1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "It is there."

"It is there."


July 16, 2017



I get that we don't use です here, but i don't know why we use あります。Any tips there?


Though I've learned that あります (and います) expresses "being," I think I once read something about it also kind of meaning "to exist" (not literally though since there's an actual verb for that). Even if that's not the case, thinking of it that way really helps me because it lets me distinguish between it and です.

Example: If I see something like '椅子が二つあります (aka いすが二つあります)' I think "Two chairs exist" therefore "There are two chairs." Or in this particular example's case, my thought process is 'そこにあります’ = "Something exists there" = "It is there". To me it differs from です because that would just mean generally "It is there" but not that something is actually existing/present there.

It helps me with います too because then I can think of something like '姉がいます (aka あねがいます)' as "An older sister exists" so it could mean either "I have an older sister" or "There is an older sister" since I at least know one exists.

Sorry the explanation was kind of long but I hope it helps!


Thank you, captain!


Yeah, there are two different concepts rolled into one verb in English - one that describes something ("the cat is cute") and one that says that something exists ("there is a cat here"). Other languages have multiple verbs for expressing these ideas - Japanese is one of them

So yeah, です is the describing verb (it's called a copula) and いる and ある are both "thing exists" verbs. If you need to say that something exists (which includes "there are (exist) X number of things") you use いる or ある. It's pretty simple once you get the idea of description vs existence into your head

The other thing to watch out for is, again, English using the same word for two different ideas! You might have noticed that when we say something exists we say "there is" or "there are". It's just part of the phrasing. This is different from using there to describe location. "There is a cat" vs "the cat is there"

But in Japanese, when you describe location, you're effectively saying "this thing exists at this place". So you still use いる and ある, because the idea is being phrased in terms of existence, not description. If that makes sense? That's a long way of saying YOU JUST DO OK but I think it helps to understand the ideas behind the languages, it gets a lot easier to make sense of things!


So why could we use ~です in the last few sentences? There are sentences that use です after ここ、そこ、あそこ after all.


You can use です to describe something with an adjective, e.g. "The cat is black."

I think that the same could work for describing where something is located. You could either say, "The cat exists over there," and use and adverb (猫がそこにいます), or you could say, "The cat IS over there," and use an adjective (猫はそこです), where the location becomes a property of the cat.

I might be mistaken though.


I'm pretty sure that そこ can't be used as an adjective. What is your source for thinking that it can?




I put そこです and it was marked correct


What is the difference between います and あります?


います is for living/animate things (people, animals). あります is for nonliving/nonanimate things (buildings, vehicles, plants)


Trying to piece that together as well lol


Arimasu is here because it is a conjugation of 'aru' which means exist (for non living things).


Why そこにいます is not accepted? What if "it" is something animate - a cat, a dog or a bird?


"います" is of course acceptable if "it" is something animate (e.g. a dog, a cat, a bird, an alien, a ghost...). "います" and "あります are both ok in this question. I am Japanese and a native Japanese speaker living in Japan! :)


Same thing over here...


One is more general and yours may or may not be correct in a given situation so it's not a general answer.


If it is potentially correct, I think it should count. "It" was never defined, so if we want to imagine "it" is animate, then that should be valid.


そこにあります what is the に for here?


From my understanding, に is used when locations are involved, and you use it after the location the action references to. In this case, そこ is the location, so you place に after it to show that's where the item "exists". Hope that helps!


Is it also the same reason why に is also used when saying you're doing something at some time (ex "I'm sleeping at midnight")?


に is a particle to indicate a certain location or time. In the latter case it is translated as "at" like in "at 3 o'clock".


To my understanding in japanese に is used when they want to say something is AT there. If it had been about a particular place they would use は.


Sooo, this doesn't account for the difference between ある and いる. Leaving out the subject when it could potentially change the verb is VERY important


Right, but it is omitted in the sentence, so you have to roll with it. And sure, it's possible that it refers to an animal, but in general most things you refer to as it are going to be inanimate, and need ある

Duolingo has to strike a balance between "is this possibly an accurate translation in some circumstances" and "is the student demonstrating that they understand this concept". The difference between いる and ある is an important one, and they have to be careful that they're not accepting answers from people who aren't using the correct verb. It might seem like an unfair limitation sometimes, and a bit artificial in how you have to word your answers, but this is a teaching tool in the end

You can always report stuff if you genuinely think it should be accepted - like I said you're not wrong, but they might have made a conscious decision not to accept that translation


It would really help if duolingo would tell you why these two いる and ある are different... To me the distinction was not clear at all! So thanks (and to the others who explained it as well)!


What is the difference between あそこ and そこ?


"soko" is near to someone who you are talking with and "asoko" is equally far from both of you


Asoko is used for things 'over there', far away from the speaker and those they are speaking to. Soko is used for things next to the speaker or the listenener


Previously it listed "the house is over there" as いえはあそこです so why isn't "it is there" just あそこです? です wasn't on the list of options to choose.


いえはあそこです (ie wa asoko desu) and いえはあそこにあります (ie wa asoko ni arimasu) mean the same thing and are basically interchangeable. Different sentences are just teaching you different ways of saying things. If you type your own answer, both are usually accepted.


I thought that "there" was said "それ" or "あれ"... Why is it that there is only "そこ", which I believe means "that"?

What is the "it" part and what is the "there" part in "そこにあります"...?


