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  5. "あなたの後ろにいます。"


Translation:I am behind you.

June 9, 2017



i legit turned around when i realized what it said


Or supportive. I am behind you 100%


The problem is that in that sense, I could say that I am behind you, or I am on your side. Both mean the same. But in terms of position, they mean very different things.


Is this phrase ever used as a supportive phrase in Japanese, like "I'm behind you, I've got your back"? Or is it just used when you are literally behind someone?


I am not a native speaker, but my impression is that usually it's the "I'm beside/next to you" metaphor that's used for the supportive phrase: 「いつも(あなたの)側.傍(そば)にいます 」


Since the phrase contains "います", it's a living creature. So it's alright..maybe not...


Look at this photo, I'm behind you.


And I'll always be watching!


These prepositions get complicated... hope this helps:

あなた - "you" の  - marks possession 後ろ - "behind" に  - marks position います - "exists"

あなたの    ”Your” 後ろ      ”behind" に "at that place" います     ”I exist"

"I exist at your behind" "I am behind you."


I keep translating and getting these correct with "it's" (behind/in front of/etc) and DUO is not making it easy then to understand when it should be I'M behind you or IT'S behind you as those feel like two very different things. Oo....


the subject of the verb should be animate, meaning a person or an animal (or even a ghost...) because of います. if your "it" referred to, let's say, a chair, it would be wrong. the sentence would have been 「あなたの後ろにあります。」


In another conversation / context. Inu wa doko desu ka .. Anata no ushiro ni imasu .


Thanks for making things less creepy


The way I see it, it just depends on what was the previous question.

ー犬はどこにいますか? ーあなたの後ろにいます。

  • Where is the dog?
  • it's behind you.

But remember as a general rule that in Japanese, if it's not stated otherwise and there's no specific context, affirmations are about yourself and questions about who you speak with (indeed, you rarely tell the other one what they had for dinner, nor do you ask them what is the color of your own coat) ;)


It's all about context. It could be interpreted either way it just depends on what you were talking about before


'It' in English can also refer to animals. Humans are always referred to as he/she/etc., where as animals are generaly 'it'. Consider they might be running away from an animal and you screem 'it's behind you', that would be a correct sentence. The context is missing, so either あります and います are plausible


They're not prepositions, they're postpositions. Postpositions are just like prepositions except they go after the noun. It's really more like "I'm in back of you", with の and に playing the same role as "of" and "in" in English, just with a different order


Thank you! Lol, I was ready the original comment going like "Uh, no..., this is all wrong."


Prep or post is not the issue. The japanese language so often leaves out the 'viewer' which is 'me'. Such a sentence would not have been made without other references occuring in previous sentences. The only information in the sentence is 'you', linked to 'behind' and 'exist'. Without a reference to the speaker's position, ambiguity will remain even for the japanese and can easily take it to mean - You are behind me.


I'm sorry, that can't be "you are behind me". the actual sole information we got from the Jpnese sentence is the fact that some animate subject (the speaker themselves, a 3rd person contextually known, an animal also previously mentioned, or some other animate objects) is behind the listener.


In a lot of cases in the absence of a pronoun subect (I, you, she etc), generally the subject will be "I"

Even いるか? followed by いる。, most likely is

Do you want it? (Yes,) I want it.

and is naturally spoken Japanese.

Aさん: 食べる? Bさん: 食べる。


2020.4.24 In the case of this sentence, it's more common to even drop the あなたの and just say


The speaker is saying "I'm behind you."

The listener is thinking "There's some behind me."

You can't be behind yourself!


*someone behind me


This is very helpful, but your use of の is incorrect here. In this case it means that a position or location is about to be given. So, the sentence translates roughly as:

あなた - you の - position indicator 後ろ - behind に - location indicator (specially, a location where something exists, not where something is occurring) います - exists (understood to be I/watashi since no other subject is given)

So that comes out as

You ---Position regarding topic (you) about to be announced--- Behind (you) ---What is at the location (behind you) is about to be announced--- I exist (behind you)

The use of particles is blowing my mind, and i keep referencing back to this page to make sense of it: https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/arimasu-imasu-existence.html

To be clear, normally, の indicates possession. But not always, like here. Happy learning!


