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  5. "No, there are no pets."

"No, there are no pets."


June 9, 2017



But don't Japanese people say "yes, there are no pets" because they answer negative questions differently to English . "yes, we have no bananas " is a song about this . So if someone asks "are there no pets?" the Japanese answer would be "yes , there are no pets" right ?


Yes, that's correct. But if someone asks, "are there any pets?" and there are none, then you can answer with this sentence.


The way I think it works is like: "Are there pets?" - "No, there are no pets." "Are there no pets?/Aren't there pets?" - "Yes, there are no pets."

From what I remember, the yes/no is in agreement with the question. I could be totally wrong, and would love some additional input, though.


I'm confused. Isn't it "there are not pets" should be "arimasen"? How can it be "imasen?" I thought "imasu" is for "do have" and "imasen" is for "don't have?". Can someone explain this?


Both います and あります can mean "do have", and both いません and ありません can mean "don't have".

The important distinction is the thing you are having or not having. For inanimate objects, e.g. books, food, trees, etc., you need to use あります / ありません. For animate objects, e.g. people, animals, pets, etc., you need to use います / いません.


Sheesh, after drumming it into our heads to use ありません for like 2 years, they suddenly change the course to いません with no explanation, and leaving ambiguity.
Like why bother using one or the other?
I feel confused now, and unsure of what I thought I learned.
ありません is so much clearer to distinguish positive from negative sentences :(.
I guess the language is what it is though.
I mean, why not just reintroduce the topic later on, as alternate constructs, and explain them. Throwing it in already completed and mattered lessons muddies the waters.

Or at least, when changing the program, add a page (or link, in the app) explaining the changes. List the lessons, the changes made, and why.
Boy, that would add a lot of clarity to our minds. And a good heads up, rather than leaving us to question ourselves about everything.

An course update page would be happy, welcoming, prep or minds for learning, and encourage us to soak up the new material.
It could double as "promotional" material, outreach, or advertising with a positive, organic, bent.

But then, they don't like communication at all, so, there's that.

It must be a harsh company to work for. Probably autocratic, clickish, and toxic.

I bet the workers are treated as monkeys, who aren't allowed to give any input/feedback, and their every move is tightly controlled. Must be underpaid, too. Except the few executives/owners at the top.


Duolingo has explained this in the tips section.

And います was introduced in the original tree, not later on in tree 2.0


I'm not confused by います vs あります (in my frustration and rush, I may have written it wrong above, overhanging those 2, without paying attention to which one I started with - I was only focusing on で vs not で, sorry for that).

The change I'm talking about is removing で. Now sometimes the (same/similar) negative sentence sometimes eliminates で.

It's using ... はいません instead of ... ではいません. I don't know why all of a sudden で is sometimes missing in these translations, when it used to always be there. But other times it is there, just as it had always been.
Sometimes two different questions translate the same sentence differently. One question/answer has で, the other does not.

This is what is throwing me off. What's the rhyme/reason for including or eliminating で (in a negative sentence) ? Especially if it's the same sentence.
Why the change?

And this is what I would like a notice of - changing the content like this, with no heads up, or explanation, is disorienting. Adding or improving content is great. But when it changes my "world view" understanding, a sentence or two indicating that change/why would not only allow me to possible learn the new pattern instantly - fitting it into the framework I already have, it would prevent mass confusion, and questioning of all that I learned prior, when scaffolding I learned no longer matches, even though it did before.

I applaud improvements (certainly plenty are needed(. I know it takes time and effort to make changes. There is probably a lot of thought and discussion before implementing. I'm just saying a little heads up and transparency HELPS the learning process. Not doing so actually DISRUPTS it, throws our minds into chaos.


で(は)いません is not taught anywhere in this course (in my memory). You should not see any questions with で together with います/ません. i.e. only は/が/に+います/ません

The confusion should be around はありません vs ではありません. There are a few questions you may have missed - おふろはありません vs おふろではありません. They have completely different meanings. Please check my post with detailed explanation in this page => https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22955090. I think Duolingo has not put in a good explanation around the は vs では, and indeed those questions are throwing a lot more people off.


imasu is for living thing and arimasu is for non living


Why is particle wa used here instead of ga?


to stress the negativeness


Why isn't it ではありません like some other examples, since it's in negative form?


[subject] は [something] ではありません "[subject] is not [something]"

[something] [は/が] ありません/いません "There is not [something]" or "[something] does not exist."


