Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 6: 11/16

~てある
something is done, has been done, remaining state

Only used with transitive verbs!

Structure
Casual
Formal
(Transitive) Verb[て]+ ある
(Transitive) Verb[て]+ あります
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
有る
Information
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)机(つくえ)上(うえ)置(お)いてある
    I have left you lunch on the table. (Literally ‘your lunch is in the state of having been left on the table’)
  • 車(くるま)駐車場(ちゅうしゃじょう)真(ま)ん中(なか)に止(と)めてある
    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’)
  • 庭(にわ)トウモロコシ植(う)えてある から気(き)付(つ)け
    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.
Slow Male
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このドア開(あ)けてある
This door has been left open.
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明日(あした)準備(じゅんび)てあるのでもう寝(ね)ます
I have done my preparation for tomorrow so I am going to bed.
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テレビ台(だい)上(うえ)置(お)いてある
It has been placed on top of the TV stand.
[state of action remains]
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Books
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 184
みんなの日本語 II
Page 36 [CH 30]
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 214
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 2 & 76
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 119