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  5. "It is not a bathtub."

"It is not a bathtub."


June 19, 2017



Why does it need で


You should just see it as ではありません; the negation of です. But if you want to get technical, that bit refers to a state of being. Literally this sentence would translate to something like "it does not exist as a bathtub" - i.e., "it is not a bathtub".


Oh, it's the construction that also gets shortened to じゃありません [or じゃない for less formality], right? so it's not おふろで _ but rather では etc. ...I think. I hope.


Correct: では can become じゃ in spoken (or less formal) language. Reading it as おふろで [etc]... would make で a particle indicating a place or method/tool.


Or even ふろじゃない to make it even less formal lol


But be careful not putting the honorific お in front of 風呂, since it's such a highly honored object in Japan. Even in super casual or intentionally rude speech, they almost never omit it, since it is to show respect to the word itself rather than the listener.


Just on a cursory search, I find many uses of furo without the Keigo "o" in casual and polite contexts. It has always been my understanding that use of Keigo honorifics is more for the listener or to show the speaker's graceful way of speaking, but not usually to honor the object. I would be glad to see better explanations, however.


Isn't お風呂ではありません on the same level as お風呂じゃないです?

The "です" on the last one makes it more polite


Level of politeness decreases as you use more colloquial version. おふろではありません > おふろではないです > おふろじゃありません > おふろじゃないです


Please correct me if I'm wrong. But I thought that if the "de" is not there the sentence would be: 'there is no bathtub'. Whereas with the "de" the sentence becomes: 'it is not a bathtub'. Also sorry for not writing the hiragana, I'm on mobile and can't find the symbols.


From what I have learnt so far it seems ません indicates negation or "no".


For people really want to understand what で is underneath, it is one of the particle usage - "in/as a state of." So これはトイレです expands to これはトイレであります meaning "This exists as a concept/state of a toilet." In a more reader-friendly version, "This is a toilet."

Similarly, トイレではありません means "(This) does not exists as a concept of a toilet." The は in ではありません is a contrast marker particle stressing the negative fact.

トイレがあります means "A toilet exists." Note that the subject is different from トイレであります (implicitly これ is the subject - これは is omitted from the sentence). Using the same logic, トイレはありません is "A toilet does not exist." In other words, "There is no toilet."


I'm not sure I understand.

  • これはトイレです = これはトイレであります (more polite?)

literally "This exists as a concept/state of a toilet." or "This is a toilet."

で means "in/as a state of" (what is す then?)

トイレであります - same as above but with implicit subject これ

  • トイレではありません - implicit subject is これ

literally "(This) does not exist as a concept of a toilet." or "This is not a toilet."

は stresses the negation

  • トイレはありません (what is the subject?)

literally "A toilet does not exist." or "There is no toilet."

  • トイレがあります (what's the subject?)

"A toilet exists."

So with で it's about what something is (the first two cases), without about whether it exists or not (the last two cases).

What do you mean by "expands to"?


です is one word. Cannot decompose to で and す. This is a transformation from であります or でございます in the past times of the Japanese history. So です is actually a "short form" (i.e. expands to であります/でございます).

であります is not used often nowadays (except for keroro-gunso perhaps) but it is used to fill in the puzzle piece of ではありません vs はありません.

トイレはありません, トイレがあります (what is the subject?) - トイレ is the subject, same as English - A toilet does not exist.

あります means "exists," で(ありま)す means "is/am/are." "It is" is equivalent to saying "it exists as a state of." "There is an X" is equivalent to saying "X exists."

Therefore ありません means "does not exist/there is not" and ではありません means "does not exist as a state/it is not."


So like, the "ではありません" Could be used to convey humour... For example, a character is showed to a restroom and as it turns out, whomever's "restroom" is also somewhat of a sex dungeon. The character could reply with "トイレではありません。"

Whereas in another scenario, lets say the character is asking where the restroom is: "トイレはどこですか?" The waitress or whatever could reply with: "トイレがありません。" To say that there is no restroom.

So in short, が makes the assumption that the restroom is an existing thing (and therefore a noun), while で puts its existence into question.

(で here, being a shortened version of です. Not the particle で often used in denoting transportation.)


The waitress says, that there's no restroom. Where's the assumption that the restroom exists? And to which question the character replies in the first case?


Japanese husband answer: おふろではありません=It is not a bathtub. おふろはありません= There is no bathtub.