I've heard あなた has a bit of a rude connotation in most contexts and wouldn't typically be used, is that the case with this usage? From what I've seen it's best to avoid あなた altogether... I'm not sure why this isn't done in many learning materials or at least explained better in most...


あなた itself isn't rude, but it would be rude to use a pronoun if you already know the person's name. If you know their name you would always use their name instead. It would be fine if you were speaking to a stranger and needed to clarify who exactly you were talking to (otherwise you would just drop pronouns entirely)


お前はもう死んでいる Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru


Nothing personnel kid


Should be "nothing personal kid" :-)


This phrase is a meme and the misspelling is deliberate; it characterizes the immature and awkward kind of person who says it.


I can't isolate the sound for 後ろ. Can someone spell out the pronounciation? Domo arigato.


うし・ろ → 後ろ Also it is the same kanji for PM in 午後 → ごご、same reading for After ~ ex.: 一年後 → いちねんご、kanji for later 後 → あと、etc... for more info take a dictionary, go to wiktionary or whatever.


I typed "I am behind you.", got marked wrong and it's telling me "We are behind you." is the correct translation. Where did the word we come from? ❤❤❤


Either one should be accepted. The subject isn't specified, so it could be "I am...", "We are...", "He is..." etc.


います instead of あります tells you something living is behind you instead of non living. But that's all it tells us, we don't even get the count from the sentence,so it could be I, or We; or a kitten, or a pack of dogs


Do you really think it means all that and a bag of living rats???

Spoken out of the blue, most Japanese speakers IMHO would say this when they are trying to communicate where their position is relative to the listener.

Aさん: ネコはどこですか? or

Bさん: あなたの後ろにいます。

But that's an answer to a question that set the context.

This is supposedly the context setting sentence.


Another translation that I think is more literal would be: I am at your back (space behind you).


This should be an accepted answer.


Can someone put the hiragana for 'behind'?


Is imasu only used for people, or can it be used for inanimate objects too?


only used for people


can it be used for inanimate objects too?


It is used for all animate nouns. :)


Would it still be considered rude to call some あなた in this context? Is there another way to say this?


I think, anata becomes rude when you say it too much in conversation. It'll start sounding like you're blaming them for something.


Is it considered acceptable in situations in which it is necessary to refer to someone directly? Or is it more polite to use their name? Like 田中さんの後ろ…?


The latter is much politer so preferable.


Thank you! It would seem for practice purposes then, that it would also be better to practice these with names, as it keeps allowing me to translate "it's" (behind/in front of/etc) (which isn't right if we are talking about someone directly in this case, in front of us.)


Would you use it though if you were speaking to that person? Like saying to Tanaka "Oh, I was in queue behind Tanaka (you) yesterday" seems a bit weird.


From what i understand from reading other peoples comments and from watching Japanese shows (so, take with a grain of salt), its not considered weird to refer to someone by their name in situations like that in Japanese. It might be odd in some cases depending on what the sentence is, but i frequently see advice saying when in doubt refer to someone by their name rather than one of the forms of "you".


Yes, I was reading through the comments of the previous translation to use "Anata" and this one to see if anyone would coment on this.

Any native Japanese speaker will tell you to never use Anata because it seems as though you are singling out the person you are speaking to and or placing blame on said person. So its best to never use it and find another way to phrase the sentence, such as using the persons name if you know said persons name.


In cases where you don't know the person's name, I would assume we should use あなたさん, right?


Nope. That is not a good idea.


You've just snuck up behind them--I think we've already crossed that line! X)


Name plus san. Dont use anata ever. Unless very close.


My conception of what makes あなた rude is that it implies you don't know the listener's name. It feels okay to use it when you need to refer to someone directly and you really don't know their name, but it is preferable to use their name if you do know it.

  • 1523

Can someone explain difference between "ushiro" and "yoko"?


Ushiro is behind (like in front vs back), Yoko is next to/beside (like in left vs right)


I genuinely dont understand, but what differentiates the sentence from 'you are behind me'?


