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"I live in Kyoto."


June 10, 2017



What is the difference between すんでます and すんでいます?

I accidently left out the い but it was correct. I thought the い is important for the conjugation?


Technically, すんでいます is the correct conjugation, but the い is frequently dropped in speech. I don't know if there are any subtle differences in tone or emphasis with or without the い though...


すんでます/ すんでる is the colloquial form of すんでいます/ すんでいる and can be used in casual conversation. If you use it when you're speaking to teachers or your boss, it might come across as rude or at least as lazy, so I wouldn't recommend that...


Why is the は character not needed here? In other similar sentences, I thought it followed に. For example, I thought this sentence would be written: きょうとにはすんでいます。


This sentence can be written that way too, but the は is not necessary. It can be added to adjust the emphasis in the sentence. For example, you can roughly think of it like:

  • きょうとにはすんでいます = I live in Kyoto.
  • きょうとすんでいます = I live in Kyoto (because the topic isn't specified, you assume it's the speaker).

(Note: this emphasis is mostly to do with topical emphasis, or the importance of things in a conversation; your pacing and tone of voice can do a lot more to convey emotional emphasis.)


Please someone explain it by words.


きょうと =name of city. に = directional partical (to/in). すんでます=living/residing.

Taking these concepts with the default context of yourself, we get. I am living (すんでます) in (に) Kyoto (きょうと).


So I can say... 北海道に住んでます = I live in Hokkaido. Thank you!


Would で instead of に work?


No, because すんでいます is not considered an "action verb" in Japanese (it's only living after all) and で must mark where an action occurs. (See my comment below)


No, "sunde" is a te form of sumu and needs to be in te form since imasu (dictionary form iru) follows it


I think で implies direction, not location. You would use it in the sentence ぎょうとでいきます, i think, but not here.


Mostly correct. Specifically, で is used as a marker for where an action happens. If you are indicating where someone is running, or reading, or working, you use で. に is used to indicate a direction, even if your action does not immediately takr place there. (Such as showing someone where a thing is). Interestingly then. Using いきます, we mark our destination with に, since that's where we're going, but clearly, our action is not taking place there (or we'd have no place to go!) Hope this makes sense.


It's strange, when I looked Tokyo up, before I got to this lessons, I thought of Kyoto would use the same kanji just with switched positions (東京 as Tokyo and 京東 as Kyoto, not like in 京都 the real writing for Kyoto), but I guess Japanese doesn't work like that. Maybe some one can explain why it is like that and not like my first thought?


Well, even though they are written as "Kyoto" and "Tokyo" in English, they are pronounced きょう and とうきょう, so just switching the sounds wouldn't make sense.

They are related though, and if you look at the meanings behind the individual kanji, you can see a bit of Japanese history.

  • 京都: the former capital of Japan, and old traditional seat of the emperor; 京【きょう】= "imperial capital", 都【と】= "city, metropolis"
  • 東京: the old seat of the shogunate (then called Edo), which was renamed "Tokyo" and became the new capital once the shogunate was overthrown; 東【とう】= "east", 京【きょう】"imperial capital"


good to know, thank you!


In China there is also 北京 and 南京 (pronounced ペキン and ナンキン in Japanese; those are special readings), North capital and South capital.

And several cities hold the name 西京 (western capital) in various countries.


Yeah, nice connection! Those two Chinese cities are another great example of the influence of history on the Japanese language.

Japanese borrowed kanji from the Chinese, and were also influenced by their pronunciation at the time. Throughout China's ancient history, there were several dynasties, each of which came from different regions and had their own dialects. As each one came into power, the dialect they brought with them became the new official "Chinese" language.

When Japan first found out about the north and south capitals of China, they were called "Peking" and "Nanking", respectively, and those pronunciations have been preserved in Japanese, even though modern Chinese pronounces them as "Beijing" and "Nanjing", respectively.


I think those pronunciations are on the contrary quite recent. The city 台北 can be pronounced either タイペイ or たいほく.
Chinese names in general are read with the Japanese reading (on-yomi), with a small set of exceptions. 毛沢東 for example is もうたくとう (Máo Zédōng in pinyin)


Yes, before I got to the lessons about Tokyo and Kyoto, I thought they were Tōkyō and Kyōtō and that there would be this nice symmetry, so I was disappointed to be disabused of the notion.


Why does 京都に生ます not work? Does 生 imply you were born there?


No, 生ます isn't a word in Japanese. I think you might have meant 生きる (ikiru), meaning "to live" as in "to exist/be alive". When you conjugate to ます form, it becomes 生ます.

This wouldn't work either though, because the "live" in "I live in Kyoto" means something more than simply being alive. It means "to reside", which is what 住む (sumu - the root form of 住んでいます) means.


Shouldn't 京都にいますwork too?


No, that sentence means something different. 京都にいます just means that you are physically in Kyoto, even if temporarily. "Being in" and "living/residing in" a place are two very different things.


I remember it by: The wild stallions live in San Dimas (sunde imasu) すんでます


About the verb, does it's conjugation mean anything specifically? I know it is on it's て-form, is that necessary or is just to make it more formal? Could you exchange it for 住みます and reach the same meaning? Ignoring formality, that is.


This verb conjugation, て-form + います, indicates that the verb action is currently occurring or verb state is currently ongoing, so it is typically associated with "present continuous tense" and "present perfect tense". You could use 住んでいます in the following sentences: "I'm living in Kyoto now" and "I've lived in Kyoto my whole life".

On the other hand, 住みます is in the ます form, or verb root + ます, and typically indicates general actions/states, habitual actions or future actions. It's more commonly associated with "simple present tense", but as you can see here, it's not always the case. You could use 住みます in the following sentences: "I will live in Kyoto after I graduate" and "Most geisha live in Kyoto".

In this case, despite using simple present tense, the most common interpretation of the sentence is that you are currently residing in Kyoto. So, this conjugation is necessary to convey the correct meaning.

In fact, 住んでいます and 住みます are exactly the same level of formality.


I put 京都には住んでいます and it was incorrect, why? I already asked the same in other excercise where I didn't put the は and it was correct, now I put it and it's incorrect


I'm confused, too. I wrote it as described in the first few posts above, without -i-. But it was rated as wrong.


sunde = sumu in te form

imasu = iru, this verb can also indicate a continuing action or state.

*go to jisho.org, and search "iru" it will break it down ^^


In written form grammaticaly the "i" must be there, the "missing" sound is dialect.

sunde = sumu (to inhabit) in its te form

imasu = iru (which can indicate a continuing action or state) this follows a verb in its te form!

*see jisho.org and search iru ^_^


Is に necessary?


Yes, it provides an essential connection between the verb and the target location. I suppose you could leave it out and still get your point across, but so would "me live Kyoto" without having to use "in". Same same but different :)


So, why is it に in this exercise and には in another one?


は is sometimes used or added in negative sentences.


Why is it 住んでいま not 住みます?

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