Was discussed in the following thread: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23146395$comment_id%3D31503821

The way I understand it, with で it's about what something is, without about whether it exists or not.


I would like to know this.


I, too, would like to know what the で is for.


It is just ではありません – a very polute form of negative from です.


But in other phrases it wasnt used before "wa arimasen"!


That's because we were taking about things existing. "There is" --> "arimasu" "There is not" --> "arimasen" But here, we are talking about an object that exists and what it is. "It is" --> "Desu" "It is not" --> "De wa arimasen"


Why does it start with お when other sentences have ふろ without?


お is an honorific. You see it in words like おねえさん or otousan. But you also will see in in front of objects like おすし、おふろ、and others. It's not always required but it makes it more polite.


My confusion is that so far in the lesson, none of the Japanese sentences Duolingo has provided have had the "o" honorific, so how come it is required when we put the sentence together in Japanese? (In other words, how come Duolingo constructs sentences without the "o"/honorific, but requires the students/users to include it to be considered correct?) Seems like a weird inconsistency that needs fixing.


Teachers can be casual twords students, but students have to be polite twords teachers. That is just the way it is.


why do we need to be polite about a bathtub? Or is it simply just being polite to the person we are talking to? Thus to be very polite we put "wo" in front of everything


sorry "o" in front of everything


The O is honorific and is used with the object. For example, O-hashi (honorific chopsticks) O-tousan(honorific father), O-kaasan(honorific mother), O-baasan(honorific grandma) O-kane(お金 honorific money) O-shiri(お尻 honorific hip) I'm not sure why some words are honorific and others aren't but bathtub happens to be one of them.


There are two types of usage with the honorifics お(御)/ご(御)/み(御)/おん(御)/ぎょ(御).

One is customary usage, where the described noun may or may not need to be honored. e.g. お箸(はし)"chopsticks"、お寺(てら)"temple"、ご飯(はん)"rice"、御曹司(おんぞうし)"son of a rich family"、御霊(みたま)"holy spirit"、御苑(ぎょえん)"emperor's garden"

Another usage is to honor the subject of the sentence. Note that it can be different from the listener, but with lack of context, we simply assume the listener is the subject of the sentence. e.g. お名前(なまえ) "your name"、お子(こ)さま "your child"、ご機嫌(きげん)"your mood"、御社(おんしゃ) "your company"、御意(ぎょい)"your will"


Taking a shot at this, I'd think English speakers have the same attitude towards bathtubs or more accurately, bathrooms, e.g. calling it a water closet (W.C.), bathroom, restroom, etc.


Do you always need an "o" because i was not given one, and was still marked correct


No, you don't necessarily need the お, as it is an "honorific". Including it merely makes the sentence more polite.


Why there isn't a particle in the sentence?


The noun お風呂 (おふろ) does not need a particle when used with the です verb. Think of it in English. When we say "x is y," y isn't the direct object or anything, because "is" (a form of "to be") is a linking verb. It doesn't have a direct object. In Japanese just remember that です doesn't use a particle for the noun that you are connecting it to.


Previous exercises led me to think that あります and its negative meant something like "there is/are(n't)". But here, used in negative is more like "it is". Why is this? Was I wrong before? Could I read this as "There is no bathtub", seems quite different.


From what I have learnt so far it seems ません indicates negation or "no".

According to the tips and notes section, the verb あります is often translated into English as "there is" or "there are" (inanimate objects).


It's all in the "de". "Arimasu/Arimasen" are to exist and to not exist. "Desu" is to exist, but.. Where everything has an "en" precedent for negation, it's hard to imagine what it would be, considering "desen" just sounds downright wrong. That's were "de wa arimasen" comes in. Someone else I the comments explained it as more literally being "it does not exist as a bathtub."


It depends on the sentence. あります is a form of "be" for non living things. When the sentence says for example いすがありません (There are no chairs) like the lessons before が makes the difference on how to put いす in the sentence.


The full word is ではありません, the negative of です (is) いません/ありません by themselves are to not exist So "there is no bathtub" would be お風呂ありません (notice no "では")


In what situation would I have to tell somebody "that is not a bathtub"


When you find someone in your kitchen sink.


"Maybe I'll just bring my soap and shampoo into the pool with me to save time..." "It is not a bathtub!"

....yeah, this sentence cracks me up.


