"せっけんはそこにおいてあります。"

Translation:The soap is placed there.

June 15, 2017

73 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jekahog

What kind of English translation is this? "The soap is put over there"?!

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tvltvl

Yeah it's a weird English sentence. I answered "I am placing the soap there" but got it incorrect :(

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tai40777

います would be used after おいて in this translation because it is describing something you're doing. Think of it like はじまる vs はじめる.

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ASleepingRock

Except we have あります here instead of います, which is a different grammar pattern. ある here can be a conjugation on the て form of a verb to mean that an action has occured. おく is the verb to place, so the conjugation (おいてあります) here reads "it has been placed" or "it is placed".

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nadiagw

I agree that it therefore must be an action that has occurred, so past tense, so "It is placed" is correct. BUT why is it ます and not ました if it is past tense?

January 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

The action that is past is the "putting" or "placing" which is in "oite." The "-te" form is actually a remnant of a classical "past" form. The "arimasu" is non-past and stative. What you get conceptually is "(someone) having placed (it) the soap is there."

January 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wostet

True!

November 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

"The soap is over there" or "You'll find the soap over there." IADOTC

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertKinzie

You can always vote down the translation by clicking the down-arrow at the top of the page

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Please do not downvote it. That will not help improve the sentence. If anything, it will bury the discussion.

October 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nunes89

What is the function of おいて here?

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

It's the 'te-form' (gerund) of 置く (おく) "to put/place". In a somewhat awkward translation, そこにおいてあります is literally "it is (in a state of having been) put there".

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

In very formal writing "ni oite" is commonly used where "de" might be used in speech. While it literally means "(someone) having put" it is generally treated as a "compound postposition" (a particle like "de") in translation, i. e., "The soap is there."

June 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

'Ni oite' is a completely different construction from 'oite'

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

It is "ni" plus "oku" is it not? It has been called a "compound postposition" but it is basically a verbal phrase. It is what it is. Structure, not not idiomatic sense, is what makes it a conSTRUCTion.

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

Yes, it is, in a strict pedantic sense. But grammatical explanations are only helpful in so far as they help people who are grappling with the usage and meaning. This sentence 'chunks' into sekken ha.......... soko ni.......... oite arimasu. It only superficially resembles the prepositional 'ni oite' conSTRUCTion.

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

Learn the grammar, know the language. Japanese has an amazingly regular, consistent grammar which is not apparent when you approach everything about it in terms of English translations. The usual English treatment of "....te aru/ ....te arimasu" is to ignore the putative subject of the "...te" form and use an intransitive or passive English construction, e. g., "mado ga shimete aru" becomes "The window is shut". ( In which case, "someone shut the window " might not be so far off.) "Sekken wa soko ni oite arimasu" says where the soap is rather than where to put it. "The soap is there, (someone) having placed (it there) ." whether "soko ni" is properly construed with "oite" or "arimasu" or with "oite arimasu" as a phrase is open to pedantic discussion. It makes sense with both verbs separately or with the phrase.

In any case, "The soap is placed there" could be an instruction in English. So, I think the translation could possibly be improved. "The soap is over there" would be sufficient in most cases. I would not go to "someone put the soap over there" unless I were very sure of the context.

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

Dan553966, while I understand what you're saying, I agree with CaroEnrico that talking about において in a response to someone asking what おいて means in a sentence using おいてあります is actually quite confusing. I had no idea why you were talking about で and において in our conversation above because I was thinking only about the specific sentence we were discussing, so I was completely missing your valid point because it has nothing to do with this sentence. We know that this sentence is using the -te form of the 置きます (okimasu) rather than the expression において because the verb あります is a verb of existence. において replaces で as you said and is used with action verbs rather than verbs of existence.

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

Considering the confusion I caused, I can agree that mentioning "ni oite" was ill advised and confusing to learners. Just don't write off the idea that the so called "compound postpositions" are verbal expressions with meanings at least tenuously related to the meaning of the included verb. (Place, put, or locate in this case.)

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

I've only ever seen に used to show location with おいてあります. Do you have some links about using で? I've never encountered it and it sounds strange to me.

