Translation:It is there.
So my understanding is that this would be used for example in response to "Where is the toilet?" "It is there (right next to you)", whereas adding あ at the start would change it to "It is over there (pointing somewhere else)".
Is that correct?
Where is the logic that adding あ would change it? Does this apply to most words by adding あ at the beginning?
It kind of applies to demonstrative adjectives, pronouns and adjectives. In general, there are 4 series of demonstratives/determiners in Japanese, each corresponding to a ‘prefix’: close to the speaker (こ-), close to the listener (そ-), far from both (あ-), interrogative (ど-). Each one can be compounded with a number of suffixes to form demonstratives. ‘あそこ’ is actually an exception, since the suffix for places is normally just ‘-こ’, so ‘あこ’ would be expected. Some such ‘suffixes’:
-の to form adjectives (この, this; その, that; あの, that there;どの, which?).
-んな to form ‘sort of’-type adjectives (e.g.: こんな, this type of; どんな, which type of...?).
-れ to form pronouns for things (e.g.: これ, this (thing)).
-こ to form place pronouns, which coupled with preposition can form place adverbs (e.g.: ここ, this place; ここで, here; ここへ, to here; ここから, from here).
There are more, but you can easily find them by googling ‘Japanese determiners’.
The first time I really noticed and understood this was during the are, sore, kore, dore part earlier in the lessons (on mobile so no hiragana sorry).
It's nice to see a list of other suffixes where the same rule applies, thank you
I think the reason is because arimasu tells the existence of something (eg. In reply to the question "where is your car?"). Desu on the other hand tells what something is (eg. In reply to the question "which is your car?")
Does the に in this sentence work like it does when talking about time and when i do certain things?
No, に has a lot of different functions and in this case, it indicates the target location of a "state" verb (as opposed to "action" verbs).
Why does it use "soko" instead of "sore?" Would it be acceptable to use "sore" instead
I'm reading through the comments, and I've done some research. I am unable to find out what に means in this sentence.
Does に simply mark "そこ" as the target for "あります"?
I guess because "あります" is not a verb necessarily. Though the word "exist" is a verb. So why don't we use ”を” in this sentence? Maybe i'm just way off in my line of thinking but i'm trying to find out what "に 's" purpose is in this sentence.
I would appreciate any assistance, thanks!
Normally, the postposition indicating location is “で” and the one indicating direction is “へ”. For verbs indicating existence (like ある) or movement, however, “に” is used to indicate location and direction respectively. Yes, we can talk about “targets” of the verb, but I don't think it really helps in this case.
I do not understand why you would use “を”. “を” is used for the direct object, it certainly cannot be used with “ある”, which is intransitive (as is “to exist” in English).
No, the に in this sentence is used to indicate the target location for the verb. So, そこにあります = "the implied subject (it) exists (=あります) in (=に) that place (=そこ)" or in normal English, "It's there"
I thought the same. How might translation of "that place exists" be a mistranslation? After reading JoshuaLore's answer, I think I have a good handle on it.
＊”It (implied subject) exists (あります) in (に) that place (そこ).”＊
So, saying "Over there" is incorrect? Considering there is no subject given. For example それはそこにあります。Or if we'd like to be a little more specific ぼうしはそこにあります (The hat is over there). There is too little to assume that it is simply "it"
The problem is “over there” omits the verb (あります), however English, unlike Japanese, doesn't allow a verb without a subject, consequently “it's there” is the most natural translation for “そこにあります” (which is a full sentence in Japanese, it doesn't need a subject), considering that most other pronominal subjects are out of the question (“ある” is only for inanimate things). “They are there” is also possible, but I'm sure it's already accepted.
So unless specified, a translator would have to say "it's over there" unless there was more context given within the sentence/previous sentences?
Yes, I believe so. I dare say, even with context “it's over there” would often be the best option, given the tendency of Japanese to omit pronominal subjects.
Mm why does it use に instead of へ (same duolingo explains that へ its for direction and に for time)
Both へ and に can be used for directions; に can also be used for time, but it isn't always used that way.
When used with movement verbs (in Japanese, "existing" is a movement verb), へ is used to indicate a rough direction, for example 海へ行く = " go towards the sea (but not necessarily arrive there)", whereas に is used to indicate a specific destination, such as ビーチに行く = "go to the beach".
As you can see, while "existing" is treated as a movement verb in Japanese, you can't exist in a rough, general direction; existence occurs at a specific location.
Yes, へ is for direction (although に is used in its place for motion verbs) but in this case “here” is a position, not a direction, so normally you would use で. However, some verbs—you could say verbs of existence or location—consider the location an indirect object, in English terms, so you use に.
It means “it's there”. “There it's” clearly isn't a valid English sentence (although it may be that the database has “there it is” as an acceptable translation and it's been told to accept [“it is” = “it's”] regardless of context).
I translated it as "It is in there" Weird sentence, but makes sense to me to translate it that way.
It makes sense to me too, but you have to be careful with using "in". Here, the に can be used to mean "in", but it can also be "at" in different contexts (although, "it is at there" is an even weirder sentence :S)
Well, they were right in this instance, but an incomplete understanding will lead to mistakes being made in the future. I know from personal experience that it's easy to get overconfident with a particular grammar point, only to then apply it incorrectly or to cases that it doesn't apply to. I just wanted to make sure OP (and others reading these comments) didn't fall for the "に = in" heuristic, which can be a hindrance in later learning.
Besides, just because someone is right, doesn't mean there isn't anything more to learn. Getting the basics right is generally a good stepping stone to the more advanced stuff.
Yes, though I would argue that "it is right there" sounds more like そこにあります
よ. Without the よ, it doesn't have the emphasis that "right there" seems to imply.
です i think its used for 'being' instead of 'where are' (en espanol podria describirlo mejor)
です is more like a verbal period. To specifically state "being" you would use ある（あります）= non living things or いる（います）= living things.
So using the example:
そこにあります (It's over there)
そこにいます (It's over there (in reference to a thing that has life))
if you want to omit the verb, which is super casual and generally used among people you would consider on a friendship level, I believe it would be
to have に sounds odd, at least here in Japan I have not heard そこにです used at all.