1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I have six children."

"I have six children."


June 8, 2017



Why is it 子供 and not 子供たち here?


I believe 子供たちが六人です。 would refer to six groups of children. たち is a plural particle that makes groups if I remember correctly.


As far as I can tell, 人 is the counter for individual people and not groups of people.


  • 子供 can be either child or children

  • 子供たち means children


I would really appreciate it if people didn't post things they weren't sure about

  • 1021

It isn't necessary to pluralize usually. In this case the plural can be inferred from the fact that there are six of them.


Right. In Japanese (as far as I understand it) pluralazing is considered emphasis when unnecessary, and can equally be used or omitted when contextually unavoidably interpreted as plural.


How is 人 pronounced in this case?


It's pronounced as にん in this case.


Does the audio sound more like に than にん here? I'm hearing 六にいます but could just be my beginner's ear.


The las n sound is omitted I think for speednes


it is not really omitted, as you do not directly pronounce ん as how you pronounce N in English. It's more of a muffled N


In this case, it is pronounced "headache"


What is the difference between -desu and -imasu


です is copula, to be.

います is the closest to "there is" for living things.

あります also means "there is" but for things considered not living.


Iru and Imasu are the casual and polite way of saying the same verb "to be" (for living things).


This is how I break it down in my head when having to decide what I'm trying to say :

-です (desu) for to be/is

-います (imasu) to affirm someone's existence. (living)

-あります (arimasu) for something's existence (non living)

彼らは私の兄弟です。(karera wa watashi no kyoudai desu) - They are my siblings.

私は兄弟います。(watashi wa kyoudai imasu) - I have siblings.

Hope that trick helps!


Would 子供は六人います also be correct?


子供は六人います。 There are 6 kids.

子供が六人います。 I have 6 kids. "I" is implied as the topic. Sooo, 私は子供が六人います。


I'm no expert, but my understanding is that 子供が六人います can mean either "There are six kids" or "I have six kids."


According to this and other sources, が is the default particle you usually use with います.


I'm not sure that I fully understand the differences between が and は because there are entire books written on the subject. However, I think that は would be used for emphasis in this case. "I have six kids" rather than six dogs or six goats or six of something else.

As there is a counter, I'm not sure if は could be used to emphasize the number. Might 子供が六人います mean "I have six kids" if for example someone thought you had two kids or four kids?



based on my understanding (I'm also a learner so take it with a grain of salt) this wouldn't be correct because 子供 is not the main subject of the sentence but the implied subject 私 (わたし). は is usually used for the primary subject of the sentence. In your sentence the children become the main subject so the sentence is more accurately translated "there are six children" (that's also how google translates it, although it also translates the original sentence from the exercise the same)


私 is background information that would be indicated by the topic particle. I'm sure that's what you meant, but unless there's a conjunction, there wouldn't be two "subjects" in a sentence.

You can think of it as "As for (x)" when translating a phrase "x は." "As for the children, there are six of them" vs. "As for me, there are (I have) six children."


Is adding 私は (or わたしは) to the beginning of the sentence correct here? It's been my understanding that 私 is the implied subject here, but it can be added explicitly if desired. I tried adding it in the website interface but I get a mistake. Wanted to flag "my answer should have been accepted" but I don't really know if I'm right.


Adding 私は to the beginning is correct, though not necessary.


thank so I'll flag it


is it really wrong to say "私は六人子どもがいます"?


I see in other comments people have asked if it makes sense to start the sentence with 私は, does it also make sense to start the sentence with 私の? If not, why is that?


I think that would read more like "I have six of my kids".


imo this should be correct as well. But no guarantee.


shouldn't this be "there are 6 children"?


"There is/are" and "I have" are kind of same word in Japanese - います (animate objects) / あります (inanimate objects). That's not 100% exactly the whole story, but in many situations where you'd use "I have" in English, you'd use います / あります in Japanese, like in this example.


What is the difference between あります and います?


あります is for objects and います is for beings like humans and other animals


"Imasu" is used for things that move of their own accord, like living animals and robots.

"Arimasu" is used for things that don't, like plants, dead animals, and pieces of furniture.

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


Why can't it be 私の六人子供です? わたしはろくにんこどもです


Short answer: Because the words are completely disarranged.

Long answer: Maybe you would translate it like "My people six children are." - makes no real sense. In Japanese "(living being[s]) が (number) います" means (besides other meanings) "there are (number) (living being[s])". Number is optional. So "子どもがいます" could mean "I have a child" / "I have children" or just "There is a child" / "There are children". Here a more clear translation would be "私は子どもが六人います" ("I have six children"). But it depends on situation. If someone asks you about your children, it would be clear that you talk about them, so "子どもが六人います" would be a clear answer to that question. Hope I cleared things up somehow :-)


Why no "-ta chi" at the end here?


Answered in a comment above. It seems to be that -ta chi makes child into 'a group of children'. Japanese doesn't have plurals in the same we do, so 'a group of children' is the closest thing when Duo looks for a Japanese translation for the English word children. In this context though, using -ta chi would make it more like "I have six groups of children".


"六人子どもがいます" should be correct too, right?


六人子供が います is also correct


How this sentence is not understood as "you have six children"? Sometimes when no pronoun is mentioned the "default" pronoun is "you", am i right?


わたしには子供たちが六人います。This answer is wrong??????


Can't I change the word order at all?


I believe that you can move around the terms fairly freely as long as you move the associated particle with it. That said, I believe verbs stay at the end, and the topic that is indicated by the topic marker stays at the beginning.


can i precede it with わたしは?


Yes, but it's unnecessary.


Is 私は子どもが六人います incorrect? Thank you!


As I've stated before, this should be an accepted answer.


why cant i use 私の here


because you are not speaking about your children but about how many children you have. You can however say "私は子どもが六人いる" but its a little redundant


Why is "六人子供がいもす" wrong?


try 六人の子どもがいます, seems like duolingo doesn't accept this structure without the particle.


This is how Pimsleur has been teaching me to structure this type of sentence. But I suppose Tyrant's addition of の makes things more specific.

Tried 六人の子どもがいます, and it was accepted!


I put "六人子供がいます " and it's was accepted, someone who tell me others alternatives? Please=お願いします


I'm confused why it is が instead of は here.


は and が put emphasis on different parts of the sentence.

子供が六人います = I have six children, as opposed to another amount of children.

子供は六人います = I have six children, as opposed to six of something else.

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