"いいえ、日本人ではありません。"

Translation:No, I am not Japanese.

June 7, 2017

72 Comments


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

I learned "ga arimasen" where it's "de wa arimasen" here. I know there's a difference, but not sure what.

June 11, 2017

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

I'm far from an expert, but here's what I understand:

  • か (ga) marks the subject of the sentence (the person doing the action)
  • を (o) marks the direct object of the sentence
  • は (wa) marks the topic of the sentence

The topic takes the place of the subject once the subject has been introduced. Marking the topic allows you to omit that noun in subsequent sentences.

The basic flow goes:

  1. introduce subject using か
  2. mark it as the topic using は (i.e. in the best sentence)
  3. omit it from future sentences (it is now implied)

Here's an article on the subject:

http://www.japaneseprofessor.com/lessons/beginning/the-topic-marker-wa/

June 18, 2017

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

Very interesting indeed, although I'm not sure if it fully answers the question entirely. For example, it doesn't address where the 「で」 comes from.

Incidentally, be sure not to forget the dakuten in your 「が」 (you wrote it as 「か」 twice in your comment).

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

I got an error message when trying to open that. It seems to no longer be available?

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aes925610

just go to japaneseprofessor.com instead, you can probably find the specific article there.

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

That isn’t good either. Do you mean myjapaneseprofessor.com ?

June 17, 2018

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

Isnt か Ka and を Wo?

July 27, 2018

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

yes

January 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adnan162547

Thanks so much for that URL, it really helped explain the verb conjugations and topic / subject markers.

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

"~ga arimasen" means "there is/are no ~/there is/are not ~" in the sense of does not exist (however, instead of "arimasen", "imasen" is used for living beings).

"~de wa arimasen" means "I/you/he/she/it/we/they/someone/something is not/no ~" in the sense of negating a characteristic of something/someone.

October 31, 2017

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

Can "de wa arimasen" be broken down further? Do we have "wa" because it's the topic marker, or is it another thing here?

January 3, 2018

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

It looks like it originally was:

  • -で (=the -て form after a noun. Often this can be translated as “being” or “as”, for example: 学生で妊娠する “to get pregnant as/while being a student”)
  • -は (the topic particle)
  • ありません “doesn’t exist”

So basically something along the lines of “(Subject) does not exist as an x”. However at least today it’s pretty much a fixed ending. If it weren’t you would expect いません rather than ありません when the subject is animate, but in practice it’s always ありません. (Unless maybe it should be interpreted as “[the fact of] (subject) being x does not exist”? If so, I would have expected to see a filler verb after -で, maybe: -でいる/あるの(こと)はありません. But maybe that verb got deleted as the phrase turned into a fixed ending? I don’t know.)

January 3, 2018

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

I also learned saying じゃありません, with a じ at the beginning. I don't know the different tho... hehehe

July 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killerman64

ga aremasen*

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David614676

No, ga arimasen is correct

November 21, 2017

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

But wouldn’t that mean something different (namely “there are no Japanese people”)?

November 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TylerSmith619678

What does "de" do here?

June 7, 2017

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

「ではありません」 is the negative form of 「です」. 「では」 often gets contracted into 「じゃ」so more informally you would say 「じゃありません」 or 「じゃない」.

June 7, 2017

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

I also heard じゃないです as a negative form of です before. Is there a difference to ではありません?

June 8, 2017

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

「じゃないです」 is also correct. I would say it is slightly more informal than 「ではありません」 and more formal than 「じゃない」. Often 「です」 is used as a word to express politeness rather than being used as a copula. (I believe that is why i-adjectives take です in their long form, as you can see from their plain form that a copula is not needed, unlike na-adjectives where the short form does take a copula).

June 8, 2017

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

What's a "copula"?

June 11, 2017

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

A word that connects the subject of a sentence to the predicate. For example, I am a student, the word "am" links "I" to "student". In Japanese it would be 私は学生です。 Here です links 私 to 学生, so です is a copula.

June 11, 2017

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

説明していただきありがとうございます!

June 8, 2017

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

?

July 3, 2017

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

Thank you for the explanation?

