1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "There is a yard."

"There is a yard."


June 9, 2017



Why is が used here instead of は?


An ~あります (inanimate objects) or ~いります(animate objects) sentence simply requires a が instead of a は. It's a grammar rule.


What if you're responding to the question 庭がありますか?Since you're saying 庭 as part of context to the question, would it still be okay to say はい、庭はあります。?


Yes, however since the subject is known by both parties. You can just simplify and respond as はい、あります。You both know you are talking about the yard. However, はい、庭はあります。would still be accepted just the same.



→ In this exercise, there is a は instead. Why ?


I think you are having trouble with understanding the job of a particle, their job is not to mark a verb, is to mark words that affect the verb in one way or another.


「家は」"speaking of the house", は marks 家 as a topic.

「ここに」"in the direction of here" に marks ここ as the location of existence, or destination where the action of "being" happens.

for「学校は・日本に・あります」the same happens

あります・ある, in this case, means to exists, to be located somewhere, the rest is giving you context to what exists and where.

You use the topic to state the context of what you are talking about「学校は」and you use に to express the location of where it exists「日本に」

In these cases like「ペンがあります」"I have a pen" or "there is a pen", ある means "exists" or "possess" and you can identify this by the が particle, ペンが tells you that the "be-er" is pen, that's why sometimes they call が a subject marker, but I don't agree with that explanation because it works differently from English.

If you understand what the particles do, you understand all Japanese. But easier said than done I guess.


I was replying to Nick566430’s comment : An ~あります (inanimate objects) or ~いります(animate objects) sentence simply requires a が instead of a は. It's a grammar rule.

The thing I don’t understand is that DL seems to refuse these two types of sentences :

1 → noun + あります

2 → noun + location に + あります

1. 庭はあります。 It could mean « speaking of the garden, it exists. » It makes sense to me. Yet, DL doesn’t like it. Maybe it’s simply the grammar rule that I have to remember specifically for the verbs あります / います.

2. 庭がそこにあります。 It could mean that the « be-er » is the garden, and that it exists. Where ? « そこに » Once again, it kind of makes sense to me. Yet, it's wrong. And it contradicts the grammar rule above (あります → always が)

I understand why 庭あります and 庭そこにあります are correct. That’s ok. But I have no idea why は and が could not be used in both sentences… So far, I could use both for almost every sentence when refering to the subject (depends if the « be-er » or « do-er » was already known or not). For some reason, it’s not the case for those examples. And considering 庭 as the topic (speaking of...) or the « be-er » looks good to me for both sentences…


sentence simply requires a が instead of a は. It's a grammar rule.

This is wrong but has some truth to it. The usage of が in this particular sentence is needed because of the nature of the sentence, not because is a grammatical rule.

Both sentences are correct in Japanese (the one with は and the one with が), but you cannot neglect their meaning, nuance, and difference.

There is a concept of contrast in は and there is a bunch of similar usages that you need to learn.

In「庭があります」you already know what it means, but you don't know that が is expected here because you are just describing the existence of the "be-er", and this is marked by が which is a case marker particle (が always exists but sometimes is omitted),

if you use は there, then a contrast is made, this is called contrastive は。「庭はあります」means "there is a yard (in contrast with other things that could be there)", or like you yourself translated it "speaking of the garden, it exists (but not other things that could exist)".

In「庭はそこにあります」you are saying "speaking of the yard, it is there", you are using は to add context to what you want to say, if the listener asked you beforehand「庭はどこですか?」"where is the yard?"...then you can simply ignore this contextual part and say「そこにあります」"it is there".

You see then that は is expected when you are only giving context, but if you use が where は is expected, then you end up making emphasis on the word 庭 and「庭がそこにあります」can be translated to "it is the yard that is there" and this sounds more like a clarification than just neutral information.

As a general rule, the neutral は throws the focus to the rest of the sentence, in「庭は→そこにあります」the important part is that "it is there" and the rest is context, the yard is only something you want to say something about, it's not the important part.

And when が is used the important part is the word that is being marked by it, the focus is thrown into that word like in「庭が←あります」"a yard exists", because you are telling this person new information, which you consider important enough to mention it, so you use が to emphasis that a yard is a thing that exists.

If you don't understand all of this right away, don't worry about it, complete books about は・が have been made. You need to acquire their usage by seeing more examples, that's all. There are more explanations by me and other people that already have a good grasp on it in the more advanced threads, so just ask around in the forums if you don't understand something.


It seems easy when you explain it, yet I feel like it's not the last time I make this mistake ^^

Thank you SO MUCH for your answers, and your patience.


Wow! Thanks a lot that really helped!


It's います, not いります


I guess います is for living things.


Do you mean います for animate objects?


What is the GA? I could've sworn on an earlier question it translated the sentence without GA to the exact same meaning..


が Is a subject marker


I think ga is the object marker particle. I also missed it on this question :/


"wo" is the object marker; "ga" is for existentials.


が is the topic marker.


The sentence states that there is in fact a yard. Not the yard is there(preposition)


Why there is no "asoko"?


In this case "there is a yard" means that the place they're talking about has a yard. At first I was also thinking about the other use of "there" (over there), which made me confused as well.


It's the difference between there and over there One is within sight the other is further than the seeable distance


Would "そこににわはあります" be acceptable for "As fort he yard, it is over there"?


Yes, you could say that but don't foeget to change は to が in an <sub>あります/</sub>いります sentence.


why にわがいます is wrong


います is used for living things. Inanimate objects or things use あります. I believe that is the general rule, not sure if there would be exceptions.

