"There are seven birds."


June 7, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Does someone know why this is "imasu" instead of "arimasu" in this case?


Imasu is for moving objects, like people and animals. Arimasu is for immobile objects, including plants.


Close, animate v. inanimate, for instance, a car (which moves) would still be あります, generally if it's living its います with the exception of say plants which while living are still considered inanimates


Can this be used as a device for "animating" inanimate objects? For instance, if you really love your TV, and feel that she is a person in herself, you could say います instead of あります?


only if your TV displays the essential behaviors of a living organism


If it really does, I think we have bigger problems than how to address it in Japanese tbh


Don't say that in front of an Ent xD


also the moving objects have to be living. cars and trains and such are still arimasu.


They don't have to be living. They just have to be able to move of their own accord. So robots get "imasu".



Imasu is used for animated things, arimasu are for inanimated.


he said 羽 is the number/counter/measure word for birds, 匹 for dogs and cats, and 頭 for horses and cows, because つ isn't used for living things. But I'm cheating [Chinese background], so I don't know how to pronounce most of those classifiers either.


しちわ or ななわ ?

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I think it can be either, but is usually read ななわ.


I saw all of existence, all at once. I saw a dark storm, a living hunger, eating it from within. But I saw a brilliant light heralded by seven birds flying tirelessly from the storm. I saw seven birds.


The Twins, the Lover, the Protector, the Lonely Journal-Keeper, the Peacemaker, and the Wordless One


I was gonna say that's 6, but I guess the twins count as 2?


Why i can't put "は" instead "が"?


When should it be "ha i" and "wa i". Please, i kinda have an idea but still not sure. I think it has something to do with numbers


Here 'wa' is the counter (classifier) for 'birds'


Don't you mean "but わい"? :)

But more seriously, do you mean why use the bird counter versus the general counter? That's just the way it is in Japanese, I'm afraid. つ is the general counter for a lot of things, and in everyday talk is often substituted for more "correct" ones. But not in all cases. I usually get away with the general "animal counter" which is "hiki/piki/biki". But I probably sound a bit childish. I'm not sure. But counting animals with つ would sound a bit weird. "本” is used for stick-like objects is used pretty much without exception. "台” for cars. "こ” for small objects like candies. "枚” for flat things like paper. You just have to learn them and memorize them. It's similar to how we use "flock of birds" or "herd of sheep". In English, you can easily get away with saying "a bunch of sheep" or birds, but Japanese is a bit more strict about it, and has a lot more counter words.


This comparison of Japanese counters to different English-language names for groups of things is super insightful and helped me a ton, thanks!


I believe you are talking about two different characters, here. は is usually pronounced "ha" when part of a word (with a few exceptions), but it's pronounced "wa" when used as a particle. わ is always pronounced "wa", to my knowledge.


It would have been helpful for new learners to have the kanji! On the other hand, I cannot think of many instances when a new learner would need to know this kanji before more common ones...


They were taking about "wa" the different character vs "tsu" as a counter. I only got that it wasn't a particle similar to "ha" because I looked through some more comments.


I only know of two cases when は=wa. は the particle and は in こんにちは. Anything else は=ha.


Even in こんにちは it is still being used as a particle :)
今日 - "today"
今・こん - now
日・にち - day
は - topic particle
"On the topic of today..."


Why wouldnt it be "shichi tsu" does the "wa" replace the "tsu"?


Yes, わ replaces the つ. This is one of those things you kinda have to memorize in Japanese; which "counting word" goes with which nouns.


It's actually read as nanatsu and not shichi tsu. You might just want to note


Thanks, I was looking for this! Is it nanawa as well?


Sounds like it is "nanawa" from the audio, but it's going over the "wa" so quickly that I didn't make the connection until I read this comment thread.


鳥は羽と数えます、犬やネコは匹、馬や牛は頭です。 「つ」は生き物には使いません。


Thanks but there are too many Kanjis we don't know at this level. I can only infer that you are saying something about birds, dogs and cats, horses and cows, and things. Probably you list the counting words, but I would not know how to pronounce them.


What HiroyukiWa2 is saying is... For birds use 羽 (wa) For dogs and cats use 匹 (hiki) For horses and cows use 頭 (tou) You don't use the つ counter for living beings.

