"No, I am not fine."


June 10, 2017

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The correct answer on the page is fine, but in this comment section they switch over to kanji instead of hiragana, which cause some serious confusion for me, even though they produce the same sound. The kanji isn't what had caused me trouble and needed commenting, the hiragana was.


What is a kanji?


Kanji is one of Japan's four alphabets which instead of using phonetics like hiragana and katakana do they use symbols to express words.


Wait, i thought there was only three: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji?

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I... think they're counting romaji? Which I wouldn't really count as a Japanese alphabet because it's only used by foreigners learning Japanese.


In English, it's impolite / very unusual to answer negatively to "How are you?", even when you're not feeling well. What about in Japanese?


yep, it is the same, i think in almost every part of the world. back home and in japan. Unless you really want to get the person's attention


In Hungary it is unpolite to answer this question positively.


Interesting, I never knew that there were places where certain response to "how are you" were impolite. I think its foolish though as it defeats the purpose of the question.


In Germany it is more than just a phrase. When anybody ask how it is, you can answer the truth. For an example if you are tired, so you can answer it. But it's not so usual like in english to ask it.


What do you say then, to respond politely in Hungary?


"Could be better, thanks for asking though."


In many english speaking countries it depends a great deal on who is asking, and why. If a close friend or family member asks, generally a true answer is expected. If the shop assistant asks, then they're just being polite and you're doing well.


I don't understand how it can be impolite to be honest about how you are feeling, especially if you have been asked. Sure, the person who asked might not really know how to respond (and that is often not even expected) if the answer is negative, but then don't ask (?)


What does the de wa ari part stand for?


Thats how you make the phrase into a negative. Well, that plus the "ma sen". It all goes together, but I'm not sure of the exact translation.


"dewa" is the polite form of the verb "aru" (dictionary-form; u-verb). the "ari-" is the konjugation of the verb-stem for the polite/long form present tense. the "masen" is the indication for the negativity.


Please explain to me, how the sentence is structured? I don't understand :(


When making a sentence in japanese it is SOV, which stands for subject, object, verb.


No, (I) fine am not


I'm so lost, and I'm close to giving up altogether. After the symbols for no, I understood nothing of what was saix


いいえ、げんきではありません。The literal translation would be "no, healthy am not." The subject is usually left out when it's clear by context. げんき = healthy (adjective); では is the polite form of the verb あり (dictionary form ある) which can roughly be translated with "be; there is". ません indicates the negativity of the statement in the long form present tense.

In japanese the sentence order is subject/topic - object - verb.


Why is it wrong to say ogenki instead of genki here?


I might be wrong, but I think it is because お is used as an honorific, and the answer should refer to yourself, so no honorific is needed


It is as gashcr said. Because you are referring to yourself, you don't use honorific. It is kinda impolite to use an honorific on yourself like -san


I wrote 「いええ、元気ではありません」and got it wrong, why? I thought that the 「私は」 wasn't mandatory when speaking about yourself? Weird.


It's いいえ, not いええ. Otherwise it should be correct.


But it didn't work. I wrote: いいえ、元気ではありません。 And it didn't work


I had " いいえ、元気ではありません " and it was wrong. I don't really get why "私は" needs to be there in the beginning, isn't the subject clear by context?


I agree. I think the session must be wanting to teach you the kanji for "I" (DL sometimes does this sort of thing). If you want to get things changed, you need to report that your answer should have been accepted as this forum will not achieve that. Always report if you think you are right - sometimes DL will send you a little message later to say they think so too!


Not adding watashi wa was my problem too. Glad to know it would be OK without it (it would be obvious who I was talking about.)


You can use じゃあ instead of では, so isnt いいえ, 僕は 元気じゃあありません.also right?


they are the same.


Would be 元気じゃありません. You had one あ too many. ;)


Arimasen is polite form but Jaa is informal so they technically make sense but wouldn't be used.


How do you know it's myself who is not fine?

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Basically from context. If someone asked how are you ("おげんきですか") and you answered with this, you're clearly talking about yourself. If someone asked "how is your father?" ("おとうさんはおげんきですか") and you answered this, obviously you're talking about your dad.


