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Existence of Inanimate and Animate Things

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Lesson 10


Sentence Pattern : N1 が あります/います
This sentence pattern is used to indicate the existence or presence of a thing(s) or person(s). The thing(s) in such a sentence is created as the subject and marked with the particle が.
(1)あります is used when what is present is inanimate or does not move by itself. Things, plants and places belong in this category.
Examples
1. ほん が あります。
There is a book.

2. さくら が あります.
There is a cherry trees.

3. こうえん が あります.
There is a park.
(2)When what is present is animate and moves by itself, います is used. People and animals belong in this category.
Examples
1. おとこのこ が います。
There is a boy。

2. ねこ が います。
There is a cat。
Sentence Pattern : Noun (place) に N2 が います / あります
(1)The place where N2 is present is indicated by the particle に.
Examples
1. きっさてん に おんな の ひと が います。
There is a woman in the coffee shop。

2. テ-ブル に けいたい が あります。
There is a cellphone in the table。

3. にわ に いぬ が います。
There is a dog in the garden。
(2)You can ask what or who is present at/in the place by using this pattern. The interrogative なにused for things and だれ is used for persons.
Examples
1. ちか に なに が ありますか
...レストラン が あります。
What is there in the basement?
...There are restaurants.

2. うけつけ に だれ が いますか
...きむら さん が います
Who is at the receptionist?
...Ms. Kimura is there.
Sentence Pattern : N1 は Noun(place) に います / あります
(1)In this sentence pattern, the speaker picks up N1, as the topic, and explains where it is. The topic should be something or someone that both the speaker and the listener know about. The particle attached to N1 is not が, which marks the subject, but は, which marks the topic.
Examples
1. せんせい は きょうしつ に います。
The teacher is in the classroom。

2. ほん は いす に あります。
The book is in the chair。

3. きる は き に います。
The monkey is in the tree。
(2)When you ask where N1 is, this sentence pattern is used.
Examples
1. ときょう デイズニ-ランド は どこ に ありますか?
...ちばけん に あります.
Where is Tokyo Disneyland?
...It’s in Chiba Prefecture.

2. ミラ- さん は どこに いますか.
...じむしょ に います.
Where is Mr. Miller?
...He’s in the Office.
[Note] です is sometimes used to replace a verb predicate when the predicate is obvious. The sentence N1 は Noun/Place に います / あります can be replaced by the sentence N1 は N2 / (place) です, which you Learned in Lesson 3.
Sentence Pattern :  N (things,person,place) の Locatives に N が います / あります
うえ,した,まえ,うしろ,ひたり,みぎ,なか,そと,となり,ちかく and あいだ are nouns or (locatives) denoting position.
[Note] as these are place nouns, not only に that also particles like で can come after them.
Examples
1. ぎんこう と はなや の あいだ に くるま が あります。
There is a car between the bank and flower shop。

2. へや の なか に おんなの こ が います。
There is a girl inside the room。

3. き の した に ねこ が います。
There is a cat under the tree。
Sentence Pattern :  N1 は Place の Locatives に います / あります
Examples
1. こども は ベッド の いちばん うえ に います。
The child is on the most top of the bed。

2. ほん は たな の だんめ に あります。
The book is on the 2nd row of the shelf。

3. ねこ は たなかさん の みぎがわ に います。
The cat is on the right side of Mr. Tanaka。
Sentence Pattern :  Place の Locatives に N1 や N2 など が います / あります
Nouns are connected in coordinate relation by particle や, While to enumerates all the items, や shows a few representative items, Sometimes など is put after the last noun to explicitly express that there are also some other things of the kind.
Examples
1. かいぎしつ の なか に せんせい や がくせい など が います。
There are teachers, students and so on inside the meeting room。

2. たなかさん の つくえ の うえ に えんぴつ や ノ-ト など が あります。
There are pencil, notebook and soon on the top of Mr. Tanaka desk。

3. どうぶつえん の ちかく に ねこ や さる など が います。
There are cats, monkeys and so on near by the zoo。

Related Articles: List of Japanese Sentence Structure
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