中級日本語ーVerb IRU and ARU

October 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Verb Iru And Aru

To tell someone that you have or possess something, use the verbs iru (ee-roo) and aru (ah-roo). Both mean “to exist,” which shows possession in Japanese. You choose the verb according to whether the item you possess is animate or inanimate:

  • Iru shows possession of animate items, such as people and animals.
  • Aru is for inanimate items, such as books, money, plants, and houses.

So “I have a boyfriend” is Watashi wa boifurendo ga iru (wah-tah-shee wah bohh-ee-foo-rehn-doh gah ee-roo), which literally means “As for me, a boyfriend exists.” Similarly, “Alison has money” is Alison wa okane ga aru (ah-ree-sohn wah oh-kah-neh gah ah-roo), which literally means “As for Alison, money exists.”

When speaking in a polite/neutral context, use the polite form of these verbs, imasu (ee-mah-soo) and arimasu (ah-ree-mah-soo), both of which are conjugated here. Iru is a ru-verb, but aru is slightly irregular; pay close attention to the negative form.

Form Pronunciation
iru ee-roo
inai ee-nah-ee
i ee
ite ee-teh
Form Pronunciation
aru ah-roo
nai nah-ee
ari ah-ree
atte aht-teh

Here are a few examples of having and not having:

  • Hima ga arimasen. (hee-mah gah ah-ree-mah-sehn; I don’t have free time.)
  • Petto ga imasu. (peht-toh gah ee-mah-soo; I have a pet.)
  • Watashi wa kyodai ga imasen. (wah-tah-shee I wah kyohh-dah-ee gah ee-mah-sehn; I don’t have siblings.)
  • Chichi wa o-kane ga arimasu. (chee-chee wah oh-kah-neh gah ah-ree-mah-soo; My father has 1 money.)

Talking about your regular activities

To express that you do something regularly – run, play tennis, go to work, and so on – use the verb that expresses the activity and the verb iru (ee-roo; to exist), in that order. Make sure to conjugate the verb that expresses ihe action in the te-form. (See Chapter 2 for details oil the te-form.) You can leave the verb iru as it is or put it in the polite form, imasu (ee-mah-soo).

For example, you can combine the verbs hashiru (hah-shee-roo; to run) and iru to get hashitte iru (hah-sheet-teh ee-roo) or hashitte imasu (hah-sheet-teh ee-mah-soo). Both phrases mean that someone runs regularly, sort of like saying, “I run and exist every day.”

Be careful: hashitte iru can also be interpreted as “I’m in the middle of running.” Which meaning the phrase takes on depends on the context. If you say mainichi (mah-ee-nee-chee; every day) before saying hashitte imasu, you obviously mean a regular activity: “I run every day.” If you say ima (ee-mah; now), you mean “I’m in the middle of running now.” The following sentences express regular actions:

  • Ken wa mainichi piza o tabete imasu. (kehn wah mah-ee-nee-chee pee-zah oh tah-beh-teh ee-mah-soo; Ken eats pizza every day.)
  • Otdto wa kyonen kara daigaku ni itte imasu.(oh-tohh-toh wah kyoh-nehn kah-rah dah-ee-gah-koo nee eet-teh ee-mah-soo; My younger brother has been going to college since last year.)
  • Otosan wa itsumo nete iru yo. (oh-tohh-sahn wah ee-tsoo-moh neh-teh ee-roo yoh; My dad is always sleeping.)
  • Shujin wa maishu tenisu o shite imasu. (shoo-jeen wah mah-ee-shooo teh-nee-soo oh shee-teh ee-mah-soo; My husband plays tennis every week.”)

Giving out your contact information

After chatting with someone, you may want to contact him or her. below table lists the information you may want to collect.

Contact Information
Japanese Pronunciation Translation
jusho jooo-shoh address
denwa bango dehn-wah bahn-gohh phone number
denshi meru adoresu dehn-shee mehh-roo ah-doh-reh-soo e-mail address
fakkusu bango fahk-koo-soo bahn-gohh fax number

Exchanging meishi (mehh-shee; business cards) is also a good idea. These phrases are useful when exchanging contact information:

  • Denshi meru de renraku shimasu. (dehn-shee mehh-roo deh rehn-rah-koo shee-mah-soo; I’ll contact you via e-mail.)
  • Denwa bango wa nan desu fca. (dehn-wah bahn-gohh wah nahn deh-soo kah; What’s your telephone number?)
  • Denwa o shite kudasai. (dehn-wah oh shee-teh koo-dah-sah-ee; Please call me.)
  • Jusho o oshiete kudasai. (jooo-shoh oh oh-shee-eh-teh koo-dah-sah-ee; Please tell me your address.)
  • Kore wa watashi no meishi desu. (koh-reh wah wah-tah-shee noh mehh-shee deh-soo; This is my business card.)
  • Yokattara, renraku kudasai. (yoh-kaht-tah-rah, rehn-rah-koo koo-dah-sah-ee; Get in touch if you like.)

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