1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "The chair is below that."

"The chair is below that."


March 13, 2018



Speaking about the chair, it is in that place below.


Imho the literal is more like "the chair is (at) its bottom"


i think "(the) chair is (at) that bottom"; the bottom over there, is closer, literally speaking. your sentence does not make much sense.


"That place below" would be "そこの下". I believe that the demonstrative adjective "その" would be used to differentiate between multiple "belows".


I answered "それの下にいすがあります" and it was marked wrong. Why?


It means "Underneath that [thing], there is a chair/are chairs." While this could refer to the same situation as "The chair is below that", the sentences are nonetheless different: in the latter the subject is clearly the chair (which happens to be below something else), but in the former the location gets a stronger emphasis.


I see. Thank you.


Beyond that, isn't there also the difference of the existence of the chair? With "The chair is below that", its existence is already stated, where as with "Below that, there is a chair." we are told the existence?


How would you answer the question "What's below that?" if the answer is "the chair"?


それの should just be その other than that, it is correct.


それの can be shortened as その?


This is correct. "その" is a contraction of "それの", which is a longer and more formal version.


Shouldn't それの下 be also accepted if the difference is formality? It was marked wrong for me.


No, there are many explanations in this discussion that explain why.


Because your sentence is saying "Under that, there is a chair", instead of "The chair is under that" which can be "椅子はその下です" or "椅子はその下にあります"


I try 椅子はそれのしたにあります。 but i got it wrong. Is it wrong to just say それの? I thought it is the polite form


I get why it is marked wrong in duolingo, but would it make a difference in actual conversation?


Yes, but you would not use polite speech in a conversation generally, unless the context calls for that.


I normally think of 'sono' as a standalone word for 'that', but in this case, if we replaced 'that' with some object (table, for example), we'd get いすはテ-ブルの下です. Does 'sono' ending with 'no' negate needing the possession 'no' particle?


これ、それ、あれ (kore, sore, are) are "this" "that" and "that over there" where the name of the thing being referred to is not known or used.
それは何ですか (sore ha nan desuka?) What is that? これは水です (kore ha mizu desu) This is water

When you want to name the object being referred to you use この〜、その〜、あの〜 (kono, sono, ano) instead.
このテーブル (kono teeburu) this table
その椅子 (sono isu) that chair
あの人 (ano hito) That person over there

The その〜 form is not a standalone word for "that," (that would be それ) but is attached to the thing your naming. In English we just add the name of the thing to the demonstrative ("this" to "this apple") but in Japanese the form changes from
これ (this) to このリンゴ (this apple)

In the context of this question to my understanding:

"The chair is below that."

The "that" at the end of the given English translation implies an object has been indicated in the previous sentence. However this is not what the その in the Japanese translation refers to.

その下 instead applies only to the word "below" in the English translation, or more literally "that underneath area." The thing that the chair is under is implied by the fact that under is a relative term and there must by definition be something above it.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that therefore いすはその下です would more literally translate to something like:
As for the chair, (it is in) that under(neath area).

Rather than thinking of その as a standalone word for "that", I prefer to think of そ as the concept of "away from the speaker" or "nearer to the listener." It is constant in words like それ and そこ and therefore the の still functions as the possessive particle making その〜 something like "attribute of an area nearer the listener."


How would you say "below that" then? I think this was puzzling me in the answer. Could you say それの下? Or is something else needed?


Person 1:
Where is my wallet?

Person 2:
*points to the thing* It is underneath that


You used あります instead of です here. This lesson here says that is incorrect.

It is very confusing since they just finished drilling how です is incorrect when talking about location.

I have no idea now.


椅子はその下にあります is correct as well.







they all translate as "The chair is under (below) it (that)"

I personally have never seen using その下. Also Liam315 last paragraph of the comment doesn't seem to make sense to me. The translation given for this exercise would suppose "that" to be a pronoun, not an adjective. その is "that" as an adjective, so それ should be used instead. I would have written 椅子はそれの下です。

But then again provide there is no context to this phrase the use of その下 can be plausible if the context made clear what is that's above the chair.