July 4, 2017

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

We really should be able to break these sentences down :(

June 11, 2017

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

You can tap on parts of the sentence and it will tell you what they mean by themselves. In this case: いいえ(no)、日本人(Japanese person)ではありません(not be (polite)). So more literally: “No, [implied subject] is not Japanese.” By default you would assume that the speaker is talking about themselves, that’s why the model solution is “I am not Japanese”, but depending on the context it could also be he, she, we, they – even you (though you have to imagine a situation involving amnesia or maybe a very small child something to make it plausible for the listener to not know their own nationality).

June 14, 2017

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

The only part in the sentence which doesn’t have its pronunciation written is the kanji word 日本人(にほんじん), and at least for me Duolingo constantly keeps testing me on its pronunciation in isolation. The rest is Hiragana which are phonetic (barring two or three minor exceptions with common particles such as ~は being written as “ha” but pronounced “wa”).

Personally I don’t think transcribing the sentence into the Latin alphabet is a good idea if that’s what you meant. In my experience it would just be too convenient to just read the transcription rather than the original sentence. And if a learner does that, they run the risk of rendering themselves next to illiterate in Japanese because they didn’t practice either kana or kanji enough. Indeed it could even be argued that this risk exists already to a smaller degree because the course writes quite a few words in hiragana which would normally be spelt in kanji (for example わたし(私, I), おちゃ(お茶, tea) etc.). I guess that is to make kanji a bit less overwhelming. Still I think this is preferable to transcribing into the Latin alphabet because at least you’re still practicing a native writing system.

That being said, I think it would be a nice improvement to add furigana (pronunciation indicators in hiragana/katakana) to the tooltips of kanji vocabulary (so you get it when you tap on/mouse over the word but it doesn’t jump at you at first glance).

June 14, 2017

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

tbf I think DuoLingo doesn't teach the language at all; it's a good and nice practise app, but hardly a learning app.

I'd recommend learning from another source such as Textfugu or Human Japanese.

June 17, 2017

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

To be fair, it is only in beta so far. Also, that beta is so far only on mobile platforms and those don’t have a way of accessing the grammar notes that you get when you use the webpage version. I guess we’ll have to wait until that is opened to see how the notes turn out. But I find the course quite well tought done. Obviously I do have some small criticism as well, but my general impression is quite positive, at least up to the point I’ve reached so far (about two thirds through).

June 17, 2017

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

Human Japanese is great for teaching. I use it a lot.

July 6, 2017

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

It does feel a lot harder having to try my best to memorize what feels like a very long sentence when so new to a language, not knowing what each part really means.

Also, a written pronunciation would help a lot, as there are a lot of consonants that sounds similar when spoken.

June 14, 2017

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

This needs a slow version of pronounciation. ^ if you agree

September 25, 2017

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

Why is this ありません, and not いません? isn't いません for living things?

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

This grammar rule is used for "existence": ~には~があります/います。For ではありません the phrase is used for negation no matter what you are talking about.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David614676

Well, also understand that if you were to say, for example, "I am not at school" you would say: "(私は)学校にいません。" because as you correctly pointed out います is used to talk about living thing. However, a name is not living, nor would you want to use a form a verb that in the most basic sense means "to exist". Basically, ではありません is not used for negation regardless, it's used here because it is a possible present negative form of a verb that means "to be" (i.e. であります is effectively the same thing as です)

November 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeilMorgan2

I had absolutely no idea what was being said after "japanese". I know it meant "I'm not", but it is said so quickly, I couldn't work out how it related to the text in front of me.

June 26, 2017

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

I'm sorry if this is weird, but I don't have perfect hearing. It sounds like "arimasem" rather than "arimasen" to me. Which is correct? The same for すみません and てんぷら, both of them sound like an M to me. (Of course, it doesn't help that it is spelled tempura.)

February 2, 2018

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

Hello andi_kan. The answer is "arimasen." In Japanese, 'n' is the only consonant that technically can stand alone without a vowel in trail. The standalone "n" can appear in the middle of the word or at the end of it, as with verbs ending in 'masen'. The rule is when the consonant 'n' is followed by a consonant made with the lips (p, b, or m), it is pronounced as 'm' and that gives you such words as tempura or kombu, which may appear to defy the the rule that only 'n' can stand alone, but as you pointed out, "tempura" written in hiragana or katakana uses the standalone n: てんぷら. I hope this helps.

