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  5. "There is one table."

"There is one table."


June 12, 2017



When should I use arimasu instead of desu?


Could be wrong but I think:

  • 'arimasu' is used to say something exists in general, like 'There is one table'
  • 'desu' is used to identify something, like 'It's six tables'

A better example would be (apologies for poor grammar):

  • 'Tanaka arimasu' would be 'There is (a) Tanaka'
  • 'Tanaka desu' would be '(I) am Tanaka'


Except that for living beings is used imasu.


Arimasu - nonliving/nonanimate object Imasu - living/animate object


Shouldn't there also be a が there? As in, 田中 がいます?


Also, I'm wondering what's the difference between "Tanaka wa imasu" and "Tanaka ga imasu" - I suspect the first means "I am Tanaka" whereas the second means "There is Tanaka", but I'm not sure.


Neither of them mean "I am Tanaka", but a good way to think about the difference is to consider what question would be asked to get は or が.

For ~は, people often translate it to "As for ~" or "When it comes to ~". So, to get the answer 田中はいます, the focus should be on Tanaka.

  • 田中はどこですか?もう来ていますか? (もうきていますか?) = "Where is Tanaka? Has (s)he already come?"
  • はい、田中はいます。 = "Yes, Tanaka is here."

On the other hand, が typically indicates the subject, or the thing that does the verb.

  • 会社には誰かがいますか? (かいしゃにはだれかがいますか?) = "Is there anybody/somebody at the office?"
  • はい、田中がいます。 = "Yes, Tanaka is there."


It also depends on whether the information that is provided is non exclusive or exclusive. For example: In Japan, you will say "日本 は はなせます。" because knowing Japanese is not exclusive to you. Many around you know it. However, in a group of say foreign people, you will say "日本 が はなせます。" as now knowing Japanese is exclusive to you.


You use ga when introducing something new. Ex: if I were to ask you "Who is Ritsu?" You would reply with "Watashi ga Ritsu desu" as that would be new information to me. ( this may be wrong but this is what my understanding has come to)


Should have been 日本語 in my statements above. Apologies.


Arimasu would imply that Tanaka is dead XD


Not really, amusing as it may be. Using あります would imply either you give names to inanimate objects, or you are not a proficient Japanese speaker.


Desu is a copula, it connects descriptions to the things they describe. Arimasu and imasu are verbs meaning 'to exist'. In English, 'to be' can mean either of these.


Use masu after verb and desu after noun


Correct me if i'm wrong...

Nouns will accept -desu ending Verbs (like imasu/arimasu) will accept -masu ending


Speaking of "aru," FMA fans: Al's hangup on being real or not is further exemplified by how his name is pronounced in Japanese (Al = "aru")


います= living (doesnt include plants) あります=nonliving


Also it's good to note that います is just polite form of いる(居る), same with あります = ある(有る)


And we don't use counters for inanimate objects (like the わ for birds)? Is it enough with 一つ、二つ…?


If you haven't learned more specific counters for inanimate objects, you can get away with just 一つ、二つ、etc., but there are plenty more different counters. For example:

  • 本 (ほん) for long, thin/cylindrical objects
  • 個 (こ) for small, typically round objects
  • 枚 (まい) for flat objects etc.


Why couldn't we use は here? Thanks!


Correct me, if I'm wrong, but here are my thoughts: は is a topic marker, whereas が is a subject marker. There is no grammatical equivalent in english for は. I recommend you to read the short text about the difference here http://nihonshock.com/2010/02/particles-the-difference-between-wa-and-ga/ But in short, が makes it clear, that you are refering to the amount of specifically tables, of which existence you ask. I think は could also be used, if the context (the conversation) is unmistakeably about the tables. If I could get a feedback from someone certain on this, that would be great.


I know the lesson is ordinal and stuff, thays why i missed when inputting 'teburu ga arimasu' intead of 'teburu ga hitotsu arimasu' but i ask: was it ok to answere the way i did to say that there is a table?


Yes, テーブルがあります is an acceptable way to say "there is a table", but it can also be "there are tables" too.


So... is 机 (tsukue) 'surface' instead of 'table'? Or is it an old fashioned version?


