"There is a room."


June 22, 2017

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Cause it is an object and not a place. は-situation/place が-subject


は is topic and が is subject.


There are many particles (de, ni, etc.) that can be used for places depending on the situation. Also, a place can be the subject of a sentence. In this case, you use が with あります to indicate that something exists. は is a way to bring up a topic - speaking of X, about X... It's certainly not confined to situations/places, but can be used for people and other topics.


Why is it 'が' instead of 'は' here?


Ha/wa is a topic maker not the subject

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In another thread someone posted a link which I found useful:



I went through the website but still can't figure out what the differences are. Anyone has more concrete examples?


There are a few really key people on this forum that I always look for when I have trouble understanding a translation. They always provide helpful, constructive and thoroughly explained comments with multiple examples to illustrate their points. KeithWong9 is one of these people. Thank you for all the time you dedicate to helping me learn.


Thus, I have learned what I need to know... and what I needed to know, is that just a single month into this journey, I do not need to fret over the purpose of 「は」now or really any time soon.

TY, @KeithWong9




が! Might this be part of how you would say "a thing" rather than "the thing", I wonder? I've always been puzzled about how to translate 'a' and 'the' through Japanese.

I know people always say "は is topic が is subject" and leave it at that, but that just always confuses me because the two English terms seem really close together in definition. Maybe it's just me, but I just feel that both terms are 'the thing that's being talked about'. So I still don't quite understand why a room is a subject and a person isn't a subject in these sentences, unless it has something to do with the a/the thing! I feel like it might do!


Sensei told me は emphasizes what was said before it as more important than what follows, and が emphasizes what follows as more important. Along the lines of "ROOM! I'm gonna talk about that." vs "room EXISTS!", But with much subtler enthusiasm because this isn't anime. Hope that's helpful.


You're partly correct. A in English and が in Japanese are often used to introduce new things. For example, むかしむかし、男がいました。 Once upon a time, there was a man. 男は山に住んでいました。The man lived in the mountains.

However, there are differences. For one, you don't use indefinite articles with pronouns or in plural, and oftentimes 〜はありますか will go wrong if you try to keep to "the." For example you can ask in a restaurant: コーヒーはありますか。Do you have coffee? (Not "the coffee" because just any coffee is fine.) じゃあ、お茶は? What about tea then? (Because they didn't have coffee, you want to change the topic, but again, not "the tea." I hope someone else can give you a better answer.


In everyday English, "subject" and "topic" mean the same thing, but when a linguist talks about the "subject" of a sentence, they are not using the word in the same way as in everyday English.

"Subject" is a term used in the study of grammar to refer to a word that plays a very specific role in a sentence.

The subject is defined in terms of the verb. Loosely speaking, the subject is the noun or pronoun that performs the action specified by the verb.

In the sentence, "I ate the pizza," the word "I" is the subject, in the grammatical sense, because "I" is the pronoun denoting the one who ate.

The "topic" has no fixed relationship to the verb. It is more like what you call "the thing that's being talked about".


Articles don't exist in Japanese and you can't translate everything 1:1


I agree that "は is topic が is subject" isn't very helpful when you first start. It does make more sense later with more experience, but that doesn't help at first.

Use が in sentences where you are stating that something exists "There is a room" or "There is a person." が is used with あります (room or inanimate things) or います (person or animate things) to indicate existence.

You can't use は to state that something exists because は refers back to something that both the speaker and listener already know about. Speaking of that place, it's blah.. blah. About John, did you know that blah.. blah.. blah?

The sentences in these lessons are a very small sample, so it's difficult to draw conclusions from them. Rooms/places aren't always the subject of the sentence. People can also be the subject of sentences.


Why isn't "部屋がいます” accepted? My native Japanese friend told me that あり is saying "there is" and pointing to the location, while い is just a general statement. Both should work, shouldn't it?

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います is used for animate objects while あります, for inanimate objects.

This is in the tips and notes section (desktop version only, if I am not mistaken).

Edit: It is now also available in Android.


Why is へやがーつあります not accepted?


I guess it's because the sentence doesn't include the word 'one', even though the meaning is essentially the same. In my opinion that would be a more accurate translation since japanese doesn't differentiate between singular and plurar so へやがありますcould mean there is a room or there are rooms


what is the difference between the topic and the subject?


The subject is the grammatical subject of the Japanese sentence. Note that this doesn't always correspond to the grammatical subject of the English sentence.

A topic refers back to something that both the speaker and listener know about.


In addition to what andrew867 said, also remember that は is placing emphasis on what comes after it. が places emphasis on what comes before it. I. This case, the room is the our reference but not the main focus. The focus is the the room exists and there for we use が to place that emphasis.


Is there any reason a person would use kanji instead of hiragana for the word "room"? The hiragana form seems so much simpler to write.. へや versus 部屋. Just something I've been wondering about.


Yes it might not seem as obvious now with super short Duo sentences but for fluent Japanese speakers - when they read a newspaper (as one example) all of the hiragana can mesh together and become very hard to read.

That is one reason why they have Kanji - to make the vocab easier to read very quickly and to keep you from getting words/particles/etc. all mixed up.


In Japanese, there are often many words that sound exactly the same. The kanji help distinguish between them. Without the kanji, it's also very hard to tell where one word ends and another starts.


Isn't this more accurately "I have a room."?

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あります is often translated into English as "there is" or "there are" (inanimate objects).


That's what I was thinking.


I may be wrong, but I think that it might be your room but couldn't it also be a room that's not yours?


Can someone say へやはあります in English? I can't think of why が is used here instead. ._.


No, you can't use は with either あります or います to show existence. Use が with those two verbs. Why that's true will become clearer over time.