So 猫(ねこ)がいます = there is a cat

And 窓(まど)があります = there is a window.

If I'm wrong on any of this hopefully someone will correct me for you haha. I'm not sure if you said "庭(にわ)がいます" would imply the yard is alive, or if it would just be grammatically incorrect.

Luckily a native Japanese speaker would probably understand you either way, so no big deal! Just keep practicing :)


As far as I can find on Google you're right. I also found this post on stackexchange where there are some interesting examples: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/6253/%E3%81%84%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-and-%E3%81%82%E3%82%8A%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-usage

To me the two most interesting ones are these:

ロボットがいます。 if it looks like it has a mind of its own. And ロボットがあります。 if it is an industrial robot without a mind.

車がいます。 if it is being driven by a human. And 車があります。 when we talk about cars in general.


That is super cool! And confirmed my suspicions of using います with inanimate objects correctly. Thank you for expanding on that!


Isn't a yard alive?


I used "そこにわがあります" and it told me I used the wrong word? The answer came up with "そこに庭があります。" yet the only remaining words I could use were いくつ, ちょうど and あそこ.. If you're going to make us use the kanji then you might want to actually add it into the list of selectable words..


You can't say それにわ. The word それ entirely replaces the noun you're using it for. If you want to say "that yard" (which is not the case in this example anyway), it would have to be そのにわ. If you use one of the ~れ words (それ, これ, あれ, どれ), you have to use it by itself to fully replace the noun. If you want to also use the noun to clarify exactly what you're talking about, you have to use one of the ~の words instead (その, この, あの, どの).

The correct translation it wanted is にわがあります. As you can see based on the answer you tried to give, you were provided with all of these choices as boxes.

The translation it gave you (with the unfamiliar kanji) is more for people who type their own answers. The duo algorithm tends to find the closest acceptable answer to what people enter, assume that's what they meant, and then correct them accordingly. For reference, in the answer it provided you, 庭 is にわ and the に provided in the answer is being used as a particle. As you can see, what you typed is actually very close to what Duo provided, you're just missing a second に to go with your わ (which would transform it into 庭). So instead of correcting your answer all the way to にわがあります, which you were many characters off from, it instead thought you meant to type そこににわがあります, which you were only 1 character off from.


I said niwa ga soko arimas - is that wrong?


I feel like there is indeed something wrong with it. It is nothing more than a feeling, but I think there should be something between 'soko' and 'arimasu'.

Besides that, there is a clear reason why this answer is wrong here. You should translate "There is a yard". This sentense just confirms the existance of a yard somewhere. If "niwa ga soko arimasu" is gramatically correct, then it would translate to "There is a yard over there", which does more than just imply that there is a yard somewhere.

I just see that you asked this a year ago.. But hopefully someone else might benefit from this.. xD


Why is にわごそこです not accepted?


shouldn't it be "にわ は あそこ が あります"? I'm still learning though, so I could be wrong, or we could both be right. (ignore the spaces. I just prefer them for readability)


Isn't 庭はあれです also correct? (niwa wa are desu?)


Wow I misread! Aridesu ありです would be incorrect just in general. You've confused あります (there is) and です (it is) and combined them! Silly me.

But the subject marker was also incorrect


Hi John, in the case of statements ending with our verb あります arimasu we always use が ga, as a general grammar rule. My source is a previous comment in this thread - so you can definitely look it up to be sure!

Now, when asking in a question form you would replace the が with は, (庭はありますか?) again this would be a grammar rule (I believe) however when speaking with a native speaker they would probably get what you meant to say.

I believe it boils down to context what is known. If you are saying 庭があります the が particle marks the subject as new information to the listener, however in a question form we would use は as the information is known to the listener and we are inquiring as to whether or not it exists.

If this is confusing I can try to elaborate more, or if I am mistaken or missing something hopefully someone can expand on the subject! Particles are confusing


Why do you need が?


Could someone please tell me why it is あります and not います? What is the difference?


庭があります。 (there is a yard)
Use あります for inanimate things.

犬がいます。 (there is a dog)
Use います for animate things (people and animals)

If we were to say "there is a dog in the yard", we should phrase it like this:
The dog is the one that exists in the yard, so you should use います. Breaking it down, it goes like this:

LOCATION + に + ANIMATE THING + います == There is a/an ANIMATE THING in the LOCATION.

I hope it clarifies.


why just "が" and not "がい"?


Would there be any difference if I said: にわはあります, instead of にわがあります?


Wouldnt niwa ga arimasu mean it is a yard?

[deactivated user]

    「庭です」It is a yard / I am a yard

    「庭があります」There is a yard



    Because I say it to you it now could mean "you are a yard". But I don't think many people would ever try to say 庭です like that xD


    This one is quite confusing. Especially to those who aren't native English speakers. I thought I had to translate "(over) there is a yard"..


    Honestly, even as a native english speaker, I'm filinding this topic to be surprisingly slippy.


    the word for 'there' worked in the previous sentence but not here.


    Is 庭がそこあります considered as wrong?


    庭はどこです = the yard is over there. Almost the same but i understand now :)


    Really thankful that there are so many kind and patient people in the comments and replies here, after reading through these comments i finally understood the importance of subject-, direction-, action-, etc. -markers and ive been trying to figure those out for months Really, guys, thank you




    にわがありますーit is the yard にわが/ここ/そこ/あそこ/にありまうーThe yard is /here/there/over there




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