It is who the "behind" is belonging to
The particle の is used to link nouns, similar to the function of a possessive ('s) or a reflexive "of" in English with the noun before the particle modifying the noun after.
あなたの後ろ - Your behind/ the behind of you
私の後ろ - My behind/ the behind of me

あなたの後ろに - located behind you います - exist
私の後ろに - located behind me います - exist


Welcome back to today's game of; Let's Get Paranoid!


What is anata mean ??


あなた is "you".


Would " I am right behind you" be wrong?


I think that would be too specific? There's probably a different way to say "right behind" as opposed to generally behind.


Would the sentence be the same if the question was: A: 彼はどこですか? B: あなたの後ろにいます。 So, in that sense the same sentence would mean "He is behind you." Am I correct or did I get something wrong?


(に) At (あなたの) your (後ろ) behind (assumed) I (います) am there.

Gotta remember to use that Yoda voice.


Ignore the particles, and you get:

  • I am - います
  • Behind - 後ろ
  • You - あなた

Hope that helps! :-) Remember to reverse your sentences :)


So, if one was taliing to a friend and wanted to say the cafe is behind you." - カフェ は あなた の後ろ に ありま. (Cafe wa anata no shiro ni arimas) "the cafe, behind you, it is" kr sknething like that.


If say あなたの後ろにいます Meaning: it's behind you It (subject - alive), used to say when there is an animal or a ghost

It's rather better to say below to form a statement of I am behind you (私は)あなたの後ろにいています/ I am behind you あなたの後ろは私です I am whom behind you


Could this also be understood as he/she/a pet is behing you? Depending on what the convo is that is already spoken?


Yes. As long as it is animate (because of います), it could work.


I think it's helpful to imagine a "私は" in front of all of these positional questions if the subject is not clearly stated.


Everyone says "creepy" but I only thought of a children's book I've listened to on YouTube.


The call is coming ... from inside the house!


can you write "後ろのあなたにいます" and be correct?

sound to me like this phrase can be written either way but I'm not sure. I also don't know what's the difference between both.


No, the order is significant. Reversing it will usually change the meaning. It might be clearer using a different example, since this one is a bit too abstract already.

私の犬 means "my dog" or "dog of mine" so 私の犬は白い means my dog is white. 犬 is the main noun and 私 is describing it in greater detail by specifying that it is a "dog" that belongs to the category of "mine". If you drop 私の the sentence becomes "dog is white". Same subject, but less specific. But if you reverse the order, the sentence changes - 犬の私は白い. This sentence is weird gibberish. If you drop the "犬の" it would be "I am white". The dog is no longer the main noun. 犬の私 isn't proper Japanese, but it implies "dog self" or something like that. Maybe the speaker is a werewolf or furry?

Now let's look at a more complicated example: 私の姉の学校の友達. Do you know what this means? 私の姉 means "my sister" and 学校の友達 means "school friend" or "friend from school". So 私の姉の学校の友達 is "my sister's school friend". Notice that 私の姉の学校 is all describing 友達 in greater detail. If you change the order, it means something else. For example 私の友達の姉の学校 would be "my friend's sister's school", which is quite a bit different.

If you are unsure of the proper order, remember that the last noun is always the main one, just like the final verb is the main verb in a Japanese sentence. If you are composing the sentence yourself, stop and think about what you are trying to say. Are you talking about a friend (who is from school) or are you talking about a school (that your friend attends).

学校の友達 or 友達の学校?


thanks for this comment, my question is more focused into trying to understand how particles works in general and how the order of particle can be flexible, but you helped me clear some things out.

Now I'm guessing that in general when you read japanese with particles, the particle after a word is kinda of like part of that word, example like you said: 私の implies "my" and you can see both kanji+kana(の) as one word, or 学校の友だち ["school's friend"] can be seen as 学校の 友だち while reading it, am I correct? I'm asking how does people usually mentally read these, I wanna make sure I'm doing the pauses in my speaking at the right times.

Also let me rephrase my last question now, maybe this way I can clear something that's on my mind about order...

