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  5. "There are dogs and cats."

"There are dogs and cats."


July 5, 2017



Why is it 'imasu' and not 'arimasu'


"Arimasu" is used for things. Book, tree etc. "Imasu" is used for living things. Human beings and animals etc .


There is/are:

"Orimasu" - for youself, a family member, who's close to you, Formal.

"Imasu"- for anyone, you, your friends, animals too, informal.

"Arimasu" - animate objects, things, not living.

"Irasshaimasu" - Way formal, for someone you should pay respect to; president, king, boss etc.


True, also known as animated vs inanimated


Trees don't count as alive?



Yes, "いる/います" is not used for tree. 木がある。 or 木が生えている (生える/はえる)


Thanks, that makes much more sense now!


Still trying to understand the particles. Why is this "ga" and not "ha"? The dogs and cats are not the subjects?


So first of all bless you for bringing this sheet into my life. But i still don't understand how we could tell what duolingo wanted? Does the use of "ga" here emphasize /what/ is existing over the fact that it /is/ existing?


That is a pretty cool reference. Still, after reading it, it is not clear how wa/ga are distinguishable. The ither particles like 'ni, mo, etc', yes, but not wa and ga.

Also, Sora, I see you posting a lot, so thanks for your help! :)


Great. But nothing here indicates that either ga OR wa is the only correct translating.

Even DuoLingo TIPS instructions explicitly starts that while the meaning is slightly different when using one vs the other, NEITHER are inherently wrong.
It states that they can be interchangeable (sorry of), and DONUT STRESS OVER USING ONE OR THE OTHER.
YET MARKS US WRONG for using one vs the other.

Without context, is impossible to KNOW that a specific emphasis IS deemed TO BE engendered to THIS sentence. And an intended(subtle) emphasis is the only difference between using one vs the other. As a direct non-contextual translation, either we technically correct.



thank you man, thanks so much. It helps so much!


There is no indication of plural or singular here, right?

  • 1083

Correct. Japanese doesn't distinguish between singular and plurals* so "there is a dog and a cat" would be exactly as valid.

(*pedantic people will point out たち but while it guarantees a plural, it's not exactly that)


And what is it then? I thought it was a plural

  • 1083

Oh wow I missed this reply from a year ago.

Basically, it kinda translates to "and the others"? So when you say 私たち, it kinda means "me and the others around me", or "us".

Where there's a distinction is when you get things like 田中たち. Obviously saying "Tanakas" is a bit odd but generally, it would mean "Tanaka and the people with him".


Why is が used here? Is it because there are multiple thinga being talked about?


Well が is also used in "犬がいます. Quoting this Stackoverflow answer,"You can use が, instead of は, if the subject is the only answer." and that が refers to the subject, where the focus is the subject before が." - from here.


Ga or ha i cant understand


Maybe this video here helps you understand it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FknmUij6ZIk


Bearing in mind I have no native knowledge of Japanese cultural nuance, purely from a linguistic perspective, は indicates TOPIC and が indicates SUBJECT. This sounds similar, but the distinction is mostly that the subject is a GRAMMATICAL concept, while the topic is a SEMANTIC concept.

In English - and many other European languages - we typically do not distinguish between the two notions. However, the 'simple' solution is to think of anything preceding は as meaning "Regarding X, the following is true:", whereas が would just be your 'normal' sentence with a subject and a verb.

In the dog & cat example: [ [ 犬と猫 ] が ] [ います ]。 [ [ dog and cat ] SUBJECT ] [ exist.ANIMATE.POLITE.AFFIRMATIVE ] Literally: "Dog(s) and cat(s) exist." Practical translation: "There are dogs and cats." <-- Note that we are using "There" even though we are not actually indicating location per se; we are merely referencing the existence of dogs and cats.

In other words, が indicates that 犬と猫 is the subject to which the verb います pertains.

Whereas with は: [ [ 犬と猫 ] は ] [ います ]。 [ [ dog and cat ] TOPIC ] [ exist.ANIMATE.POLITE.AFFIRMATIVE ] Literally: "Regarding the dog(s) and cat(s), they exist." Practical translation: "There are dogs and cats."

In other words, there is no grammatical subject in the は sentence; the fact that it is the dogs and the cats that exist is inferred from the fact that we are actually talking about the dogs and cats (as indicated by the TOPIC of the sentence, which was introduced before は) and we are not actively specifying a different SUBJECT. Consider what happens when we DO specify a different SUBJECT: [ [ 犬と猫 ] は ] [ [ [ 目 ] が ] [ あります ] ]。 [ [ dog and cat ] TOPIC ] [ [ [ eye ] SUBJECT ] [ exist.INANIMATE.POLITE.AFFIRMATIVE ] ] Literally: "Regarding the dog(s) and cat(s), eye(s) exist." Practical translation: "The dogs and cats have eyes."


Why is adding 'soko' for there wrong? I tried adding it before: "Soko wa inu.." and in the middle of the sentence: "..neko ga soko imasu." I understand I am wrong, but not why. Can anyone help?


The verb いる (iru; conjugated in this sentence as います/ imasu) can be translated as "there is" or "there are". (you might also see it as "to be")

そこ (soko) means "there", but in a location sense ("it's over there, go look there, etc).

If you wanted to say, "There are dogs and cats there," meaning a place where there are dogs and cats, you could add そこ to the... start of the sentence, I think. It would likely need a particle after it though.


Shouldn't 犬たちと猫たちがいます be accepted?


yeah, that should be fine as well. it's not as usual though, たち is not really a pluralization, but more like a grouping thing, for example, I can say「ビクターたち」to refer to "Viktor's group", it doesn't mean that your group is full of Viktors, it just means that I'm declaring a group that you are part of where you are the important part in the context. When used with nouns it does something similar to pluralization in English but is not really needed imo.


Would it also be correct to say 犬もねこもいます ?


I know this is neutral in indicating whether it is a singular cat and dog or multiples of each, but is there a way to specifically indicate that there is only one of each? Would one use a counter?


I suspect so yes.


I've always been confused. What's the difference between も and と?

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