"It is over there."
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That's like saying "it is there" means "it is the place there": It technically could be interpreted that way, but no one in their right mind would legitimately. That's like one of those things that you laugh at because you thought of a funny second meaning that it has. あそこ doesn't strictly mean that place there. It's essence is over there, that place, pointing to where something is far from both parties. If someone asked you where an objectwas and you pointed and said あそこです they're not gonna look at you like you're a madman, because that is one of the meanings. I don't think there's any way you could interpret あそこです as "(it) is that place" if you thought about it hard enough. English translation doesn't do あそこです justice. It couldn't possibly mean "It's that place" unless you don't understand it.
Okay. I think I get it now. Too many comments here when all I want to look for is why it can't just be あそこです。?
So you're only pointing to that place over there specifically instead of telling something that exists over there, thus あります is used. However, if the "it" is animate, then います should be used instead. This is a very good example to keep in mind. And I thank you Dúo!
But then again, it was followed by another example of "The restroom is over there." or トイレはあそこです。Now, you have a specific object that is (in that place) over there. I think the context of the given example is talking about the "it" that exists (in that place) over there and not about the place that is over there. Unless "あそこです" may also still be used to say and be understood as "It is over there", then I don't know what else to make of this, if we're just overthinking it.
@tsartomato, I wouldn't really say it's "obviously away from both"
If you're talking to someone そこ could refer to the place that the other person mentioned, so is conceptually close to them, even if not physically. Or if you're not talking to someone in person, if it is through text or on the phone and they say "I am at X place" or "Meet me at X place" You would say "Where is that? (place near you?)"
います refers to a living thing, at which point you would be refering to a "he/she". あります is referring to a non living thing, i.e. "it". If you're saying "it" at all, it's safe to assume you're using あります, not います. But for the purposes of duolingo, you're probably right, both should be acceptable answers. Duolingo is really bad at accepting multiple technically correct answers. Which is frustrating for Japanese because there are a lot of alternate ways to say the same thing and Duolingo doesn't seem built to handle that at all.
With all respect, I don't see how "it" would exclude living creatures... it is like THE pronoun for living creatures with the exception of humans, cats, dogs and a few more. We use "it" for the other 32 zillion living creatures known to mankind.
English is not my mother tongue so feel free to correct me if I'm missing something.
It's just a thing that いる/います and ある/あります use the に particle for denoting the place or association that something exists at or with respect to.
I remember this mentally by picturing both of these verbs as like "pointing towards something"...it's very different from the logic of English where saying "There is" is something that "happens" within the place where the thing exists. And this is reflected in the way these verbs and the に particle are used more broadly in Japanese than "there is" constructions are in English.
If anyone knows Russian, it's a lot like the "У (...) есть..." construction, and just like in Russian how you can say "У меня есть брат" or things like that, you can say in Japanese "私には兄がいます" and things like that (both mean I have a brother, but literally are more like, "With relationship to me, a brother exists").
Mentally picturing the に as a pointer that specifies a broader type of relationships than just location, was very helpful for understanding these sorts of constructions. It can sometimes denote physical location but it can also denote all sorts of other more abstract relationships.
Sorry, but あそこ is just not the same as そこ. Look at Hiroyuchi's answer to my translation of OP's question. I mean, there is a difference in English as well. "there" and "over there" is simply not the same. There is a difference in the distance of the object you are referring to if you are using one or the other.
Yes, they're different in Japanese, but it's not exactly the same as the difference between "there" and "over there" in English. If you're some distance from the listener and refer to somewhere near their location as "over there", then そこ is appropriate. Likewise somewhere that's not necessarily that far away at all, but still away from both the speaker and listener can be あそこ.
What's the difference between saying "It is over there" and just "It is there"?
「そこ」、"there" indicates a place relatively close to both the speaker and listener.「あそこ」、 "over there" indicates a place further removed from the speaker and listener. 「ここ」、"here" would be used for a place close to the speaker. It's similar to the rules you would have learned in an earlier lesson with それ "that" close to both the speaker and listener, あれ "that (over there)" distant from both speaker and listener, and これ "this" close to the speaker.
Sorry, my question was just a translation of OP's question so that they might see that there is a difference in English as well!
But I like your explanation, thank you!
「が - ga」and 「に - ni」are Japanese particles. Japanese particles are small words, that indicate words' relations within a sentence. Most particles have multiple uses.
The particle 「が」can be used to introduce a new subject. For instance: アイスクリーム「が」あります。 Meaning "There is an ice cream."
The particle 「に」can for instance be used to indicate a location when combined with the verbs いる or ある. For instance: ここ「に」あります Meaning "It is over here."