Theres sth wrong with the pronunciation. :/. It is written as ふろ but the voice over says ふじょ i reported this but it ain't workin


Admittedly, the audio isn't great (goes for the whole JP course), but I clearly hear ふろ here.

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The romanization of the sound ろ as "ro" is only an approximation of what the "r" sound is in Japanese, and it doesn't equate easily with the "r" sound in English. I can understand why you think it sounds like a "jy" sound - some people think it sounds like "fudo," some like "fujyo," and some like "fuyo." But really, it sounds like ろ, which isn't quite the same as "ro" in English, and it takes quite some time to train one's ear to understand.


Why does it says it like fuyo... Instead of furo


Do you mean, pronunciation-wise? In Japanese, the sound that is indicated with a romaji "r" isn't actually an "r" sound - the sound is actually something between an "r" and an "l" (a sound that, for instance, as a native English-speaker, I can not actually replicate and I'm pretty sure I don't even hear it correctly when I'm in Japan, listening to Japanese people make that sound.) So, when you hear "fuyo," (I hear something slightly different from "fuyo," but I understand what you mean) the program is probably actually pronouncing the hiragana with the correct Japanese sound, but since other languages don't necessarily have that sound, when Japanese gets transliterated into romaji characters, they use an "r" as a stand-in for a sound that's not-quite-r, if that makes sense? So "ro" sounds like "yo" in this context to you, and sort of like "fulyo" to me.


Can i use "おふろじゃない。" instead of "おふろではありません。" ?


I think so, but it's super informal. Better to nail down the polite ones if you plan on interacting with native speakers, because I imagine that should be pretty rude. I told understand, though, in coining back to Duolingo after awhile and "janai" is directly what my terrible weeb past conjured up faster than anything is learned here. Oh, high school.


A short story by EikoBiko:





Why I can't say おふろじゃない? jyanai and dewa arimasen isn't the same thing?


They are the same thing, but they are on different levels of politeness/formality. As far as I know, Duolingo uses only the 'plain polite' forms (~ます, です) in the course. So perhaps if you'd add desu at the end, it'll be ok.


Isn't arimasu used for like 'things that are here', instead of like in this sentence 'thingd that are'?


Normally (on its own), yes. However, when it includes じゃ (or では, pronounced 'dewa') it's a polite negation of です.


Why does it require 「おふろでありません」, "it (in particular) isn't a bathtub", instead of simply 「おふろでありません」, "it isn't a bathtub"? O_o


Because 「おふろでありません」doesn't mean "it isn't a bathtub". It kind of sounds like "it's not in the bathtub", but で would still be the wrong particle for that, since it points to the location of an activity, not a passive state of being.

ではありません on the other hand, is the polite/formal negative for "it is not". This can also be contracted into じゃありません, or written slightly less formal as ではないです or じゃない(です).


Am i being dense or is the pronunciation of bath different from how the characters are read phonetically?


o-fu-lo is what I heard from the audio and that is correct and nothing special.


Yeah, i thought that it was pronounced ro but i must just need to brush up on my charachters


The alphabets ra ri ru re ro writes as r but reads as l sound

  • 684

The romanization of the sound ろ as "ro" is only an approximation of what the "r" sound is in Japanese, and it doesn't equate easily with the "r" sound in English. Some people think it sounds like "fudo," some like "fujyo," and some like "fuyo." But really, it sounds like ろ, which isn't quite the same as "ro" in English, and it takes quite some time to train one's ear to understand.


I think much of the confusion would be cleared up for people if the learner here just added the understood noun that was left out, i.e., Are, sore, kore, that/this (thing) is not a bathtub. Sore wa ofuro de wa arimasen. So, when you read this sentence, add in your mind the rightly left out, but necessary for understanding word for the thing (Are, sore, or kore) referred to by the phrase. Or to use the toilet example. Sono toire wa ofuro dewa arimasen.


It might be easier, but it wouldn't recognize the reality that Japanese is fundamentally different and finds it perfectly acceptable to drop what English might consider the subject of a sentence. If you look at the top comment thread here, you see a literal translation, something like "bathtub isn't present". Of course, this makes no sense in English, so you need to fill in the necessary structure of English. If you tried to make a literal translation in the opposite direction you would get something equally awkward. I understand wanting to make this process easier for language learners, but you can't force the rules of English onto Japanese as you'd only be teaching some strange construction instead of a more natural sentence.


