"There are three chairs."


June 8, 2017



Why are the numbers pronounced differently?

June 8, 2017


In this case the general counter つ is making the pronunciation irregular.

June 11, 2017


They have different pronunciations for different situations.

It's just something you have to memorize.

June 9, 2017


So why can't you write 「いすは三つです。」, what would that mean?

June 9, 2017


I think (take this with a grain of salt) that that would mean just "three chairs" instead of " there are three chairs"

June 9, 2017


But は is a topic marker, and です is a copula. So it would mean "as for [the] chairs, three are", and google translate (not the best source, I know) also translates いすは三つです as "There are three chairs". So if a native speaker or someone with a high JLPT level could clarify, it would be great

June 10, 2017


Grammatically, a copula is used to link or equate two things, ideas, or properties. In English, 'to be' serves this function; in Japanese, its 'desu'.

In English, 'to be' also serves a non-copular role meaning 'to exist' when used with the dummy subject of the verb. In Japanese, this function is served by 'arimasu' and 'imasu' for inanimate and animate objects, respectively.

In general, if one can replace the 'to be' in an English sentence with 'to exist' without it becoming ungrammatical (e.g., "There exist three chairs" here) then 'arimasu' or 'imasu' are used in Japanese.

For further comparison, Spanish has two copula -- 'ser' and 'estar' -- and handles existence with a third construction, 'hay.'

June 20, 2017


I found a good explanation here

"desu is sort of like the english word "is", but it is only used when neither iru/imasu or aru/arimasu are used.

By itself, iru/imasu assert the existance of something that is alive.

aru/arimasu are similar to iru/imasu except the assert the existance of something that is not alive.

The number one rule in Japanese is that you should not learn the meaning of Japanese words by trying to put an English word to them. Instead, you should learn them by trying to put situations to them. Here's some situations, and which word you would use in each one.

That book is blue. --- desu

That book is here. --- arimasu

He is here. --- imasu"

June 20, 2017


It wouldn't be wrong, just keep in mind that ga is to subject and ha(wa) for topic...

June 13, 2017


There are two verbs [desu] which means to be (I am, it is) and [arimasu] which is to be somewhere (I am here, there are three chairs{here}) It's like in spanish (ser y estar) in english we just have the verb "to be" which covers both. Hopefully that is helpful to someone.

July 3, 2017


[Desu] is not a verb, it is a prefix of politeness.

January 13, 2018


How does one type 三つ using the Microsoft IME?

I can get みつ or 三菱 quite easily but the only way to get the correct answer seems to be to type the latter, delete the last character then input a つ. It's a bit awkward...

October 18, 2017


You want 'mittsu' or みっつ; the first suggestion should be 三つ.

October 19, 2017


Couldn't it be いすが三つであります。as well?

November 8, 2017


[Desu] is not a verb, it is a prefix of politeness.

January 13, 2018


not here

January 13, 2018


how come it's が instead of は? I'm having trouble understanding this, much like many English speakers, it seems. Cheers.

March 2, 2018


What's the difference between いますand あります? Are they interchangeable?

March 25, 2018


います is used to indicate the existence of animate objects (people, animals, plants) and あります is used for inanimate objects.

April 10, 2018


Wait so '三つのいす' isn't correct as well? That's how I've always leaned to count things...

April 4, 2018



June 24, 2018


Wait is chair pronounced "is" or "isu"?

June 12, 2019
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