Can you say for example "後ろにあなたのいます"? I'm already guessing no, but I want to know if this is because of the の particle or because or something else, I'm almost sure I've seen weird movements of particle like this but with another ones like は/が and で.

Anyways, thanks for that comment, was very helpful.


Yes, you can think of the particle as being a part of the word. When native speakers talk, they generally do not put a space or pause between the word and the particle that comes after it. The same is true with the Japanese copula (desu/da). Conversationally, it tends to flow with the speech and gets parsed almost like a single conjugated word instead of two separate words. It is important to take note of which particle follows which word in the sentence, because with Japanese, the particles are vital to understanding the grammatical structure of the sentence.

In English, the order of the words gives you strong clues about the subject, object, and verb in the sentence. In the sentence, "John ate the apple" we know that John is doing the action, because he comes first. If the order is reversed, "The apple ate John." then the grammatical relationships between the words is changed and the apple becomes the subject of the sentence. Now John is getting eaten, instead of doing the eating. Japanese is different. Although there are common sentence patterns in Japanese and word order IS very important in some instances, you can get pretty creative with your organization without messing up the sentence completely. As long as you keep the particles associated with the same words. So to use the same example sentence in Japanese - ジョンがリンゴを食べた。 "John ate an apple". If we reorganize the sentence to move, flipping the position of John and apple, we get リンゴをジョンが食べた。 "John ate the apple." It still means the same thing, because the particles are still associated with the same words. This sentence pattern is less common, but still grammatically correct and carries the same meaning as the other arrangement. The only difference is that it puts a little more emphasis on John. But if we flip the particles around, the whole thing changes. リンゴがジョンを食べた。Now the apple is the subject of the sentence and poor John is being eaten by hungry fruit again.

Okay, enough about apples ... back to your question. Can you say for example "後ろにあなたのいます"? Short answer, no. Longer answer, it depends. This sentence is broken, because you swapped the particles around and that usually changes the meaning and grammar, sometimes in very bad ways. This sentence doesn't really make sense anymore and definitely isn't the same sentence as the original. It says something like "Yours is to the rear." What exactly あなたの is referring to is ambiguous without further context, but the use of います implies it is something animate/alive and 後ろに indicates the location where it is existing is behind or to the rear of something else that is also left unstated. Strange as it might sound, this is technically a reasonable sentence in Japanese. The language tends to leave a lot of things implied and it is up to the listener to work out the full meaning. But without some contextual hints to fill in the blanks, this can lead to more questions than answers.

In terms of this sentence, あなたの後ろ can be thought of as a single unit. In fact, the entire grouping あなたの後ろに could be considered one grammatical "unit" within the larger sentence. In a more complex sentence, you will usually want to work backwards from the verb, finding particles and grouping different "chunks" of the sentence together so you can work out the full grammatical structure and understand the relationships between different key words.

For example, here is another sentence using this same kind of grammar, but a little longer:

(Watashitachi no ie no ushironi niwa ga arimasu.)

庭があります = a garden exists/there is a garden
の後ろに = at the back of (or behind)
私たちの家 = Our house
"There is a garden at the back of our house."

And here's another one:

Watashi wa gekijō de totemo senotakai hito no ushiro ni suwatta.

座った = sat
の後ろに = behind or to the rear of
とても背の高い人 = very tall man (literally "exceedingly high of stature person")
劇場で = at the theater
私は = as for me

"I sat behind a very tall man at the theater."

Hopefully, this helps clear up a few things. Particles (and grammar in general) is a very deep subject. I highly recommend seeking out additional resources. Japanese grammar is fascinating to learn, but very different from English. Good luck!


Pretty good examples, yeah that clears some things up. I also find Japanese very fascinating to learn in general, I hope one day I can easily create some intricate sentences like you just did. For now, I guess I'm gonna have to experiment with things until I get the hang of it.

I will leave this link below here for anyone looking for more info about particle order and sentences structure.



What's the kanji read as?


On its own, it's "ato" but with this sentence, it reads "ushiro"


What would be "you are behind me"? I am a little bit confused with the words spots..

