TIL: Human Japanese 25

Not as quick of a chapter as what I worked through on Tuesday, but I did manage to at least push one more chapter despite working a 13.5 hour day. What did I do after finishing a work day? わたしはうちにきました。 And that, is a sentence constructed with に, which I learned in Chapter 25.

Chapter 25 – Existence and に

In English we use “is” without much granularity. Something can have a state, ie: the apple is red. But something can also simply exist. The apple is (in the kitchen). English clarifies by using additional words to describe where something is.

Japanese doesn’t use です for existence, it only uses it for states. For existence, we need other verbs.
ーあります 「あって」 to exist (inanimate objects)
ーいます 「いて」 to exist (animate objects)

With these verbs, we use が
ーみずうみがあります。(there is a lake) 「湖」
ーとりがいます。(there is a bird)「鳥」
ーうまがいます。(there is a horse)「馬」
ーいしがあります。(there is a rock)「石」
these examples -could- also represent plurals. Context is necessary to know more.

Past and negative tenses:
ーねこがいました。(there was a cat)
ーかわがありません。(there is no river)
ーきがありませんでした。(there were no trees)

Combined with time:
ーことしとりがいます。(there are birds this year)
ーせんしゅうこのかわがありませんでした。(this river wasn’t here last week)
ーせんげつせんせいがいました。(the teacher was here last month.)

に is used to help specify locations. It can roughly mean “at” or “in”.
ーにほんに (in Japan)
ーアメリカに(in America)
ーわたしのくるまに(in my car)
ーがっこうに(at school)

ーにほんにすしがあります。(there is sushi in Japan.)
ーこうえんにはながあります。(there are flowers in the park.)
ーいしがあぞこにあります。(there are rocks over there.)
ーだいどころにいぬがいます。(there is a dog in the kitchen.)

どこ means “where”
ーせんせいはどこにいますか。(where is the teacher?)
ーせんせいはここにいます。 (the teacher is here)
ーまりこさんはどこにいますか。(where is Mariko?)
ーまりこさんはえきにいます。(Mariko is at the station)

は assumes familiarity… so せんせいは = the teacher while せんせいが = a teacher
So while いぬがいます。 means “there is a dog”.
こうえんにいぬはいます。 means “the dog is at the park”

ーみずうみはどこのありますか。(where is the lake?)
ーがっこうはどこにありますか。(where is the school?)

As this type of question is asked often, it’s also often shortened simply to どこですか。
ーえきはどこにありますか。(Where is the station?)
ーえきはどこですか。(Where is the station?)

と vs や

と can mean and/with
や can mean and/etc
いぬとねこ would mean dogs and cats
いぬやねこ would mean dogs, cats, and the like

English frowns on using and multiple times in a sentence, but this is fine in Japanese. This is the only way to list things in Japanese. Cats, dogs, birds, and horses is fine…. but there must be a と/や between each item in Japanese.

ーいしときとかわがあります。(There are rocks, trees, and rivers.)
ーいしやきやかわがあります。(There are rocks, trees, rivers, and that sort of thing.)
ーねこやとりがいました。 (There are cats, and birds, and that sort of thing.)
ーまりこさんとジョンさんがいます。(Mariko and John are here.)

と also translates as “with” as it is used for more than just lists. If you go somewhere with Mariko, then まりこさんと would be used.
ージョンさんはまりこさんとコンビニにいきました。(John went went to the convenience store with Mariko)
ーわたしはせんせいとしょくじをたべました。(I ate a meal with Teacher).