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  5. "No, I am not Chinese."

"No, I am not Chinese."


June 9, 2017



いいえ is no

中国人 is a chinese person

で and は are the particles (indicate what the word does in the sentence)

ありません is one whole conjugated word. あります is the positive and ありません is the negative. "ません" is the whole negative ending they just split it into ませ and ん to make sure you are paying attention and understand proper conjugation form

(If anything i said is wrong please forgive me I'm still learning myself)


But what specifically does で indicate?


I think it's best to just think of ではありません as the negative form of です.

です = is/am ではありません = is/am not


Thank you for this. Feel like I got blindsided by the introduction of arimasen.


I've been trying to figure out the role of では in these types of sentences for days and this explanation is the first time I feel like I get it. Thank you!


From reading Reid's post, で and は are 'particles'. Not sure what they mean by that, but Reid did say that those two indicate what the specific word does in a sentence. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it as well.


I think that you can simply learn ではありません as the negative present form of です. However, this has in fact an interpretation in terms of particles https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/1j7qeb/what_does_では_mean_specifically_in_では_ありません/


です is like the abreviation of ではあります?


I don't think it is an abbreviation, but simply different constructions for affirmative and negative forms. According to this Quora thread, people also use ではあります, but in a very particular way. https://www.quora.com/What-is-deha-arimasu-%E3%81%A7%E3%81%AF%E3%81%82%E3%82%8A%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99?srid=2Emm


Same with good morning, おはよう Or おはようございほす☺


で - stating that we are talking about the concept or state of the previous noun

は - stressing the negative at the end

あり - the "adverbial" form of ある "to exist (for inanimates, including concepts, states)"

ませ - the "irrealis" form of ます - used to show respect to the listener

ん - it is transformed from the auxiliary verb ぬ - meaning negative.

So いいえ、(私は)中国人ではありません is saying "I do not exist as a concept of a Chinese person."

I have a more detailed explanation here => https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23146395


How to write chuugokujin


Why do you need both で and は? I thought you can just say "中国人はありません。"


You need it because it's part of the negation of です, the auxiliary verb "to be". In casual speech this would be ではない or じゃない (じゃ = contraction of では), and in polite speech ではありません.

Without で you would be saying something like "there are no Chinese people", and in a rather inpolite way as well, since ある (the basic form of あります) is used only for inanimate/dead objects, not people.


I added watashi and it got marked wrong. Is it wrong to explicitally say it?


Japanese dont say I, we, you very often. It is considered impolite.


So I am not sure about Japanese but I do wonder if it is like Spanish... In Spanish, I and We are often omitted. It is called a tacit subject. In Spanish, the verb conjugation contains the necessary information to deduce the subject.

I am telling you this because while saying "Yo fui a bla bla" in Spanish is correct, it sounds strange and when I ot We is used a lot it sounds repetitive and selfish. A lot of native English speakers tend to do this and I can always tell they are not native speakers. They do this a lot in movies. The script writers dont hire native speakers to revise the lines lol

Anyway, that is besides the point. My main point here is, you will sound like a foreigner if you use watashi and boku a lot. Of course, our thick accents will give us away but we dont need our grammar to be cringe worthy.

Once it is established who you are talking about, dont repeat it. Keep in mind that the context will tell the listener if you are talking about you, him/her or someone else.


It is correct, but I think it can be ommited because it's deduced by context.


I typed "watashi wa" and it let me have it, maybe it's because you omitted wa?


いいえ、私は中国人じゃない was accepted, but not mentioned very frequently. I'm guessing "janai" is the most casual (and least polite) way of negating something


When did you see じゃない? I haven't encountered that so far in the first 8 skills.


Probably by using Google, as I haven't "learned" of using おれ (informal masculine way of saying "I"), but found it out by searching for ways of referring to yourself


yes but unfortunately using iya insteaf of iie is not allowed


I thought "arimasu" was used for animals and inanimate objects, and not ppl. Have I simply got this wrong?


Yes, you are correct. However, this isn't a stand-alone ありません; the では part makes this a negation of です.


How do you know when to use ”ではありません” vs.  ”じゃないです”?


Can someone break this down for me? Especially why there is a ん at the end of it.


The ません part marks it as a sort of negation to whatever is being said. That is why its there.


N means no. Arimasu = exist, arimasen = dont exist.

[deactivated user]

    Why isn't a form of watahshi in this sentence?


    In japanese if you are talking about your action or activity to second person the sentence structure is (object + verb); you(can) omit subject(私 or i). For example: 私 は りんご を 食べる。(i eat apple) can be written as りんご を 食べる。


    First person pronoun is often omitted in this case


    When i was in highschool my japanese teacher taught us じゃありません is this equally valid or is that only for certain dialects?


    is いいえ、ちゆうごくしんではありません wrong ?