I think you've got it backwards. In general そこ means "there", while それ means "that".

There is no "it" in the Japanese sentence, but English sentences need a subject. Since the verb is あります and not います, we know the subject is a nonliving thing, so we can use "it".


Could you also say "そこです"?


Yes, Weblio gives some examples:


There is your bag.


The hotel is down there.


That is my favorite shop.


Why doesn't it accept そこにいます?


If someone asked, "家はどこですか" ("where is the house?") would "そこです" be an acceptable response to explain the location of the house? Since the house is also a location. Or would "そこにあります" be better? I feel that it would refer to the house as an object instead of a location.


Why is ここにありますwrong?


It would translate as "It is here." ここ here に particle of space あります to be for inanimate things


How would you say, "It is in there"?


そこにあります could imply that meaning too, or you could make it more explicit with 中 (その中にあります or そこの中にあります)


What's the difference in meaning between this and それはあります?


それはあります。(が would be better than は)

There is that. / That exists. (It’s telling you that something exists, not where it is.)


It’s there. (It’s telling you the location.)


I think そこにいますshould work too right? since there is no distinction between animate and inanimate object in the English sentence.


I think you can reasonably make that argument. If my friend sees a wild animal in the woods and I ask where it is, they're going to say "it's there" as they point to it, and Japanese would require います in that circumstance. I wonder if the contributors are possibly not accepting it because they want the difference between animate and inanimate more clear by not accepting answers that blur the lines, or if they just hadn't gotten around to the error reports for this sentence when you tried your answer.


Why is it に?


に shows where something exists. You use it to show a location with the verbs あります and います.

そこにあります。(soko ni arimasu)

It is there. It exists there.

いえにあります。 (ie ni arimasu)

It is in the house. It exists in the house.

おかねはぎんこうにあります。(okane wa ginkou ni arimasu)

The money is in the bank. The money exists in the bank.


I said あそこですand it accepted it. When I think about it, this is almost the same thing, but can be different or the same depending on the circumstance. Mainly, like how far away the object is.


When using the word bank, the answer is: そこにあります。However, when using the keyboard, the correct answer is: そこだ。だ doesn’t exist in the word bank so I’m thinking this could be an error. Any words of wisdom?

UPDATE: When the answer そこだ is given, it is accepted and そこにあります。is offered as an alternate correct answer. I wonder if there is still a minor error because だ does not exist in the word bank.


そこにあります、そこにある、そこです、and そこだ all essentially mean the same thing and work for the English translation "it is there", so all four of those answers are expected to be accepted if you type your own answer.

The answer it expects you to write is そこにあります. When you type your own answer, it usually offers you corrections based on the answer what you typed was closest to. Without knowing what you wrote and just based on my experience I would assume you wrote something close to そこだ, which is why it offered that as the correct answer, even though the expected answer is そこにあります.


why can't i use あそこにいます ? since "it" can refer to anything ? may it be animate or inanimate


If you check above, Jabnique and Wan_Zahf have started conversations about the same topic and gotten some answers.


is wrong to say それはそこにあります


The English for Japanese speakers course tends to translate "it" as それ, so I think if you submitted an error report, it would be added


What does the に do?


に in this sentence is a location marker.


Where did そこ come from? I dont remember learning it


あそこです was also an accepted answer


Why can't I use います? We don't have context so why should I use ありますand not います?


Why is そこへあります not OK?


「へ」or「に」= direction e.g. go there「そこへ/に行きます」 「に」= existence e.g. be there 「そこにいます/あります」 (「そこへいます/あります」is false)


Over a year too late but:
へ marks the direction something moves towards. As such it needs a verb of movement like "to go" or "to come". The only exception to this that I'm aware of is the expression ようこそ.


This sentence needs more context for accurate translation. "It" could be animate or inanimate, and "there" is relative to the person addressed.


Anyway though I am not a native English native speaker "it is there" can be translated in two ways in Japanese ,depending on the context and that those nuances do not really exist in English.




そこにいます has been marked incorrect. But it should technically be accepted as the subject is not clear here. For example, — "Where is your cat?" — "It is there." Of course, そこにいます would be the most appropriate answer here instead of そこにあります, since "cat" is a living thing. In English, "it" is also used for living things. So until and unless, a context is specified, both the answers そこにいますand そこにあります should be accepted as legit translations for "It is there".


In English animals can be "it", so います should be accepted as in "It (the dog) is there".


There is nothing saying about asoko


When I was given this question, they only gave me the option to use "masu" and not "desu"... so I don't really know what's going on. I wanted to use "desu" but they had no box for it and then I got it wrong.


Have you read the conversation that unklethan started in this thread? I think it should help answer any questions you might have.


Shouldn't あそこです be correct too?


If you check above, Hexonoid gave the same answer as you and it was accepted.


Can someone explain the difference between "so ko ni" vs "a so ko"?


そこ (soko) means "there near the listener" and あそこ (asoko) means "there away from both the speaker and listener. に is a particle that shows location when used with verbs of existence like あります (arimasu) and います (imasu).

そこにあります。 (soko ni arimasu)

It is there (near the listener).

あそこにあります。 (asoko ni arimasu)

It is there (away from both the speaker and the listener).


I wonder ... would そこです also be correct?

The characters were not there to tap but that was the phrase that first came to mind...


If you check above, unklethan and irisuy123 have started similar conversations and gotten responses that should hopefully answer your question.

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