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  5. "いいえ、学生ではありません。"


Translation:No, I am not a student.

June 9, 2017



For those wondering, ではありません is essentially a longer, more formal way of saying じゃない, the two are interchangable


To expand a bit more, according to Genki, noun + じゃないです is more informal in speech.


Should I already have some Kanji memorized? Doesn't seem very helpful to match characters that don't necessarily represent specific sounds to sounds in a language I obviously don't know. For example, 中 seems to either sound like "naka" or "chu" depending on what it's combined with but I still don't know what it actually means on its own even though I get the answers right.


Naka means in/inside something.

ie no naka = inside home/in home


中 can also mean "middle", as in 中国 = middle kingdom ;)


Maybe look into getting a genki textbook, wanikani or just making a flashcard deck on anki.


What does gaku alone mean?




How come the Chinese characters are pronounced differently if they are together or individual?


Long story short, most kanji have two readings, onyomi and kunyomi. One is the chinese reading and the other is the japanese reading.

Correct me if im wrong, someone, but i believe you use the chinese reading in words with only kanji, and japanese reading when used alone or with hiragana.


Generally speaking that's true, but there are exceptions.


Would I be correct in saying that the presence of で is what differentiates "No, I am not a student" from "No, there are no students" or is there something else that I'm not getting?


Yes. で in ではありません makes the sentence a fact rather than stating an existence. p.s. 学生はいません instead of ありません


Is there a fundamental component that differentiates this between "No, I am not a student" and "No, the aren't any students (here)"?


Yes, there are two main reasons I can think of. The first, as I said in an earlier comment, is because ではありません is the polite present negative tense of です which makes its function fundamentally different from just ありません (which is a conjugation of ある "to exist", which only applies to inanimate objects).

The second is that 学生 behaves as the object in "No, I'm not a student", but it's the subject in "No, there aren't any students", so it would require a different particle.

"No, I'm not a student" = 「いいえ、(私は)学生ではありません」 literally "no, (as for me) student am not"

"No, there aren't any students (here)" = 「いいえ、(ここに)学生はいません」 literally "no, (here) as for students, don't exist" (いません is "to exist" for animate objects)

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You're very informative Joshua. You're currently my favorite commenter and the first person I look for.

I'd like some further elaboration if you will.

Could you give me a simple "dummy" example for remembering when to use "wa" and when "dewa"? Is "dewa" only paired with "arimasen"?

Also, if I'm understanding, you can't use "wa arimasen" for animate objects (apparently it would be "wa imasen"?), but you CAN use "dewa arimasen" for animate objects?


Thank you. I'm glad you find my comments useful :)

I'm not sure if this is the kind of example you were after, but hopefully it'll help:

  • ケーキありません 》"Cake doesn't exist." or "There is no cake."
  • ケーキではありません 》"It is not a cake."

(The cake is a lie ;) )

As for では, it isn't always paired with ありません (or ない, the plain form of it), but it plays a very different role otherwise. This is a bit more of an advanced grammatical structure (so it might be more confusing than helpful at this point), but で is a particle which can be used to indicate the location where something occurs. In order to emphasize that location, it's possible to combine で and the topic particle は. For example, 日本では日本語を話します = "As for (being in) Japan, I speak Japanese", or "When I'm in Japan, I speak Japanese."

Your understanding is absolutely correct. If you're talking about the (non-)existence of animate objects, you would have to use はいません, but when you are describing what an animate object is (not), then you would actually have to use ではありません. (Again, this is fairly advanced so it might be more helpful to ignore the rest of this explanation for now, but) the reason for this is because で is also a particle which indicates the means by which something is done. So, if I said something like 日本人ではありません, it kind of translates to "A state of existence by being a Japanese person doesn't exist (for me)", in other words, "I am not a Japanese person". Because you're now talking about the means of being something or the state that something is in, it doesn't matter whether it was originally animate or not; the conceptual state that it is in is always inanimate.


The "sen" makes the verb negative.


More accurately, to change a verb to its polite negative form, change ます to ません.

When you're not dealing with polite forms, negative verbs end in ない (but there are a bunch of rules about conjugating them properly)


Is this sentence 'では' i used instead of just 'は' why is this? どうも


*In this sentence, では is used instead of just は. Why is this?

^Is that what you mean?

では is used here because it is part of ではありません which is the negative version of です. So basically, it means "is/am not".

If you were to use は, you are now marking the topic as 学生 for the verb ありません which means "doesn't exist" (for inanimate objects). The sentence 「学生はありません」 would mean "There are no students" (except that you can't use ありません for students).


Why is "student" written in kanji?


Japanese is a mixture of kanji, hiragana and katakana. This is probably a word that was originally borrowed from Chinese. Words borrowed from English would be in katakana.


Although all kanji originated from Chinese, katakana is typically reserved for any foreign loanwords, not just English, including from Chinese. シューマイ (Chinese steamed dumplings) and ラーメン (ramen), for example, are Chinese loanwords.


I am learning


Can somone break down the (not am) part of the sentence down phonetically. I know which words they are, but I cannot really hear them well


īE, gakkSĒ DEwa aRIMASEn

(cap letters are high sound and small letters are low sound)


As far as I understand: iee = no; gakusei = student; de wa = I am; arimasen = not. I am also still learning so I encourage you to ask around.