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

No, the phrase is "....ni oite," I meant that this phrase is used instead of a simple particle to indicate location. "... Ni oite" has been called a "compound postposition" in some older grammars. That just means that it is a set phrase used like a particle. "Kumamoto ni oite" would simply be "in Kumamoto."

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

Sorry, I misread what you were saying. I still don't quite understand your reference to で.

石けんはあそこにあります。

Sekken wa asoko ni arimasu.

The soap is over there.

You would still use に to show location, not で, but you're right, that there's a certain equivalency between using a particle to show location, and using the verb おく to show location. In English, there's not really a difference.

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

I probably should not have mentioned "de" because it might be confusing but I have the feeling that ".... ni oite" can be used with verbs of action to indicate where the action takes place.

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

I see, thanks for taking the time to answer my persistent questioning :)

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

The Delete button is your friend.

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

Ni sounds actually more reasonable. Like you carried there and put it into the room, and not just an action that you have put it into the room while being there.

Don't know if that even makes sense or has the slightest relation to the actual meaning. But I could imagine it like that

February 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerryWallwork

I Have wondered for a while why the individual Kanji characters for soap is:

石鹸, 石けん [せっけん]: (P, n) soap.

石[stone]鹸[saltiness].

Was Japanese soap ever made of salt or stones?

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

The 石 is simple, that refers to it's blocky shape.

The 鹸 indeed has to do with salt, and involves a bit of chemistry. It refers to the process of turning fats/oils into soap, called 鹸化 (けんか) or "saponification" in English. This produces alkaline, which are 'fatty acid salts' or basic (as in opposite of acid) salts.

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N1chope

I'd like to add that saponification has traditionally been performed by mixing fats with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also called "caustic soda", which in its solid state looks similar enough to salt, and dissolves into ions in water like common salt does, so that may have had an influence in the kanji used.

On a side note, I have always associated NaOH to common salt (NaCl) in my head, probably because both are formed by two ions, one of them being sodium

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aelfric

Thank you

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anidukan

You've never washed yourself with stones? Best experience ever!

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

Are you referring to the Chinese classic about the origin of 流石?

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sergei_K_

石鹸はそこに置いてあります
石鹸は其処に置いて有ります

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crysenley

I've only ever known soap as シャボン and ソープ! I guess we learn something everyday. :D

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shadanan

The first form is imported from French, I think: savon

December 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N1chope

It may as well be imported from the Portuguese: sabão (which sounds pretty much like the French savon, even if you don't see an "n" written). Seeing how many western words were imported during early contacts from Spanish and (especially) Portuguese explorers and missionaries, it seems a very likely origin

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/secret_sAndwich

Sapon-, savon, sabão, sabun...if only there was some sort of...linguistic link between these words, that might point to a similar origin.

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tvltvl

Well there is "sabun" in Hindi which almost perfectly matches I think...

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

"Sekken ga aru" > "Soap exists" ( "There is soap" or "We have soap.")

"Sekken wo soko ni oku"> "I/someone puts the soap there."

"Sekken wa soko ni oite aru"> "As for the soap, (someone) put (it) there, and (there it) is."

This is obviously not like English in any way. It is a topic/comment structure with a compound predication in which one verb is in active voice with no specified agent subject ("oite") and the other verb is an existential stative.

This is not passive voice. Passive voice in translation of this structure is an English mechanisnm for dealing with an essentially non-transferrable Japanese structure.

"The soap is (over) there" is a good translation. It wouldn't be there unless someone put it there; so, translating the "oite" is only asking for trouble. "The soap is placed there" sounds like an instruction on where to put the soap, which is not what the Japanese is. Adding a subject for "oite" doesn't work well either. "The soap has been placed there " is a passive voice solution but it is different from the Japanese in that it stresses the "placing" while the main verb in the Japanese is the stative "aru."

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatODonnel

The way I've see it is that せっけん usually is a bar of soap. The others I've only seen on bottles of liquid soap.

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

In kanji this becomes more obvious, as the first character in 石鹸 (mostly written as 石けん) means "stone".

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaeyoSS

What a bad grammar

October 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doubledealer

I cannot say "placed" instead of "put" here?