は is used to talk about topics already known to the listener. You don't say "There is a room" to someone who already knows about the room.


Para saber el significado de "が" y saber la diferencia con "は":

Vídeo 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVBRSm74owE

Vídeo 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gviR00h5gmk

Vídeo 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuwerftLyB4

Vídeo 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaQuNyS9-wA

Preguntas y respuestas sobre "は" y "が": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDiF7CQmJmo

Aquí se explica bastante bien. De nada.


Do you always use が with あります?


Not always. は is also very common. You often use が to describe things though.


To state that something exists, there is .... or there are..., I believe that you do always use が with あります and います.


Nah, it depends. If you want to add some contrast you'd use は. e.g. 部屋はありますがトイレはありません (I have a room, but I don't have a bathroom... which is sad).


Which is the difference between そこに部屋はあります and 部屋があります? It marks the first as wrong.


そこは部屋があります should probably work


What is the difference between the topic and the subject? Aren't they pretty much the same? And doesn't this play into whether i should use ka or ga? Can someone explain this to me. No sarcastic answers please.


I think this is somewhat open to interpretation and will vary on what your intent is. Topic is something that isn't brand new but the rest of the sentence can express or query new information about it. If you're touring an apartment, you could ask if the bedroom has more than one window, in which case, I'd say the understood topic is the bedroom, and windows may be seen as the subject. Please, linguists, forgive me if it's not literally the subject - just giving a brief impression here. The way I think about it, you can ask about windows in several ways that make sense but you can also set the scene while asking:

Are there windows?

Are there two windows?

Are there two windows in the bedroom?


Regarding the bedroom, are there two windows?

The bedroom part wasn't required to have a full thought, but it was provided as a topic.

There are plenty of articles, comments, and videos that touch on this, but I think immersion is pretty important to grok the subtleties of a new language. The more experience, the better. It's something I need more of, myself.


Can someone explain to me why you use a particle sometimes? In this case we use が, and I understand why it's not e.g. は, but I don't understand why for example desu-verbs don't have a particle. Ex: "tori desu" (It's a bird). Why isn't it something like "tori ga desu" or "tori wa desu"?


だ・です it's a copula, not a verb, it allows nouns to predicate the sentence, so using something like 鳥です requires the です to be next to 鳥 because that's it's function.

This copula represents a state of being, you can use it very similar to how you would use "to be" in English, but you need a noun next to it. In the sentence「鳥がです」you are missing a noun and marking 鳥 with が as a "be-er".


I'm confused... Sometimes (for the same sentence) it uses arimasu and sometimes only desu. I keep using the wrong one and making the same mistake. Help?


[noun]が/はあります - There is a [noun]

[noun]です - It is a [noun]

[noun]は[location]にあります = [noun]は[location]です - [noun] is in/at/on [location].


How to know when to use "o" before nouns?


By experience, no shotcut. Try memorize the お with the word, and whether お means you or not in each case.


It be cool if they used "The room is there."









when to use "ni arimasu" or "ga arimasu"?


[location] ni

[subject] ga

[subject] wa [location] ni arimasu

[location] ni [subject] ga arimasu


Hey dose anyone know the difference between using お before 部屋 and what it means? thanks


If I write 部屋がある it accepts it because it is 部屋があります ' s informal form. I tried it earlier but didn't work . It worked this time. :-)


Can someone explain the あり?is it just signifying the "There is" portion with あす?



ある exist

あります exist (polite form)


If I'm at work and a Japanese tourist asks me if we have ice cream to sell. Could i just leave out the topic and say はい、あります or would it not be polite?


Totally legit. Though, in general, the longer the sentece the politer it sounds (this works in any language I guess, like 'Would you like a cup of tea?' versus 'some tea?').


Duo accepted 「お部屋があれます」in July, 2021. I was testing out "beautifying" a word.


hi everyone i was just wondering in what situation do you use this exact sentence...

like when you are genrally telling that there is a room,


when for example you work as a receptionist at a hotel like " sir ,we will have to check the availability... seems like there is a room "

I hope my question got through and thanks in advance :)


It's the same. In English you omitted the word "available" - "There is a room available." In Japanese 部屋がありますよ - omitted the word 空いた i.e. 空いた部屋がありますよ.


Can someone help with learning how to use each particles in a sentence. It's difficult knowing which ones to use since they can all technically be used in a sentence depending on the context. Like how a place can also be a subject and a direction.

  • London is big - London is the subject
  • I live in London - London is a place
  • I go to London - London is the direction

You don't say "in London is big," "I live to London" or "I go London." In English, you place the subject in front of a sentence, and use preposition to mark different cases. There is no context where "they can all technically be used" - which place to put the word, or which preposition to be used depends on other words in the sentence and the function ("case") of the particular word in the sentence, not by the "context" (for most cases).

You don't learn these at once. You gradually learn them. If you wish to preview the list - https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/50014131.


Thank you, I guess I wasn't voicing my thoughts correctly. Thank you for the list though


What would それは部屋です mean? I thought it would mean there is a room...


That would be "That is a room"

です is used in A=B sentences
それ = 部屋
That = a room

部屋があります is "There is a room" or more literally "a room exists"
ある・あります is the existence verb for inanimate things


Can you say あそこに部屋があります?And if yes, why is it not accepted on duo? If not, I guess sorry my bad.


I would interpret that as "There is a room (over) there" or just "The room is (over) there"
There are two uses to "there" in English, one of location, and one of existence.
ある・あります is the verb for existence, "There is a..."
そこ、あそこ are location words "...is there"
Your sentence would use both, stating the existence of something as well as the location of that existence.

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