1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "There are seven birds."

"There are seven birds."

Translation:鳥が七羽います。

June 7, 2017

94 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLehr

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukaTrifun

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kpd328

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vtopphol

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca459329

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YeOldeDerpyface

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheKingNerd

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

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

https://www.punipunijapan.com/arimasu-imasu/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex950702

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SSSRoaB

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaimeSincl

しちわ or ななわ ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vA7T3

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yatimu

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chokoline

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicodraxus

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca459329

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aeovis

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NightFurious1226

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bjalloway

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marthin147531

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/varkentje123

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scintilla72

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamoozy

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HiroyukiWa2

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。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas467962

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aoidaisy

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShashankT04

Is it

"tori ga nana -ba i masu"

Or "Tori ga nana-wa i masu" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca459329

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWbd3d

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/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MotYLi2

"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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_AkeLLa_

Why とりがななわいます。is not suits?

なな=七, doesn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AriaRamawanda

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZelieZazou

鳥が七羽います。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajpache2000

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ffaammtt

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Owen386452

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adelardian

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I_am_weird11037

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

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" .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline210575

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shorusai

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianTepes4

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John863934

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BranislavR17

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MotYLi2

"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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamoozy

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonaldPinc

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonaldPinc

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisInou

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicodraxus

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. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuuzora

Isn't the counter for birds びき/ぴき?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aeovis

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sepochi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sebastian1022

What does "wa" mean in this after seven?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npLam

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...

: )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shorusai

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ppereira90

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kairu_desu

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scintilla72

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kairu_desu

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca459329

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manu421499

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dattosan

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-taestysuga-

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AimiHanibal

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. WTF??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWbd3d

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RilesWilde

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanLobos2

Why i can't put "は" instead "が"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CGACresswell

Difference between 羽 and 個?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWbd3d

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/35volts

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWbd3d

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BuddhaGuy

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I00I0II0

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWbd3d

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelStr748154

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelStr748154

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)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HannaChee

Would we say なな or しち in this particular scenario?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sayaka6083

羽(はね)と発音させては、二羽の羽(わ)と分かりづらいと思います。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nik9sK

"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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Platypus2409

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LegitJedi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malcom79132

羽 = feather , why the hell do i need this in this sentence, stupid and uncessary


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

In this case, 羽 is a counter. I know it's confusing, but many Japanese nouns use counters, similar to how we say "blades of grass" or "sheets of paper" in English, but their usage is much, much more common in Japanese.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.