I'd like to know answer to this one. What exactly is the difference between "tsukue" and "teburu"?


As far as I'm aware, the difference is similar to the way we differentiate "desk" and "table" in English. In general, a desk (机, つくえ) is a surface that you do work at, like a writing desk or a office desk, whereas a table (テーブル) is a surface that you have food or drink at, such as a coffee table or a dining table.


how can i type テーブル with IME keyboard without copy and past? when i try "tebburu" it becomes テッブル


You can type it as "te-buru", including the dash.


I absolutely love how I put the exact same answer as the correct answer and still got it wrong. Anyone else wonder if the admin ever read the comments?


Why is 'sono teburu ga hitotsu arimasu' wrong?


It's redundant to have その and a counter. In English, it would sound like "That one table is one table."

If you said そういう instead of その, it would work, though it would mean something different.

  • テーブルが一つあります = There is one table.
  • そういうテーブルが一つあります = There is one of that kind of table.


I think tsukue is desk but I thought you could use it for table too


It depends on the nature of the object being discussed, but it is possible, so I would flag it for the course developers to address.


I placed が after 一つ and my answer was marked as correct. So both writings are valid?


They are subtly different. If you put が after 一つ, you are implicitly putting a は after テーブル as well. Commonly, は is left out when speaking or replaced with a 、 in writing.

But, by my understanding, marking out テーブル as the topic shifts the focus of the sentence to the fact that there is one table, rather than on there being one table.


oh thank you that helped me understand the が vs はa bit better.


can "ga" really be placed after table OR the number? apparently both are considered right to duo, but i was wondering if there was a more natural way to say it of the two.


rejected this sentance, can I get some feedback? テーブルが一脚あります


脚 is the wrong counter; tables are usually counted with つ or 台. I believe 脚【きゃく】is a counter for chairs/seats, but it's not one I've heard much myself. I would usually hear chairs counted with つ or 個.


一つのテーブルがあります。Why isn't this a correct translation?


Why 一つのテーブルがあります is not right?


Why can't I say "テーブルが一個あります"? What's the rule for using "nb個" or "nbつ" ?


What does が stands for in this sentence?


が here is the subject marker. It indicates that テーブル is the thing which is doing the verb, あります, "existing".


Gotta love getting sentences like this when all they'd taught me in in the lesson so far was the word for table...


Dumb question: How do I spell テーブル with romaji? I'm trying out a Japanese keyboard and I don't know how to spell ー correctly.


Spelling it in Romaji and typing it out on a keyboard aren't necessarily the same thing. You can type it as "te-buru", including the dash, but the spelling in Romaji would be teeburu or tēburu.


Is it okay to say gaarimasu?


Yes, it should be okay in real conversation/translation, but it is also less specific so it should be marked incorrect in learning exercises, such as this. The English sentence specifies one table, while leaving 一つ out of the Japanese sentence can mean singular or plural.


Can't believe I got this right! I'm so smart and cool.


Damn getting this one right felt good


I put 一つテーブルがあります and it got marked correct. What would be the exact English equivalent?


There's no such thing as an "exact English equivalent"; translations are always approximations to varying degrees. The "best" translation also depends a lot on non-verbal cues, such as context, emphasis, pause, intonation, etc. so it's impossible for someone to give you the best translation without a lot more information.


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I still dont understand why sometimes they pronounce テーブル ..."teibuju" ...and other times "teibudu".

Is t just an accent thing..or?


Possibly, but it's probably more a result of your listening environment changing than the recording changing.

Japanese "r"s are notoriously difficult for English speaker to pronounce, and even harder to explain using just text. The best way I've heard to think of it is that the Japanese "r" is a blend of the English "r", "l" and "d", and the ratio of each depends on the sounds around the "r" and the person's accent. Also, depending on what language(s) you're used to hearing, your ears might be more attuned to one or more of the different aspects of the Japanese "r".


Or you could just full-on roll the r's to sound like a street punk XD


Haha yes, but even street punks only roll their r's on certain words, for effect. They wouldn't pronounce the "r" in "teiburu" the same way they would when they say "korrrra kono baka yarrrrou", for example.


Isn't this more like 'Table is one'. (getting religious here)


This lesson is frustraring me

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