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"There is a chair next to the table."


November 15, 2017



いすがテーブルの横にあります is the answer that was given. However as I am typing the question, テーブルのよこにいすが一つあります is shown as the correct translation. I typed いすがテーブルのとなりにあります。Would this be correct?


The translation here is, strictly speaking, not extremely accurate. ~のよこに precisely is "on one side of ~", some space between the 2 objects is possible. ~のとなり would rather be "immediately next to ~". So while both Spain and Portugal are フランスのよこにあります,only Spain is フランスのとなりにあります.

Your other sentence has the word ひとつ. It tells how many chairs are there which would otherwise be unknown if the word is not included.


Sorry to nitpick, but saying イスが一つある would be 'there is one chair'. イスがある would be 'there is a chair'. While technically a = 1, linguistically the emphasis is different. This particular translation loses the nuance and just sounds funky.


thats what brought me here to this thread/ I'm still new to learning japanese and I'm going there with less than 6 months of learning it and some wani kani, but I am so lost with the last few lessons purely because there's never a learning section followed by questions. I hate guess work and learning from incorrect answers!


No problem. I am open to discussion. I see your point about the emphasis but it is also true that a chair cannot mean more than one. My comment only discussed (2nd paragraph) about the effect of including ひとつ but I did not judge the sentence right or wrong. I think it is a fair comment.


My comment was, actually, less about your post (which was helpful, to be sure) and more about the nature of the sample sentence. I should have been clearer in that regard.

With Japanese's esoteric and context-reliant nature, I was concerned that the original poster and other people with similar questions might be inclined to think that this representative of the way that normal people talk (i.e., dropping pronouns and singular/plural distinctions). For this reason, I think that the default translation would better reflect the nuance if it were 'one' rather than 'a'. There is a reason, after all, that in English we do have these two different words connoting the same principal meaning.


Thanks for explaining it, and I can't agree more. Articles is a confusing thing for us Asians. I remember getting a big cross on my homework by saying "one" something, Most Japanese should also feel equally frustrated as I did.


So this is basically saying: The table's position, next to it a chair of one count exists


Anyone else completely baffled by this lesson?


I'm confused why the table is first in order here, but when the phrase is "The Chari si next to the table" the order is switched where chair is first... these two are really screwing with my head


A useful tip is that the main focus of the sentence will be at the start in Japanese, most of the time. The wording of "There is a chair next to the table" means the table is actually what is being focused on the most. If the sentence was "The chair is next to a table," it would focus on "いす" instead.


Would となり also work instead of よこ and is there a difference?


となり is used for things that are similar in nature, while よこ does not have this restriction and is generally used for relevant description of dissimilar things.

となり Two (people/houses/tables/chairs, etc.) that are directly next to each other.

To help you remember, one of Japan's largest cities, Yokohama, derives its name from 横[よこ] (next to) and 浜[はま] (seashore;beach). As a city is not a shore よこ is used.

Another example is お隣さん[おとなりさん], which is used to reference one's neighbor. As the two residences are next to each other となり is used.

There is a bit more to it and the other minor nuances can be gleaned by visiting relevant pages after searching for 'difference between tonari and yoko'.


Thanks, BJ! I found this really helpful!


Glad it was helpful ;)


いすがテーブルのよこに一つあります was marked wrong. Shouldn't this be acceptable?


the いすwas missing


nvm i misread, it should be fine actually


Guessing the word order is so hard! I wish the lessons progresed on to the longer sentances instead of starting off complicated


I am confused about "一つ"-part between が and あります. What does it mean and why does it needed here?


It is like an adverb to the verb.
You can consider understanding like this:
Chairs exist
(You actually can't tell it's just one chair or more chairs; you only know a chair or some chairs are there)
Chairs exist by one unit.
(You know there is "one" instance of chairs existing.)
Of course the above is not good English; it is for comprehension only.


It really helps me for these problems to simply read the sentence as if it were written backward.


This is a great way yo approach Japanese sentence structure, especially as you get into much more complex sentences. I read NHK Japan Easy news articles and tgst really is the key to translating it to English.


I'm baffled by the concept of teaching by guesswork


Is there any difference the order that I menssion the subject and the place? Ex: テーブルのよくに椅子が一つあります。



Both should be acceptable if you change よく to よこ.


I wrote "isu ga taberu no yoko ni hitotsu arimasu"

Is there something wrong with this order/writing?

Many thanks


'Taberu' means 'to eat'.

[deactivated user]



    Why randomly introduce the kanji for いす without even teaching it first?

    • 1051

    could someone please defragment this setence and explain the order? thanks


    i could swear that in a previous lesson the object counter could be placed either before or after the object - so i thought 「テーブルのよこに一つ椅子があります」 would mean the same thing as 「...椅子が一つあります」 - is that right?