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidolson22

You should be able to

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Webbstre

There is soap over there should be an acceptable answer. The soap is put over there is just awkward and unnatural.

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purrrrrple

The safe rule is to give literal translations. I think this is done to learn the nuances, e.g. the difference between the above and そこに石鹸はあります

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

Huh?

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

That would be 石けんはそこにあります (sekken wa soko ni arimasu).

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobcatMonk

Call me crazy, but I think a good translation for this sentence would be: (American English) "The soap is sitting there." Or "resting there" At least that is how I hear the oite arimas in this context.

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Totoro_2021

Is passive the same as present progressive in Japanese?Their translation is passive but the Japanese sentence is in present progressive.

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

~てあります (~te arimasu) is neither the present progressive nor the passive form, but it's English translation is usually in the passive.

From Maggie-sensei:

Something + が / は + V+てある/ てあります

= Something + ga / wa + V + te aru / te arimasu

= Something is done intentionally

The "something" is acted on by the verb, giving us a passive translation.

December 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Totoro_2021

ありがとうございました!Thanks for the explanation!

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saiga60

Can it be translated as "The soap goes there."?

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

The soap has already been placed there, so you can say "the soap is there".

December 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronkisimo

Is Te form + arimas a passive form?

December 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

No, it just gets translated that way sometimes. Here's an explanation.

The subject in the Japanese is not expressed (who is doing the action), it is just understood that someone did it.

December 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naomi726137

"the soap is over there" accepted May 29th - 18

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tai40777

From what I am guessing, the use of あります is a lot like the distinction between ま and め in a good number of verbs. はじまる would be pertaining to an object beginning something, while はじめる would refer to yourself beginning something. In this way, the use of おいています would change the sentence's meaning to "I am placing the soap (over) there." The use of おいてあります would refer to the object on its own.

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

The words you're looking for are transitive and intransitive.

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gyJe7QcR

Good explanation here: http://yesjapan.com/YJ6/question/1483/can-you-explain-about-the-te-aru-form

Basically, てある means that the state was brought about by someone, as opposed to ている which just explains the current state.

せっけんはそこにおいています。 The soap is placed there.

せっけんはそこにおいてあります。 Someone placed the soap there.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

But "te iru" is not passive. "Oite iru" would be "(agent subject/presumably I) have placed/am placing." This is, as you say, stative but "soap" is not the agent/subject.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gyJe7QcR

You are absolutely right, it is not passive. It's just that I had to rhyme it together in some way in English, and I believe, this is not a terrible way to make sense of and remember it. (For someone who has no academic degree in languages)

I really liked your explanation above btw, and it helped me a lot.

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

Otagaisama desu.

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucidusAtra

Wouldn't "The soap is placed there" be 「せっけんはそこに置かれます」?

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan553966

It would mean that it is generally placed there or could be placed there but not that it is necessarily there at the moment. This verb form is not your English passive. The identical form can be passive, potential, honorific, or jihatsu (spontaneous). The associated structure differentiates the uses. (In your sentence the non-past form indicates a "habitual" or future sense.) My only point here is to give warning that Japanese virtually never works exactly like English.

May 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanFogart4

That's what the English means, though. It means that's where people generally place it, where it goes. It does not necessarily mean that's where it is now. The verb tense corresponding to the Japanese meaning would be "The soap's been placed there." Or as BobcatMonk said, "The soap's sitting/resting there."

May 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purrrrrple

Shouldn't it be あそこ for 'over there'? I read the Japanese as simply 'there'.

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4ever2u

Put the soap over there why that wrong its co

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsolaCiao

"Put the soap over there" is a command, while the Japanese is a statement about how the soap has been put over there. てあります (-te arimasu) doesn't have an English equivalent so it's difficult to understand. Maggie-sensei gives a good though long explanation.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claqing

This is an interesting sentence.

January 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fukurotaku

Seems like some different grammar is needed here, but I can't recall what that is.

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhaedraC

would this sentence not equate better in english to "the soap goes over there"?

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gyJe7QcR

It's already in a state of being there / was already put there.

February 2, 2019
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