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Learn Japanese Grammar – Arimasu and Imasu

ARIMASU and IMASU - sakana ga arimasu ka?

Arimasu and imasu are verbs we use to express existence of non-living things (arimasu) and living things (imasu).  They are both similar to “there is“.  When using these verbs, we always mark the subject with が (ga).

Forms:
(Thing) あります
ga arimasu
(Person) います
ga imasu

 

For example,

いわがあります。

iwa ga arimasu.

(There is a rock.)

iwa ga arimasu.  iwa ga arimasu.

We used あります (arimasu) because a rock is a non-living thing.  It’s not very interesting though, is it?    If you have read our lessons before, you should know that we like to spice things up a bit:

ラスター がいます。

rathtar ga imasu.

(There is a rathtar.)

rathtar ga imasu. rathtar ga imasu.

This “rathtar” demands that we use います (imasu) because it is a living thing, so we should probably listen.  These examples were pretty easy, but sometimes there are situations where you may need to stop for a second to think about it.  For example, what if a living thing is no longer… living?  In that case, we will use あります (arimasu) because it is not really a living thing any longer:

さかながあります。

sakana ga arimasu.

(There is a fish.)

sakana ga arimasu. sakana ga arimasu.
Of course if we see a fish still living his life to the fullest, we should use います (imasu):

さかながいます。

sakana ga imasu.

(There is a fish.)

sakana ga imasu. sakana ga imasu.


に (ni) is used for a location with あります (Arimasu) and います (Imasu).

 

In a previous lesson, we learned that (ni) is used to indicate a location of existence.  To do this, we simply plug “location + ni” into our sentence with  あります (arimasu) and います (imasu).
へやいすあります
heya ni isu ga arimasu
There is a
chair in the room.
へやにせんせいいます
heya ni sensei ga
imasu
There is a
teacher in the room.
heya ni isu ga arimasu heya ni sensei ga imasu

When we use location + に (ni) as we did above, it can be placed before or after our subject.  Let’s switch them around so that you can see that nothing changes.

いすへやにあります
isu ga heya ni arimasu
There is
a chair in the room.
せんせいがへやにいます
sensei ga heya ni 
imasu
There is
a teacher in the room.
 
isu ga heya ni arimasu sensei ga heya ni imasu  

 

Possession is expressed with あります (Arimasu)

 

Arimasu is used to indicate possession of something, such as money.

おかねあります
okane ga arimasu
(I) have money
okane ga arimasu okane ga arimasu
Add me to Skype and we can practice this grammar point together!
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