I would also add that 匹 can be for other small animals, not just dogs and cats. 頭 also can be used for other larger animals as well.


"Ji" means "hour" so you probably saw it in another sentence about time and made the association with numbers? But unless I'm totally unaware of another "ji" counter, it doesn't apply to this sentence. "Wa" is a counter for birds that you place after the number. "I" is wrongly combined with "wa" in this exercise. It should go with the "masu" tile to form "imasu" which means "to be/to exist" for living things. (See comments above for complaints about Duo's word splitting mistakes)


Why とりがななわいます。is not suits?

なな=七, doesn't it?


probably starting at this level duolingo force us to use kanji of number


Is it

"tori ga nana -ba i masu"

Or "Tori ga nana-wa i masu" ?


Tori ga nana-WA imasu.

In this lesson, as well as teaching the counter for birds, -wa, Duolingo wants you to learn the difference between the letter “wa” わ and the particle “ha” は, which sounds like “wa” when we speak.

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To add a little context, apparently "ba" is accepted some places, though it might be a bit of an outdated usage. https://jisho.org/word/%E7%BE%BD-1 The reason I referenced this in math class was because it became an online argument late last year: https://soranews24.com/2019/11/17/first-graders-math-test-accidentally-turns-into-treatise-on-confusing-japanese-linguistics/


It would be helpful to have the hiragana underneath the kanji in the answer. I'd really like to have something to reinforce the pronunciation.




The audio says "nanawa" but the table of the "tips and notes" says "shichiwa". Which one is correct?


Yes this is my question too. The fact that the tabs stick with only one pronunciation (nana) does not help us to learn when to use shichi and when to use nana. They need to say the sentence once you have got it right. Duolingo people? please?


Both order are correct? a) 鳥が七羽います。 b) 七羽鳥がいます。


If the counter+number are in front, they should be followed by の.


Why is typing しちわ wrong? That's what given when you tap the word "seven" in the English sentence at the top.

Full sentence: 鳥がしちわいます。The only way I get 七羽 is by typing なな + わ, which isn't right.


I am still a bit confused on why we are adding "羽" (hane) into this sentence.


羽 (pronouned "wa" in this context) is the counter for birds (and rabbits)
Japanese uses counters for almost everything. We have these in English as well to a far lesser extent, such as "sheets of paper" and "slices/loaves of bread" .


It's irritating that kanji is required in some questions and rejected in others with no indication. I didn't use 羽 here because it was marked incorrectly before, but now it's required so わ gets marked wrong.


Mhh that's odd. It should be marking both right, because writing in hiragana is not "wrong" per se but not recommended since normally you'd write in Kanji.

I guess I'll try it with some lessons. I remember I once had 猫 and didn't see the Kanji available at first so I used ねこ, and can't recall it being wrong. I'll check back.


Whenever I try to type しちわ or ななわ the kanji counter for birds does not appear :( and duolingo wont accept my answer if it's just hiragana.


If you are using Gboard, there is an arrow to expand the list of options.


My Japanese teacher said that if a question has a は or が, you respond with は or が respectively. So we can assume there was a question asked: 鳥が何羽いますか?。(How many birds are there?) 鳥が七羽います。(There are 7 birds.) In this question, は is used which is fine but you would need to answer with は if it was asked with は。


Why isn't after the number "ji" but "wai". Can someone please explain this.


"Ji" means "hour" so you probably saw it in another sentence about time and made the association with numbers? But unless I'm totally unaware of another "ji" counter, it doesn't apply to this sentence. "Wa" is a counter for birds that you place after the number. "I" is wrongly combined with "wa" in this exercise. It should go with the "masu" tile to form "imasu" which means "to be/to exist" for living things. (See comments above for complaints about Duo's word splitting mistakes)


There are several different kinds of counting words in Japanese. When talking about birds and rabbits (randomly),「わ」is used. Kanji: 羽


I still have trouble knowing when to use わ vs が. If you switch わ and が would the sentence still be correct?


according to the comments, わ is a counter for birds? okay then.


