"It is over there."


July 1, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Wouldn't あそこです work just as well here?


No because then you'd be saying "it is that place"


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.


あそこです worked for me, though now that i think about it, that sounds more like 'It is over there"

But either would probably work especially with context


If I understand correctly, あそこです would maybe imply to me that "it is that place over there", which is a little less general and has slightly different meaning from "it is over there".


What does the phrase "less general" mean to you?


A bit late but my 2 cents: It can be used in conversation, but the difference is between saying in English "It is over there" (the thing you're supposed to write), and just saying "Over there.". Less formal probably.


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.


If I have understood correctly, you can think of a room as a place. So トイレ could actually be that place over there, rather than just being in that place over there.

I hope someone will correct me if I have got this wrong.


i think it's because あそこ is the direction where it is, rather than the thing that is


I think あそこです would be fine for saying it in response to an abstract thing like a party or a fire or something. But あそこにあります more likely points to a tangible thing is over there, like a book or pen or something. So I think it really depends on what 'It' represents.


Yes it would. Actually if you download the listeninf from pimsleur i believe in lesson 5 or 6 you learn ここ and あそこ which both get a です and not a あります


Is the "a" at the beginning needed?


Asoko is farther away than soko. Like "there" vs "over there".


More accurately, そこ refers to a place near the listener (vs. ここ, a place near the speaker); あそこ refers to somewhere far from both the speaker and listener.

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But why is "soko" marked wrong for this? Given the context shouldn't both be acceptable?


It should be acceptable but it seems that Duolingo has a strict "there" = "soko", "over there" = "asoko" rule


@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?)"


That is irritating, as that isn't practically how you would use those words. For the purpose of duolingo, i would think either should be counted as correct but somehow also teaching the difference.


next question i've got is

Where is that place?

with そこはどこですか?

which is obviously away from both speakers


ここ here (by me) そこ there (by you) あそこ over the (away from both of us)


why isn't「あそこにいます」 accepted ?


As the English sentence does not necessarily imply that "it" is inanimate this should be accepted in my opinion.


It ought to be accepted, because the question is ambiguous. Report


"It ought to be accepted, because the question is ambiguous. Report." I just did, but I was half expecting a rejection when I changed あり to い in my answer. "It" could be a snail, an elephant, whatever.


Yeah, "It is" coud be an animal too


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.


Nope, I'd say you're on the money there. In fact it's really only humans that we don't use "it" for, it's common enough to use it for cats/dogs too if you have no connection with them.


"ni" is used for a direction or destination. Arimasu means an inanimate object. So I'm guessing in this combination, ni is used more for a combiner word


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.


What's the difference between saying あそこにありますand just そこにあります?


I agree, そこにありますshould be ok !

[deactivated user]

    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.


    I would think it means "it is there" since "窓は「そこ」です" for example means "the window is there" but I could be wrong

    [deactivated user]

      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.


      Actually a slight correction, そこ and それ would be something closer to the listener, not something close to both.

      [deactivated user]

        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!


        Why ni instead of ga?


        「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. (≧◡≦)


        Shouldn't あそこにいます also be correct? It isn't specified whether "it" is living or not, hence います and あります should both be accepted.


        Yes, あそこにいます would work for if it was referring to something living, you can report it, I guess.

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        As far as I can gather from looking into this, in Japanese, the situation would never arise where you would use "it" to describe a living thing. When talking about the relational existence of pronouns, since there technically is no "it" in Japanese, "it" is always "arimasu".


        You don't use "it" on humans, but you can on animals. I don't find myself referring to spiders in my house as "he" or "she"

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        Right, but you are thinking of English....


        I said 「それはあそこです。」, which was accepted, but with the note that it can also be 「あそこにあります。」- but is the latter just a better way to say it? I want to make sure I'm not phrasing things awkwardly.


        I came here to ask the same question xD 「これはあそこです」and 「あそこにあります。」 seems to be the same in the translator.


        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.


        Maybe is a quantum "thing" and it 's in two places at same time (? just kiddn xD Thank you!


        Why it can't be あそこにいます?

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        IIRC, my understanding is that "imasu" is for animate things (he/she) while inanimate (it) has to be "arimasu".