  • 1523


Keep in mind "watashi wa" goes unsaid in the original sentence.


Why can't you say, "I'm in back of you"? Like, "I'm third in line. Where are you?" "I'm in back of you." "


No, you would never say this in English, if you are referring to your position with regard to another person. Always "I'm behind you" or (for example) "I'm three people behind you".

BUT stating your position as it is in the queue (line) or vehicle for example, "back" is the correct word: "I'm at the back of the queue", "I'm at the back of the bus".

To use both together "I'm behind you, at the back of the queue". You're telling your friend two things here: you aren't just behind them, you're also a long way away, at the back!


[Why do Americans say "in back of" rather than <> and we British don't?] http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=17999


I've lived in America my whole life and never heard someone say that who wasn't a British person in a tv show.


2020.5.6 I think that sounds fine. You should report it


Am I wrong in my assumption, that the use for あなた here is a bit feminine? Can someone leave suggestions for more neutral gender or more masculine word.


あなた is already gender neutral. I don’t believe there is a word for “you” that specifies gender.


Can someone explain the difference between 後ろ(ushiro) and 後(ato)? I know they both mean behind but when do we use them correctly?


The primary use of 後ろ is "behind of ~" like in Duo's あなたの後ろ。 Other examples include:

The primary use of 後 is "after (time, period, event, situation). "

After meals, the Japanese say "Gochisousama deshita."

After summer vacation, I will return to school.


Romaji: Anata no USHIRO ni imasu


私はあなたの後ろにいます。 (Watashi wa anata no ushiro ni imasu.)


Couldn't you also switch it in English, saying "Behind you am I"? (which is uncommon, but also expresses the location correctly)


Why is "It's behind of you" wrong? I thought they were talking about pets or something.


It's a bit unrelated but if I say "something is behind you" and I don't know what is it, if it's alive or not. Should I use 「います」 or 「あります」


I am not sure, but I assume following: as something is  何か(なにか)verb, which goes with that is  ある, so default option would be あります. I have lessons today, so I will ask my teacher about it and update my response


後ろ - うしろ


It's so confused. LOL ...bcuz の is a possesive particle but in this sentense not. AAAAAAAAAAAAAA


の is a genitive/grouping particle, which works like a reflexive "of" in English AのB - "A's B" or "B of A"
This is still how it works here
あなたの後ろ - Your behind/The behind of you
That isn't really natural English though, we just say "Behind you"


あなたの feels like it's saying "you are" instead of "I am." This is really confusing.


It's good to remember that の is used to link nouns together into a single noun phrase, so あなたの後ろ is one phrase "behind you" ('the back of you' or 'your behind')
あなた or あなた would be used to talk about "you" as the subject


So is the rough literal translation your behind is where i am?


Exactly what I would say in a game when my friends are trying to locate me




There's no way to know who is behind. That's not real English


Well, it's a Japanese lesson after all.


I really wish they used this in more sentences, it's so easy to forget when there's literally like one translation that uses a word then poof


Can it also mean "I support you"?

  • 1192

You can say like this:


(控えている = waiting, to be in preparation for)

For example:


= Your experts are behind you. (Experts support you.)


Most likely not, because an English phrase like that won't translate too well to Japanese, or most other languages. They have their phrases, we have ours.


Why doesn't "you are in front of me" count as a translation?


後ろ is "behind" and attached to あなた with の. even if your sentence could bear the same meaning, you cannot just toss away words and replace them with others to translate.


Because it's incorrect. If we assume that the speaker is the subject, which is reasonable because no other possible subject is given, then the sentence is saying "I am behind you." It would be one thing if they were equivalent, but they aren't. Their meanings are almost inverted, in fact.

If you told me "I am behind you," that tells me where you are, using information that I already have (my own position and the direction I'm facing.)

If you told me "You are in front of me," that tells me where I am (which I presumably already know,) using information that I don't necessarily have (your position and the direction you're facing.)

Also, you can be behind me without me being in front of you. It just means we're facing away from each other. Similarly, I can be in front of you without you being behind me, which would mean we're facing each other.

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