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  5. "いいえ、中国人ではありません。"


Translation:No, I am not Chinese.

June 7, 2017



Is it purely contextual that this means, "I am not Chinese"? Can this also mean, "He is not Chinese"?


Yes, or "She is not..." or "We are not..." etc...


I believe it can't mean HE or SHE. If I am not mistaken, "dewa" is a form of "desu", wich I think is only used for "I" and "me"


ではありません is the negative form of です, and it is used after nouns. Not constraint to I or me.


'Dewa' and 'desu' are both positive. 'Dewa arimasen' is the opposite of 'desu'. Neither are restricted to 'I' either, you simply add 'kare' (彼) or 'kanojo' (彼女) (he and she respectively).


彼は中国人です, or 彼女は中国人です.


Dear JayMilkshake,In english we wrote no, not, nothing,etc.but in japanese wrote Dewa arimasen to a negative sentence


Could you post a few examples maybe?


Eg.-I am not a teacher so the Japanese sentence sensei dewa arimasen.


So its Dewa Arimasen? What does each part mean


Polite present negative form of です (desu)


Amazing! The concept of polite negative form is an interesting cultural phenomenon.


Is "desu" the informal/impolite positive form then?


It is. More colloquial would be "da". "desu" is shortened from "dewa arimasu" which is the complete and most formal form. The particle "-sen" negates a statement, so "dewa arimasen" translates to "is not" or "am not".


So... Is there some informal, shortened version of "dewa arimasen"?


では can be contracted into じゃ and the informal of ありません is ない
At varying levels of formality you can use "ja arimasen", "dewa nai" and shortest and most casual a simple "janai".

So 中国人ではありません


In another course (mango). I was taught the form for negation "Ja arimasen" vs. here Dewa arimasen. Can anyone explain the difference?


They are the same except that じゃ is used in speech and では is used in written and is more formal if used in speech.


Thanks for the clarification!


I think it would perhaps be more useful to teach the spoken forms rather than written (or both), since I reckon most people using Duo are doing so because they want to leadn to speak and u derstamd spoken Japanese rather than written form. Or both.


When speaking to a native japanese person you will always use polite form. What is taught here is proper unless you are speaking to a close friend or family you will always use polite form.


I thought aru/arimasu is STRICTLY for inanimated objects and plants and such while iru/imasu is for people! Why did they use arimasu here, can someone explain?


That rule is for existance ~は~にあります/います. For assertion of nouns です(である)/ではありません it does not have this restriction.


Do Japanese people not believe in pronouns?


Japanese does have pronouns, but they are often omitted when the context is clear. Furthermore, the pronoun "あなた" is not used quite often, in many cases Japanese even just call the listener's name: "Will Shizuka come?" can be used when talking to Shizuka.


Why is it 国 and not 國?


From what I have observed, 国 is the standard way to write that character in Japanese Kanji. It is the same as the simplified Chinese character and not the same as the traditional Chinese character (國). If you are interested in further similarities and differences between Japanese Kanji and different forms of Chinese characters, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinjitai?wprov=sfla1


After WWII many Chinese characters were simplified in China and Japan (though often the simplified versions are not the same) to make writing/reading them easier. 国 is the simplified version of 國 in both Chinese and Japanese.


Here, the kanji for China is written 中国, but my kanji dicsh says the kanji for China is a different character, which I can't find atm, but apparently it's read as 'kan'. Indeed, put 中国 in to the dictionary, and it doesn't return any results that mean China. What's going on here? Is it simply that there's mumtiple ways to write China in kanji? Thanks in advance.


中国 is the standard way to write China and can be found in any Japanese dictionary. Are you thinking of 中華 (chuuka), Chinese food?


As a Finnish person the word "no" in Japanese is really easy to remember, since I practically just need to take the Finnish word for "no" = "ei" and invert it. So "ei" = "iie".

Not that I have problems remembering three letter words lol.


In this context, the は says "wa", like when you go 私は it says "wa"


How do you know when to say wa instead of ha, for beginners?


In the case of は, it is usually save to assume that if it's in an actual word (not a grammatical particle, like the subject maker) that it says "ha".

The exceptions to this rule are when the word is one that started out as a phrase, and became a word later. An example of this is こんにちは (konnichiwa), which started out as the phrase "this day [subject marker]".

In the case of ではありません, it's a little more complicated. From what I know, the で is short for です, the は is actually the subject maker, and ありません is the polite negative form of the verb ある "to exist (inanimate things)". So you're basically saying "As for the statement that I just made, that circumstance does not exist."

I hope that helps


I'm gonna start using "As for the statement that i just made, that circumstance does not exist" in normal conversation


Just to add,

From wiktionary, こんにちはis a short form of 今日はご機嫌いかがですか (how do you feel today) or 今日はお天気いいです(the weather is good today) so the は is actually a preposition, which reads "wa".


で is a preposition needed for a noun to follow the verb ある to mean assertiveness of the noun.

は is another preposition to stress the negative form that follows.

ありません is the negative polite form of ある.


"Wa" is a particle that indicates the topic of the phrase. It's not supposed to be in the middle of a word.


Once you start recognizing words, youll notice it will occur after them as wa. As it marks the subject. If its in a word you recognize then itll likely be ha. It becomes quite easy once you build a vocabulary.


I'm very new to Japanese but I learned は is a topic marker and が is a subject marker. I found this site today and it seems great for using alongside Duo. www.japaneseprofessor.com/lessons/beginning/the-topic-marker-wa/ It should clear things up.


How is "no im not from china" not right?