Anyway this exercise choice (far from being the only one) is very unhappy...


This is a very clear answer and helped me a lot. Thank you.


I have the same question. Why not "そののした"?


その is already a contraction of それ and the possessive の. そのの would be like writing "that's's" and doesn't make sense. Words like その、あの、この must be paired with nouns to specify which noun is being talked about and do not stand on their own.

その is paired with the noun 下 to mean "The below belonging to there near the listener" or simply "that below"

Liam above has a much more in-depth explanation.


If it is a contraction, it means there is a non contracted version. So why それの下 isn't accepted?


It originally was a contraction but it's now a part of standard grammar and you can't un-contract it.


Why です used here instead of the usual あります existence verb?

その下 being a descriptive noun in this case rather than the location of being under something is really bizarre. "The chair IS that below" rather than "The chair is located below that"


Because the existence of the chair is already assumed- "the chair is below that."

あります would be "there is a chair below that."


椅子はその下にあります should work just fine and mean the same thing. ある is a pretty standard way of describing location without implying that the existence of the thing is new information.

If it were その下に椅子があります then maybe I could interpret it as "There exists a chair below that" implying I didn't know there was a chair at all.

Regardless of the slight difference in potential meaning, it should still work.


Right. I've been hearing that a lot of phrases in Japanese aren't able to be translated so directly, so I feel like they shouldn't falt us for using "あります" here. If it conveys the same message, it should be allowed.

For example, I've heard people say "何仕様かな?" ...which some would translate as "What should (I) do?" ...despite the phrase never using "する."


I wrote


And it was accepted.


can someone explain why 「椅子はそれの下にあります」 isn't accepted?


As far as I can tell, there is one れ too many


I used が instead of は and it said false. As far as I know, が can be used as subject, ね?


It's supposed to be THE chair, that is, a known chair, nothing new. In this situation it's better to use は, since it marks a known topic. If we were talking about A chair (a previously unmentioned one), we'd use が (and probably also a different construction, like その下は、いすがあります). That being said, the difference between は and が is quite difficult to grasp, so people probably don't need to worry about it too much at this level.


そう、afaik at least, that should work, it's not a negative, I reported.


To add a little confusion, いすは 下です is accepted.


How is 下 pronounced in this case? the voice sounded like "re" or "de".


下 - shita - "below"

isu wa sono shita desu


Thanks! It's frustrating that it shows how to pronounce every other word but 下 is barely covered.


I was confused about that as well, because Duolingo shows that it should be read as "so no mada". Whyyyy?


I heard it as "isu wa so no moto desu"


下 can in some situations be read げ ("ge"), which is what I think the voice is saying. But in this situation it is supposed to be した ("shita").


I thought something wrong with my ears, thanks that I am not alone


Why です instead of あります?


how do you pronouce 下?


I have the very same question. The female voice say "shita" but the new male voice say something like "gai".


It's supposed to be saying した in this context, but the TTS picked the wrong word/reading.
The reverse question also has the same issue. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/32546110/椅子はその下です。


It isn't just the TTS, the furigana also said 「もと」


Yes this is the exact reason i scrolled so far down in the discuss tab, looking for an answer to this


I put そのいすは下です and it was marked correct. I thought that would more read "that chair is below"? I'm not sure why it's still right?


"that chair is down" and "the chair is below that" are two very different sentences even in English. The first (what your answer says) implies that the chair has fallen over, or has been taken off a shelf and is now "down." The second implies that the chair is in the downward direction of "that." or in other words, "below that"


I said 椅子はあの下です。and it was marked wrong. Was it wrong to use ’あの’ rather than 'その’? Doesn't both mean "that"?


same here. I would believe あのshould work. It simply implies that the chair is far away from both the speaker and the listener. Whereas そのimplies the chair is close to the listener and far from the speaker.