If you want to know more about particles, then this link might be helpful> https://www.japanesepod101.com/japanese-particles/ (It's also my sauce ;3)
Short answer: が is used to say this object exists! While に is used to describe a location. (≧◡≦)
これはあそこです is like "This thing near me これ is over there away from me あそこ" which doesn't really make sense as you're applying two different directional words to the same thing...
それはあそこです is similar "That thing near you is over there away from you" but sounds a little less weird because "that" is a bit looser and could apply to something the listener brought up in conversation and you are pointing out its location; so the concept is near the listener but the physical thing is away from them.
No, verbs conjugate differently depending on their ending.
いる is called an "Ichidan" verb. It is a verb with an iru/eru ending. These conjugate very easily by simply dropping the final る and adding the new conjugation ending.
ある is a "Godan" verb. These are all the verbs that do not end in iru/eru and they conjugate differently. With 'aru/uru/oru" the final ru changes to "ri" before the conjugation ending. ある becomes あります. Similarly "nu/bu/mu/su" endings also change to an 'i' form. 読む becomes 読みます, 話す becomes 話します.
For polite form conjugations there isn't a huge difference between ichidan and godan verbs, but when you get to て form conjugations (for commands, conjunctions and continuous verbs) the dictionary form ending is very important.
ある is the casual/dictionary form, あります is the polite form. Both are used for non-past
あそこにありいます and あそこにある would both mean "(it) is over there"
よ is an intensifier, like adding an exclamation point to a sentence. あそこにあるよ "It's over there!" It doesn't really change the meaning of the sentence, it just makes it feel a bit more emphatic, (which is why Duo tends to translate it as "you know" when it is used)
The difference between "there" and "over there" isn't exactly the same as that between そこ and あそこ obviously, but it's close enough (in a normal scenario where speaker and listener are not too far away) it wouldn't bother me if they did insist on using the best-matching one. But as it is, あそこだ is accepted for the previous exercise "It's there", but NOT for this one, which is just bizarre.
They are 「ko こ・so そ・a あ・do ど」 words
Ko- indicates something near the speaker
これ - This one
この - This (noun)
ここ - Here (this place)
こちら - This way (direction toward me)
So- indicates something far from the speaker but near the listener
それ - That one
その - That (noun)
そこ - There (that place)
そちら - That way (direction toward you)
a- indicates something far from both the speaker and listener
あれ - that one (over there)
あの - that (noun over there)
あそこ - that place (over there)
あちら - that way (away from us)
do- is used when asking a question
どれ - Which one?
どの - Which (noun)?
どこ - Where? (What place?)
どちら - Which way? (what direction?)
Duo will usually use そこ for "there" and あそこ for "over there" but in most questions both are accepted
Just "あっち" is the normal way to say this in every day speech from what I observed. But what makes no sense is that あそこだ is accepted for "It's there", but NOT for "It's over there", even though あそこ is closer to "over there" (i.e. not near the listener or the speaker). Actually there's many many ways this could be expressed that don't seem to be accepted (including むこうだ etc.)
Both あそこ and そこ should be correct. あそこ refers to a place that is far from both the speaker and the listener and そこ refers to a place that is far from the speaker but close to the listener. The context of the English sentence isn't very clear where the "it" is located exactly in regards to both the speaker and the listener so both options should be accepted.
Duo typically prefers そこ for "there" and あそこ for "over there". It's not an exact mapping, but reasonably good in many cases. Actually the difference in Japanese is much more precise than that in English where the use of "over" generally indicates a further distance or less-specific area, hence is more likely to be somewhere other than where the listener is.
That's because you're used to the verb 'is' in English taking two different functions - as a copula (linking two things, and indicating equivalence) and to indicate existence. That doesn't hold true in quite a few other languages from what I gather. Certainly the construct "There is a dog over there" is quite different in English than even many other related/European language.
Having said that I'm pretty sure あそこです is actually accepted as answer though, and would be sensible answer to "どこですか", for example.
It's explained in great detail in this thread but the gist of it:
こ is a prefix for close to the speaker. そ is the prefix for close to the listener. あそ is the prefix for far from both the speaker and listener.
ここ would be a place close to the listener, or roughly "here." そこ would be a place close to the listener but far from the speaker. あそこ would be a place far from both.
For purposes of duolingo, though, they don't explain this distinction at all. Duolingo creates an arbitrary rule that doesn't actually translate the meaning fully, but kinda gets part of the gist. If you want to get the correct answers, for the purposes of duolingo そこ = there and あそこ = over there.
Why is there a に in between あそこand あります? The tips for this section doesn't explain this at all. I don't know what the に is supposed to mean. I look at あそこにあります and I see "There _ there are/is". How does this translate to "It is over there." Nothing about this in the tips anywhere.
arimasu - non-living
imasu - living