Basic Japanese

Fuji-yama by YAMASHITA Kiyoshi


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Part 1 There is an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood.

" i-masu " and " ari-masu " are used to indicate that someone or something existes at a particular place.

statemens Japanese pronunciation
There is an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. 近所にイタリアンレストランがあります。 kinjyo ni itarian-resutoran ga arimasu
You will find the president of a company in that room. あの部屋に社長がいます。 ano heya ni shachoo ga imasu
There is a telephone in this room. この部屋に電話があります。 konoheyan denwa ga arimasu
There ia a dog in this park. この公園に犬がいます。 kono kooen ni inu ga imasu

Note ; All these examples above need " ... ni " indicating the place.

Note; Since all Japanese nouns are uncountable, you cannot guess if there is only one or a few or many. In other words, Japanese people don't care much about how many.

PATTERN (51/52)
< the name of a place > ni < person or animal > ga i-masu
< the name of a place > ni < object > ga ari-masu


Part 2 There is someone behind the curtain.

The equivalent of the English proposition indicating places is also found in Japanese. The difference; They are placed behind, not before the noun, that is, postposition.

words Japanese pronunciation
There is someone behind the curtain. カーテンのうしろに人がいます。 kaaten no-ushiro-ni hito ga imasu
There is a cat in front of the car. 車の前にネコがいます。 kuruma no-mae-ni neko ga imasu
There is a bank near the station. 駅の近くに銀行があります。 eki no-chikaku-ni ginkoo ga arimasu
There is a bottleof cola in the refregerator. 冷蔵庫の中にコーラがあります。 reizooko no-naka-ni koora ga arimasu
There is a truck under the bridge. 橋の下にトラックがあります。 hashi no-shita-ni torakku ga arimasu
Threre is a dictionary on the desk. 机の上に辞書があります。 tsukue no-ue-ni jisho ga arimasu

Note ; There are many other words indicating the spacial positions.

propositions Japanese pronunciation
behind ・・・のうしろに・・・ no-ushiro-ni
in front of ・・・の前に・・・ no-mae-ni
in / into ・・・の中に・・・ no-naka-ni
near ・・・の近くに・・・ no-chikaku-ni
on / onto ・・・の上に・・・ no-ue-ni
under ・・・の下に・・・ no-shita-ni

Note; The words indicating positions are franked by " no " and " ni ".

< object or person > no-< words indicating positions >-ni < sentence >


Part 3 What do you see on the desk ?

If you want answers with " i-masu " or " ari-masu ", then begin the question with " nani ga ". And when you canot specify what it is, you call it " nanika " or something. And when you cannot find anything ", you call it " nanimo ".

conversations Japanese pronunciation
What do you see on the desk ?

There is a pencil on the desk.



tsukue no ue ni nani ga arimasuka

enpitsu ga arimasu

There is something on the desk.

There is a notebook on the desk.



tsukure no ue ni nanika arimasu
Is there anything on the chair ?

There is nothing on the chair.



isu no ue ni nanika arimasuka

nanimo arimasen

Note :" nani ga ", " nanika " and " nanimo " are all a kind of pronoun. They are roughly equivalent of what, something and anything respectively.

PATTERN (54/55/56/57)
< the name of a palce > ni nani ga ari-masuka
< the name of a palce > ni nani ka ari-masu
< the name of a palce > ni nani ka ari-masuka
< the name of a palce > ni nanimo ari-masen


Part 4 There is an egg in the box.

Since all the Japanese nouns are uncountable, they need some words to help express the number of the objects. There are many kinds of such words.

statements Japanese pronunciation
There is an egg in the box. 箱の中に卵が一個あります。 hako no naka ni tamago ga hito-tsu ari-masu
There are three sheets of paper behind the book. 本のうしろに紙が三枚あります。 hon no ushiro ni kami ga san-mai ari-masu
Thiere is only on chopstick in the drawer. 引き出しには箸が一本しかありません。 hikidashi ni-wa hashi ga i-ppon shika ari-masen
There are six students in the room. 部屋の中に学生が6人います。 heya no naka ni gakusei ga roku-nin i-masu

Note :Compare the position of the word indicating the number.

箱の中に卵があります。 → → →箱の中に卵が一個あります。

Insert 「一個」 between 「卵が」 and 「あります。」

See below how to count people or objects from one to ten.

counting people
一人 hitori 二人 hutari 三人 san-nin 四人 yo-nin 五人 go-nin 六人 roku-nin 七人 nana-nin / shichi-nin 八人 hachi-nin 九人 kyuu-nin / kunin 十人 jyuu-nin


counting somthing as large as eggs or peas
一個 i-kko 二個 ni-ko 三個 san-ko 四個 yon-ko 五個 go-ko 六個 ro-kko 七個 nana-ko 八個 hachi-ko 九個 kyuu-ko 十個 jyu-kko


counting somthing like sticks
一本 i-ppon 二本 ni-hon 三本 san-bon 四本 yon-hon 五本 go-hon 六本 ro-ppon 七本 nana-hon 八本 ha-ppon 九本 kyuu-hon 十本 jyu-ppon


counting sheets of paper or leaves or plates
一枚 ichi-mai 二枚 ni-mai 三枚 san-mai 四枚 yon-mai 五枚 go-mai 六枚 ryoku-mai 七枚 nana-mai 八枚 hachi-mai 九枚 kyuu-mai 十枚jyuu-mai

Other examples ; to count birds " wa " 一羽 to count beasts as large as dogs or horses " too " 一頭 to count small animals as large as mice " hiki ( piki ) " 一匹 to count books " satsu "一冊 etc.


Part 5 The salt is in the cupboard.

When you want to tell someone where the object is, you say " ari-masu ", but where the person is, " i-masu ". Try to make questions useing " dokoni... ".

conversations Japanese pronunciation
Where is the dictionary ?

The dictionary is here.



jisho wa doko ni ari-masuka

jisho wa koko ni ari-masu

Where is the salt ?

The salt is in the cupboard.



shio wa doko ni ari-masuka

shio wa todana no-naka-ni ari-masu

Where is the money ?

The money is in my wallet.



okane wa dokoni ari-masuka

watashi no saihu no-naka-ni ari-masu

Where is Toru ?

He is in the kitchen.



tooru-san wa doko ni i-masuka

daidokoro ni i-masu


PATTERN (58/59)
< noun > wa doko ni ari-masuka / i-masuka
< noun > wa < place > ni ari-masu / i-masu



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