1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "後ろにいすがあります。"


Translation:There is a chair behind me.

June 20, 2017



Dont forget that we've seen this kanji before! Its the kanji in 午後 for "p.m" or literally "after noon". The kanji for "after" is the same as "behind", 後。Hope this helped. I nearly cried when i realised it.


I knew it was familiar but i can never connect the dots, at least not yet... Thank you!


u mean the strokes


I think they don't see ushiro as "after", I think they see it as the sun being "behind now" when the time marks 12:01


What is the pronunciation of 'behind' in this context?


うしろ ushiro


I feel people are struggling a lot with context. Now maybe I've set up a wrong understanding but the way I see it: if we don't have context (which we usually don't here because we get only one sentence) always asume "I" (the speaker talking about oneself). I understand that with a conversational language that often omits the person being talked to and is heavily influenced by context even for things like "is there multiple of the object" it'd be good practice to have the different possible versions of the sentence. However, I feel that's due to the limits of the Duolingo studying model.


Exactly. See Japanese pride themselves on inferred meaning. Incomplete sentences abound and the listener must solve the problem of what the subject is. You will see this all the time in conversation. It's like a conversational game for them. So, without any context clues ask yourself, what subject would go with this sentence most of the time. This isn't a limitation to duolingo as much as it is people trying to impose an English thought process on Japanese constructs. The Japanese leave out subjects where they think you can infer them. Hope this helps.


I think the limitation is Duolingo's lack of context. What you describe is interesting, but not applicable to this learning experience.

I'm interested in seeing that in action, but single sentences do not give us a problem to solve. We're just left randomly assigning the subject as whatever we want.

If Duo had a conversation option in Japanese, they could probably better convey this unique aspect of the language, but given current limitations, users are just sure to be left confused as to why none of these sentences have subjects, and that's unfortunate.

Reading the comments has helped me a lot on this, but comments can't be an the complete solution to this.


Exactly. We need to set aside our Western expectations. Also, language names are really adverbs, not nouns. We are learning to talk in the Japanese way, not just Japanese.


Interesting perspective but I disagree Never appeared as a puzzle or game or pride but the rational understanding that in context one need not state the obvious We do this in English and other language but Japanese to a greater degree which is apparent in other aspects of Japanese culture - avoidance of saying no to a request, reaching consensus, deferring to "seniority" etc are all reflected in the language & its purposeful limitation on clarity, specificity, imposition, &tc Inscrutability


Without context, this sentence is odd. What makes the meaning "behind you" ? Why not - The chairs are in front of the stage. No. The chairs are behind.


As the other guy kinda wrote rudely. Most pronouns are implied. For example あね would be my sister whereas おねさん would say mostly your or someone elses sister since we got the お for politeness in front.

  1. There's no word for stage. 2. うしろ means behind/after not in front.

As it stands the Japanese literally means, if we break it down - あります there is, いす が a chair, 後ろに behind.... behind who/what? 私 の is implied because the speaker is talking about where the chair is in relation to her/himself.


How would i say "I am behind the chair"?

Not having these sort of things side by side really messes with my dyslexia lol


"I am behind a chair" would be 私は椅子の後ろにいます。 (わたし は いす の うしろ に います。) Saying that you are behind something really changes up the sentece as compared to saying "there is something behind (me [implied])". You could omit the わたしは and have the meaning not change though.


Thank you so much <3


I don't understand why "me" is implicit, and in what cases this apply?


Because the speaker is talking about where the chair is in relation to themselves - if the soaker was taking about where the chair is in relation to someone else or something wise then they would specify that because it wouldn't be something you could determine from context eg. あなたの後ろ - behind you, テベルの後ろ - behind the table


Sorry - soaker is meant to be speaker but I can't edit comments on my phone :'(




Why is this sentence addressed to you?


If not have context, always asume "I".


In (ni) the position of behind (ushiro), the chair is (arimasu). The chair (isu) (we know chair is the subject because of ga) is behind. Behind who? Behind me (assuming the unmentioned topic (wa) is the speaker, watashi).


Also because of the choice of verb - あります, if the speaker was talking about themselves the verb would have to be います.




I think there is just a higher chance you are telling the listener about what is behind them, because people generally do not know what is behind them at all times.

If this were in fact a real conversation, I doubt it would be this confusing


So, I got screwed up and said "I am behind the chair." What would that look like, for a bit of reference?


椅子の後ろに(私が)います。I'm behind the chair.

(私の)後ろに椅子があります。the chair is behind me.

  1. you can leave out what's in the parentheses as it can be implied.
  2. the word that comes before の specifies the positioning of 後ろ.
  3. as you might have read in other comments, が acts as the subject marker, indicating the subject of the verb.
  4. in the 1st sentence, います (from the verb いる) is used, as the subject 私 is an animate object. in the 2nd sentence, あります (from the verb ある) is used, as the subject 椅子 is an inanimate object.


Why is "It's behind the chair" not correct?


How do you know it's behind "me" and not "you" I see no way to tell?


You're right you cant tell


What do I do to the sentence to make it "I am behind the chair"?


(私は)いすの後ろにいます is one way


Please accept this answer。”後ろに椅子があります”。


It's obvious from the amount of confused chat that this question is technically a "fail" for Duolingo. However it has got people thinking, which is good. Struggle with it then move on. Just by the way, the US is the only place in the English speaking world where "in back of" is acceptable.


"There is one chair behind me" does'nt accepted why???

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.