To say you are from somewhere you need to use からです or 出身です. You would also not include the 人. For example 中国からではありません


So I tried but still can't get what ありません (arimasen) means. Is it negative for 人?Anyone, help please


It means "does not exist" by itself. However in this case please treat ではありません as a whole. It means "is not" (negative form of です).


There was no option for "not", only "no", so it made me gwt it wrong


It may have been a bug, but sometimes the word tiles have more than one word combined together (for example, a tile that said "am" and a tile that said "am not"), so are you sure you didn't overlook the "not"? It's helpful to take and share a screenshot in these cases.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Desu means (is, are, am), while Deshita means (was, were). Jyuuarimasen, dewaarimasen, and Jyuunaidesu all mean (am not, is not, are not). What is the past tense negative form? Dewaarimadeshita?

Also, Arimasu means (inanimate object that exists I.E. Shukadai ga Arimasu [I have homework]), Imasu means (animate object that exists I.E. Petto ga Imasu [I have a pet]). The negative forms of these are Arimasen (inanimate object that does NOT exist, I.E. Shukadai ga Arimasen [I do NOT have homework]), and Imasen (animate object that does NOT exist, I.E. Petto ga Imasen [I do NOT have a pet])

Side note: the particle "ga" implies ownership, which is why it is used in these scenarios.


For the most part, yes that's right.
(Though が doesn't have anything to do with ownership, it simply puts emphasis on the subject of the sentence)
猫はいます (As for a cat, it exists) "Do you have a cat?" "Yes, I have a cat"
猫がいます (A cat is the thing that exists) "Do you have a pet?" "Yes, a cat is the pet that I have"

Forms of です:
Present/Future - is/am/are
です (polite)・だ (casual - though the usage of this differs a bit than the polite form)

Negative - is not/am not/are not
ではありません dewa arimasen (polite)・ではない dewa nai (semi-casual)・じゃありません jaarimasen (semi-casual)・じゃない janai (casual)

Past - was
でした deshita (polite)・だった datta (casual)

Past Negative - was not
ではありませんでした dewa arimasen deshita (polite)・ ではなかった dewa nakatta (semi-casual)・じゃありませんでした jaarimasen deshita (semi-casual)・じゃなかった janakatta (casual)


Why can't it be "No, I'm not from China?"


Because it uses "jin"/"person" the whole thing means "No, I am not a Chinese person"


What would "dewa" actually mean? I know the Argosy captain in MH3U uses it a lot in sentences. Does it chain to something in the sentence? In what example would it be used...


Sew my earlier comments - では = particle で (meaning to keep the state of the noun before) + particle は (stressing the negative)

Please treat である/でない (polite form です/でありません) as a whole - meaning positive/negative assertion of the noun.


what happened to the sounds of characters "naka" and "kuni"?


"Naka" and "kuni" are the kun or Japanese readings of the kanji. "Chuugoku" is the on or Chinese reading of the kanji.


What is the Romanji for 中国?


Chuugoku. uu = long u


How do you know when to write Hiragana, when to write Katakana, and when to write Kanji? And how do you know to pronounce "は" as "wa" or "ha"? I get everything else, just not when exactly to use what


Kanji are generally used for nouns (e.g. teacher = 先生 and verbs (e.g. to go = 行きます). Hiragana is used for grammatical particles, equivalent of English prepositions (to/at = に), conjunctions (and = と), verb conjugations (行きます). Katakana is used for loanwords from other languages (e.g. トイレ). Put it all together: 田中先生はトイレに行きます。


I'm not a native, but hiragana is used for purely Japanese words and katakana is used for foreign words (such as names and loanwords). The ha and wa are contextual (not completely sure though). When the ha is used as a topic marker, it's pronounced "wa".


Why is it all keigo by default? Shouldn't we get plain speech and then polite speech on top of that?


It is the classic way of learning Japanese in majority of Japanese textbooks. I personally against it, because the basic form of words is the dictionary form and normal textbooks won't tell you until a bit late in the beginner course, making people think the polite form (teinei form, not keigo) is the base form.


What character is making the initial "shu" sound after "いいえ 、" ?


Rather than “shu”, it’s “chu”.

中 (ちゅう) is read as “chuu” here. 中国人 (ちゅうごくじん) is chuugokujin, a Chinese person.


After 中国人 I put a は. Would the subject just be the assumed self? So dont need a subject は? And it apparently isnt the topic for a が. So how do i know when to use them?


In this sentence 中国人 is not being used as a topic or a subject, it is being used as an adjective/descriptive noun to describe someone (the omitted topic/subject being described would be you/me/he/she). Particles are never used before the copula です, (or in this case the negation ではありません)


Thank you. I guess I should have paid more attention in English to those types of classifications.


I thought it was rude to say no in Japanese culture? I've seen other websites say that they answer question more along the lines of "Yes, I am not Chinese." So I don't know what to believe.


There is a culture to avoid hurting other's feelings. For example, say no to a request from someone. However, there is absolutely no such culture as saying no is rude.


Could you say, じゃないです (janai desu)


Yes it is ok in colloquial form.


What's the difference between では and です ?


ではありません (dewa arimasen) is a negation.

中国人です。(chuugokujin desu)

I'm Chinese.

中国人ではありません。 (chuugokujin dewa arimasen)

I'm not Chinese.

学生です。 (gakusei desu)

I'm a student.

学生ではありません。 (gakusei dewa arimasen)

I'm not a student.


I did not have the option to write this


I'm not quite sure what the issue is that you're encountering, but you might get more help on the Troubleshooting Forum: https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/647

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