1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "There are three tables."

"There are three tables."

Translation:テーブルが三つあります。

June 8, 2017

58 Comments


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

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


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

Imasu is for living things, arimasu is for non-living things, like objects.

If you say, for example, "Neko ga arimasu" you are implying that the cat is dead.


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

Also plants are considered objects


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

or a toy / doll etc ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nemo214253

What if i believe in objectifying cats?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mUCY9

And those living things have to move also, right? If it is a plant or coral, we use ある?


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

rather than living/nonliving, it's animate vs inanimate. A human-like robot like C-3PO while not alive you would use いる.. but a tree is alive but you would use ある.......


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonH565

What if there is a living cat and a toy for example, which verb would be suitable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inish3

You could use two sentences and connect them with と that works as "and" or でも that means " but" depending on the context.


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

Imasu is for animals and people arimasu is for things and plants


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nazish647727

I assume you pronounce 三つ as みつ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonH565

It's みっつ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrielGoh7

Is there a difference between table and desk (テーブル/つくえ)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I'm sure there are exceptions, but I think the difference in usage is similar in both languages.

Table and テーブル is generally used to refer to a surface you eat or drink on, like a dining table or coffe table.

Desk and つくえ is generally used to refer to a surface you write or do work at, which often has drawers to help with general office-y stuff.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChinhDao2

Can anyone know why 三つ is spoken as mi tsu? It is very strange


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

It is very strange, but that's just how counting works in Japanese. The -つ counters have irregular pronunciations, as do a few others.


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

There are two sets of pronunciation for numbers in Japanese. The original Japanese words and the later Chinese pronunciation that came with the kanji 1500 years ago. When you use each varies. So it's ichi nichi (一日) for one day and hitotsu (一つ) for one thing. The pronunciation of the number can also change with the counter for the type of thing. So, again ichi nichi (一日) for one day and ippon (一本) for one long thing (a bottle of beer for example).


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

A very similar thing happens with 二 in that is becomes ふたつ. Just something to get used to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessica525981

What is the function of "ga" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

が here functions as the "subject particle". It tells us that テーブルis what does the verb, in this case "to exist (=あります) as three items (=三つ)".


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

Can we use desu here?


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

Why can't it be 'テーブルみっつがあります' ?


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

I'm pretty sure that's because が is the subject particle so it has to be directly attatched to the subject in the sentence, which is テーブル


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

Yes! I'm not great at Japanese so correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to put が right after the sentence. The number, however, can move...you can say 三つのテーブル, or you can put 三つ directly before the verb like 三つあります。


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

I switched this around and put " 三つテーブルがあります。" Duolingo told me I was still correct. Does anyone know if this sentence really does still make sense/sound natural in this order?


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

wondering this too (two years later!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily236127

Why does the word table use katakana instead of hiragana? Is there such a thing as like, a Japanese style table that there's a different word for? And then does テーブル refer specifically to a Western style table?


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

Borrowed words from english usually get written in katakana I think


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

Why is テーブルが三個あります not accepted? Nor テーブルが三羽あります?


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

個 is usually used for small/round objects
羽 means "feather" and is specifically a counter for birds (and rabbits)

つ is the general counter used for 1-9 objects and 台 is the more specific counter for large furniture such as tables introduced in later skills.


テーブル is a loan word from the English "table" so it is written in katakana. This is a general word for all tables but also used to refer to western-style tables. There are many different words for more specific types of more traditional Japanese-style tables.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaurDL
  • 1520

Why isn't this sentence acceptable if you leave out "ga"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I would say it should be acceptable, particularly in speech, even if it's not exactly grammatical, but it feels strange to omit が as a particle in general. In many cases, you would include が if you need to clarify the subject, or the agent, doing the verb. If it was already obvious from previous context that you were talking about tables, you wouldn't just omit が, but テーブル as well.


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

A little bit confused here. I just learned on the other lesson that 'There are two birds' is translated as 'Tori ga ni wa imasu'

Why does this sentence use 'mitsu' instead of 'san'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Japanese has a rather frustrating (for beginners) habit of having irregular pronunciations, and their counting system is no exception.

First, you have to realize that when you're counting birds, you need to use a different word (羽, pronounced わ) from when you're counting tables (usually 台, pronounced だい). Most of these cover a category of similar things; 人 (にん) is for people, 本 (ほん) is for long cylindrical things, 日 (か) is for days, etc. There are loads of them, and many are not commonly used anymore, so there's another counting word, つ, which is used as a general counter if you don't know the specific word for the thing you're counting.

