Translation:It is over there.
Two different contexts:
When talking about a place that physically exists in the vicinity of the speaker and listener, そこ means a place that is near to the listener and far from the speaker. あそこ means a place that is far from both the speaker and the listener.
When talking about a place that is not physically in the vicinity, そこ means a place that has been discussed in the previous conversation. あそこ means a place that is known by both the speaker and the listener, but has not been discussed in the previous conversation.
"Yonder" can also refer to a place that is not physically present to the speaker or listener such as in the sentence, "Iyeh waynnt down yonder yesturday but daye wuz dawg toot'n outta paynut budder crispies," but keep in mind though, that in this case yonder would be spelled with the more informal, "yawndar" spelling.
On the contrary, when referring to future tense, the original spelling remains such as in, "we're fixing to head down yonder 'round come noon o'clawk", still describing a place not physically present.
です is short of であります (no は)
And so あそこであります and あそこにあります mean the same thing.
To translate exactly in English, あそこであります is "[The answer is] over there." あそこにあります is "[It] exists over there." The two answers are literally different but means the same thing as an answer to the question どこにありますか.
です is just a politeness marker, in reality, not a true verb. Strictly speaking, the verb "to be" is two Japanese verbs (actually, a lot more, but these two are the main ones) - ある (在る・有る) and いる (居る). The first is for inanimate objects (not alive), the second for animate objects (living).
Here is a flashcard set I made for these and more learned during this lesson: https://www.cram.com/flashcards/japanese-ko-so-a-do-11471229
I think of it like:
これ. -> Kore -> core -> ones "core" = abs in workout lingo. So is Close to my Core. Or core values, close to my Core.
それ -> Sore ->(as if talking to the other person): "So you...."
or "sorry..." (again, something one might say TO another person).
so, それ "sore" is referencing (something near) the person you're talking to.
あれ- afar - "oh so far away.." ( from us both),or "afar"
"over" there, over and away, Out of reach (for either of us).
(These references all start with a vowel, and imply distance - from everyone in the conversation). Not nearby, considering everyone involved as a single unit.
これ Cool, THIS Really awesome thing ..
ここ HERE near me.
(core HERE by my core)
THIS これ Cool REd thing is ここ HERE by my CoConut Core.
("Sometimes I feel like a nut, Mounds don't"
- Referencing Almond Joy/Mounds coconut candy bar commercials.
I Am the candy bar.
それ So, THAT Really awesome thing ..
そこ So near you THERE, at your loCation.
それ Sorry (sore) THAT thing (SO REally) ..
そこ THERE, So CLOse to you ...
あれ THAT Always ( "always" -> "are") out of reach object ..
あそこ as far as I know (asoko),
[ is] Way OVER THERE A So loCo - (a so co = asoko ), far away place.
あれ THAT out of reach thing ...
あそこ way OVER THERE, (so crazy) far away.
ここ : koko -> core -> near me -> this (これ) thing HERE near me
or THIS Core (like a battery core, or iron core) near my Core (me) -> this apple COre is near my COre -> aka it's HERE = koko = ここ
そこ : soko : THERE is so close to you (So ClOse = So Ko = soko = そこ).
Or, knowing starting with そ.. is going to be in relation to where the other person is (cuz それ, そこ), and knowing the ending
(..こ) is referencing the place/location pronoun
(THIS/THAT/THAT Over There),
It's kind of a natural progression equating
それ THAT (object near person your training to) and
そこ THERE (location near the person your taking to) -> THAT (battery) loCaTion (ca->co->ko)
or "su" (your in Spanish) "loco" (location, as in locomotion) -> su co -> so ko -> soko: そこ: THERE.
Again expanding from above:
( knowing れ ending is REferencing an object THIS one / THAT one) , and こ ending is loCAcation, or loCOmotion to arrive at a place, HERE /THERE)
あれ... (THAT far away object...)
あそこ (...way over THERE)
あ..... are both referencing something far away from both speakers.
.....そこ is THERE, that (location/place)
あぞこ is (way/over there/afar/away from us/at over) THERE, that (location/place) WAy OVER THERE.
(sorry JoshuaLore8, didn't mean to reply directly to you. I Meant to reply to OP.
Your explanation is GREAT.
I just wanted to add some other tricks I employed when FIRST leaning the words - including how they sound, how they are they similar AND how they are different.
Now that I know them, shortcuts like you gave is sufficient to keep them all straight. )
Don't try using all these memory aids together.
Instead, pick one for
- Each Word,
- Proximity Group (near me, near you, far from both/all of us)
- Pronoun Group (this/that/ that over there) VS (here/there/over there)
... Either a mnemonic, sentence, or idea...
that makes sense to you, or is easy to remember.
Whatever help you differentiate 2 that you get confused, or a way to tell remember similar items.
Ignore the rest.
Taken all together, the aids are all over the place. Pick and choose a coherent group catered to your own mind patterns.
I wrote "there is over there" i.e. Is there any pasta? 'There is over there.'
It seems (as a native speaker), in English to be interchangeable in context. It also feels like a more faithful, if somewhat uncommon, translation of the exact words used. Is that wrong? Or is Duolingo just being pedantic?
I guess it gets marked, because that sentence is missing a subject for the English translation and we're translating a formal Japanese one here. Sure, you can omit the subjects in for example imperatives ('[You] Go over there!') and exclamations ('Hey, [you've got a] cute cat!') in English, but we have a statement here and it's in formal speech.
"They are over there" should also work and doesn't rely as heavily on context (just whether it's about singular or plural).
Just my thoughts though, I'm neither an expert nor English native!
This makes sense! The こ words are close to both the speaker and the listener(here,ここ), the そ words are close to the speaker and far from the listener(there,そこ), the あ(over there,あそこ) words are far from both and the ど words are the equivalent of a interrogative or demonstrative pronoun (in this case where,どこ). Is this correct?
Close, but not quite.
- こ is for words close to the speaker; it doesn't matter where the listener is.
- そ is for words close to the listener; by necessity, this also means words far from the speaker, because it would be こ otherwise.
- あ is for words far from both speaker and listener
- ど is for interrogative words, not demonstratives (that's what こ,そ, and あ do)