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Basic Lessons

Asking Directions (4)

Dialogue 

Click here for the dialogue for "Asking Directions."

Expressions for Existence

"Arimasu (aru)" and "imasu (iru)" are the verbs for existence. "Arimasu" is used for inanimate things and "imasu" for animate things. (people, animals etc.)

Denwa ga arimasu.
電話があります。
There is a telephone.
Otoko no ko ga imasu.
男の子がいます。
There is a boy.

The particle "ni" indicates location or place of existence.

Nikai ni denwa ga arimasu.
二階に電話があります。
There is a telephone on the 2nd floor.
Kouen ni otoko no ko ga imasu.
公園に男の子がいます。
There is a boy in the park.

When you want to talk about the telephone, the telephone becomes the topic. In this case the particle "wa (a topic maker)" is used. When you want to talk about the what is on the second floor, "on the second floor" becomes the topic. Compare these sentences. 

Nikai ni denwa ga arimasu.
二階に電話があります。
There is a telephone on the 2nd floor.
Denwa wa nikai ni arimasu.
電話は二階にあります。
The telephone is on the 2nd floor.
Nikai ni wa denwa ga arimasu.
二階には電話があります。
On the 2nd floor, there is a telephone.

"Desu" can be a substitute of "ni arimasu/imasu."

Toshokan wa doko ni arimasu ka.
図書館はどこにありますか。
Where is the library?
Toshokan wa doko desu ka.
図書館はどこですか。
Asoko ni arimasu.
あそこにあります。
It's over there.
Asoko desu.
あそこです。

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