1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "犬がいます。"

"犬がいます。"

Translation:There is a dog.

June 10, 2017

66 Comments


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

Why not inuga arimasu?


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

Arimasu is for objects, imasu is used for living things


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

You can do 'inu ga arimasu' but it will mean 'i have a dog'


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

No, you can't use "arimasu" with "inu". As Kaffeel said above "arimasu" is for nonliving things and "imasu" is for living things.

See the corrections in this Lang-8 link.


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

'Arimasu' can mean 'be' for nonliving thing, but it can be used ALSO as the verb 'have'

Thou, now when I searched more, more common verb for having/keeping animals is 'kau' 「飼う」

Do you maybe know if I can use 「ある」for having alive things? Because in dictionary 「います」doesn't mean 'have'. I'm just curious.


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

The same rule about living and nonliving applies.

From Maggie-sensei:

Also iru and aru have a meaning of “to have” “to own“

Ex. いい考えがあります。

= Ii kangae ga arimasu.

= I have a good idea.

Ex. 私には弟が二人います。

= Watashi niwa otouto ga futari imasu.

= I have two brothers.


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

Thank You very much! Now I understand :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kay.Oats

"It has a dog"? I don't understand. Is it the particle?


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

If you typed in "It is a dog", you're incorrect (because "it is a dog" would be 犬です in Japanese), and Duo was trying to suggest the closest thing it had in the list of accepted answers.

As for why "It has a dog" is correct, note that the sentence here literally means "a dog (=犬が) exists(=います)". You'll also notice that there is no topic particle は in this sentence, meaning the topic has been omitted and can therefore be implied.

If you include それ as the generic pronoun for "it", the sentence becomes 「それは犬がいます」 which is literally "as for that (=それは), a dog (=犬が) exists (=います)." If you think about what it means for a dog to exist for something, you could say "a dog exists (among its possessions)". In other words, "It has a dog".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juliette780952

So then from "IT has a dog", the sentence can come to mean "I have a dog", in this case anyway, where the topic is still omitted?


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

but DL gave the correct answer as 'It's a dog'


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

"It's" can be a contraction of "it is" or "it has". The fact that a native English speaker would never contract "it has" in this particular situation is probably an error that has been missed by the course creators.


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

Why not は instead of が?


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

Why is "There is the dog" an answer that is not accepted. There are no obvious indicators of whether "a" or "the" is correct, and I have been unable to figure it out on the google


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

That's a good question. Most of the time we just say "it depends on the context" in a hand-wavy way, and it often does, but in this case, I think there is a subtle yet significant shift in focus in the English sentence when going from "a" to "the".

In "There is a dog", the new information conveyed to the listener is "a dog". It exists, but we don't necessarily know anything specific about it; the fact that it exists is most relevant.

If we say "There is the dog", presumably the listener already has some knowledge that a dog exists, because we're referencing a specific one. The more relevant fact now becomes where the dog is, "there".

In Japanese, this change in meaning isn't so subtle, with "There is the dog" being translated to 犬(あ)そこです。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

Probably because neither この/その/あの nor は is used here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dayan494708

I thought dog was いぬ


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

It is, the kanji for いぬ is 犬. As far as I know, it is typically written in kanji to avoid confusion.


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

Something wrong with "there exists a dog"?


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

It sounds a bit strange to me (US English speaker). "There is a dog" or "a dog exists" sounds better to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler197

Could someone explain why "犬がいます“ needs the "が" particle but "犬です” does not?


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

います is a verb, but です is something called a "copula" that acts like our English verb "to be".

In general, です needs to attach to a noun or adjective directly and you would not put a particle directly in front of it.

犬です。 (inu desu)

(It's) a dog.

大きいです。(ookii desu)

It's big.

Regular Japanese verbs like います require particles to show the relationship between the words in a sentence.

犬がいます。(inu ga imasu)

A dog exists. / There is a dog.

The が marks the subject of the sentence. In this case it tells us that the thing that exists is a dog.


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

um... I typed "It is a dog"; and got "You used the wrong word. Correct: It's a dog."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BigNerd900

Could you also use this when you say "I have a dog"?


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

You certainly can, but it's more specific to say 犬を飼っています (inu o katte imasu).


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

For what it's worth, I put that as my answer and it was marked correct.


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

I input "it is a dog", and got "Incorrect. Correct Answer is: It's a dog". I mean...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

As JoshuaLore9 already pointed out, "It is a dog" would be "犬です" and the "it's" in the correct answer is a contraction of "it has", not of "it is".


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

I just tried "I have a dog" and I got it right. I mean, what is it? In what context would this phrase be really used? There is a dog / I have a dog are pretty different sentences.


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

So, Japanese is a very context-dependent language. This phrase really is used in contexts where it means "There is a dog", and in other contexts where it means "I have a dog", AND in other contexts where it means "Dogs exist", AND ... well, hopefully you get my point.

