Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 6: 11/16


Something is done, Has been done, Remaining state

Only used with transitive verbs!


(Transitive) Verb[て]+ ある


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About てある

Like 'verb + ている', 'verb + てある ' is a structure that will convey an ongoing state. However, that is where the similarities stop. てある may only be used with transitive verbs, and highlights the object itself as being the subject of the sentence (rather than the initial person/thing that performed the action).
Because ある is being used, it highlights the object as being inanimate (or unable to undo the action that was performed on it). Due to this, てある is regularly translated as 'to be left (A)', or 'to remain (A)', where (A) is the original verb that somebody performed on the object.
  • あなた弁当(べんとう)(つくえ)(うえ)()てある
    I have left you lunch on the table. (Literally 'your lunch is in the state of having been left on the table')
  • (くるま)駐車場(ちゅうしゃじょう)()(なか)()てある
    I parked the car in the middle of the parking lot. (Literally 'your car is in the state of having been stopped in the carpark')
  • (にわ)トウモロコシ()てある から()()
    Corn has been planted in the yard, so please be careful. (Literally 'corn is in the state of having been planted')
may mark the object in these sentences when the action itself involves some kind of preparation. Examples are as follows:
予約(よやく) - Reservation (requires time investment to reserve)
準備(じゅんび) - Preparation (requires time investment to prepare)
録音(ろくおん) - Recording (requires time investment to make the recording)
In situations that involve no real preparation (opening a door, for example), will be preferred when marking the object.




    This door has been left open.


    I have done my preparation for tomorrow so I am going to bed.


    It has been placed on top of the TV stand.


    Have tomorrow's preparations been done?


    Dinner has already been made, so hurry home.

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てある – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (10 in total)

  • airblaster


    Great explanation, thanks!

    Maybe the information about it usually being used with intransitive verbs could be added to the summary of ている2?

  • durtle9831


    Are there any reason or nuance behind the usage of を in situations where preparations are done?
    It’s that the beginner-level textbooks don’t acknowledge that deviation makes me believe It’s either solely stylistic choice or too sophisticated to take care of as of right now.

    But if I were to make a guess it’s because the subject transfers from the preparations themselves to the thing we’re making preparations for (sorry if that makes little sense).

  • Zepp


    In the sentence which asks for a remaining state and the hint “have~thought”
    次の劇団のセリフをもう___から、早く書きたい。 [考える]

    Doesn’t 考えていた kinda have the same meaning as 考えてある in the sense of have~thought?

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