    It's very nearly correct, but yes, there are 2 spelling mistakes in there: in the transliteration of 中国人 you wrote "chiyuu-goku-shin" instead of "chuu-goku-jin" (ちゅうごくじん)


    Can this also be "you are not Chinese"?


    It's been a loooooooong time since I took Japanese in college (and only two quarters of it), so forgive me if this is wrong, but...no.

    Pretty sure you'd have to tack "あなた は" at the beginning to indicate that you're talking about 'you', talking about the person to whom you're speaking. "As for you, you are not Chinese," basically.


    Would it be weird to use を in this context as opposed to では. To my understanding the former is used when the topic has been brought up before? The statement, "No I am not Chinese" sounds like its a reply to a statement so wouldnt を work?


    を is a direct object particle. It marks the thing that a transitive verb is acting on. It would not work here as there is no object and no transitive verb in this sentence.
    寿司を食べます・sushi o tabemasu・I eat sushi・Sushi (object) Eat - Sushi is the object that you are doing the action of eating to.

    I think you're thinking of は, wa, the topic particle. This introduces the topic of the sentence. The topic can be omitted if it is known information. In this sentence the person the sentence is about "I/me/myself" is the topic and is the thing being omitted. The full sentence would be 私は中国人ではありません (On the topic of me - I am not Chinese)

    ではありません is the negative form of the copula です, it is the part of the sentence that means "is not"
    Without では, you would only have the negative ありません which means "does not exist"
    中国人はありません would turn it into "Chinese people don't exist" lol


    Is there a reason why

    [ いいえ、私は中国人じないです。]

    doesn't work?


    It's almost correct. You said 「じない」(jinai) when it should be「じゃない」(JAnai)


    How do you spell Chinese in hiragana? I tried a bunch of different variations to get the right kanji but it never popped up (じゅごく、ちゅごく、etc.)


    中国・ちゅうごく・chuugoku is China
    中国人・ちゅうごくじん・chuugokujin for Chinese :)


    I wrote the same but it's show me that i m wrong


    Is "iie, watashi mo chūgokujin dewaarimasen" also correct?


    "mo" means also, so this would be "I am also not chinese."


    いいえ、私わ中国人ではありません。Is it correct as well?


    You have the hiragana "wa" わ there. You need to use the particle "wa"/hiragana "ha" は for the topic marker

    Since you are answering a question it's implied you are speaking about yourself, so it sounds unnatural to use a pronoun 私は, even though grammatically it is fine.


    How and when to use Watashi


    私・わたし・'watashi' is the first-person pronoun "I" or "Me"
    Pronouns are rarely used in Japanese and can usually be implied through context. Only really use pronouns if you need to clarify or add emphasis to who you are talking about, like when changing a topic. If the conversation was previously talking about Maria but you wanted to say something about yourself you would use 私は to change the topic to yourself. That way the listener knows who you are referring to and doesn't think you're still talking about Maria. (This sentence is "No, I am not X" which implies you are answering a question directed towards you so there is no reason to clarify that you are talking about yourself. The listener already assumes you are since you are replying to something they asked you).

    It is similar to how in English we only mention a person's name at the beginning of a paragraph and then refer to them as "he/she/they" the entire rest of the conversation until a new name comes up. Japanese does this to an even greater extent. It would sound unnatural to constantly repeat "I" as if the listener didn't know who you were talking about.


    This would be a good thing to say to my classmates, who keep saying I'm Chinese, though I'm saying "konnichiwa" and "sayounara" (idk if that's correct spelling). They think it's Chinese, but it's Japanese.


    I used いいえ、中国出身ではありません. Why is that incorrect?


    I have also got the same response, but maybe our keyboard is having a problem achipa19senpai. It's typing 'いぇえ' small 'e' instead of large 'e' in the middle.


    中国出身 - from China

    中国人 - Chinese

    They are different. Like if you are from Britain you are not necessarily British.


    The correct answer should be "...私は中国人...". The は particle is missing. Am I right?


    The model answer is いいえ、中国人ではありません。

    To say something about myself, 私は is often not needed in Japanese. It is understood most of the times.


    You got rid off the 私 completely. The model answer was "いいえ、私中国人ではありません。" Thats why Im asking if that は after 私 is not necessary because it is omitted in the model answer. As far as I know, if you use 私, you have to use は as well.


    いいえ、私中国人ではありません。 is not a complete sentence. The は is necessary. In conversations particles can be dropped, but as a beginner, I strongly recommend trying to make every sentence complete.


