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"There is a village by the river."


September 27, 2017



Why soba ni instead of just ni


Because そばに specifies that the village is not in the river. It serves the same purpose as "by" in the english sentence.


As the other reply said, just having 川に would mean in the river. To elaborate though, そば can mean vicinity, so 川のそば means the river's vicinity (in other words, by the river). And we attach に to that thought/place as a whole.


You'll be living in a village down by the river!


Can you not say "川の隣に村があります" ?


This is just one resource, but I've seen similar info elsewhere: https://crunchynihongo.com/differentiate-tonari-yoko-soba-chikaku/


  • 側 (そば)is accepted,
  • 近く(ちかく)should probably be accepted if it isn't already,
  • 隣 (となり)should likely not be accepted, and,
  • 横 (よこ)might also be inappropriate, but it depends a bit on interpretation of the sentence.

隣(となり)is typically reserved for comparing things of the same "type". E.g. People to people, buildings to buildings, etc. And as such, wouldn't normally be used here to contrast a village and a river. Additionally, the sentence doesn't imply the village directly "borders" the river just that it's "by the river" (but it's ambiguous in English) (see footnote)

横(よこ)is similar, meaning "beside" but it doesn't imply a "type" similarity like 隣. Though it does imply orientation (see footnote). It's difficult to tell whether it would be inappropriate or not; looking at examples online though, I think it would be uncommon to use it like this.

側(そば)(usually written with just hiragana) means something is "nearby". It doesn't care if you compare unlike things, it doesn't care about vertical or horizontal orientation, and they don't need to be precisely neighbouring (other things can be in-between). This is probably why it's the accepted answer.

I haven't checked recently, but I had 近くに(ちかくに)rejected prior; but it is also just concerned with something being "near / in the vicinity", and AFAIK it should also be fine. Example sentences on Jisho seem really similar to this one: https://jisho.org/search/%E8%BF%91%E3%81%8F%E3%81%AB%20%23sentences E.g. 川の近くにテントを張った "We put up a tent near the river"


Both 隣 and 横 seem to imply a specific arrangement of the objects, from most of the sources I'm looking at. Particularly 横, as other meanings of the term are literally "horizontal, width, [the] side [of something]".

  • 隣 - Neighbouring; distance separating the things doesn't matter, but another instance of the same things can't be in-between. Can be vertical or horizontal. Can only be used to compare like "type" things, people to people, towns to towns, buildings to buildings.

E.g. Two countries are 隣 even if separated by oceans. Japan is 隣 to Korea, but Canada is not 隣 to Mexico, because the USA is also a country & it's in-between.

  • 横 - Aligned horizontally. Distance doesn't seem to matter. I think things can be in-between; seems to usually mean "directly beside" though. Can be used to compare dissimilar types of things: 野球場の横の道(やきゅうじょうのよこのみち)"the road beside the baseball stadium"

See the following for descriptions / diagrams: https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/15441309 https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/15241504


Thanks for your Ted Talk!


Same question. When do we use 隣 and when do we use 側?


Right, i just got denied this very sentence!


Could I say: mura ga kawa no soba ni? Instead of kawa first?


You can. Since mura is the subject change が to は and don't forget あります. So you end up with 村は川のそばにあります。


That's what I thought. Thanks!


I would also like to know please


What does そば actually mean?


そば(側) means beside, near.
So, the English sentence could also be:
'There is a village beside the river'.


It is also Japanese noodles.




Or 川のに村があります。


can i say "kawa no soba niwa mura ga arimasu", just using niwa instead if just ni?


I'm sort of surprised that Duo doesn't accept 近く(ちかく)in place of 側(そば). I'm reporting it given various resources I've read, but is there any reason why they wouldn't that I'm not aware of? http://crunchynihongo.com/differentiate-tonari-yoko-soba-chikaku/

Edit: Nah, see my other comment on this thread. Almost positive 「川の近くに村があります」should be accepted if it's not now, based on similar sentences & resources I've seen elsewhere.


I didn't know the word or term for "by" so I hovered over the English word, and it didn't give me "mura". It gave me "no soba ni", "no chikaku ni" and "made ni" but not the only one I needed! BOO!


I wish they added furigana to the kanji.


Click on the kanji


i was wondering why 横 did not work


Aren't "There is a village by the river" and "There is a river by the village" the same thing in both English and Japanese?


Why は cant be use in this one?

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