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  5. "There are two birds."

"There are two birds."


June 13, 2017



つ is the generic counter, whereas わ is the specific counter for birds.


わ is the counter for small animals. it could he とり(bird)が(link to counter)三わ(three small animals)います(it is - for living things) don't confuse using あります, as that is used for "it is", but for non-living things.


According to Jisho, 羽 = わ is the counter for birds and rabbits, and there are at least two other counters, 話 for TV shows and 把 for "bundles", whatever that means, that are pronounced the same way.


Doesnt the kanji 話 mean "to speak"? I guess it would make sense for TV shows lol


Then how is 一ぴき、にひきetc. used? I thought that's used for small animals.


ひき is for small animals 羽 はね is specifically birds and rabbits


Yeah I learned ひき、びき、ぴき as the small animals counter


For small animal is 匹, not 羽 which is just for birds and rabbits.


But how is 二わ pronounced when it represents counting 2 birds?


It's pronounced niwa


How is it pronounced? ふたわ?にわ? Something else?


It is pronounced にわ like that tongue twister about two chickens in the yard. You should look for it ;)


Let's see if I can do this right... 庭(にわ)には二(に)羽(わ)にわとりがあります。 There are two chickens in the yard.




I can't tell whether you're chaotic good or lawful evil, but I like the sauce you're cooking with.


Do you mean this ? 庭に二わ鶏がいます.


What's the difference between います and あります?


います is used for animate beings, such as people or animals, あります is for inanimate ones. Keep in mind, plants are counted as inanimate and as such use あります

[deactivated user]

    Is it correct to just say にわいます since the counter makes it clear we are talking about birds?


    Wa (羽) is also used for rabbits though.


    Why does this sentence have 二わいます instead of 二ついます?


    わ is the counter for bird. In Japanese to count things you need "counter" words.

    つ in your example is also a counter, but for not living things I think.


    Not just in japanese, but also kind of in English. For example, two LOAFS of bread, two HEADS of lettuce. Loaf or head can be seen as the counter here.


    Loaf has an irregular plural in English: loaves.


    Promise I'm not trying to be a wise-crack; but when it comes to counters...if the thing in question USED to be alive but isn't anymore, do you use arimasu or imasu? (And I have no idea how to type hiragana, I'm still too new, sorry!) Like...if the birds were theoretically deceased; or stuffed? How would you count them?


    Hello! I asked this question some years back to some friends in Japan. They told me that if you use arimasu it carries the connotation that the bird on the ground is dead and you are interested in eating it. I don't know the counter for taxidermy animals but I thought you would be interested in hearing what my senpais were telling me.


    Thank you so much! I love that the implication is interest in eating it XD This is exactly the answer I was looking for. :)


    If you ask someone, in spoken Japanese, if they have any pets at home, and they answer "niwa tori ga imasu". How do you know if they're talking about two birds (二羽鳥) or a chicken (鶏)?


    Is there a Kanji for わ?


    羽 apparently for birds and rabbits.


    鳥(とり, bird) が(subject particle) 二(に, two) 羽(わ, birds/rabbits) います(exists, it is)。

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.


    Sooooo, I put "鳥はニわいます" and it told me I was wrong... Because of the ”二"... That was the character underlined as wrong...


    Seriously, it's making me do it over and over now and I put in が this time and it is still telling me 二 is wrong??? I'm not insane, right? That is still the kanji for に and means 2?


    ニ (katakana for に, does not mean 2) vs 二 (Kanji for 2)


    Really? Wow, interesting. Are they written any differently? They do seem to look very slightly different in your comment but it's hard to tell. The kanji looks larger??


    They're two different words, like "too" and "two". In kanji, 二 is the number "two" (two lines = count to 2; that's one way to think about it) に is NOT the number 2 unless you are spelling it out in hiragana for some reason. *to make things more confusing, in katakana に=二 this is a different script used mostly for foreign words. Context will tell you whether the number 2 or the syllable "ni" is being indicated.

    Hope that helped a bit!


    2羽鳥がいます is also right, isn't it ?


    I'd expect a の between the counter and the birds in that case.


    If 羽 is used for birds is there a specific word for dogs and cats?


    That would be 匹 (ひき)

    Here's a guide to Japanese counters, and here's a list of ~350 counters


    why do i need to add羽? 


    Oh boy you're in for a surprise.

    Japanese uses counters for almost all things. 羽 (わ) is the counter for birds Here's a neat guide (which further contains more detailed and specific guides)

    Don't worry though, as you'll be able to survive and be understood well enough without being judged, by using the general counter


    I tried: 鳥がニわいます

    And Duolingo told me it's wrong. What do you think?


    I think that's katakana "ni", which stands for that particular syllable regardless of meaning, not kanji "ni", which is used specifically for words related to the number two.

    For this exercise, you need the kanji: 二

    Yes, it does look very similar!


    How is 「二」pronounced?


    二 is pronounced "ni". 二わ niwa


    Thank you! Just making sure it wasn't pronounced different because the counter


    Duolingo has the pronunciation as ni hane. It should be ni wa. Please fix this throughout. I have seen nana hane on another item.


    I got this too; I didn't know it was wrong. I wonder if "hane" is another pronunciation of the kanji that means something else?


    This is correct. Hane means feathers.


    Does 鳥が二羽そこです make any sense at all? To me it sounds like almost the same thing. Over there are the two birds?


    鳥が二羽そこです means "Two birds are there", where "there" is a location you're referring to, whereas 鳥が二羽います means "There are two birds", which doesn't refer to a particular location, but rather just the existence of two birds.


    • How many birds are in the cage? There are 2 birds.
    • Where are the (2) birds? The (2) birds are there. (points to location near the person asking question).


    Is there a reason why あります shouldn't br accepted instead of います in this sentence?


    You have to use "imasu" for things that move about of their own accord, like living animals and robots, and "arimasu" for things that don't, like dead animals, inanimate objects, and plants.



    Why can't I just say "鳥が二います" Without using the "羽"? What is this supposed to mean anyway? I'm confused.


    You have to count in different ways depending on what class of item you are counting.

    So far, I have learnt how to count "game" animals (like birds and rabbits), how to count small, round things (like eggs and apples), how to count people, and how to count things that might not fit any particular category (like tables).

    You have to count items of each category in a different way. For example:

    To count two birds, use "niwa" (written as 二羽);
    To count two apples, use "niko" (written as 二個);
    To count two people, use "futari" (written as 二人);
    To count two tables, use "futatsu" (written as 二つ).

    Don't worry. It might seem overwhelming at first, but you will get the hang of it.

    It's a bit like how speakers of English might speak of "two head of cattle" and "two loaves of bread", rather than "two cattle" and "two bread".

    But it's not quite like that, because in Japanese, the number can go with the verb rather than the noun.

    Here, we have:

    tori ga niwa imasu.

    鳥が = a bird, the subject of this sentence

    二羽います = exists in a twofold manner

    Well, that's how I like to think of it, anyway!

    You have to use these special, augmented numbers because that's just the way Japanese is, I'm afraid!


    の is also a direct modifier for nouns. 赤の本 "a red book" for example. 男の人 "a man" (lit: a male person)

    You'll find that many particles have multiple uses


    Is 二羽の鳥はいます acceptable?


    what does counter mean lol!

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