    Why is a counter "hitotsu" included in the Japanese sentence, but not the English sentence? It is not a natural Japanese sentence to include a counter for no reason.


    You're missing the English counter, namely 'a', meaning 'one'.

    As Japanese nouns do not indicate singular or plural without context, reading this sentence without the counter 一つ could lead one to assume that there are 'chairs' next to the table, as that might be what is normally expected.

    [deactivated user]

      The thing I struggle with is thinking... Okay how would the sentence start, with Table or Chair? ''The chair is next to the table'' or ''The table next to it is a chair'' The latter doesn't make a lot of sense that's why I go wrong here often. Especially with this one where ''一つ'' is also involved for some reason.


      If you phrase it that way ('The chair is next to the table'), it does make more sense for 'chair' to come first: 「いすがテーブルのよこです。」

      In the relevant sentence ('There is a chair next to the table.'), however, we are describing what is next to the table. This makes the clause 'next to the table' the focus of the sentence (grammatical agent) , which normally comes first.

      「いすが一つテーブルのよこにあります。」would be addressing where a chair might be, rather than what is next to the table.

      Think of these two different constructions as answers to two distinctly different questions: 'What's next to the table?' and 'Where can I find a chair?'.

      [deactivated user]

        Thanks that makes it clear!



        テーブルの横に= to the side of the table

        椅子が = a chair

        一つありますか = one of them exists

        that's a more literal translation. It also sounds kinda rigid in Japanese imo.

        [deactivated user]

          Are you fluent in Japanese or Japanese yourself, or neither, may I ask?


          This is always the last one I get right


          my english-wired brain is having a lot of trouble with this positions section... earlier, when the brother was next to the table, "brother" went first in the sentence, and now that a chair is next to the table, "table" is going first...do people always go first and when it's an object it's changed?


          It has nothing to do with people vs. objects. It is about topic vs. subject.

          'There is a chair next to the table' is different from 'The chair is next to the table'.
          In the sentence, 'My brother is next to the table', it is pretty clear that the topic of the sentence is 'My brother'. When describing 'a chair' being next to 'the table', it is more likely that 'the table' is the topic.



          I might suggest reading this article if you are still having trouble with positioning of words in japanese structure:



          Shouldn't 一つ椅子がテーブルのよこにあります mean the same thing? Putting the counter in front of the noun was correct before.


          You can say:

          While the が might be omitted (not sure how finicky Duo is on this), the の cannot be.


          Does 一つ need to come after the が? 椅子がテーブルのよこに一つあります。was marked as wrong...


          Your attempted translation says 'The chair is next to the table.', which is different from 'There is a chair next to the table.', due to the position of 椅子が.

          Putting テーブルのよこに at the head of the sentence indicates that you are describing what is next to the table.


          I do not believe your explanation is accurate. The に particle marks the location, regardless of where in the sentence it is. You should be able to place "椅子が" and " テーブルのよこに" arbitrarily, as long as "あります" is at the end. The placement of "一つ" might not be arbitrary, and that was my question. Hope this clarifies it.


          It has nothing to do with に. It has to do with what the topic is. There are two clauses in the sentence and their location within the sentence is important.

          [テーブルのよこに(は)] [椅子が一つあります]。

          In writing it the way you have, you've broken up the second clause and by moving 椅子が to the beginning of the sentence you have marked it as the topic. While が is referred to as the 'subject particle', it often serves to specify the topic when placed early on in the sentence.


          Ah ok thanks, I think I get it now. You putting the omitted (は) in there helped a lot.


          where the "yoko" appear from


          Sorry. I do not understand your question.


          I hate that it's never here to teach me why freaking any of these sentences break rules that we learned in previous lessons! Like why? And the "tip" is less than helpful here since it only explains the basics. Like I need to know when you freaking want me to put the counters in and if its unnecessary, then please let me learn what's actually important.

          With this lesson alone, I'm on the verge of rage quitting this app all together! ❤❤❤??????


          This sentence is over complicated and i hate it.


          I'm also in the camp that the English sentence ought to say One chair is next to the table. I feel like the ga hitotsu comes out of nowhere since my experience in Japanese is that people use singular and plural interchangeably for 'a' and 'some' without worrying how many. So 'a chair' would just be isu, same as 'the chair' would be isu. Either the English here is clunky, or the Japanese, in either case one needs tweaking.


          I put in the right answer and it still marked me wrong


          What is the difference between "テーブルのよこに椅子が一つあります" and "椅子がテーブルのよこに一つあります"? I swear I saw in some previous exercise that the [word + が] could be separated from any complementing element by a [place/time + に]. Why was it marked wrong?

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