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  5. "There is a big library near …

"There is a big library near my house."


January 26, 2018



大きな図書館が私の家の近くにあります should be fine, yeah?


Nope. Placing 図書館が at the beginning of the sentence suggests 'The library (which has been mentioned) is near my house.', rather than 'Near my house, there is a library.', or the version which DL provided.
The focus of the sentence changes from informing as to what is near my house to where the library is.


This is accepted as an answer


The important part of the sentence, what is near your house that you are bothering to mention, goes closest to the verb.


Can anyone explain the placement of の connecting Near to House?


It is a possessive particle. If you translate 近く (noun) as 'vicinity', the sentence would be akin to 'The house's vicinity' or 'The vicinity of the house'.

Using 'near' (an adverb) instead of 'in the vicinity' (a noun), while more colloquially common in English, is farther from the grammar of the Japanese sentence.


Could ookii be used?


Ookii is being used. It is what is referred to as a na-adjective. When it is placed before the noun it is describing it becomes おおきな.

For example:

「おおきなとしょかん」'A big library.'

「としょかんはおおきいです。」'The library is big.'

Here is a list of some na-adjectives for beginner Japanese.


There is some inaccuracy here. 大きい and 大きな are 2 separate words although both of them means big. 大きい is not a Na-adjective and it changes form according to I-adjective rules.

The difference in usage is 大きな is only used as an attributive adjective before a noun whilst 大きい is used also in other functions, and changes accordingly.

Which one to use before a noun is a matter of Japanese usage habit. Usually 大きな is used on conceptual, intangible matters while 大きい is used on physical things. It seems though a lot of overlapping exist and using either one should not be considered wrong. So yes, 大きい can also be used.


I stand corrected.


I really thought this should be は instead of が


Maybe it'll help when you realize that the sentence could have been written as 私の家の近くには大きな図書館があります。

More than that, though, in simple statements が is pretty much universally used in conjunction with ある.


Why に instead of には?


Why "私の家の近くに図書館はあります" is not accepted?


Usually the は particle is like saying “generally”. You’re talking about a specific library that is by your house, so the particle should be が


Not sure that's the best explanation - it's not inconceivable that a discussion might have been about various types of library, and you wanted to note "As for big libraries, there's one near my house", in which case は would be appropriate (though it would be unusual to put it so late in the sentence), especially if you were contrasting it with other buildings or types of libraries. But in the normal scenario that you're simply pointing out the information that a big library exists near your house (think of it as a response to a question, implied or otherwise, such as "what's in your neighbourhood"), then yes, が is appropriate. But Duo is very fussy, and many exercises simply require you to guess what context the contributors had in mind. In some cases there's little logic to it (e.g. for "A dog bit my leg", they only accept 犬は).


What’s fascinating about your critique about my perfectly decent explanation is that you didn’t explain why their answer could have been rejected.

I did.


My explanation is that "many exercises simply require you to guess what context the contributors had in mind". i.e. it's not wrong, if slightly unusual and only sensible for particular contexts.

Also, did you just change your username (from


In the sentence "my grandmother lives in that village," Duo wants "ni ha" as the directional particle after village. In this sentence, it only wants "ni X ga arimasu" after "ie no chikaku"....why? Arent they both "ni ha" instances?


It could be either way if you switch the order


Could そば be used here in place of 近く?


そば generally signifies less distance than 近く. As distance is relative and there will often be some overlap そば might be substituted for 近く in some cases. It depends on whether the speaker considers A to be near B or very near B, which is subjective. For this sentence in particular, it does not appear (to me) that the library is close enough to use the word そば.

そば is close enough that it is often means 'right by' someone, or figuratively 'within arms length'. It is often used to show intimacy and there can be an emotional component to this word. As an example, 君のそばにいたい is often translated as 'I want to be with you' or some similar paraphrase.


うちの家の近くに大きな図書館がある not accepted, what's the difference?


Would 隣 work here instead of 近く?


It would change the meaning abit. 隣 would mean the library is right next to your house while 近く means it's generally nearby.


Please note, it is not at all necessary to attach私の to 家. If you said 家, it is understood that it is your house you're talking about.


"Near my house, there is a big library" is a more natural English version.


Why is it wrong if i put 近くの私の家に


As I understand it, the descriptor is put before the no and the descrived object after. The library is in the "nearby (area)" of your house. Not in your house.

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