You misunderstand me. I mean if people doing the lessons added in their heads the missing noun then the sentence makes perfect sense without the horrible convoluted explanations used above. We leave out things in English all the time too which are understood by the experienced speaker. I will edit my sentence for clarity. And thank you for pointing out the ambiguity in my explanation.


Can you give an example of the horrible convoluted explanation? Anyways, you're saying that people take ofuro for the subject, and have a hard time understanding the sentence? Well, I never had this misconception. Or so I think. So actually, it's best to have someone who had confirm whether your explanation helps.


The "missing" noun and therefore subject to which I refer can't be "ofuro" as you suggest since that is already in the sentence Duolingo provides; rather, it is the thing not mentioned that is understood by the imagined two people having a vocabulary lesson in a bathroom. The teacher asks the learner which thing is an "ofuro" and the learner points the toilet and turns to the teacher with a hopeful look. The teacher shakes his head and says, "ofuro dewa arimasen" leaving out "sore wa" at the beginning of his sentence because we do that all the time when the "subject" is understood.


I think most beginners just look at ありません and translate straightly to "There is." おふろ is not even a subject in English for both cases (おふろではない vs おふろはない) so people expect では and は does mot make much difference. Therefore all the repeated question why "it is" not "there is" and vice versa.

For beginners the best way is to memorize ではありません="is not" as a whole, not breaking it apart. Also make ありません="There is (not I have)" a complete different concept as ではありません.

And I agree that it is of utmost importance to understand in Japanese subjects are omitted half of the times but in English it is necessary to have a subject most of the times. We can explicitly add a subject when we begin learning a new sentence structure, but ultimately we have to gradually remove it to make sentence more natural. I think the course contents are already designed like this and there is also a good community support in this course to help people understand (just that people tend not to read the discussions).


Why is it not like this: "お風呂はではありません"? お風呂 (subject) + は (topic particle) + ではありません (negated form of です) ?

In other words, why is the は as topic particle missing?



  1. The particle は is already in ではありません.
  2. There is no topic in this sentence. は in では is purely for stressing the negative.



When you want to say A is something, you don't say Aはです. You just say Aですe.g 「りんごです」and 「りんごはです」. Same thing. Also as another fellow mentioned, the は particle is included in the negation itself. I hope that makes sense.


お風呂 が ありません is it not correct? please tell me why


If you are trying to translate "It is not a bathtub", no, your answer is not correct.

The translation should be like "これは浴槽ではありません (casually 浴槽じゃない) Witch is sentence is talking about what the thing is not (not bathtub).

お風呂"が"ありません is pointing out what is not there. "There is no bathtub".


I feel like this sentence is a little weird... The bathtub is not お風呂. The bathtub is "Yubune"(湯船)or we called it "Furooke"(風呂桶). お風呂 is washing your body and taking a bath.


I have heard yubune and furooke, but お風呂 seems to work just fine as well. Every source I can find translates it as "bath" or "bathtub", but not washing your body or taking a bath. In fact, many translators/dictionaries will specifically point out that お風呂 often refers to a place you do not wash, just the place to soak. Further, "taking a bath" seems to be better translated as お風呂に入る.


why do we need the お in the beginning? What does this signify? Also in case of asking name there is お+名前. Why is it so?


It confuses me that ふろ is pronounced "fujo"


ふろ is pronouced as written: "furo"


The らりるれろ characters (ra ri ru re ro) are a unique pronunciation, not replicated in English. We use an 'r' to represent it in Romanji, but its normally kind of a combination between an 'r', 'd' and 'l' sound, all blended together. When you have a native speak it, it gets slurred further from this unique sound and starts getting a little wacky sometimes (sounding like a 'j'). Any time you see these, listen extra carefully and just "monkey see, monkey do", and eventually you'll figure out how its shifted here or there and have pretty good pronunciation without having to hear it said first. Just don't give it a hard 'R' pronunciation and you should be good.


In linguistics, the consonant sounds referred to are Liquids. English separates them into /r/ at the back of the mouth and /l/ near the front of the mouth. Some languages like Greek also have /ʎ/ which is a little forward of the middle. Japanese treats it all as one sound unit and while it tends to be spoken further back in the mouth there's a lot of dialect and individual fluctuation because Japanese in general considers it one sound unit instead of splitting it.

English speakers have the same issue with the aspirated and unaspirated consonants because we tend to treat it as one sound unit, but in Korean they are separate phonemes.

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