables in the room" as a whole.
You need to read a bit about how topic works in japanese, here is an good article about it:
So I came here because I had this sentence as an audio file with a には after 部屋. So when it said to type what you hear, I typed what was there and it was incorrect. The audio on THIS page however is not the same as the one in the exercise so somewhere along the line there is a problem with this.
For some reason to me 部屋にはテーブルがいくつありますか feels more natural but I may be way off base, はand が are also not strictly used in topic/subject conjunction if there's emphasis being conveyed and so on.
But I did report the phrase anyway because the audio I got and the audio on this page don't match, and nor do the sentences :/
Would appreciate input from a native speaker on whether 部屋にはテーブルがいくつありますか is nonsense though...For me it feels like... 部屋には - in the room (topic) テーブルが (the tables) subject いくつありますか (are how many?)