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"There is a small convenience store by the hospital."


November 28, 2017



why is "小さなコンビニがびょういんのそばにあります。" not accepted?!


It should be, it's not wrong. It's just that usually the when/where comes first in the sentence, and the subject/object goes with the verb. In casual speech it should be no problem to shift them, duo itself does it sometimes.


Your answer would be closer to 'The small convenience store is by the hospital', when the answer they want is 'Near the hospital, there is a small convenience store.' This focus changes the nature of the sentence.


Isthe subject of this sentence the convenience store or the hospital? The accepted answer suggests hospital, but it's clearly the convenience store in English.


See the comment on subject / focus / position in Japanese vs. English by TyrantRC, below. I think I understand this issue now, based on the comment.


As per August 11th, 2019, this answer is accepted.

Tried it, it was accepted.


It is not, I just tried it and it was marked wrong. I typed: 小さなコンビニが病院のそばにあります May 17th 2020


Same. January 20th 2021, not accepted...


Same, 2nd Nov 2020. I used は instead of が, but assuming that shouldn't matter here.


That was accepted for me. Date 27 December 2020


28th of August, 2020, it is accepted.


【小さなコンビニが病院のそばにあります】is accepted

Date is 26th October 2020


Why is 小さな used instead of 小さい?


大きい、小さい、and 可笑しい are i-adjectives that have na-adjective forms. In other words, they are irregular.

Preceding a noun, these adjectives will employ the na-form.

See here for a more in-depth explanation.


Thanks for this really interesting link to JSE. Technical, but very worthwhile.


It seems, that Duo accepts both 小さい And 小さな。Is one of them wrong, or does it change the meaning? Which one sounds more natural?


小さな seems more natural to me, but a lot of it has to do with the peculiarity of one's personal speaking/language habits.


I've added a link to a JSE answer. There are other resources if you search.


Does not accept 隣 for "by," can anyone explain the difference between that and そば?


隣 is used when two identical or very similar things are directly next to each other (to the side).
そば just means that one thing is in the vicinity of another thing. They need not be similar things and they need not be to the side. Anywhere within a short radius qualifies.

By can imply near rather than next to, so そば is appropriate. 隣 is not appropriate because we can't be certain that the store is next to the hospital.


Can someone please explain why hospital has to go first in the sentence, and not the small convenience store? I'm constantly getting this question wrong, and am now on the last level for this unit.


Most of the time, in japanese sentences, the most important part is near the verb at the end of the sentence, this also include new information, most of the time marked by が, that's why you usually see が near the verb, not all the time, but yeah.

So in english when you say "There is a convenience store by the hospital" the most important part is the fact that there is a small convenience store, in the english structure, the rest is additional. If you want to apply emphasis on the location for the english structure you say "Right by the hospital, there is a convenience store".

In japanese is the other way, since new/important information needs to be near the verb then that means it needs to go at the end. In this case, the existence of the convenience store is the most important (that's the new information), you can presume this by taking the english sentence as a reference of what you want to say.

So from that we have「コンビニがある」now, we add the location「病院のそばに・コンビニがある」。。And we add the modifier (the adjective), and the masu form「病院のそばに小さなコンビニがあります」

If you find you are still having trouble with structure in japanese I recommend reading this guide:


it also explains how japanese sentences are formed from the bigger picture to the small, which is very related to why you usually see に、で particles right after は markers, and why do you see を near verbs as well.


why doesn't びょういんのそばには小さなコンビニがあります。 pass the test?


came to ask the same



both sentences are correct, just report it


どうして 「病院の近くに小さいコンビニがあります。」はダメですか?




Why can't it be 小さなコンビニが病院のそばにあります ?


Because using が here makes it look contrastive. In other words, it seems like the relevant new information is that the convenience store is what is near the hospital, rather than focusing on the location of the convenience store.

About the convenience store: it is near the hospital.
About what is near the hospital: it is the convenience store.


what does it mean" そば"


I wrote "病院に小さなコンビニがあります。” is this wrong? if so could someone explain why?


Maybe it's because you're putting the convenience store inside the hospital when it should be found around, somewhere near, or "by" the hospital???


So to better understand this is to re-translate "by the hospital" to "in the vicinity of the hospital", as "病院のそばに" is literally that.


Why does it have to be が and not は? I was marked incorrect for 病院のそばに、小さなコンビニはあります

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