"That is water."

Translation:それは水です。

June 20, 2017

92 Comments


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

Nothing is "happening" to the water, so there's no need for a を that would connect it to a verb.

"That" (それ) is the topic of the sentence. And the only thing the sentence does, is define what the topic is exactly. Nothing is really happening to something specific in the sentence, except for... "being" in regards to the topic.

If something happens to the water (e.g. "I drink water" - (わたしは)水をのみます), then it becomes the object, as we know and are used to it, requiring a を.

I always feel like imagining a comma after は helps establish the topic and thus understand sentences a little better. Also, there's the "As for/Regarding this-and-that" technique.
"As for me は, I drink water."

June 29, 2017

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

I appreciate the time you take for explaining it to the community, I admire you a lot

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephT.Madawela

Make that two!

September 7, 2019

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

I thought "that" was "あれ"

September 30, 2017

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

It depends on the context of where the object is. If it's near you, it's これ as in "core". If it's near the other person in the conversation, it's それ as in "seller", and あれ as in "aw man, that's far from both of us". Or at least, I believe that's accurate. Please feel free to correct me.

September 30, 2017

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

You're correct, but just to give people another way to remember them, i always think of これ/core as something I am currently holding (since core sounds kind of like current), and それ/sore as 'sorry, i cant reach it because it is near you, not me' (since sore sounds like sorry). Love your memory technique of あれ though!

May 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilNolan1

The question doesn't give any context so あれ should be correct as well as それ.

December 4, 2018

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

Yeah that's the way I remember it being taught. これ is by me, それ is by you, あれ isn't by either of us.

May 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-CaptainCoconut-

Now it's so much easier to remember cheers

June 21, 2018

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

The only thing I would add is that something doesn't need to be far away from both of you (like really far away!) to necessarily be あれ. As long it's out of reach for both of you. That would be the minimum distance so to speak for something to be あれ.

April 14, 2019

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

What about if the object is as near to me and the other person in the conversation?

September 1, 2019

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

これ because it’s near you.

September 1, 2019

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

Same

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria43034

It has accepted this option, too

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adeleke5140

The sentence is kinda ambiguous because we can't really determine the distance since "that" was written. Does it mean both あれ and それ are correct.

December 5, 2018

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

どーもありがと!

October 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/max._.idek

I'm confused, I thought を was used for all direct objects (nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases) but you're saying only if something is happening to the direct object?

August 7, 2018

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

Yes, を is used for all direct objects. A direct object receives the action of the verb, which you could say means that something is "happening" to it.

です (desu) is not a verb but is very similar to the English verb "to be", which doesn't take a direct object. In the sentence "that is water", there is no direct object. "That" is the subject and "water" is the predicate nominative.

August 29, 2018

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

Concepts such as direct object, indirect object, and subject, may not translate directly into Japanese grammar.But, even in European languages, sentences like this, that use “to be” as a linking verb, treat both linked in noun phrases as subjects, i.e., they are in the nominative case. At least this is true for the European languages I have studied.

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvYK51

My first time commenting...to say THANK YOU. I kept trying to figure this out, and none of the other explanations held consistently, until I found yours. Now, I get it right every time!

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvYK51

Referring, btw, to wa and wo

January 15, 2019

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

ムチャグラジアス。

April 8, 2019

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

Thank you so much!!

November 28, 2018

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

Thx!

May 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonardoDo971611

Thanks

June 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmadAlfah3

Thank you i searched the internet and no use.. and then here's your explanation so simple and so good

August 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephT.Madawela

Great! Thanks

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amme803532

I am confused, it keeps changing the distance between それ and  これ i thought that they were for objects closer to you and could be considered "this" or "it". "それ" is closest, "これ" is farther "あれ" is farthest.

June 23, 2017

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

That is correct.
これ = this (close to you).
それ = that (far from you, but close to the person you're talking to).
あれ = that over there (far from both of you). ☺

June 28, 2017

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

ありがとうございます! I still struggle with these x-x

March 8, 2018

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

Now that is a clear way to put it! Thank you, you amazing person on the internet!

