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  5. "ねこがいます。"

"ねこがいます。"

Translation:There is a cat.

June 30, 2017

39 Comments


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

Why is "it is a cat "wrong? Imasu is "to be " for animate objects... So...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

います is the verb "to exist" for animate objects, which is subtly different from the verb です which is "to be".

When you say "it is a cat", or "it be a cat", you are equating "it" with "a cat". In Japanese, that would be 猫です.

In the Japanese sentence here, 猫がいます simply means "a cat exists", without specifically telling you what object is being a cat.


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

Informative answer. But "It is a cat." should still be accepted if "It's a cat." is accepted because "it's" is a contraction of "it is". These two terms are exactly equivalent in meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I've explained this already in an earlier comment:

"It's" can also be a contraction of "it has". Obviously, to a native English speaker, shortening "it has a cat" to "it's a cat" is ridiculous, but I believe this is just a bug that "it's a cat" is suggested. "It has a cat" is technically a possible translation for ねこがいます though, which is probably what should be suggested instead.


[deactivated user]

    ...so...if it said... neko-desu it is translated as "it is a cat"

    but if it's neko ga imasu it should be "there is a cat?"

    sorry i still haven't installed the japanese keyboard


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Sorry I shouldn't have used the kanji in my earlier comment, 猫 = neko, but yes, you're almost exactly right. It might be a bit confusing, but it's more accurate to say ねこです can be translated to "it is a cat" and ねこがいます can be translated to "there is a cat". They can be translated to other things depending on context, but they are never interchangeable.

    (Don't worry about not having a Japanese keyboard; I just use it here to look smarter than I am :P)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ofek228934

    If I change it to ねこはいます will it become "There is the cat"?


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

    Why not あります?


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

    Arimasu is only use for stationary object like house, plants etc. Imasu is the word for other living things


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HyderHussa1

    In the previous questions, "it is a dog" is acceptable, but in this one "it is a cat" is marked as wrong. It said "It's a cat" is the correct answer... given that "it is" and "it's" are the same word, that seems inconsistent


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    です is among the previous questions for which "it is a dog" is acceptable, but that would be the wrong answer for 犬がいます.

    "It's" can also be a contraction of "it has". Obviously, to a native English speaker, shortening "it has a cat" to "it's a cat" is ridiculous, but I believe this is just a bug that "it's a cat" is suggested. "It has a cat" is technically a possible translation for ねこがいます though, which is probably what should be suggested instead.


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

    が subject marker with いますmeans "it has"? confusing.


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

    Can it be "there are cats" too?


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

    Yes, that should be a correct translation too. ねこ = "a cat/the cat/the cats/some cats/cats in general", source: http://www.japaneseprofessor.com/lessons/beginning/nouns-pronouns-and-plurals/

    Also,

    "You can also make general nouns (living things) explicitly plural with -tachi 「ーたち」, with the same meaning: a specific being and others around them. いぬたち = "(a specific group of) dogs". (Same source)

    But you don't need 「ーたち」 for it to be plural. It's a way of being more specific, it depends on context.

    Also note that for people it's a bit different, 「わたしたち」 (watashi-tachi) obviously doesn't mean a specific group of "me", it means roughly "myself and company" and can be applied to others (2nd or 3rd person) the same way.


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

    what is the difference が or は


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Oh boy, you're better off spending an hour or twenty googling this for yourself.

    But "basically" (in really, really big quotation marks), は marks something as the topic, while が marks something as the subject.

    In English, we don't really have an explicit topic like this, but you can think of it as "defining the context" for the rest of the sentence. In many cases, that means defining the subject at the same time. To be clear, the subject in Japanese is the thing that performs the verb.

    So whether you use が or は depends the context you're in, and whether you need to make the context explicit or not.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shelby482723

    Yeah I'm also confused about this one


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brother84

    I learned that は is usually used for living creatures while が is used for non-living things. So, shouldn't it be ねこはいます。? Does switching between は and が change in any way the meaning?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    No, that difference is only between using the verbs います or あります.

    Typically, in basic sentences, switching between は and が doesn't change the meaning, but it does drastically change the emphasis of the sentence. This can become important in more advanced sentences or where the context is ambiguous. Other times, if は andboth appear in the sentence, switching between them can have a huge impact on the meaning.

    I'm sure there are many, significantly more detailed explanations of the difference elsewhere on the internet, but in general, は is described as the "topic" particle, since it assigns "the thing" as the main topic of the sentence or emphasizes it, and が is typically called the "subject" particle , since it designates "the thing" as the agent doing the verb or the target of a preference/ability.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trevor220058

    "There are cats" . Marked Wrong! Why?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlaminGalah91

    sometimes the answer shows the kanji if I get it wrong. Then I put the kanji in correctly and it marks it as wrong! 何ですか???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

    Does it happen to you in written exercises or just audio ones? From my own experience, kanji are more likely to be accepted in written exercises, but it seems to be hiragana or nothing in the audio exercises.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T.James.B

    there a bug i type 猫がいます and go it wrong because i use the kanji


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

    Could this also be translated as "There are cats"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, it can. Nouns in Japanese can be either singular or plural, depending on the context (which we don't have any information about).


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

    Alright! Thank you!


    [deactivated user]

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ellis441172

      Why is "I have a cat" accepted. This seem rather different from "There is a cat".


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

      Depending on the context, it can mean both (:


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

      So what would "this is a cat" be?


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

      Why is "it is" wrong if "it's" is correct?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonikaHill3

      Why isnt it "I have a cat" ?


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

      Why aren't they using the Kanji for cat, 猫?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WillH.620982

      Am i the only one think "i will buy a cat"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

      Is it just me or is the make voice better?


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

      "I have a cat" is the most plausible for me here :3


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

      In the audio exercise for this sentence, "猫がいます" is not accepted, but "ねこがいます" is. Why? I can't understand why it's wrong to use kanji in an audio exercise. It's not the first time I've been marked wrong for using kanji instead of hiragana in an audio exercise. Something that needs looking at, unless there is some specific rule about it, or if I have actually used the wrong kanji (I think that is the kanji for "neko" though).

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