Is, Is Not, Was, Was Not (existence: arimasu, imasu)


To indicate existence, Japanese uses two verbs: arimasu and imasu
    arimasu - when referencing inanimate objects:


  • noun ga arimasu ka - do you have / are there / is there noun?
  • hai, noun ga arimasu - there is (are) noun
  • iie, noun ga arimasen - no, there is (are) no noun(s) here



  • kamera ga arimasu ka - do you have cameras?
  • hai, kamera ga arimasu - we have cameras
  • iie, kamera ga arimasen - no, we don't have cameras

  • o-cha ga arimasu ka - do you have tea?
  • hai, o-cha ga arimasu - yes, we have tea
  • iie, o-cha ga arimasen - no, we don't have tea

  • meishi ga arimasu ka - do you have a name card?
  • hai, meishi ga arimasu - yes, I have a card



    imasu - when referencing living objects


  • name-san ga imasu ka - is name here (around)?
  • hai, name-san ga imasu - yes, name-san is here
  • iie, name-san ga imasen - no, name-san is not here

  • noun ga imasu ka - is there a noun here (around)?
  • hai, noun imasu - yes, we have a noun here / we have noun(s) here



  • Mahoney-san ga imasu ka - Is Mr(s). Mahoney here?
  • hai, Mahoney-san ga imasu - Yes, Mahoney is here
  • iie, Mahoney-san ga imasen - No, Mahoney is not here

  • inu ga imasu ka - Is there a dog here / do you have dogs here?
  • hai, inu ga imasu - Yes, {there is a dog | there are dogs} here
  • iie, inu ga imasen - No, there are no dogs here



While not as frequently needed, you should be able to see the patterns:


arimashita - there was / were (inanimate)

arimesendeshita - there was not / were not (inanimate)

imashita - there was / were (living)

imasendeshita - there was not / were not (living)