1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "かれはおにいさんが三人います。"


Translation:He has three older brothers.

July 2, 2017



How do you pronounce the "three people" counter combo?


I'm not sure but I think I hear "san nin"


I looked this up and that's correct. I don't recall duolingo explaining how to count people but it goes Hitori - 1 person Futari - 2 people Sannin - 3 people Yonin - 4 people [n]-nin - [n] people


There's some info on counters in the Tips and Notes section under "Home" - click on the light bulb.


Thankfully, I think these old counting systems only go up to ten. After that, I think you use the normal system + 人 (or つ).


Kare wa o-nii-san ga sannin imasu. He (topic particle) (polite prefix) brother (honorific) (subject particle) three people there is. He has 3 brothers. w h a t


as for him there are three (older) brothers


If you're confused about "has" vs. "there is," just remember that います or あります can be used for "there is" in relation to a person, which is why います or あります can be translated as "have" in some cases.


Though from what I'm reading elsewhere on the forum, only います is for "there is" in relation to a person (or animal). あります is for objects/plants.


I think います can be used for robots.


It depends on who you ask, and what kind of robot, but I think the general consensus is います is for "animate" objects, meaning anything that can move through its own will/volition.

This means that you probably wouldn't use います for car manufacturing robots in an assembly line, but you might for more intelligent robots like Asimo. However, you could say that a Roomba "moves through its own volition", and thus you should use います for it, but that's why I said it depends on who you ask. Everyone draws the line in a different way.


Thank you. Because at first I wanted to translate it as, "he is one of three brothers", which obviously is not the same as "he has three brothers".


If you are interested, "He is one of three brothers." would be 彼は三人兄弟の一人です。


Why is it kare wa not kare no?


Because we're not talking about the brothers, we're talking about the guy who has the three older brothers. Kare no would imply we're talking about the brothers, but kare wa means he's the topic of the conversation.


Because 彼のお兄さんが三人います sounds like his older brother has 3 people. Which might make sense if you're talking about how many people work for him, or if you're looking for a serial kidnapper...


How is おにいさん different from あに?


It's a politeness thing, with おにいさん being more polite than あに. It (generally) depends on who you're talking TO and who you're talking ABOUT.

If you're talking TO your own older brother, you refer to him as おにいさん.

If you're talking TO someone ABOUT your own older brother, you refer to him as あに.

If you're talking TO someone ABOUT their older brother, you refer to him as おにいさん.


彼はお兄さんが三人います。(Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I didn't see another.)


Does this translate to:

As for him, the brothers (his brothers, implied) are three people.

Because that's the only way I can make sense of the fact that "brother" is the subject of the sentence


Yes, that's pretty much spot on. Note that おにいさん means "big brother(s)".

You can break it down even more like so: As for him (=かれは), older brothers (=おにいさんが) exist (=います) as three people (=三人).


かれは - he/him (topic).

おにいさんが - older brother(s) (subject).

三人 - three people (人 here is the special suffix for counting people, pronounced にん when there are 3 or more). The count itself refers to the subject of the sentence (brothers in this case).

います - verb meaning "to exist" referring to animate objects, like people.

I'm mostly typing this out to break it down for myself but please correct me if wrong.


Absolutely right. Great job!


Can someone explain me how the counting goes? I remember that in counting books it was also like this that on the bookshelf the book, there are 3/4 etc. Every counting is done like this?


For people, 1 and 2 are irregular: hitori and futari. Then it follows the pattern of the normal number with -nin at the end. Sannin, yonnin, gonin, etc.


I believe 四人 is pronounced よにん rather than よんにん. Though I suppose the difference would be unnoticeable the majority of the time.


I was just wondering why it uses "ha" after kare instead of "no" if it's possessive. I mean it sounds right the way it is, but I don't want to get confused later


(I think) That would mean "his brother", making the brother the main subject of the sentence instead.


They put old as one of the options, I'm laughing so much. Please don't ask why, it should explain itself.


My lasy ass put 3 instead of writing three and Duolingo was not having it


I typed "he has got 3 older brothers" and it was detected as wrong


The "got" is not needed


why is it using は instead of の?


Because the topic of the sentence isn't "his older brothers" it's just "him." The sentence is specifically about what he has, not necessarily just that his three older brothers exist.


Hello, Guys! Please remember these special sounds of numbers: 1ひと=いち 2ふた=に 3みっ=さん 4よっ=よん/し 5いつ==ご 6むっ=ろく 7なな=なな/しち 8やっ=はち 9ここの=く/きゅう 10とお=じゅう The numbers ≥11 use the normal sounds like じゅういち and so on.


Remember: 三人のおにいさんが... emphasises subject, while this one emphasises amount. I may be wrong, but it applies with だい/わ/ほん/ひき/etc. counters, I am sure.


The kanji readings are off. 彼は(kare ha, he+topic marker) お兄さんが(oniisan ga, older brother+object marker) 三人います(san'nin imasu, san=three, nin=people (used primarily in counting), imasu="exist" for people.


Why has instead of have ?


That's how English works. Third person singular nouns/pronouns use "has" instead of "have", and since "he" is a third person singular pronoun, "he has" is correct.


Does a worth for brother exist, that doesn't state younger or older?


No. Read other comments before posting.


Am i the only one who cannot understand the sentence by listening to it?? I can understand it just by reading it...


Can it be かれがおにいさんは三人います? How would the meaning of the sentence be changed? I'm super confused about that...


That would be more like "he is three brothers", which does not make sense.
Also, が usually comes after は.


For the second response in a row I have selected the correct response using Duolingo's choices and been marked wrong -かれはおにいさんが三人います。So I cannot complete the lesson because it keeps asking me for the same response to complete it - and keeps marking that response as incorrect


Why is it incorrect 彼はお兄さんが三人います?


Why don't you write the correct answer?!, if you don't show me the correct way to do it how an I do it!


So かれ is plural male?


No, the plural form is かれら.

But keep in mind that 彼ら is more gender neutral than 彼. It can be used to refer to all male or mixed gender group.

And also be sure to remember that Japanese nouns, in general, can be either singular or plural. Plurality is not always specified. You just have to work it out from context.

So for example 犬 (いぬ) can mean dog or dogs.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.