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  5. "水がつめたいです。"


Translation:The water is cold.

June 20, 2017



My answer "Water is cold" wasn't accepted. It said it had to be 'THE water'. So what part of this japanese sentence represents the article 'the'? I'd really like to know, because I was thinking that there is no specified article in Japanese , so it shouldn't make a difference if you say just "water" or "the water"...


Since が is a subject marker, it kind of implies both speaker and listener know what water you're talking about (whether it's the pool, the sea, the bottled water, etc), making it "the water is cold".

If it was は -a more general topic marker- it could have been a broad statement like "water is cold". (that could also be "the", mind you, but it depends on context)


Depending on context, "Water is cold" can also be correct (without "the") e.g. 水、温泉、お湯の中でどれが冷たいですか。 (Which one is cold - water, onsen, hot water) then the answer is 水が冷たいです (Water is cold) and it refers to a generic water, not a specific one.


This would be because が is highlighting new information and は highlights "background/supporting/clarifying" information, right?


Could I say: 水がさむいです?


つめたい is used for objects. さむい for weather. つめたい can also be used to describe personality. Do you grasp the difference?


Interesting. I assume if you described a person as さむい, it would sound stupid? If you're describing a person's personality as cold, is it phrased differently from saying their flesh is cold?


Don't think we will say a person "寒い" but we do use 寒い for a number of objects:

  • ギャグが 寒い The joke is uninteresting
  • 背筋(せすじ)が 寒い I feel scary (literally I feel cold in my back)


つめたい means cold to the touch as opposed to さむい which describes weather.


Why ga rather than wo ?


Water is not the object so we do not use を


Why ga instead of ha?


I've seen it explained on other discussions, that ga is used when talking about a specific water. Wo is used when talking about water in general. So, "Water is wet" would be translated into Japanese with wo, and when you were talking about your drink at a restaurant "The water is dirty!" would be translated with ga.

If I'm not correct, please comment. I'm just learning too.


So from what I understand, は is used to introduce the topic of discussion. Something that maybe referenced in multiple sentences of a single discussion. が however, is used to highlight/emphasise a particular noun. In English, we usually make this distinction with intonation.

E.g. "おちゃはつめたいです" = "the tea is COLD."

But "おちゃがつめたいです" = "the TEA is cold".

You would use が if you had to distinguish the subject from something else.

E.g. あさごはんがつめたいですか? Is BREAKFAST cold?

いいえ、おちゃがつめたいですね。 No, the TEA is cold. (Not the breakfast)

the topic (noun+は) can span multiple sentences so it is usually omitted, but this depends on context. In my first example (おちゃはつめたいです) you could simply say "つめたいです" if the tea has already been referenced or it is understood from context.

Please note however, there are certain constructions that require は or が.

Some include:

Noun+は+negative verb E.g. あさごはんはありません。

Noun+が+ 好き/きらい+です E.g. おちゃが好きです。

This is just a basic understanding, but i hope it helps. :)


は/が does not necessarily imply generality/speciality. See my example I replied to another post in this page.


So what's wrong with the translation, "It is cold water?" That's been accepted phrasing for everything else thus far.


Please do not make these two the same: "It is cold water" and "The water is cold." "It is cold water" is saying that "it" is "water" not something else, and "The water is cold" is saying the stuff is already known as water and it is adding new information about the cold property.


水が冷たいです in kanji


I' m confuse "The water is cold" and "Water is cold" is not same?


No, definite articles (can) actually make a difference in English. "Water is cold" is a generalizing statement, like "rocks are hard". There is no 'maybe' in that situation. However, water isn't necessarily cold; it can easily be warm or hot too. "The water is cold" indicates you're refering to a specific quantity of water, such as the water in your glass, or a bath, a lake, the sea, etc.


Tsumekai or tsumetai?




I realized it didn't specifically say "this water" but why wasn't "this water..." accepted? I think it should be obvious, because I think saying "water is cold" is too general.


Could you say 私は冷たいです as im cold?


If you are a fish, then yes, perhaps. If you only feel cold, the it is 私は寒いです. If instead you have a cold, then it is 私は風邪をひきました


Thanks Keith, can you translate the kanji please? If you're using kanji we just learned or kanji we don't know yet, we can't read it. I'd really like to learn though. Thank you so much. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.


Sorry I missed this notification.

寒い is さむい cold feeling

風邪 is かぜ cold (sickness)


水が冷たいです - it gives me as error and there is no way to request to include it as the right solution :/



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