Actually the 'wa' that is said verbally in sentences is actually represented by the hiragana character that is pronounced 'ha.' In this case, wa is a different "word" that represents the counter for birds. But, as for your question about ha and ga, ha (pronounced wa) is usually used when establishing the main topic of a sentence. For example: Keiki ha oishii desu. (Cake is delicious.) Ga can be used as the marker for the secondary subject. For example: Watashi ha keiki ga oishii desu. This literally means: As for me, cake is delicious. Meaning: I think cake is delicious. So, ha marks who or what you are talking about and ga marks the secondary subject that we are relating to the topic. With that said, there are a million other ways that ha and ga are used, but it's kind of one of those things where you have to listen to native speakers use it and then make a million mistakes using it yourself until you finally kind of get a feel for where is sounds correct and natural. And even then, still kind of difficult. But, it's okay because even if you ask a nihonjin to explain it to you, they can't kind of the way that we as English speakers make grammatical errors often and can never quite explain certain things ourselves (like the meaning of 'would') to nihonjin. So, if you go through a lot of trial and error, they'll still understand what you're saying. Hope this helped.


Yes, exactly. My perpetual frustration is trying to figure out why, in questions like this, it's "ga" rather than "ha". To me, it seems clear that the birds are the subject of the sentence. Asked a native Japanese speaker and got the old: "That's just what you say in this case." facepalm The funny part is that my instinct was to choose "ga" and I talked myself out of it. I lived in Japan for years. Should have gone with the gut. :)


Isn't the counter for birds びき/ぴき?


I saw someone in a different comment say that hiki is for small animals like dogs and cats, tou is for bigger animals like horses and cows, and wa is for birds. Someone said something about wa for rabbits, too? Perhaps it's all tiny creatures


I've never seen this counter but I've seen the counter for birds.


What does "wa" mean in this after seven?


when counting birds, you always add that wa.
other objects have different counter words... Which makes me wonder what the counter word for counters is...

: )


It's a good practice to sort the split words the right way. But in this case they weren't split properly:

わ and い should be split.

splitting い (or ある) from ます makes sense since ppl often confuse those two. Also by splitting the -masu form people automatically learn the stem for conjugating.

わい should be fixed here.

Also the words for counting should have been taught before this. In this case maybe first for small animals and birds.


とりが匕わいます it's the same as ヒわとりがいます? Or is there a right order?


If you want the counter first, use: 七羽の鳥がいます Nana(/Shichi)wa no tori ga imasu

Otherwise, use: 鳥が七羽います Tori ga nana(/shichi)wa imasu

*nanawa and shichiwa are both acceptable


Duolingo has been accepting the first version even without a の.


Many guides that I've seen indicate that numbers should follow a particle or, if they are in front, should be followed by の (no).

If you try google with a small number (more likely to be counted than seven):

"3羽の鳥が" has about 48,400 results

"三羽の鳥が" has about 86,300 results

"鳥が3羽" has about 26,800 results

"鳥が三羽" has about 17,400 results

"3羽鳥が" has about 138 results

"三羽鳥が" has about 270 results

Many of those very few results for the last two have 3羽 or 三羽 following a に particle as part of the rest of the sentence. Still, they account for only about 0.2% of the results. The results are similar when 2羽 and 二羽 are used. Putting the counter before the noun without の is either extremely nonstandard or the result of typos and improper writing.

Many guides also indicate that you'd use "counter no" before the object only when you want to emphasize the quantity instead of the object, and specify only those two uses. Even Duolingo's "Tips and notes" for this section only gives 二羽の鳥 and 鳥が二羽 as examples. I would stick to those two uses as a learner.


From anecdotal experience, it is better to specify the subject before saying the number. Unless the subject has already been implied in conversation. Number-particles (?) can sometimes refer to a lot of things (see ほん and まい).


Why is GA placed after the noun and not after the counter?


Is there a way to know the pronunciation of 四、七、九 ?


I looked it up because I am not very good at explaining things, But you should watch this, The lady here is very good at explaining. The question is answered at the time stamp of 9:55. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-o-S2aGnVY She also kinda sounds like the girl from the Japanese course here on Duolingo.