Thus I think あのshould be counted as correct.


I thought it was the other way around? 「あの」for close to the listener,「その」for far away from both


Nope. Definitely あの for far from both.


You want to think この/これ "close," その/それ "far," あの/あれ "farther." If it's "close," you can probably touch it; if it's "far," it's probably just out of reach; if it's "farther," it's way beyond your current reach.


Why is 'shita' pronounced 'ge' here?


is it shita or gei?


The only answer accepted here is exactly the example. '椅子はその下あります and 椅子はそれの下です Can someone explain why arimasu and sore no are wrong here?


I answered: その下に椅子があります。 Duolingo marked it as wrong. Does anyone know what's wrong with the answer above, if there's really anything wrong with it? I understand my answer shows a greater emphasis on the location instead of on the object, but Duolingo seems to accept the change in other exercises. Is the sentence gramatically incorrect in any way?


I think 椅子はその下にあります is accepted if you were wondering about that.

Your sentence is correct, but using が is more like saying new information, so your sentence would be translated to "there is a chair below that" while in english when you say "the chair~" means the listener already knows about this chair and is just expecting the answer of where is it...

You basically use は to speak about known things between the listener and you. 椅子は means "speaking of the chair". You know the listener knows about the chair but you want to add its location, does that makes sense?


Ok, if I got it right, the translation should be (more literally):

"Regarding the chair, it's in that underneath."

In which "underneath" is a noun. Is it correct? Otherwise I can't understand why その and not それ.

Thanks to anyone so kind to answer.


Regarding the audio, both もと and した are valid pronunciations of the kanji - according to my nihongo dictionary. I think Duo simply hasn't taught us that directly. The audio I get clearly says もと.


TTS is bad at guessing context so just picks a reading at random. It tends to be much better in a full sentence but even then it gets things wrong sometimes.
もと is a reading of 下, but in this specific context it has the wrong meaning. した is the one that should be used here.
It's interesting that that is the reading the new TTS system chose; the old TTS system liked to use げ instead, which is also another reading but wrong for this context.


Thanks, I was confused by moto here. Makes sense. Duolingo, what the heck?


I'm quite confused on this sentence since I expected a "ni" to be after 下 and there is no specification for what その refers to so is the sentence actually saying:

"The chair that which lies below"


I think the reason why there is no に is because the sentence ends with です and not あり! I’m not sure why, though


I don’t understand why です is considered correct here. Earlier I learned that saying, for instance, 猫は外です, would mean the cat is the embodiment of the concept of being outside. Doesn’t it apply here? I would have written : 椅子はその下にあります。Is this correct?


Why is 下 pronounced 'moto' instead of 'shta'?


Because the speech engine is pronouncing it incorrectly. The correct pronunciation for 下 in this sentence is した. Swisidniak has already given a explanation about this here.


why is there no ”に" in this? is it omitted before "です"?


に would be required if ある was used. Altering the sentence to something like "There is a chair below that" would translate to:



Could anyone please explain why it's placed "その下" and not "下その"? I was just really confused about this, since I tried to put "下その". And the unfortunate thing is that Duolingo never really teaches you about syntax, only how to say certain phrases. If anyone could help that would be immensely appreciated!


It's just sentence structure. The object goes first and the location marker goes after it, with の linking them.

My wallet is inside my bag さいふはかばんの中です


I think the answer should be accepted with が (not only with は)



が goes with あります, but not with です.


椅子はあれの下です。was not accepted.


I want to know if this is acceptable, too.


あの下 should be, あれの下 is unnatural

  • は v.s. が shouldn't matter yet in this context. They both work and the difference is too subtle for these earlier lessons.

  • Answers using ある properly should be accepted. Something like 「椅子はその下にあります。」is perfectly valid and conveys the same meaning. This is a pretty basic construction.


Does 椅子はその下です sound more natural than 椅子はその下にあります ?