Can I also say "いいえ, 元気でない"?


yes, but it sounds odd 元気ではない Or 元気じゃない  for informal situation


would it also be correct for me to say the sentence without "dewari?" I thought that if you used "sen" the characters "se" and "n" automatically implied a form of negation within the sentence. Kind of like how if you say "Genki mas" you are saying I am fine, but when you use "Genki masen" the sen implies a negation. Is this incorrect? Am I required to use the form "dewari masen" to imply a negative form?

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Only for verbs. げんき isn't a verb, it's an adjective and です is the verb (and the negative becomes ではありません.


You could say げんきじゃないです. with じゃない being the negativ intication for です; it's a bit more informal.

You can't just use ません or ます alone as it is just the verb ending which indicates the time + negativity. That would be like using "-ing" alone (I'm not -ing fine.)


Is はありません a negation?


ではありません is the negation of です, yes.

ではない and じゃない are other (less formal) ways of saying ではありません.


Can you use 僕は元気... instead of 私は元気... to be more casual?


Hi, why can't I but "お" before "元気" in this sentence, what does the "お" mean when they put it in front of some words sometimes and other time's no??? Thanks in advance!!


Why can't we use わたし (watashi) in this sentence ? Or can we use it even if Duolingo is considering it as incorrect ?


you would use 私は。。。if it's not clear from context that you are talking about yourself. It would be omitted as a response to お元気ですか (are you well?) since it's obvious that an answer to that question is talking about yourself.


While that is true, that doesn't mean having Watashi on the beginning is incorrect. It's just not a common usage as it is stating the obvious.


So o-genki desu ka? means how are you? where o-genki means the health so your health here because we do not precise the subject it can be how are you? how are we? how is he? whatever you want but o-genki de wa arimasen means the health or healthy (my health) well then is not

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It's from context really. げんき does literally translate to good health so おげんきですか does literally mean "are you well?". It's also just a very standard question, similar to something like "how's it going?", which could also be asking about anything but usually means how are you. Japanese omits the subject of the sentence a lot but it's almost always clear from context. If you just run into your friend and ask them おげんきですか, you're probably asking about them.


What does the で do/signify in this sentence?

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It's effectively part of the negative form of です. です, I believe, is short for ではあります so the negative becomes ではありません.


Probably has some thing to do with the particle pair では. Which is hard to explain. で often defines where something happens and marks it as a topic when paired with は. So you are the subject (omitted) and you being 元気 is what is happening to you where 元気 means healthy or well.


Whats the difference between いいえ, け"んきて"はありません and たいし"ようふ"し"やない?


genki talks more about well being, lively while daijoubu is more like a state of being okay


Why dont translate "I am"?


Japanese speakers almost always drop the topic when it would be obvious. In anwering the question「お元気ですか」it's pretty obvious that you're talking about yourself, so it would be natural to leave out the topic (me).


What is the difference between ええ and いいえ? They both mean something like "no," right?


No. ええ Is kinda like "Yeah" and いいえ is "No".


In addition, there's うん for yes and ううん for no. These aren't considered polite, though.


there was no 'dewarimasen' in the option


There was て" and は and ありません and you had to put it together as you could have also only used ありません which is a bit more informal but should also be correct.


Is は in this sentence pronounced "wa" or "ha"?

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It's pronounced "wa" because it acts like a particle here.


In my answer i left out the "de" part of "dewa" and was marked correct. Is this a mistake or an alternative?


て"は added before ありません is a bit more polite. If you only omitted the て" but still used the は, the は should then be used as a topic particle for the げんき, though i'm not sure on that.


Why would you not use imasen?


いません (negative present tense of いる) is only used for people, as in "I don't have a japanese friend." = (私は) 日本人 の ともだち が いません.

Though here ありません (from verb ある; basically いる equivalent for things) is used as the negative form of です with では added for a more polite form.


Why いいえ、おげんきではありません is incorrect? I know that adding "お" means politeness, but now I'm confused:(


the お prefix does not make it more polite, it shows respect. These are different things, and it's not done to use お in that way when speaking about yourself. It's incredibly arrogant and rude. There are other cases where you wouldn't use お depending on who you're talking to and about.

Unfortunately, the mostly unwritten rules about when to use and not use modes of speech are fairly complex, having to do with the exact social status between the speaker and listener.


I got it wrong because I added お, any reason for that?


