Welcome to another learn Japanese lesson!
Today I have a “back to basics” lesson for everyone.
So, “to be or not be”?
In Japanese there are two be verbs: imasu and arimasu.
imasu is the be verb for living/aminate things (people, animals)
arimasu is the be verb for inaminate things (shampoo, trees, hamburgers, etc.)
Let’s look at some examples:
tanaka-san ga imasu
Mr/Ms Tanaka is here/there
ki ga arimasu
There is a tree/A tree is here/A tree exists
So, pretty simple right?
But, we can use these words in stores or on the phone. For example:
On the phone:
sumisu-san wa imasuka
Is Mr/Ms Smith there?
Let’s break that down:
sumisu-san Mr/Ms Smith
wa as for
imasuka there (the ka turns it into a question)
In a shop:
sumi masen. denchi wa arimasuka
Excuse me. Do you have any batteries?
sumi masen Excuse me
wa as for
arimasuka there (the ka turns it into a question)
So, that’s it for this lesson. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a post.