July 30, 2018

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

The idea of "this, "that" and "that over there" are not too different from English just different words. You will see this a lot in Japanese pronouns, the 'K' sound represents near you(the person speaking)

これ(Kore) {this}[pronoun] これは水ですKore wa mizu desu(This is water)

この(Kono){this}[adjective] この箱は黒いKono hako wa kuroi(This box is black)

ここ(Koko){here}[pronoun] 本がここですhon ga Koko desu(the book is Here)

secondly the 'S' sound represents near the person being spoken to. It helps to ask yourself: "Is what's being referred to in a position where the other person would say 'this'?"

それ(Sore) {that}[pronoun] それは水ですSore wa mizu desu(that is water)

その(Sono){that}[adjective] その箱は青いSono hako wa aoi(that box is blue)

そこ(Soko){there}[pronoun] 本がそこですhon ga Soko desu(the book is there)

next is the 'A' sound which represents things neither close to speaker nor the person being spoken to. It can be thought of as "that over there, away from us." It's also sometimes used for more abstract concepts that can't be logically positional.

あれ(Are) {that}[pronoun] あれは水ですAre wa mizu desu(that is water)

あの(Ano){that}[adjective] あの箱は黄色い**Ano hako wa kiiroi(that box is yellow)

あそこ(Asoko){there}[pronoun] 本があそこですhon ga Asoko desu(the book is over there)Please note this one is A+Soko: Asoko, not Ako

The last set that's good to know is the 'D' sound which basically means "which?"

どれ(Dore) {which}[pronoun] どれは水ですかDore wa mizu desu ka(which is water?) This also means "which one", used when the subject is understood.

どの(Dono){which one}[adjective] どの箱は赤いですかDono hako wa akai desu ka(which box is red?)

そこ(Doko){where}[pronoun] 本がどこですかhon ga Doko desu ka(Where is the book?)

March 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christian741098

Very nice of U!!! Thanks for taking the time to explain!

September 27, 2018

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

You deserve a lingot for this surely.

October 7, 2018

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

thank you for the explaination, really appreciate it

December 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JarvisJohn4

Hello I am Jarvis I have learned Japanese for 16 years and I have been speaking Japanese for almost 9 years so I'll brush my knowledge onto you

これ this (near speaker)

それ that (near listener)

あれ that (far from speaker and listener)

July 11, 2018

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

why can't I write それ は お水 です ?

November 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JarvisJohn4

お can only be use when the noun in this insistence 水 is in the front of the sentence

July 11, 2018

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

Interesting, can anyone else actually confirm whether this is true?

July 30, 2018

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

Both それ and あれ should be correct in this sentence. Because, in English we don't really have those two seperated words, and we don't know from the sentence if it's far away from just me or for us both.

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/axl556

if i wanted to ask ''is that water'' would i say それは水ですか

April 30, 2018

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

Yes.

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lum227756

Why can not use "それが水です。" here?

May 13, 2018

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

That's what I would like to know...

I think "それは水です" is a response to "What is that?", and the は takes emphasis away from それ. But "それが水です" would be a good response to "Which bottle is water?", because the が would emphasize that THAT one is water.

Duolingo struggles with context, but I think "それが水です" would translate to "That one is water", not "That is water".

July 7, 2019

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

Is です necessary?

September 30, 2018

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

YES

January 24, 2019

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

Please put whether or not it's far away or close. It makes a big difference.

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skgr136

So is を not used after 水 because it is not the object? If it isn't the object, what would you call 水 if we are talking about it's grammatical function in the sentence?

In other words, is 水 the subject, the topic, or something else?

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.Gad

水 is being used as a predicate nominative in this sentence.

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sergey624397

And this is the well...

August 17, 2017

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

I used それ but it marked me wrong and said I should of used あれ. why? .

January 2, 2018

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

Your answer should be accepted, considering that we don't know the context of the sentence. It truly can be either あれ or それ depending on the position of the water, but since this is likely something you'd say to somebody in conversation, the water is likely near the listener (so それ applies). It's best to report this the next time around because both answers are acceptable without proper context of the situation.

January 2, 2018

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

I did report it, I just commented here in case I missed something.

January 2, 2018

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

I think they fixed it cause I did the exercise twice with different answers, both correct if I remember right.

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/just.because

i didnt get this wrong, but water isnt necessarily a living thing, so arent we supposed to use "ga" and "arimasu"?

