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  5. "I have two older sisters."

"I have two older sisters."


July 26, 2017



Can anyone please do a sentence break down :))


"I have two sisters." 姉が二人います。 (ane ga futari imasu) The "I" is implied in the sentence when you say あね[姉] (the informal way to say big sister, so it means you're talking about your own sibling or someone you're close to). が is the particle used to indicate sentence subject. The ふたり[二人] is the counter to say "2 people", and "have" is います. ^^


So uh, I have two questions stemming from this explanation. Firstly, it's tempting for me to say that お姉さん is simply a more formal version of 姉, but knowing how this stuff works, I'm guessing context and the particular relationship you have with someone is important here? (Like, if I had to take a stab in the dark, I'd guess that お姉さん is an honorific you might say to someone who isn't literally your older sister, but is someone you respect as an elder woman that's reasonably close to you in age, or something you say to your actual sister in a more polite setting.)

Second question is more related to counting, always a fun one with this language: the つ appendage with the Kun reading, is that for counting inanimate objects, where if you're dealing with people, you swap out the つ for 人[り/-ri]?


With regards to the counters, you've got it basically right, but it's a bit more complicated. 人 does take the place of つ with people, but it is not usually pronounced り, 一人 (hitori) and 二人 (futari) are irregular, while with the other numbers 人 is pronounced にん/nin. Also, there are many different counters that can be used for different kinds of inanimate objects that you will learn later.


Futari and Hitori are special readings of the kanji, referred to when we are talking about a single person or a couple of two people. Those are the only cases in which you can read the 人 kanji as [ Ri ].


Reply to your first question: you're a little off. the difference between "oneesan" and "ane" is not so much a matter of formality, but whether you're being extrapolite or humble. "oneesan" is an honorific and extrapolite, "ane" on the other hand is very humble.

you would use "oneesan" when talking to someone else about THEIR older sister, so as to be polite to them. you would use "ane", when you talk to them about YOUR OWN older sister, because otherwise you would sound as if you're bragging about your oh so very honorable family.

when talking to that older sister directly, you'd usually use "oneesan" - as japanese culture has high respect for all your elders, so using to be extrapolite even in family settings is common.

its the same for parents and younger siblings, and similar rules for appropiate language apply e.g. in many social situations. if this topic interests you, check out "uchi/soto" (inner and outer social circle) and "keigo" (polite language) on wikipedia or the like.


What is it? I mean Kun reading, thank you


When I use Ka and Wa and other particles?! Thank you by the way


Im so used to saying 私わ or 僕わ from class. 姉が confuses me. thank you for your help.


it's 私は though


私 (watashi) means "I", mostly used by women and it can also be used by men if they really want to be very polite. 僕 (boku) also means "I", but solely used by men, also polite but less than watashi. 姉 (ane) means a big sister. There is also 俺 (ore), it also means "I", used by men in the casual way. In the sentence「姉が二人です。」 (Ane ga futari desu.) "I" is already implied, so 「私は」 (watashi wa) left out.

わ (o) and が (ga) are just particles. I think you meant は, this particle sounds as "wa" and is a topic marker.

「私は姉が二人です。」 (Watashi wa ane ga futari desu.) is also correct.


Slight typo at the end, わ is wa, を is o


Also I don't think that 私は姉が二人です is correct, because to my understanding it would be more like, on the topic of me, I am two older sisters






more about ~人 counter here:



The word futari is not in the selection so the program is wrong


If ニ・に "two" and 人・ひと "person" are both present though you can easily write 二人・ふたり "two people" as ふたり is the reading those kanji take when combined.


It still feels misleading for someone who will not search the meaning right away imo


Why is it いますand not あります? Is it to do with persons/living things vs. inanimate objects?


Exactly that - います is for animate (people and animals) and あります is for inanimate (objects and things). Be careful of calling the categories living and non living though, because plants take あります. It's easier to think of it as "can it move itself?"

Examples from the internet: つくえがあります。 tsukue ga arimasu Meaning: There is a desk.

きがあります。 ki ga arimasu Meaning: There is a tree.

おとこのこがいます。 otoko noko ga imasu Meaning: There is a boy.

ねこがいます。 neko ga imasu Meaning: There is a cat


I got the sentence right but now that I'm reading your comment I have a question. If つくえがあります is "There is a desk", then why doesn't our sentence read "There are two sisters" instead of ”I have two sisters”? Where is the part that indicates possession/have and not just exists?

あれ が 二人 います

つくえ が あります

Is my question clear? I know this was a year ago but I'm hoping you're, or somebody, is still here! Thank you in advance.

  • 1202

those two can mean both "exist" and "have"

"there is an apple for me" is the same as "I have an apple"


There is an implied 「私は」, making the sentence something like "As for me, two older sisters exist." Which means that I have two older sisters.


Exactly. :) あります is for inanimate objects. います is for people.

(More broadly, as far as I know, います is for anything with "personality" that you want to refer to as if it were a person, including animals. For example, you might use います to talk about a pet or even a doll.)


This isn't explaining that 二人 is pronounced ふたり(futari), and some people may not know that. Similarly, 一人 is pronounced ひとり


It is included in the notes and description. I.e. they should add those to mobile.


Apparently 二人の姉がいます works just as well.


what does the がstand for?


Can someone please explain why this sentence needs to have the particle 'ga' and not 'wa'?

  • 1250

The topic (私), which would be marked by は, is implied. 姉 (あね) is the subject, which is to be marked by が. So, if the topic was included, the full sentence would be 私は姉が二人います。


I typed "姉は二人います" and it was accepted

Why is this technically correct?


