1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Japanese Lesson 17: Animals P…


Japanese Lesson 17: Animals Part 1


Cat: Neko: ねこ: 猫

Dog: Inu: いぬ: 犬

Horse: Uma: うま: 馬

Bird: Tori: とり: 鳥

Elephant: Zou: ぞう: 象

Duck: Kamo: かも: 鴨 - Ahiru: あひる: 家鴨 (←I guess it's a domestic duck. The kanji is "house" and "duck")

Turtle: Kame: かめ: 亀

Why yes 亀 IS the symbol on Goku's shirt in Dragon Ball Z. And now life makes sense again.


The duck drinks water.
Ahiru wa mizu o nomimasu.
あひる は みず を のみます。

I have a turtle.
Watashi wa kame o katteimasu
わたし は かめ を かっています

Grammar/New word!

Katteimasu: かっています: 飼っています
Katteimasu means "to have" or "to own" but unlike "motteimasu", "Katteimasu" is for owning animals and pets ONLY.

Dictionary form of "Katteimasu" is "Kau"


Kau: かう: 飼う: To own/have an animal

sounds just like

Kau: かう: 買う: To buy


I think for the "Present positive" forms of these verbs the translation would default to "Will have (an animal)" because if you already have one that'd fall under continuing action and so you have to use continuing action form.

Dictionary/informal present +
Kau: かう: 飼う: will have (an animal)

Informal past +
Katta: かった: 飼った: had (an animal)

Informal present -
Kawanai: かわない: 飼わない: don't have/won't have (an animal)

↑Hiragana U verbs conjugate kind of strange, don't worry. ... Unless you're like me. In which case they'll knock you down and steal your lunch money.

Informal past -
Kawanakatta: かわなかった: 飼わなかった: didn't have (an animal)

Formal present +
Kaimasu: かいます: 飼います: will have (an animal)

Formal past +
Kaimashita: かいました: 飼いました: had (an animal)

Formal present -
Kaimasen: かいません: 飼いません: don't have/won't have (an animal)

Formal past -
Kaimasendeshita: かいませんでした: 飼いませんでした: didn't have (an animal)

... but like 持つ (motsu) you'll probably be using this one in Continuing Action Form, since owning a pet is a continuing action: Katteimasu: かっています: 飼っています

Back to sentences

I have a horse.
Watashi wa uma o katteimasu.
わたし は うま を かっています。

A bird eats the apple.
Tori wa ringo o tabemasu.
とり は りんご を たべます。

The cat drinks milk.
Neko wa gyuunyuu o nomimasu.
ねこ は ぎゅうにゅう を のみます。

You have an elephant.
Anata wa zou o katteimasu.
あなた は ぞう を かっています。

She has a dog.
Kanojo wa inu o katteimasu.
かのじょ は いぬ を かっています。

Master Roshi has a turtle.
Roshi sama wa kame o katteimasu.
ロシ さま は かめ を かっています。

... I couldn't resist...

:D See you next lesson!

Next Lesson

Previous Lesson

First Lesson

Japanese Lesson Table of Contents


March 28, 2015



Excellent job, as usual! A couple of things:

  • 飼う certainly can be translate as to have (an animal), but I personally think that it translates better as to keep (an animal). To have is fine though, but it's important to note that it also has an implication of raising, not only to statically have ^^
  • The second one is about the use of dictionary form and <sub>ている・</sub>ています. The dictionary form can certainly be interpreted as a future tense (Japanese doesn't have an explicit future tense, if memory serves), however, it's generally considered to be the present simple tense (once again, if memory serves XD), whereas <sub>ている・</sub>ています pretty much corresponds to present continuous, i.e 私は食べます-> I eat/I will eat; 私は食べています -> I am eating.

I hope you feel that this was informative and not intrusive. Once again, well done ^^


I went ahead and made the translation be more of a future tense... because if you already have an animal... or have a thing... you'll be using <sub>ている・</sub>ています。 :/ So I did that to help cut down some confusion for now. If you think it would be more beneficial I can put the present tense translation back.

There's a present tense lesson bubble coming up... soon-ish... and that's where I plan on covering the actual rules of <sub>ている・</sub>ています VS ~ます thing.

For now I just want beginners to get comfortable with the basics and build some vocabulary before throwing them to the fire... so to speak.


Also. :) Yes, that was very informative. No that was not intrusive. Like I said. All corrections, additions, etc. etc. are welcome. I just want to see others learn. And more importantly I want them to learn CORRECT Japanese. So if you or anyone else finds a mistake, has something to add, or anything like that it's ALL welcome. I'm not here to be a singular teacher. I'm posting lessons, but I want them to spark conversations, corrections, additions, teaching, and learning within the thread.



I will have to mention one thing about Japanese animal names.

Although the word "cat" can be written as 猫 or ねこ, you can also see ネコ. Even though "neko" is the Japanese word for cat, it is not taken from any language. Why is it written in katakana? It's because most of the time animal names are written in Katakana regardless of its origin.

It's okay to write animal names in hiragana or Kanji equivalent if possible.

For example, lion is ライオン and there is no Kanji equivalent because it was taken from another language. But there is an original Japanese word for lion, 獅子(しし) Shishi, so you may use either Kanji or hiragana for the name. I would say, for the record, that the borrowed word is more common than their own word for "lion." And the reason why the Kanji is not used that much, a lot of animal names have very complex Kanji.

Here is a pretty good list of animal names:



Also apparently 鴨 「かも」. Apparently in the sense that Duolingo accepts it as a translation for duck, not because I know it is in fact a kanji for duck. :P It does consist of 鳥 as part of the Kanji though so...


Oh. Okies. Thank you. I'll add in the kanji.


Just a question . . . Why don't you also post your lessons on the English for Japanese forum? That place has kind of died. I would be so happy to see some activity there. I am not too familiar with the forum rules, and I know that your posts will get more attention on the main forum.

By the way, thanks for the lessons. I was thinking of doing the same to help those trying to learn Japapese in the reverse, but I found you doing a such a great job.


I think that beginners may be a little intimidated by all the Japanese in the English for Japanese forum.... if beginners can find it in the first place. To me, it just makes it easier for people to find. (hopefully)

I would also like to see more activity in the English for Japanese forum. XD If I had anything interesting to talk about I'd at least try to post there. ^^; Try... I tend to be on the shy side... >.> My Lang-8 has been terribly neglected even...

:) By all means teach anyway. You'll probably have stuff in your lessons I don't have in mine.


A bird eats the apple. Tori wa ringo o nomimasu. とり は りんご を たべます。 鳥はりんごを食べます。

I just want to report you that you wrote "nomimasu" in this example.


WHOOPS!!! Thank you! It has been fixed!


I should have typed "typed", right?


In this case "wrote" is acceptable and understood.
We often say "wrote" or even "said" when referring to what someone has actually typed. :) So don't worry.

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