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  5. "へやにテーブルをおきます。"


Translation:I will put a table in the room.

June 8, 2017



Duo understands 《おきます》as masu-form of 起きる instead of 置く, so the translation is false


That's why we need kanji


This is about the fifteenth message I'll have posted about how this kana system makes the studying harder and not easier.


You'll find most children's books are written entirely in kana, so this is a perfect medium to get used to it. Give しろくまちゃんのほっとけーき a shot. If you can go through that without having to look for the kanji for a word, you've nailed it. Meantime, this is still in beta, so keep practicing your kanji then you'll be amazing at your progress when DL finally does extend to Kanken level 1.


You won't have kanji to help you understand speech either, so I think this might benefit us in the long run.


I disagree. The Kanji helps us memorize speech context patterns which leads to better comprehension during a conversation.


But no one has tried the proposed kanji version, so we don't really know which will be better. Maybe duo can AB test it someday.


The translation is correct. So, I don't understand your objection.


Given the "wo" the verb has to be the transitive verb, to place.




For a moment I though that was' I wake up in the table of the roomx'


Haven't we all done that at least once?


I wrote "place" instead of "put" and was marked wrong :(


What's the difference between 'okimasu' and 'iremasu'? Or are they completely interchangeable?


Not interchangeable: 入れる means to put something in, 置く means to place something on. Also, it's common to hear おく after て form verb, to mean metaphorically that something was done in advance as preparation


I "place" the table in the room?


"I place a table in the room" is incorrect?


Furigana would be ideal


so おきます can mean "to put" OR "to wake up"?


There is a verb that means “to put”:


This isn’t the same verb as “to wake up”:


In the “ます” form they end up looking alike in hirigana (I think). As some people have discussed above this is one of the limitations of using only kana and not kanji. That discussion is well covered above in other comments if you’re interested.


Yes. When spoken, the word requires context to be understood. In writing, kanji is how the two are differentiated.


Just so it's clear, the verb おく is being used here. Not おきる. Since the latter is a る-verb, the two look exactly the same in hiragana when the present polite form is used. The confusion is understandable, because the dictionary hints think おきる is being used too lol


"X wo Y ni okimasu" is transitive and rather clear without further context. Knowledge of vocabulary and verb argument structure should suffice.


My dude, my entire comment was towards learners who wouldn't have this knowledge. The two are ordinarily written differently in kanji, so anyone versed enough wouldn't get confused anyway.

This is a language learning site, you know. The dictionary hints weren't using the right translation.


Good of you to point that out. My comment was mainly intended as a rejoinder to the folks who think kanji is so important and so necessary to learning the language.


"Okiru" (to wake up) is intransitive and does not take an object marked by "wo."
"Oku" (to place or put) is transitive and logically requires an object. There is, consequently, no ambiguity about the meaning of this sentence. "Oku" the consonant stem verb (kagyo henkaku) and "okiru" the vowel stem verb (kami ichidan) happen to be homonyms in the polite, non-past "masu" form. Most languages seem to have homonyms.


I was taught to use "into" for purposes like these. Duolingo doesn't approve.


It is true that without being able to read kanji you can't read much that is written in Japanese. So, anyone who wants to be literate in Japanese has to learn kanji. It is also true that kanji is orthography which has little to do with grammar or syntax, is not a factor in conversation, has few, if any, benefits to learning conversation beyond differentiating homonyms (which is esentially what this conversation hinges on), and doesn't help much in talking to strangers. That being said, anyone who thinks he can really learn Japanese without learning some kanji is kidding hismelf. The question is not whether kanji has to be learned, but when to burden beginners with the extremely labor intensive task of learning it.


You've clearly restated the arguments here. So what's your take? From your wording you seem to be in favor of delaying kanji.


There is a long tradition, going back at least to the pre-WW II American linguists, of teaching conversation from Romaji. Having been taught by that method, I'm aware of its weaknesses and have always been slightly in awe of the Chinese linguists who learn kanji with vocabulary. I think that kanji should be introduced early and tend to favor the gradual build up you find in readers and children's books, but I'm not doctrinaire about this.

I do think grammar and conversation can be learned without kanji and that too rapid an insistance ơn kanji in a course like this would reduce the number of students very quickly.


Is there a way to report an accepted answer as wrong? Lol. I can't find one in the report menu.

I misread the sentence as《へやにテーブルをおきました》so I answered, "I put a table in the room" (past-tense). However, I don't think that this English translation should be accepted; as the Japanese sentence isn't past-tense, and the English one can't be future/present-tense, correct?


"Put" read as present tense may not make a high frequency sentence here but it is grammatically correct and semantically possible. (Where do you store the table? I put the table in the shed.)


Yes, I agree.

English tends to use (to be) + present participle, e.g. "I am putting", for present tense and "I put" for present continuous (ongoing actions, actions in progress) or habitual actions. "Put" is weird because the past form is the same as the present; we don't add "ed" or anything. So a sentence like "I put the table in the room" is ambiguous without context.

I don't know at what point Duolingo gets to it, but for those interested in how Japanese explicitly marks ongoing or habitual actions, here's a link:



Ah yep, thanks for that Dan & Sandy. Totally blanked on "put" being able to be present-continuous, thanks for the examples! The more I practice Japanese, the more I'm finding English confusing, lol.


"Put the table in the room.", is a valid instruction.


It is a valid imperative in English but おきます is not an imperative in Japanese. It is non-past polite with the speaker as the presumed agent subject.

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