Quick question, what does ある mean?

No funny I really don’t know what it means and when I look it up I get a bunch of different results and I’m not shure which one relates to what I’m looking for.


That’s the sentence, but i’ve never seen ari alone and I don’t know what it means or implies
Please help

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Wait I lied it’s normally written A RU but it changes form into A RI in this sentence, I don’t have japanese on keyboard sorry

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I’m still a beginner myself so if I get anything wrong someone please jump in and correct me but my understanding of ある is roughly translated ‘to exist’. Which in most cases would translate to english as “There is …”

So a simple sentence would be: 「カフェがある」 or “There is a cafe”.

As well as ある, there’s also いる which serves the same purpose. The difference is that ある is used for inanimate objects and いる is used for animate objects.

Eg. 「犬(いぬ)がいる」“There is a dog”.

あります and います are just the more polite forms of these verbs.

The sentence you linked broken down is: 大学(だいがく) - university, に - particle used for locations to show where something exists, カフェ - cafe, が - particle to inform you the subject of the sentence is what came before it, ありました - to exist said politely, the た at the end lets you know the sentence is in past tense.

So if you put that all together you get “University at, cafe there was.” or in english order “There was a cafe at the university.”


oooohh ok so it’s pretty easy
thank you now i can continue figuring out the weird ramen noodle language


This is correct. ある literally means “to exist” but it’s also usually used to say one has something inanimate. For instance, I’ll ask a student, 「ペンがありますか?」 They’ll give me a pen and say, 「はい、あります。」

Two other things that help to know now or soon…

  1. The phrase ~てある is used to explain when something is in a completed state. More on that here.
  2. One of the big pains in the butt down the line will be trying to remember which verbs are intransitive or transitive. Japanese often has two verbs that pair: one intransitive, one transitive. If a verb ends in ~aru, it’s almost always the intransitive one. I can’t remember the details, but I think it’s a morphological remnant of that ~てある construction.

Both are correct! They’re the same verb - to exist. One of them is the dictionary form and one of them is the formal or “masu” form. We have a breakdown over at the る verbs grammar point!

Hit me up or any of the other admins if you’ve more questions!

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It comes from just ある.

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