    This incomplete sentence was accepted for me. I used 私 without that particle は (since I needed it forでは)


    What is the difference between dewa arimasen and ja arimasen?


    When you write, you only write ではありません. When you speak you use じゃないです. じゃありません is a bit more rigid. ではありません can be spoken in a more formal context.


    Why there's no wa after watashi?


    There is no "watashi" (私)


    Can't I write 'いや' bcoz it's been given in the hint??


    いいえ、私は中国人ではありまでん。please tell me is this sentence saying "No, I am not chinese" ... Because this application is starting to... Screw with me by saying this is "incorrect" ... So... You tell me, please...




    You wrote ありまでん (arimaDen) instead of ありません (arimaSen). Otherwise your sentence is correct.


    I wrote:


    Can someone help me understand why this is incorrect?


    I don't see anything wrong, you should probably report this as "my answer should have been accepted"


    I put いや instead of いいえ。 Why is it wrong??


    When am I required to use 私は and when am I not required to use it? Because every time I don't use it (when the sentence starts with "I am" it's wrong.. But when I do use it, it's wrong too. Is there a difference between "I'm" and "I am"? Or am I missing something else? This is very confusing. Can someone explain? Thanks in advance!


    I am not a pro so take this with a grain of salt.

    I don't know what version of Duo you're using but there's no reason you should be penalised for not using it, if the particle following it is は, because it's omitted when it's obvious who you're speaking about (and I've never been penalised for that in the app; if it happens again, feel free to post the answer you gave to make sure it's the only thing wrong in the sentence and if so, report it as "my answer should have been accepted"). As a rule, anything that is obvious from context should be omitted.

    A good rule of thumb is if the sentence is obviously an answer to a question/remark ("are you Chinese?" or "I think kokosnoot is Chinese, right?" for example) like here, then you should omit it as it would sound very unnatural in Japanese. If it's a statement about yourself like "Hi, my name is kokosnoot" or "I am from Berlin" that could be a standalone sentence, then it would really be up to context whether or not using 私は is necessary.

    All in all, I really don't see why you'd be penalised for omitting a 私は because it's very very rarely wrong to omit it in Japanese.

    Hope this helps :)


    Thank you! I'll definitely keep an eye out to make sure everything else is in order (I'm still very new to this haha) But if I understand correctly, if it's obvious that it's about 'me', I should be able to answer without 私は?


    Basically yes. I'd even encourage it as adding a 私は when you're obviously speaking about yourself would sound a bit "me me me look at me" to a native speaker from what I've been told :)


    Haha, yeah, I don't want that. Thanks again, this has been a great help!


    Why duolingo doesn't accept "いや" instead of "いいえ" , is いや wrong?


    Why did I not need は after 私? Why is it not used in the beginning of the sentence? Is it because the は is in the ではありませえん?


    I assume it's because technically, in spoken Japanese, people tend to drop the は so Duo accepts that, but it's more correct to not have a 私は at all in this sentence as it is obviously an answer to a question such as "are you Chinese?", so it's obvious you're talking about yourself.



    Is also accepted


    After reading through some articles I found the meaning of dewa.

    If it is alone in a sentence (preceding the subject) it means "then"

    In this sentence however, dewa implies that this SPECIFIC subject takes the verb, other subjects do not work. It means "I am not Chinese (however I am something else.)" If dewa is used with something like "I do not eat apples" it becomes "I do not eat apples (but I eat something else.)" In another example I read, a sentence like "You can exit via this door" + dewa = "You can exit via this door (but not other doors.)" Hope this clarifies, tell me if it can be clearer.


    Do you have some sources you could link to?


    Is there any rule when to use ja nai des and de wa ari masen? Earlier dl used in sentence im not japanese ja nai des combination.


    They both mean the exact same thing, but there are different levels of politeness. First, じゃ is a contraction of では so it sounds more casual/informal (and should mostly be used orally, I think). Second, when conjugating a verb in general, ない marks a negation in plain form and ません marks a negation in polite form. Overall, you can play around with both:

    ではありません: very formal

    じゃありません: a bit less formal

    ではない(です): informal

    じゃない(です): informal

    I'm not exactly sure about just how formal but I'm fairly sure I correctly ranked them from most formal to least. Also, I'm not sure about the です after ない form but as far as I can tell it's optional and might had a hint of politeness, but from what I've seen, you'd use じゃない on its own when speaking to a friend (e.g. if you're not feeling too good, you might say "元気じゃない…").

    Hope this help, and I invite anyone who might spot a mistake in what I said to correct me if I'm wrong.

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