お before i.g. 元気 (げんき) or 名前 ( なまえ ) is used to show respect towards the one you're adressing when asking about their health or name. It's not used when talking about yourself as it's consideres arrogant. Same with using はは/ちち instead of おかあさん/おとうさん when talking to someone about your mother/father compared to talking about someone else's mother/father oder adressing your mother/father directly.


can someone explain では in the sentence? I only put in で and it worked. What is the meaning within the sentence?


Adding では is a more polite form of ありません, the negative form for です. Though I don't know how it worked with only で as that is normally a particle used for expression of place.


Hey guys I apologize about detouring any conversation we were at. Just leaving a questioned in regards to a discussion more to the top of the thread here. I know that Japanese has at least 3 separate alphabets. Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. But I keep seeing talk of Kana. Can someone give me a simplified version of what Kana actually is? Is it a mixture of all 3 writing styles? Thank you in advance.


Kana just means that you're writing in syllables, hiragana or katakana, instead of the ideograpic kanji.


I am slowly beginning to understand this lesson, less quickly than the previous ones anyway. But can someone please explain what the ん at the end of the sentence is for? I understand いいえ = no, げんき=fine/healthy, ではありませ = is essentially saying am not (i think?) but i'm confused on why the ん is at the end.


that's almost right. ではありません。is the negative form, the ん is not a separate thing. Duo usually chops words up between multiple tiles, which is both a pain and a help, since Japanese writing doesn't use spaces.

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Yeah I wish they'd stop doing that, I've tried reporting it a few times. All it does is confuse people


Actually, nevermind. I think I answered my own question. If I'm not mistaken ではありません basically means (I) am not. I thought ではありませ was the usual way of writing it but the way the answer was broken up made me forget it does actually have the ん.


So. "は" is pronounced as "wa" when it is a subject particle. But in this case why is not it "わ", I mean, it's a part of a word, no? Or I miss something?


The は here is also considered a particle because it belongs to the negative form of the positive です. Therefore it's still pronounced ”わ”.


では is not a word but a pair of particles so it is still は


Why is が not used? I thought は would show the subject and が would show the topic. So I wrote: いいえ、げんき が ではありません。 Since I would be the subject and fine would be the topic. English isn't my native language but I'm pretty fluent so the difference between topic and subject is new to me. Could someone explain how this works when speaking Japanese?


As it's clear that you're talking about your own health, you got that right, that the subject (わたし) is omitted here. The use of は as the subject and/or topic marker is often synonymous. I'm still not really sure myself about the differences but I think it goes a bit like this:

Say, you want to talk about something you didn't like to eat as a child compared to today you like it, you would say: ことものとき(as a child),わたしは(I as topic)これ(this)を("object particle")たべる(to eat)のが("particle")すきじゃなかったです(negative past of "like")。いまは(now as topic)これを(this+particle)たべるのが(to eat + particle)すきです(positive present of "like").

In the second sentence it's already clear that you're talking about your preferences, therefore the わたし can be omitted here. Instead you can focus on いま(now) as the "new" topic you want to lay the focus on.

が can be used to lay the emphasis on a part of a sentence instead of は. Someone explained it really well in another discussion (sorry, can't find it right now :-/). i.e. you want to say that Mr Tanaka is a teacher. You can say: 田中さんは先生です。or 田中さんが先生です。 In both sentences the topic is Mr Tanaka. Though in the first one you're laying emphasis on his profession. While for the second one someone might have asked who here is a teacher and you're saying that Mr Tanaka is one. Therefore changing the focus you got on the sentence (1.: teacher; 2.: Mr Tanaka).

While げんき is the general topic here, you can't use topic or object markers in combination with ではありません as here it's the negative form of です (and not of ある(to exist)). です even though in translations you would probably use it synonymous with "is" (to be), is NOT a verb. Therefore can't be used with particles.


What's the object particle then?


You got different particles for objects:

  • を: the obvious one you would use with most verbs

  • が: used for intransitive verbs; instead of は when you want to put special emphasis on that object (have a look at RVJioWts's explanation here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26451754?from_email=comment&comment_id=35778587); or with some "special" verbs like ある or いる

  • で: for places where you do something; for tools or also languages that you use to do something

  • に: for a specific time at which you do something; for directions

In this particular sentence there's no object. ;)


Okay, so I might be just plain blind, but I can't find anything that explains the difference between いいえ、元気でわありません and いいえ、元気じゃありません Can someone please explain this to me?


