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  5. "いいえ、学生ではありません。"

"いいえ、学生ではありません。"

Translation:No, I am not a student.

June 9, 2017

83 Comments


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gko42

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antbeltran0

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mik3lcWl

Naka means in/inside something.

ie no naka = inside home/in home


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1000Suni

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


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

What does gaku alone mean?


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

Learning/study.


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

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


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

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.


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

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


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

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

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


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

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


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

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaurDL
  • 1095

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?


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

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.


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

The "sen" makes the verb negative.


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

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)


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

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


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

*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).


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

Why is "student" written in kanji?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

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.


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

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.


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

I am learning


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

īE, gakkSĒ DEwa aRIMASEn

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


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diegoisaac98

"Dewari masen" it means a negation?


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

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)


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduardAlex13

What does "生" (Sei) Mean alone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

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."


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Song-of-Sunlight

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnavSharon1

Can i say instead: iie, gakusei de janai?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

学生でない


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris.Guillen

Can one say, いいえ、ではありません学生。


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

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"


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V6NqfL52

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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blackhandkitty14

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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    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.


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

    Is it ではありません or じゃありません ?


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

    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).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noitora..X

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neppo3

    What role does "では" have in this sentence?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gengen-456-hay

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


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

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atul802661

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gautam114267

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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glo467000

    what does the "dewa" mean here?


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darius569018

    what is the difference of dewa and desu

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