So, in the other lesson, わ was the counter and in this one, つ is the counter. Each counting word has its own irregularities (which I won't go into here), but in general, they fall into two types: counters that follow the Chinese-derived pronunciations (ichi, ni, san, etc.) and ones that follow the traditional Japanese pronunciation (hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, etc.) As you can probably guess, わ is the first type, while つ is the second type.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chantal201940

When do you say ga and wa?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Oh boy, this would be a very, very long answer... which many others on the internet have definitely already written much more eloquently than I could, so I will recommend you do some of your own research for this one.

As a person with little formal Japanese education, I would also suggest just ignoring it for now, and trying to get a feel for it by (critically) listening to as many native speakers in as many different situations as you can. But, I'm keenly aware that that's not a very satisfying answer f(^_^;


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dd0502

why is 三つのテーブルがあります wrong?


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

same here, why is 三つのテーブルがあります wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

It shouldn't be. It's perhaps not the most natural phrasing, but there's nothing grammatically wrong I think. Report it for the course developers to fix :)


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

Why does 三つ sound like mitsu not santsu


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

In counting, it is "ichi, ni, san, shi, go...", but when used as a counter it is "hitotsu, futatsu, mitsu, yotsu, itsutsu..."


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

I'm just happy there's not a special counter for tables, lol. Or if there is, I'm guessing it's not uncommon to just use the general-purpose counter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Welp, actually, there is a specific counter for tables/desks (台【だい】- also used for vehicles and computers). I don't know why Duo decided not to teach it, but it is fairly common to use it. As you say you though, it's not uncommon to use the general counter for tables.


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

I accidentally left my answer in hiragana (てーぶる) instead of テーブル and it marked me wrong. C'mon, can't you cut me some slack?


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

Suddenly three is no longer さん but something like みつ which I thought meant "water"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Firstly, "water" is み mizu, not みっつ mittsu.

As for why 三 is not pronounced san:

[responding to why 三 is not pronounced san, even though "There are two birds" used ni for 二 in an earlier exercise] Japanese has a rather frustrating (for beginners) habit of having irregular pronunciations, and their counting system is no exception.

First, you have to realize that when you're counting birds, you need to use a different word (羽, pronounced わ) from when you're counting tables (usually 台, pronounced だい). Most of these cover a category of similar things; 人 (にん) is for people, 本 (ほん) is for long cylindrical things, 日 (か) is for days, etc. There are loads of them, and many are not commonly used anymore, so there's another counting word, つ, which is used as a general counter if you don't know the specific word for the thing you're counting.

So, in the other lesson, わ was the counter and in this one, つ is the counter. Each counting word has its own irregularities (which I won't go into here), but in general, they fall into two types: counters that follow the Chinese-derived pronunciations (ichi, ni, san, etc.) and ones that follow the traditional Japanese pronunciation (hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, etc.) As you can probably guess, わ is the first type, while つ is the second type.


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

This is mostly a helpful explanation, in my view, but it does contain one serious misconception that I suspect will mislead learners into a gross misunderstanding of the Japanese language.

To characterise the distinction between the Chinese number set and the indigenous Japanese number set as a matter of "irregular pronunciation" is the wrong way to think about it. The Chinese numbers and the Japanese numbers are different words altogether, not different ways of pronouncing the same words.

I like to think of it as analogous to the distinction between "twelve" and "dozen" in English. If you were to tell someone just learning English that you'd bought a bag of "a dozen doughnuts", and they queried the word "dozen", you'd be unwise to reply, "Oh, that's just how we pronounce the word 'twelve' sometimes when we are talking about doughnuts." It would send them on a wild goose chase, looking for a connection between the words that just wasn't there.

In this situation, I think it is far better to explain that there are several different sequences of counting words; that the counting words in some of these sequences are derived from Chinese words and in others from indigenous Japanese words; but that when written, they use the same kanji to indicate the number, regardless of whether the words are Chinese or Japanese in origin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FernandoPe596028

Is there no counter in here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

つ is the counter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felix315091

How do you write table in Japanese with Android keyboard?? I only copied "テーブル" with the "ー" from Google translate, but I can't find the dash ("Choonpu?) on my keyboard...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

If you're talking about a flick input like this, the dash can be found by flicking the わ key to the right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JSnow20

Shouldn't テーブルが3卓あります work?

Or if not could someone please explain why? Thx : )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

No, it shouldn't. The correct counter for tables is 台【だい】or つ (the generic counter).

I've only ever seen 卓 commonly used in 卓球【たっきゅう】(table tennis) and 電卓【でんたく】(calculator, for some reason...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abhijit553486

Is it arimasu is for "there is" sentences ?


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

Yes...for things/ plants. And for animals/ people, it will be "います".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler806661

How does san translate to mi(ttsu)?

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