February 2, 2018

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

Thanks for your clarification. It helps, though I'm sure I will stumble a few more times before this gets hammered into my head.

February 3, 2018

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

Did anyone else have problems with this question? I put this answer but it was marked wrong.

May 6, 2019

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

Where's the pronoun?

June 14, 2017

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

There isn't one. The subject is very often implied in Japanese based on context.

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wr.Catington

My translation was: "No, there are no japanese", is that wrong because it's "dewa arimasen" instead of "wa arimasen"?

June 26, 2017

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

Nihonjin = japanese (person, not language) and "dewa arimasen" basically means "not". Its just the polite negative form of "desu".

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

It would have been “wa imasen” for people in that construction.

June 8, 2018

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

ha is は and wa is わ. but why they pronounce は wa instead of ha?

December 1, 2017

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

Yes, but only the topic marker は. In other words it is pronounced as “ha” just like you would expect (e.g. 歯(は) "teeth": ha, 花(はな) "flower": hana).

December 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tommy.ready

can somebody tell my why duolingo marks it as wrong when I don't use kanji? > にほんじんでわありせん。 with other questions it's ok when I don't change it to kanji and leave hiragana. I don't get it

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

There are rules when to use each script. Chinese characters are used for words that come from Chinese. Kanji is used for words that were borrowed from other languages. Hiragana is used for everything else and show Japanese origin. Characters borrowed from Chinese may still use Japanese words for pronunciation. Some Chinese characters may be modified for Japanese. Duolingo may use hiragana at times when a Chinese character could be used, for the purpose of teaching Japanese pronunciation of the Japanese word behind it. If Duolingo uses the Chinese character, you should memorize it and use it that way from then on.

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate-Metal

Shouldnt it be いいえ, 日本人いいえです

January 9, 2019

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

No, that would be “No, Japanese people… no.” いいえ is the opposite of はい, and only that. It is not used for English “not” or “no + noun” (= “not a single”). For the former you have to use the negative form of the verb (which in the case of -です is -でわありません or -ではない). For “no + noun” Japanese usually uses a different construction and says “noun does not exist” (or on signs like “no entrance [allowed]” Japanese would formulate this as “entrance forbidden”).

January 9, 2019

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

Why is there no 「です」?

January 23, 2019

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

-です is the positive form. To negate it, you have to use -ではありません (or -ではない, but the model solutions usually seem to prefer the slightly more formal -ではありません).

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex231835

Shouldn't there be a comma when translating it to english too? As in, it should be "No, I am not Japanese"?

January 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Yes, that is correct and it is the correct answer listed at the top of the page.

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafael113947

Why is it ではありません instead of just はありません?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

The negative form is the first one. That is just the way it is.

March 9, 2019

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

I think this will be pretty bloody obvious

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnionMaster03

Opsie Whopsie I wrote Chinese instead of Japanese damn Chinese symbols

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RenuPathak1

How many onions you eat in a day dear OnionMaster03

June 19, 2019

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

I know that 'ありません' is a word unto itself, and the 'では' isn't inherently part of it.

So...what's the actual break-down, here? What do these parts mean, both separately and in relation to each other? What changes when they're present and not present?

May 1, 2019

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

It does not accept いいえ、にほんじんではありません。Can you not use hiragana for 日本人?

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RizalMutta4

Mobile legends sucks, aov is better

May 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RenuPathak1

No I am not japanese but I am Indian.India is the part of continent asia and Japan is the country lies in east asia

June 19, 2019

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

Mot, to the best of my knowledge, is not a word, yet duolingo, seeing it in place of 'not', instead of doing the typo correction as usual, accwpts it as a wrong response. I have lost more health to typos, then actually being wrong.

July 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Unfortunately, Duolingo knows too many languages. The word “mot” is not an English word, but it is a French word that actually means “word”. You would have had a better chance at a typo with “npt”.

July 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/majomi3

I keep typing the above and it keeps marking it wrong.

August 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emme997394

Why would we have to use something as long as "ではありません" in order to say "not"?

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

It includes the verb so it means “is not”. They may wonder why we use something so short.

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Virgil947212

What is the difference between japanese and Japanese?

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

In English, the word is always capitalized. In some languages, the word for a person is capitalized, but the adjective would not be, so Duolingo had to become picky about capitalization.

October 23, 2018
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