They translate the same, it just changes the nuance slightly
姉が二人います is a neutral statement, two older sisters exist, with more emphasis on the existence of sisters.
姉は二人います uses は which introduces a topic; old contextual information. Two older sisters exist, but its the number of sisters that is new and important information. This is what you would use if "sisters" was previously mentioned in the conversation, like if someone asked you how many sisters you had.


For some reason, I am not seeing the option to enter "futari" (indicating two sisters). Is this a technical issue? Please help.


Im having the same issue, and when i choose to write it in, its saying its incorrect even though im 100% writing it correctly. Definitely a technical glitch


Where is futari here displayed?


I am not getting the option for futari, over here


Where is "futari"..its missing.then how can we enter the right answer?


二人 is pronounced ふたり meaning "two people"
What does your word bank look like?
Note that 二 by itself is read "ni" for "two" and 人 is "hito" meaning "person". Even if the TTS pronounces them this way in the word bank it is still read as ふたり as a compound.


「二人」 は 「にじん」でなくて「ふたり」と発音(はつおん)Pronunciationします。


Is 二人のあねいます wrong here? I was under the impression [number][counter]の[noun] and [noun]が[number][counter] served the same purpose. Is there a nuance there im missing?


It's almost right: 二人のあねがいます is the way to say it here. [X]が います = "There is [X]"/"[X] exists", so here your [X] is 「二人のあね」


What's the importance of い?

  • 1250

It's part of the verb ”います" (or いる, informally) , meaning "to be" or "to exist." So basically in this case it's saying something like "My two older sisters exist."


I wrote あねが二人あります。What is wrong with that


あります is about inanimate things, like tree, stones, window etc.


Is it weird、unnatural or uncommon to say for japanese people 二人の姉がいます? I got that correct. Does it have a different meaning or emphasis from 姉が二人います?


私の姉は二人います。 was marked wrong, can someone please explain why? From my understanding; 「私の姉」(older sister of mine)「は」(On the topic of older sister of mine)「二人」(two persons)「います」(exists)。


姉 (あね) by itself does already mean "my older sister". Adding 私の in front of it would be redundant.


二人姉がいます. Also works, but not sure if it really matters. I've heard it both ways...


Just to clarify, do you use 二人 when talking about people and 二つ when talking about non-living things? Or is 二人 also used for animals? If not, what is used for animals? Thanks in advance!




For animals in specific you have ~匹【ひき】 and ~頭【とう】depending on his size。~人 is used for people or anything you can describe as humanoid.


Could it also be anetachi?


It's tempting to translate it: "As for the topic of my sister, there are two of them" but you should be promptly slapped for talking like that unless you're the prince of tokyo


Please correct me: 私のお姉さんは二人います。


That reads as "I have my two older sisters", but also you wouldn't use the honorific お姉さん・おねえさん to refer to your own sisters, you would use the humble 姉・あね


My way to remember that the kanji 姉 represents the word "ane", rather than, say, "ani" or "imōto", is that the part on the right looks like Neptune's trident, except with one bent prong.

ane - Neptune


Why does 私の姉が二人います is marked as wrong? Can anyone please explain? Thank you


That links "I/me" to "older sister" to say "My older sister"
Rather than "I have two older sisters" it reads as "I have my two older sisters", or "There are two my older sisters"


The sentence structuring is so confusing


Yes, I'm learning both chinese and japanese, and I find japanese grammar quite confusing. Even the kanji themselves are confusing since they have more than one way to read, take 電車 and 車 for example, the earlier reads でんしゃ and the latter reads くるま. It's to be expected since they had no writing system in the past, they borrow characters from chinese. However, japanese words pronounciations are easier than chinese since chinese is a tonal language. Every languages have their own challenges I guess.


I believe Japanese is a Subject-Object-Verb language primarily so that's why it goes ❛姉が二人います❜

姉 older sister(s) - Subject 二人 Two (people counter) - 'Object' います To exist/They are of existence - 'Verb'

Idk this is just how I see it but do correct me if I'm wrong! :)


Can I say 私はお姉さんが二人います as a more formal way to refer to my own sisters?


Not really, no. You'd be understood but 姉 is actually "more polite/formal" in this case. Roughly speaking, in Japanese, respect is conveyed through a combination of "elevating" the position of the listener, and "lowering" the position of the speaker.

Your sisters would be considered part of your (the speaker)'s group, so "elevating" their position by using お姉さん would go against that. However, if you are talking to one of them directly, お姉さん would indeed be more polite.


Is there any simple explanation why we use 'が' instead of 'は'


Why is "僕の姉が二人います" unaccepted? can someone please explain?


You've used の to link "I" with "sisters" into the noun phrase "My sister" so it says "I have/there are two of MY sisters"


How so?
姉が - older sister (subject)
二人 - two (people counter)
います - exist, have (animate)


Where is futari?


They aren't including futari in the options how do i get to write the correct sentence


二人 is pronounced ふたり
As long as 二 "two" and 人 "person" exist in the options you can write 二人 whether or not the TTS pronounces them this way.
ニ 'two' is most commonly read with its on-yomi に but its less often used kun-yomi reading is ふた, used in this specific compound noun.
人 meaning 'person' is usually read as ひと when it is by itself as a noun, but it is read じん as a suffix for nationalities, にん as a counter for people and り in the specific instance of only one or two people (with "one person" being 一人・ひとり)


So how would you say "I have two sisters and two brothers"?


Futari is missing among the options.. How can I give correct answer to incorrect question?


As long as ニ "two" and 人 "person" are present in the options you can write 二人 "two people"

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