I went with その下に椅子があります and got wrong

[deactivated user]

    I guess that's because there's a known chair (THE chair) we're talking about. So there goes は instead of が, です instead of あります, and there should be no に. As confusing as it is, it's the only option that gets accepted here


    What situation will this sentence apply too? I don't think i ever said my chair is below something?


    I wrote 椅子はそれの下にあります, and would like to know what's wrong with my sentence


    shouldn't there be a "ni" after the down character


    If あります was used a ni would be needed to mark the location of existence, but here です is being used to equate the two nouns "Chair = 'that below'". The "below" is a description of the chair itself, not a description of the place where the chair happens to be, if that makes sense.


    but isn't その an adjective? それ would be the thing itself, but その always comes with a noun No??


    Yes, it always modifies a noun. Here is it is paired with the noun 下 "below, down, under"
    その下 "that downward (direction)" "That underneath (space)"


    Why is it 椅子はそれの下にあります wrong?


    I'm almost certain it's correct. And if you replace にあります with desu, I suppose it's correct too. And if you contract それの into sono, you get the example sentence.


    why is 椅子がその下です not accepted?


    が doesn't go with です. Not sure why it's like that, but that's the rule.


    That's not really the rule,
    が is often used with です, it just depends on the context and what you want to emphasize.

    は marks the topic of the conversation. This is information that is already known to the speaker and provides context for the rest of the sentence. In the English we have "the chair", with "the" indicating that we are speaking about a specific chair, we can assume a specific chair is known information by the listener so the known information particle は would make more sense. The part we want to emphasize here is the location of the chair. This would answer the question "Where is the chair?"

    が is the new information particle and puts emphasis on the word before it so 椅子がその下です puts emphasizes on the existence of a chair, rather than the location of the chair. This would read more as "A chair (is the thing that is) below that". This could answer the question "What is below that?"

    Both should be okay here, though は sounds better for the translation.


    ”椅子はそれの下にあります。” is rejected.


    Why wouldn't 椅子がそれの下にある work?


    I believe that が should work (it didn't work for me so I reported it) but それの should be その (which started out as a contraction of それの), otherwise it's not grammatical, as far as I'm aware.


    Yeah that's weird, I don't know why I would have written それの instead of その! But it was whether にある was an acceptable alternative for です I was curious about.



    was NOT accepted as of August 2020.

    Reported, as it's a very valid translation.


    Is there a reason that 「椅子はあの下にです」was marked wrong? I though 「あの」and「その」were both valid translations of "that" depending on relative location to the listener


    It's not the あの that's the problem, rather the に, which you wouldn't use with です。


    To elaborate, に is the target particle, usually in association with a verb; since there is no verb, there is nothing that に is targeting, and thus grammatically incorrect.


    Duo accepted その椅子は下です


    Should 椅子がそれの下にあります be accepted?


    Shouldn't there be a "の" between the words その and 下? In some other exercises, there were examples given (e.g. 椅子はテーブルの上です) where の was placed in between the object and the location. Could someone please clarify this. :-D


    There is a の already: そ
    その is a pre-noun adjective and connects directly to the noun it is describing. It is a contraction of それ and の


    Oh, I didn't know that! It makes sense now, thank you!


    Hello, I wanted to ask if this possibly is correct as well?: その下に椅子があります


    It works grammatically though the meaning would be slightly different,

    その下に椅子があります [Below that] [There is a chair] - It puts more emphasis on the existence of a chair since you have "Chair" marked with the new information particle が. It could answer the question of "What is below that?"

    椅子はその下にあります - [The chair] [Is located below that] - This has "chair" marked as known information with は and stresses the location of "is below".
    椅子はその下です - [The chair] [Is below that] - This has a similar meaning to above but uses the stative "です" instead of the location of existence "にあります"
    These would answer the question of "Where is the chair?"


    How to know when to use です and when あります?


    Why is it wrong to use "それの" instead of "その"?


