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"Is there a map?"


June 12, 2017



Why is not the particle が used instead of は ? Usually が is used with います/あります


Here the insinuation is "In regards to a map, is there one?"

I THINK the use of が here would be a (possibly unnecessary/awkward??) emphasis? More like "A map, it exists?/ A map exists??"

Not entirely sure tho, Still getting hang of が vs は.

Please correct if im terribly wrong


Ga is to mark subject of a sentense. In this case wa does mean 'as for a map, is there one?" To me it feels as if they are indirectly asking FOR a map. Where as ちずがありますか is just asking if there is a map, they aren't going to ask for one.


Ohh, now that I read this response again, it totally makes sense. Thank you!


I feel like with が there instead of は the assumed topic is the person you're asking this, so what you'd be doing is asking if they have a map, while if you used は you'd be asking if a map of the place you are in (or some other place you discussed) exists


Since it's a specific map that you know should exist and you aren't asserting that it exists you'd use は. が is used to make the topic do something. Also you wouldn't ask if a specific map is around using が. You'd use が to declare a new imprecise map's existence.


I tend to omit particles if I'm not sure exactly which one to use, and it usually marks me as correct. Not sure if this would be considered impolite in real life but it makes learning much easier!


Some people advice to not do that if you are a begineer otherwise you might inherit some bad habits.


Most japanese people I know always ommit particles, its casual japanese. But I strongly suggest to not to, if you're not advanced in Japanese it can be a pain to read and understand the meaning.




If you use arimasu or imasu, then there is always a ga


No, only if you're declaring something's existence with います or あります would you use が. が is used to announce that the topic is doing something. If it's a specific things attribute you use は. This sentence is basically saying "is THE map here?" Which could mean "do you have the map?"

Tldr: it's a specific map whose attributes are being inquired of: use は.


To quote (https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/arimasu-imasu-existence.html), use は with あります/います when both the speaker and listener know about the SPECIFIC thing, you are asking where the specific thing is, or with negative answers/statements.

In this case, it is a question about a map specific to this area you are in (which we mean when we ask "Is there a map?"), not some random map that won't be any use to you. Think of it as "The map, is it there?" or "The map, do you have it?".


In negative answers it's still a specific thing but it's the whole concept of that thing. Or you could think of it as all of that thing.

This is more helpful because it creates continuity just like の always being possessive just more generally and abstractly (sometimes it's hard to see).

Otherwise very helpful and thank you for helping everyone understand this tricky concept.


I thought that, along with other uses, が was for something that is an unknown. So, asking if something exists I thought would be が, not は. But I guess I'm wrong. Anyone else know?


I think this is a very good explanation: http://nihonshock.com/2010/02/particles-the-difference-between-wa-and-ga/ . But it took me a bit of studying until I actually felt like I understood it. Also, some of the uses are idiomatic and hard or impossible to guess a priori.


This is great. Also, some idiomatic uses become more clear when you understand the underlying grammar. For example, "x ga suki desu" is hard until you understand that suki is an adjective in japanese "x is likeable (to me)" so you use ga because there is always an invisible "watashi wa" before it.


Yeah 好き is basically "is liked" as in the topic is performing the action of being liked.


Great read. Thanks. Why cant we bookmark comments yet haha


Correct, so this would be the map for the specific location the converses have a mutual understanding of. Or it could mean "is the map here?" With implied meaning "do you have it?".


Shouldn't it be "Chizu GA arimasuka? " ?


Not necessarily. Ga makes the question more 'is there a map' rather than wa, which mahes it closer to 'could I see the map.' Languages seldom translate neatly. There are always loads of exceptions to perceived 'rules,' and one needs to remember to be flexible in learning.


I like how this is explained in Pimsleur. は in this case would be used for comparison or emphasis. It would translate into something like (As for a map, is there one?)


は is referring to something specific here, whether it's location or a specific map. Duolingo just loosely translated it to "is there a map?" because it has the same impact of basically asking you to procure the map of the specific location in context or the specific map I'm refering to.


I was taught that arimasu always goes with ga


Needs a ga instead of a wa


I have a different question than the majority I see in the comments. What if I was on a trip with sb, and they approached a board I couldn't see well, and I asked them: "Is THERE a map?" Could it than be: あそこは地図がありますか?


wish there was the option to see the stroke order of new kanji so I dont have to go keep looking it up

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