It means the same but ~ではありません is formal and more used in writing while ~じゃありません is a more conservative speech style. The less formal version for the second one would be ~じゃないです. (btw it's では not でわ 'cause the "は" is pronounced "わ" here as it's seen as a particle).


I don't get it, why is just いいえ、元気出はありません incorrect. The "I" or "私" in japanese is usually not written, as saying "I" often would be considered inpolite. Even when introducing themselves i've never heard japanese people say 私、僕、あたし or whatever, as it's just not natural for them. If there's no concrete object in the sentence then the one they are talking about is themselves. It triggered me more than it should've but god ❤❤❤❤❤❤ :DD


Because it's ~ではありません. The kanji 出 is wrong here, as で here is meant as a particle in the polite negation of です. 出 (on-reading で、だ; kun-reading しゅっ、しゅつ) means "to leave".


Ah sei la mano nem ingles eu entendo, o que que eu to fazendo aqui cara kkkkk


So sei que nada sei


WHYYYYY. should simple English sentence be translated into these VERY long sentences -_-'....

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Because that's the way languages work sometimes, and this sentence can be made much simpler in Japanese. For example, in a casual situation, you'd be more likely to say something like いいえ、元気じゃない


I returned to Duolingo after over an year long hiatus and I've been practicing some older exercises . I typed in this sentence. いいえ、僕は元気じゃない。Is it wrong?


Technically it should be right. Though i suppose Duolingo expects the more formal negative of ではありません and the general 私. I can't remember if 僕 is already among the learned vocabulary.

And in case you want to get back on german, too: Technisch gesehen sollte es richtig sein. Obwohl ich vermute, dass Duoling das formalere Negativ ではありません erwartet und das generelle 私. Ich kann mich nicht erinnern, ob 僕 bereits unter den gelernten Wörtern ist.


ok, this might be off-topic, but do I really need kanji to be fluent in Japanese, do I really need it or is it fine not to know it entirely?


It's essential. You are not fluent in written Japanese without knowing several thousand words in kanji.

It's typical of Japanese writing to use both hiragana and kanji in the same sentence, and katakana isn't uncommon.


You have to ask yourself what you want the Japanese for - if you want to go to Japan and read a menu or find your way around at all by yourself, you will need to recognise some kanji. If you just want to talk to a Japanese person, I suppose it might be possible to memorise everything and not commit to paper but kanji has some benefits too. There are many homophones so you can often get hints about the meaning of a word you hear by seeing it written - clues lie in the images to make up a kanji. e.g. a symbol for water in the kanji for swim. I really regret not persevering the first time round and am trying again with DL. There are good books (and maybe videos) for learning the stroke order and the way kanji are written to help you remember by writing. If it's fluency you want I can't see a way around it.


ありがとうございます! Have a lingot!


What's the difference between いいえ、元気はありません。and いいえ、私は元気ではありません。and いいえ、元気ではありません?? Any help on this would be highly appreciated, thank you!


The difference between your second and third sentence is that you added the topic (here also the subject) to the sentence: 私は/わたしは. If you look at the sentence, it's probably the answer to the question "Are you doing well/are you fine?" Therefore it's quite obvious that you're going to talk about yourself in the answer. When it's that obvious, the subject is often omitted, especially when talking about yourself.

Your first sentence would indicate 元気 as the topic (because it's directly followed by the particle は). Also ありません would be read as the negative form of ある(=to have/to exist). The translation would be something like "No, health doesn't exist." or "No, as for health, I don't have it." which just sounds wrong.


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Would, いいえ、私は大丈夫ありません work? Or do I need a different ending?

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You're missing a では before the ありません, but yes, that should work fine. Generally though, I've found 「ではありません」 is much less common than 「じゃないです」though.


Hi, what's "de wa" after "genki"?

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It's... slightly complicated but it's part of the 「ではありません」 that is the negative form of 「です」.


Why did it mark "お元気" wrong in this sentence? Everything else I put in was exactly the same.


Why did it mark "お元気" wrong? Can you not say that when taking about yourself?


Correct. The honorific "O" is used for other people, the basic form without "O" is used for oneself.


Never learned that in a lesson before... Could not even close guess, what the answer could be!

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