Please think of the meaning of “have” in the following sentences.
I have an older brother.
I have my own room.
The above sentences perfectly make sense but they don’t mean that you OWN them. For this kind of “have,” we use verbs that means more or less “to be” to “to exist,” which are います and あります.
- います is for a person or an animal that are alive and can move by themselves
- あります is for a non-living thing or for a plant that is alive but can’t move by itself.
So the 2 sentences above will be:
じぶんの へやが あります。
じぶん means “oneself” as in “myself,” “yourself,” etc. and with the particle の, that means “one’s own.”
If you want to talk about other people, you usually use double particles に and は together.
メアリーさんには おにいさんが います。
Mary has an older brother. (As I’m talking about Mary, not myself, we use an honorific word for a brother.)
ジョンさんには じぶんの へやが あります。
John has his own room.
You can use this pattern to describe a simple location using pronouns for location:
- ここ – a place near the speaker
- そこ – a place near the person the speaker is talking to
- あそこ – a place far away from both the speaker and the person the speaker is talking to
ここに ふうとうが あります。
Here is an envelope.
そこに いぬが います。
There is a dog there.
あそこに ポストが あります。
There is a post over there.
Showing which way things are
If you replace the words, ここ/そこ/あそこ with the following words ending in -っち or -ちら and point the direction, you can show which way things are.
- こっち/こちら – the direction towards the speaker
- そっち/そちら – the direction towards the person the speaker is talking to
- あっち/あちら – the direction away from both the speaker and the person the speaker is talking to
こちらに うまが います。
There is a horse this way.
こっちに やまが あります。
There is a mountain this way.
そちらに ボタンが あります。
There is a button there.
そっちに あにが いますか。
Is my brother there (near you)?
あちらに やおやが あります。
There is a green grocer over there.
あっちに ペットが います。
My pets are over there.
|あそこ||noun||there, over there, that place|
|ある||verb (i)||to have, (for a non-living, non-moving thing) to be, to exist|
|いる||Verb (1)||(for a living, moving thing) to be, to exist|
|ここ||noun||here, this place|
|こっち||noun||this e.g. person, way|
|そこ||noun||that place, there|
|ポスト||noun||post (on the street)|