No, “de wa” does not mean “I am”. “de wa arimasen” all together means “am not”, “is not” or “are not”. Japanese runs by context and does not use subjects often, especially, if “I” or “you” are involved. Since a question is being answered, the assumption is that “I” am answering the question. For Duolingo, assume they mean “I am not” and assume questions are “Are you?” Hopefully a subject will be provided for third person questions and answers. It is as if it were egocentric to say “I” all the time and it would feel overemphasized to be used in this sentence. When asking a question, it would even be rude to use “you” in a question if I am talking to you.


"Dewari masen" it means a negation?


Yes, ではありません is the negative version of です so it usually translates to "is/am not".

Be careful with your romaji though. There isn't one correct way to romanize Japanese, but I suggest remembering ではありません as dewa arimasen. It helps to remind you that the "a" sound is re-enunciated. Also, it's easier to see where you can change it when you want to vary the politeness (jya naijya arimasen ~ dewa naidewa arimasen)


The app said, that the correct translation is: 'No, she is not a student' I am a little confused. How do I know that I have to use 'She' I thought it meant: 'No, there is not a student' I would be very grateful for an explanation.


The best translation would be "No, I am not a student" but using "she" is also correct (and the followings ahould also be correct you/he/we/they). However, it cannot mean "there is not a student" because ではありません can never mean "there is." To say "there is not a student," we need to say "学生はいません."


What does "生" (Sei) Mean alone?


It means "life" (as oppose to death 死(し))

In case of 先生(せんせい) 学生(がくせい) 生徒(せいと), 生 means "a living person."


Alone, 生 is pronounced なま and actually means "fresh", "raw", or "unprocessed".


Could someone please explain the concept of a topic particle? I'm struggling to really get my head around it. Also, is では functioning like a topic particle in this sentence or is it just inherently a part of the word ありません? Is there a difference between ありません and ではありません?


The は in ではありません is not a topic marker. It is the contrast marker. Please read the following https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/japanese-particles-wa-ga.html.

As for the difference between ありません and ではありません, Joshua and I have explained it several times already. Is there anything still not clear?


Can i say instead: iie, gakusei de janai?




Just to elaborate on this, the じゃ in じゃない is actually a contraction of では.

So you can say 学生ではない or 学生じゃない, but not 学生 じゃない because that would become 学生 ではない.


Can one say, いいえ、ではありません学生。


No, Japanese sentence structure necessitates that the main verb of the sentence (ではありません) goes last.

Unless, you are saying "no, it's not, you student", in which case 学生さんよ is probably more appropriate(-ly condescending).

[deactivated user]

    Thats a lot of characters to say "not"


    Well, "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (which should be treasured as such)" is a lot of characters to say 一期一会 (いちごいちえ), or "(the serene beauty of) sunlight as it filters though the treetops" for 木漏れ日 (こもれび).

    English and Japanese are just different languages, so you simply can't compare them like that.


    is dewa arimasen is a polite forme and dewa nai is the non formal form ?


    Essentially, yes, though there is the added complication of the spoken form of では. It makes both words slightly less formal than their written counterparts if you use じゃ instead of では.


    When thwy say では, they pronouce it DeWa. Shouldnt it be でわ then?


    No, because in this sentance, wa is a particle (meaning it's not part of a word, it's acting as a particle). Whenever wa is a particle, it's written as ha, but if it's part of a word (take the word watashi or kawaii for example), it is written as wa.


    Some languages are very phonetic and the letter always has the same sound, but, no, sorry, not here. This is spelled correctly and yes that is the correct pronunciation though it is different from the pronunciation of the letter.


    Is it ではありません or じゃありません ?


    It can be either! But generally, じゃ is more common in spoken Japanese and/or more casual language (e.g. じゃない).


    why is this appearing at the end of the sentences " ° "


    The circle at the end of th Duolingo sentence is what the period or full stop looks like in Japanese.


    Not exactly. @Noitora..X wrote the degree symbol "°", which is half-width character written at the top of the line, whereas the Japanese full stop "。" is a full-width character written on the bottom of the line.


    Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough, I meant the one in the Duolingo sentence. I will try to make that clearer.


    Can I use 言いえ instead of いいえ When saying no?


    No, 言い(いい) is a different word altogether.


    What role does "では" have in this sentence?


    で is a particle used to represent the state where the action happens or the concrete state if the verb is a state verb. It translates to "as a state of."

    は is a particle used to represent a contrast or stressing. In this case, it stressed the negative state at the end of the sentence.

    The literal translation: No, (I) do not exist as a state of a student.


    if anyone knows where " not " is in the sentence can you please tell me. i'll like to know


    Japanese doesn't exactly work like English. ではありません is the negative version of です so it usually translates to "is/am not", but it's nonsensical to try to say which part of ではありません means "is/am" and which part means "not".


    Sometimes "は" means wa and sometimes ha, like in "はい". Can anyone explain it. Wa in "ではありません"


    は is pronounced like わ when it is used as a topic marker particle. Correct me if I'm wrong


    How I can memorize kanjis easily when then sound different when combined with other


    Learn the full vocabulary words themselves in context and the meanings of the kanji themselves rather than all of the readings
    Student 学生 is "gakusei", made up of the meanings 学 learning and 生 life. You don't need to overly stress about which kanji makes the "gaku" sound and which makes the "sei" sound. Many kanji have many pronunciations and many words have irregular pronunciations for their kanji. Once you learn more words, the patterns and readings will more easily fall into place.


    what does the "dewa" mean here?


    There is a massive learning gap here, there is a ton of stuff I don't get, am I right?


    what is the difference of dewa and desu

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