"It is 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!
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).