When I typed "とりが七わいます" using the Japanese keyboard, it was rejected. However, in another excercise (とりが七わいます) using the わ particle instead of 羽 is accepted. ❤❤❤??

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To be clear, the わ here is not a particle, but the counter and reading for 羽. Still, that behavior sounds weird and your answer should probably be accepted, so you should report it.


Why is it が And not は? I thought they used は For when the sentence was about a dog.


Difference between 羽 and 個?

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The former is for counting birds (and rabbits), the latter for... well, it's extremely broad, but in short it's "things", from physical objects to digital accounts. Not usually for animals, though.


Why is 鳥は。。。 wrong? I put in everything else write.

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"write".... somehow I doubt that :3


i had a hard time typing "七羽" with ime, it it "nanawa" or "shichiwa?" i eventually ended up typing ”二羽” then deleting "二“ and replacing it with "七” after some searching through the kanji suggestions.


How do you pronounce the counter? The voice blends the parts too much. It sounds like "Tori-Ga-Nana-I-Mas" almost like the counter is not pronounced. Is it "ni"? Its the only thing I could think of that would blend between nana and Imas

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It's "wa". Yeah, for some reason the audio on this one has been messed up for a while. Report it if you hear it again.


Would it be incorrect to say 「鳥が七羽にいます」?


No, に is a location/time/target of action particle, I'm not really sure what it's doing there...


ありがとうございます。 So, 「に」is not a linking particle between all transitive verbs and their direct objects? That is, it only performs that duty when the object is a location/time/or target of action, and is otherwise not used (like in the example)?


Yes, though direct objects of a transitive verb would be marked with を
though there isn't a transitive verb in this sentence either, just います - to exist, which is intransitive.

に would be used to mark the location where something exists, not the thing that is doing the existing, such as in    庭に鳥が七羽います - seven birds are in the garden
庭に - in the garden (where they exist)
鳥が - birds (are the the thing doing the existing)
七羽います - seven exist

猫が鳥を食べます - the cat eats birds
猫が - cat (the thing doing the eating)
鳥を - bird (the direct object being eaten)
食べます - eats/will eat - the transitive verb


Would we say なな or しち in this particular scenario?




What happened to 七つ or 九つ why is it 七羽 and 九羽 now?


"Tori ga nana imasu" Am i the only one who doesn't hear "wa" at all? Is it silent? or is the audio wrong? Which one is it?


Is there a difference between saying 鳥が七羽います and 七羽鳥がいます? It accepted the latter but suggests the former as the answer, so wondering whether there's a preference.


Just curiosity: I wrote 七羽を鳥がいます, mainly because I forgot how it was supposed to be written, and this made the most sense to me. But after being marked incorrect I checked google translate and deepL just for fun to see what I actually wrote. Turns out it means exactly what the English translation is saying (There are/I have/we have seven birds). So my question is, is 七羽を鳥がいます correct but Duolingo just wants a specific answer, or is it incorrect but close enough that both translators just did a rough translation of my broken Japanese, but I should never actually say it like that?


I don't understand why the number of bird is near the verb and doesn't need any particles. Why not 七羽鳥がいます or 鳥が七羽にいます


Why "が" and not "は" after 鳥?


I wrote "七羽鳥がいます。" and it was right. Can someone explain this, please?


why does ななわとりがいます also make sense?


Do we say nanawa here or sichiwa for the counting? Appreciate your response. Thanks.


Others just like this have allowed the "ga" to be placed after the counter. This one needs to follow suit.

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Could you give an example?


Okay the "ga" is necessary because this is a ststement with new information, right? I tried saying tori wa (bird counter) nana imasu


Does anyone know why 七 is pronounced なな and not しち in this specific case?


なな is preferred over しち in the majority of counting situations.
しち sounds too similar to いち "one" which can cause a lot of confusion, so it is often avoided. You'll mainly only use しち in some older set expressions and phrases like 七月・しちがつ "July" and 七時・しちじ "7 o'clock" (though ななじ in that case is also not uncommon)


Why some sentence use は(wa) and sometimes use が(ga). Need explanation for that and what the purpose for that.


Can anyone explain the difference between です and います for Dummies?


For "Dummies" who are on level 23 already???

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