        "It" can never use います? Even if we are suggesting "it" is alive.
        Say we are talking about a cat and not sure of gender. If i decide not to use the word "cat" i would then use "it" would it still be be appropriate to use あります?


        Correct, animate things like animals are います.


        whats the difference between ます, います, and あります?


        ます is just the polite non-past verb ending

        います, the polite form of the verb いる "exist" is used with animate things (animals, people)
        あります is the polite form of the verb ある "exist" used with inanimate things (objects, plants)

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        I wonder... If "aru" becomes "arimasu", then (at some point) did "iru" used to conjugate to "irimasu"? Like how "desu" is a contraction of "de arimasu"?


        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 becomes あます. Similarly "nu/bu/mu/su" endings also change to an 'i' form. 読 becomes 読ます, 話 becomes 話ます.

        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.

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        Whoa... thank you. Very informative. :)


        thank you so much ♡♡


        so somehow, あそこにあるよ was accepted as a right answer? and being that I'm still pretty new to this, I'm not sure why


        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)


        Without more context it's impossible to tell if the "it" in the sentence is closer to the listener or away from both speaker and listener, so surely そこ should be just as acceptable as あそこ?


        Why can't "asoko ni imasu" be accepted? Since there is no conyext of whether the 'it' is animate or inanimate


        I have a previous sentence written down that is the same but in japanese it's "ここにあります"

        This time i put "そこにあります" But it required "あ"

        Why? :(

        • 1625

        From what I've gathered thus far...
        "そこにあります" = It is there.
        "あそこにあります" - It is OVER there.

        One points to something nearby and the other farther away, basically.


        Wouldn't 'soko ni arimasu' work? As we don't onow the context as to where the listener or the speaker is standing in this condition. I think both 'soko' and 'asoko' should work on this one.


        Shouldn't あそこにいます be accepted? Or is the あり should always be included?


        That would be possible if referring to an animal, sure.


        そこ should be accepted in this case too because the distinction between "there" and "over there" isn't so clearly defined in English. "Over there" could still refer to by the person being spoken to.


        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.


        What is the difference between あそこ and そこ?


        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


        Yeah, both ought to be accepted because the distinction doesn't exist that way in English and adding the word "over" doesn't necessarily imply a difference in location


        Why can't "asoko ni imasu" work? Since there is no context saying that the 'it' in question is animate or inanimate.


        It, as a general rule in English, implies inanimate. Otherwise they'd likely specify the dog, a person, she or her or even they, etc to be translated.


        It's not that uncommon to use "it" for animals, robots and sometimes even babies. Or I might be a ultrasound technician pointing at someone's scan and indicating where the foetus is! So います should definitely be accepted.


        I mean those are the exceptions that break the general rule for sure. Either way you understand the grammar difference of います and あります so I wouldn't worry to much about it other than the inconvenience of Duolingo being an imperfect tool.


        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.)


        Why あそこに vs あそこで?


        I'm pretty sure it's because に is where something is, or where it is being done, while で is only where something is being done. So if you're saying where something is, you use に.


        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.


        Is soko ni correct? Does it have to be asoko ni?


        why not そこです?


        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.


        It is a dog - inu desu. It is 3 o clock. - sanji desu. It is over there. - asoko ni arimasu. ???

        It really feels like it's supposed to be 'asoko desu' to me.


        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.


        What is the difference between soko and asoko?


        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.


        I wish duolingo explained certain prefixes better to avoid confusion


        I wrote そこです - can someone explain why it's wrong?

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        I believe it's because Duo only accepts "asoko" as "over there" while "soko" only means "there".


        に marks a location of existence,
        Here it is marking "over there" as the location of the subject (it) that is doing the verb ある・あります "exist"


        what's the difference between 'arimasu' and 'imasu' ?

        [deactivated user]


          Couldn't 'it' be animate or inanimate? Why is one wrong?


          Duo apparently expects us to know she's telling where she parked her car, but we have no way of know she's not talking about where she sees a zebra. Otherwise neither is wrong. Apparently there haven't been enough Reports of my います "should be accepted" yet.


          I answered 「それはあそこです」 and was marked correct...

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