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  5. "There is a room."

"There is a room."


June 22, 2017



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


は is topic and が is subject.


Why is it 'が' instead of 'は' here?


Ha/wa is a topic maker not the subject



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.


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.


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


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".


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?


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?


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.


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


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


That's what I was thinking.


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


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.


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.


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.


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".


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.


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."




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].







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

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