May want to read the comments before asking a question :P JoshuaLore9's comment 2 months prior to when you asked explained the differences between the different forms. What you wrote would apply to inanimate objects, which pets are not. Well, I guess if they're still alive anyway, to get a bit morbid XD

Edit: Whoops, seeing my comment again a few weeks later with a couple downvotes, realized I misread the question; I overlooked the では at the beginning! With that in mind now, to add onto the train of thought I had in my original comment, I don't think you can write ではいません (dewa imasen) because those words don't make sense together. I think ではありません (dewa arimasen) is one of the most polite ways to use the negative form for when the subject isn't something? And I believe the polite negative form of "imasu" simply doesn't have "dewa" before it. Or I'm wrong and this comment ends up racking up more downvotes XD

In any case, ではありません、ありません、and いません have been explained in this comment chain and the one I originally mentioned, so look to those for more info! :D


Those 'wa' and 'ha' are tricky


I think that generally (always?) using は for negatives is just kind of an arbitrary rule that needs memorized at this point. Apparently entire books have been written just on these particles, so I'd guess it might be a thing that even native speakers mess up sometimes.


I don't think は is being used for negatives in particular... It's still being used as it always is, as a topic particle, IIRC. In ペットはいません, you could replace は with "As for..." like "As for pets, I do not have them / there are none."


If you're speaking on は vs が for negatives, it's not arbitrary. Something like ペットがいません would simply be "The are no pets." A basic/simple observation maybe. Whereas ペットはいません puts pets as the topic/focus. So it's more like "Well there aren't any PETS." You're focusing on the pets. The topic is pets. Maybe there's other stuff, but definitely no pets. It's more of a nuance thing than a grammatical thing.


I don't know exactly where I heard this, but I was so sure there was a "de" before the whole sentence. So I would have said "iie, petto de wa imasen". Maybe it is that way because it is used with inanimate object, but could anyone explain that to me?


[subject] は [something] ではありません "[subject] is not [something]"

[something] [は/が] ありません/いません "There is not [something]" or "[something] does not exist."


What is the difference between "imasu" and "arimasu"?


ある and いる both mean "to exist", but ある is used for inanimate objects and いる is used for animated beings like cats or people. The example can be literally translated to "No, pet's don't exist (in the space we are talking about)"


It is not exactly true. いる is used for objects that can move itself, not only animated beings. If it is a band new car with tanks full af gaz,then 車がいる, but if it is a junk truck with bricks instead of wheels then 車がある.


It is more complex than that. Whether we use ある or いる depends on whether we think subjectively the thing can move or not, or we are talking about the movable aspect or not.

If the car full of gas just sits there not moving, we still say 車がある. 私は彼氏がある emphasize I have a boyfriend. 私は彼氏がいる emphasize the boyfriend is there or can move (is a human being).


Why is the word for no the same as the word for house?


It's not: "no" is いいえ while "house" is いえ. Context and pronunciation (vowel length, tone/stress) are used to tell the difference in speech.

But also, homographs are a thing, in both English and Japanese. For example, why is the opposite of "wrong" the same word as the opposite of "left"? Am I right? :v


can ”違う、これはペットはいません。” also work for "No, there are no pets."?


Yes-ish... A couple of things to be careful of:

  • Using 違う means that your sentence is refuting the previous sentence, instead of simply providing information. For example, if someone said "I thought there are pets here" and there aren't, you could say 違う because that person was wrong. 違う means "to be wrong/mistaken", after all. If they just asked "Are there any pets", using 違う makes you sound very... mean, sort of implying that they were wrong to even ask the question.
  • Also, 違う is a plain form verb and would be the main verb of its sentence (yeah, your suggestion is actually kind of two sentences joined together). The issue here is that the next sentence uses いません which is a polite form verb. Switching between politeness levels like this tends to be quite jarring and unnatural; you would either use polite forms 違います and いません or switch to plain forms 違う and いない .
  • これは doesn't really fit here, and it's not accounted for in the translation. It would only make sense if you were outside (but near to) the place that doesn't have any pets because これ means you are referring to an object. For (a slightly morbid) example, if a child excitedly runs up to the fish tanks common in Chinese restaurants saying the restaurant has pet fish, you could refer to the tanks as これ. It depends on the context, but ここ, referring to "this location", would probably be more common than これ.


Why is it sometimes はい and other times just は after a noun?


Hello, i thought that for existensials, we use ga instead of ha?


が is used for introducing new or important information. Since this sentence is answering a question ("Do you have any pets?"), "pets" is already known information there is no reason to emphasize it and it becomes the overall topic of the conversation.


What?? I'm pretty sure "いええ、そこは ペットいません" should be a correct answer.


そこ is "there" as a location noun in English, but the "there" here is being used as a pointer of existence to normalize it to English.

read the "There Usage" section of this article if you are still in doubt.


そこはペットがいません would be "there are not pets there"


Also, "no" is いいえ, not いええ.

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