Existence

Describe the existence of people and items in different tenses and polarities

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Outline

KanjiVocabularyExistence

Kanji

Older brother

Older sister

Temple, Buddhist temple

Vocabulary

ある

To be, To exist

いる

To be, To exist

テスト

Test, Exam

クラス

Class

Older brother, Elder brother

Older sister, Elder sister

お兄さん

Older brother, Elder brother, Young man

お寺

Temple

Existence

います and あります are used to express existence and possession. います and あります are technically polite affirmative forms of the verbs いる and ある (which are introduced in a later lesson), but for now we will explain them as grammatical concepts (such as です). います and あります are generally used with the particle and they are similar to the English phrases "There are..." and "I have...".

います is used for animated objects such as people and animals, whereas あります is used for non-animated objects such as things and places. Let's take a look at some examples below:

  • あねがいます。
  • I have an older sister. / There is my older sister.
  • テストがあります。
  • I have a test.

Forms

Just like です in Beginner Lesson 1 and adjectives in Beginner Lesson 9, います and あります have different conjugation patterns depending on past/present tense and affirmative/negative form.

Non-past Affirmative

います and あります are already the non-past affirmative forms.

Non-past Negative

います turns into いません, and あります turns into ありません

  • あにがいません。
  • I don't have an older brother. / There is not my older brother.
  • クラスがありません。
  • I don't have any classes. / There are no classes.

Past Affirmative

います turns into いました and あります turns into ありました.

  • あねがいました。
  • I had an older sister. / There was my older sister.
  • てらがありました。
  • There was a temple.

Notice that all the past tense forms that we've come across so far, such as the forms of です and adjectives, end with the character .

Past Negative

います turns into いませんでした and あります turns into ありませんでした.

  • おばあさんがいませんでした。
  • There wasn’t an old lady.
  • クラスがありませんでした。
  • I didn't have any classes. / There were no classes.

Questions

Just like with adjectives, if you want to form a sentence you can add a at the end.

  • ケンさんはおにいさんがいますか?
  • Do you have older brothers, Ken?
  • 先生せんせいがいませんでしたか?
  • Wasn't there a teacher?
  • てらがありましたか?
  • Was there a temple?

In the first example sentence, the topic marker particle is used to set a broad topic. In this case, the speaker is asking Ken if he has any older brothers. The same sentence could be translated to "Does Ken have any older brothers?", if Ken wasn't present.

Reference tables

います

Tense\PolarityAffirmativeNegative
Non-pastいますいません
Pastいましたいませんでした

あります

Tense\PolarityAffirmativeNegative
Non-pastありますありません
Pastありましたありませんでした
Complete Lesson
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