Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 3: 7/13

To be, There is

有る kanji use can be seen

Noun + + ある
Noun + + あります
Part of Speech Expression
Word Type Verb
Register Standard
品詞 表現
単語の種類 動詞
使用域 一般
がある is a common construction that is simply a combination of the particle, and the う-Verb, ある. This expression means ‘to exist’, or ‘there is’, and is used in relation to non-living/inanimate things.
  • 明日(あした)、テストがある
    There is a test tomorrow.
  • 部屋(へや)に椅子(いす)がある
    I have a chair in my room.
Because the things being described in these examples are not considered to be ‘alive’, ある is the verb that will be used. いる is used for living things.
The polite form of ある conjugates as あります. Due to the る changing to り, we can determine that ある is a う-Verb (Godan verb). However, ある is irregular in that the plain negative form is ない, not あらない.
  • キッチンケーキがある
    There is a cake in the kitchen. (Correct example)
  • キッチンケーキがあります
    There is a cake in the kitchen. (Correct example)
  • お金(かね)がない
    I have no money. (Correct example)
  • トイレがありません
    There is no toilet. (Correct example)
  • にんじんがあらない。
    Theren’t carrots. (Incorrect example, with incorrect English to match!)
The kanji form of 有(あ)る is quite common, and should be learned as early as possible, to save any confusion while reading. There is no nuance difference between this expression being used with, or without kanji, and is up to the preference of the writer.
  • 今日(きょう)時間(じかん)が有(あ)る
    I have time today.
The in がある is often omitted in casual speech, or writing that behaves like casual speech (manga, instant messaging, etc).
  • 冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)中(なか)何(なに)ある
    What’s in the refrigerator?
Slow Male
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There is a book.
There is a pen.
There is time.
Genki I
Page 77
Genki I 2nd Edition
Page 107
みんなの日本語 I
Page 62 [CH 9]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 10 & 73