Consider it this way. If someone asked you, "Do you have any pets?" and you answered "Well, there's a dog in my house", in English, you'd be thought of as a smartarse, but the point would get across: you own a dog. In Japanese, the point gets across, and you sound like a normal person because that's kind of how Japanese people prefer to communicate (indirectly, I mean, not like smartarses).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chechel.ma

And I don't understand why with me it keep showing me the correct answer is "He's a dog"


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

It depends on what your "incorrect" answer was; Duo tries to show you the "closest" "correct" answer to that. I suspect that "He's a dog" is in the bank of correct answers for much the same reason "It's a dog" is, which I've discussed at length on other comments already; check them out!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diamond-MX

I responded "There is a good dog" and it marked me as incorrect. What is it trying to say about this dog?


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

It's saying the dog exists.

犬 (inu) - dog

が (ga) - particle that marks the subject

います (imasu) - verb meaning that something exists, usually translated as "there is"

"There is a dog."


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

What is ga used for in this sentence?


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

In this sentence, が is behaving as the subject particle, which means that it indicates "the thing that does the verb".

Because particles are postpositions, unlike the prepositions we're used to in English, が points at 犬 and says "a dog does it" or "a dog will do it". The "it" here is the verb, います, so the sentence becomes "a dog (=犬が) does exist (=います)" or in normal English, "there is a dog."


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

And why not a は instead?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barry560088

From JoshuaLore9--"It's" can be a contraction of "it is" or "it has". The fact that a native English speaker would never contract "it has" in this particular situation is probably an error that has been missed by the course creators." I agree and have reported this although it probably won't do any good.


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

I think "Soko ga inu imasu." is a more accurate way to say "There is a dog." "Inu ga imasu.", is vague. Is the dog here or there? Is the speaker holding a picture of a dog and teaching 1-year old baby what a dog looks like by pointing to it and saying "Inu ga imasu."?


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

If you're thinking of "there" as a location like "here", then you're right. But Duolingo is using the existential there. Saying "there is" in that respect means that you are saying that something exists, rather than indicating its location, which is the same as the Japanese sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DON-SA-20

Why it's not "I have a dog" instead of "There is a dog" ?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John863934

In the right context, it could be. Also he has a dog, it has a dog, they have a dog, etc...


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

How do you know whether the dog is singular or plural?


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

It can be either. "There is a dog" or "there are dogs" should both be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milo571008

how come this sentence doesn't require a counter? in another question, duo won't accept "猫がいます" for "there is a cat," and instead asks for "猫が一匹います" ... so when is the small animal counter required?


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

The counter is only needed if you need to specify the number. Your answer should have been accepted for that other sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaBidw2

There is a very good dog


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

I'm really confused with the use of は and が, when is it appropriate tu use which ?


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

In this particular case, it sounds more appropriate to use が because you are stating new information to the listener, but if you were to use は in these cases, since が is expected, then a contrast appears. The difference goes like this:

「犬がいます」"a dog exists".

「犬はいます」"as for a dog, (it) exist" or "dogs exists (in contrast to other things that could be there)".

For this section of duo, you will find a pattern of は being used for questions and negative sentences, and the use of が for sentences that express new information or describe the state of something (existence, adjective, etc). Obviously, these are not hard rules and you will find exceptions, but it is a good way to get past that initial barrier so you can start seeing the difference of usage in は vs が across the language.

犬はありますか? "are there dogs?" or "do you have dogs?". Question.

犬があります "there is a dog" or "I have a dog". New information.

犬はどこですか? "where are the dogs?". Question.

犬は外です "The dogs are outside". This one might be confusing, but in this case は is passing the focus of the sentence to the important part of the sentence. 外です is what you want to say, while the topic 犬は is there just for context. は in this cases is expected, similar to how sometimes "the" is expected in English.

それは犬じゃないです "that's not a dog". Negative

犬が好きです "I like dogs". Description of a state.


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

And if use 犬がいっぴきいます ? Is this right ?


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

Yes, that should be accepted. The difference is that you are specifying that there is one dog. The number is important.


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

犬がいます - Can it mean "It is a dog" ?


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

No, "it is a dog" is 犬です.


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

How do we pronounce the counters for birds and other animals?


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

For birds and other small animals, the counter is 匹. Depending on the number of animals you want to say, the pronunciation will change slightly. I think this is due to a phenomenon called "rendaku", which is very prevalent in Japanese. Anyways, pronunciations from 1 to 10 are:

  • 【いっぴき
  • 【にひき
  • 【さんびき
  • 【よんひき
  • 【ごひき
  • 【ろっぴき
  • 【ななひき
  • 【はっぴき
  • 【きゅうひき
  • 【じゅっぴき

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

How do you understand whether it's one dog or multiple?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan878586

Shouldn't it be I have a dog?


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

That's a possible translation. JoshuaLore9 gave a good explanation to BrianBleynolds if you check the comments above.


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

When and why do you use が? It says it indicates the subject, but that just confuses me even more...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John863934

"(a/the) Dog(s) [is/are the subject] (of the verb) to exist."
犬[が]います。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janice839933

obviously someone at Duolingo headquarters doesn't realize that it's is a contraction for it is--it means the same thing and should not be marked incorrect.


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

"It is a dog" is not a correct answer for this question. It is suggesting that you say "it has a dog", contracting "it has" to "it's". JoshuaLore has written some good comments about the issue in this thread.

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