May 10, 2018

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

です can be used with living and nonliving things. I think you're thinking about the difference between あります (arimasu - a nonliving thing exists) and います (imasu - a living thing exists).

水です。Mizu desu.

It's water. (Someone asked "what's in your bottle?")

水があります。 Mizu ga arimasu.

Water exists. / I have water. (You're going on a camping trip and you ask if there is drinking water at the campsite.)

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henry516562

I put あれ instead of それ、because it showed it on the first word as an alternative. However, I still got the question wrong. Can someone help me?

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henry516562

Never mind, other elements of the answer were incorrect.

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clarinetgirl13

I said それわ水 and it marked me wrong. Isn't it okay to not use ですlike casually?

October 7, 2018

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

Firstly, you can drop です although to still be grammatically correct, you'd replace it with だ in this instance.

But the much bigger error is you've used わ instead of は. While the particle は is pronounced "wa" in this instance, it's not correct to use わ instead.

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clarinetgirl13

Oooh right! Thanks I forgot hehe

October 7, 2018

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

水 is water お水 is water in more polite form. Same as alcohol it can beさけ or おさけ , depends on level of politeness you want it to be

December 8, 2018

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

They use あれ and それ interchangably as "that"

December 9, 2018

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

There is no way to discern a/so/ko from the sentence, and kore was marked wrong.

December 15, 2018

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

There’s no way to differentiate それ and あれ because they both mean “that”. これ is “this”.

December 15, 2018

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

This has been explained elsewhere but これ means near the speaker, それ means near the listener, あれ means not near either.

February 2, 2019

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

When can I use あれ and それ?

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim613889

それ means "that" (far from the speaker but near to the listener); あれ means "that" (far from both the speaker and the listener).

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodrigoVan172228

Why is あれを水です wrong?

February 27, 2019

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

You can't use the particle を with です. If you check some of the other comments in this thread, there are already some good explanations.

February 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodrigoVan172228

Thanks friend

February 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy624508

It would be useful to know the position of the object being discussed ie (near other person)

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amber072902

What the difference between それ、あれ、& これ?

March 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim613889

これ means "this" それ means "there" (far from the speaker but near to the listener); あれ means "there" (far from both the speaker and the listener).

March 24, 2019

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

i keep messing up は and を

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susa290156

No es tan necesario el ーです AAAHHHH

May 3, 2019

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

Is word order important here? I wrote 水それはです and it counted as incorrect.

May 8, 2019

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

Yes, with the order you've used there is no particle marking water and telling us what it is doing in the sentence. Your version doesn't just have a word order issue, it is grammatically incorrect.

May 8, 2019

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

When do you use あれ and それ?

May 25, 2019

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

Depends on the position of the object and who's talking. If A is speaking and B is listening, and the object is closer to B then use それ; on the other hand if the object is not near A or B, then use あれ.

June 3, 2019

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

Because there is no context of the position of the object and/or the person talking, both あれ and それ should be accepted.

June 3, 2019

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

What is the difference between これ and あれ?

July 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adarshthak7

Duolingo uses は and が interchangeably for the sentence 'That is water.' ie, ありは水です。 & ありが水です。Please tell me why ?

August 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dang475724

これ and それ both being options here with no further context provided seems unfair.

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polar119231

Can someone tell me the diffrence between are and sore?

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

これ - this thing right here / next to me

それ - that thing next to you / the thing I'm pointing at

あれ - that thing all the way over there

It's a gradient of distance and you can't really translate it perfectly without any context. Duo usually translates これ as this thing, それ as that thing or the thing and あれ as that thing

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeslieMart998842

What about: この その あの ??

April 21, 2018

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

kono sono and ano are adjectives as in I want that water: あの水がほしい

これ それ and あれ are pronouns as in I want that(whatever "that" is).

April 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JarvisJohn4

それ(sore) that ( near listener )

あれ(are) ( far from speaker and listener )

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pedro.garz1

Why is used "wo" and not wa? Ejem. Mizu wa kudasai

April 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/checkers08

I got it right with mizu des (sorry, don't know how to do japanese text lol)

November 14, 2017

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

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15638682/How-to-use-the-Japanese-keyboard

Additionally, if you're on a Linux machine, Google's Mozc input works. https://github.com/google/mozc

January 2, 2018
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