    I put その下は椅子です, and I appear to be the only one who did


    I am also wondering about that...


    Why this sentence doesn't need an extra の like other ones?? For example 椅子はテーブルの下です , that の implies something like "of" the table, why doesn't that applies to this ("of" that)


    But the の is there
    その is a pre-noun adjective and a contraction of the pronoun それ "that" and の


    I said その下は椅子です and it was marked wrong.

    My understanding is that this basically means "that things underside is the chair", while 椅子はその下です。 means "the chair is that things underside." And these seem interchangeable.

    Indeed the natural equivalents in English to that "The chair is below that", and "below that is the chair", are interchangeable.

    Google translates this is a "below that is a chair", which I guess would be different. Is that the problem, that this sentence puts the wrong emphasis?


    Why is それの下に椅子があります not correct?


    "椅子はそれの下にあります" wasn't accepted, any reason?


    "椅子はそれの下にあります" was not accepted, any reason?


    This is my question too, Pedro601962!


    Today was accepted 椅子はその下にあります。


    How would we know when it is correct to pronounce 下 as either「した」or「もと」?


    Why do I hear here "sono moto desu" but no "sono shita desu"? I don't understand. I can't find way to report that voice pronunciation "ue" comments...


    The sound here is sono moto for その下


    Literally this would be "(the) chair (in question/concerning) that below, (is)"? Is その always used in this way (before the adverb/noun)?


    If it helps anyone, "その" is always followed by a noun as far as I know. Similar to how "の" works as a particle.


    What is the difference between shiita and moto. It is confusing if you mix dialects up


    I'm not really sure to be honest and I would like to know this too, especially why the voice says もと here but した in the lessons. This is what I found about it on Jisho, but I don't really think it answers much. From what it says, what I gather is that it depends on the context.




    It says sono moto desu :(


    It says sono moto desu :( should it be shita?


    I wrote " その椅子は下です " which is "that chair is below" right? Shouldn't have been accepted?


    What is そのもとです and why is そのしたにあります not accepted?


    Why is 椅子がその下にあります wrong? literally mostly of the next exercises spell like this and translate like something is below that...


    i tried to answer "それの下に椅子があります", "椅子はそれの下にあります", and "椅子はそれの下です", and they all were marked wrong, why?

    i don't know if i am wrong on something but i think that they all should be accepted


    They are wrong because all of them have それの下 in them instead of その下。They should all be accepted if you make that change. There are some other comments towards the top that explain why this is (better than I could). I think the first one also might sound awkward to a native speaker because I don't really see sentences structured that way, but could definitely could be wrong since I am not a native Japanese speaker.


    Could this be accepted (cause it wasn't): 椅子はあれの下にあります I'd appreciate if anyone could help me understand that, cause I thought it made sense...


    I think the issue with your sentence is because of the あれの下 for the same reason that それの下 would be wrong. There are some comments towards the top of this discussion that probably explain it better than I could. Plus, using あの下 is also changing the meaning of the sentence a bit because it would mean "that something" that the chair is under is much father away than その下 since usually it is described that これ is close to the speaker, それ is closer to the listener than the speaker, and あれ is far from both. The にあります part and the rest is just fine.


    Why does the shita tile say moto?


    The sound say した but the sound in the comment part say もと, the "show pronunciation" also say もと




    Can this be acceptable too " いすは下そのです " ? Or the word order is important?


    その points to something and can't function independently; it always needs to be followed by a noun (or equivalent). So the word order cannot be the same as in English here.


    I used それの instead of その and got it wrong. What is the difference and why is the former not accepted?


    There are already lots of comments discussing this towards the top and many people have explained it.


    Would 'sono shita desu' be understood?


    In context, sure. If this was the response to a question like 「椅子はどこですか。」then 「その下です。」works, as the subject is already clear.

    Out of context, as in this example, there's no way for someone to know you're talking about the chair.

    Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.