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Help with ある Hello, I wonder if you could help me with a book (A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar) that I am reading. For ある it says that "When ある is used to express the idea of having and the object is animate, that object must be someone who maintains a very close relationship with the possessor, such as a family member, a relative or a friend. Thus, (4) is acceptable, but (5) is odd. (4) 私には子供が三人ある (4) I have three children. ..." Whenever I use ある in this way, I am corrected and told to use いる instead which makes sense to me. Even in the いる section of the same book is the sentence 「私には子供が三人いる」. Do you think the use of ある is just very very rare or maybe it has become outdated since the books publication? Thank you for your help!
Oct 21, 2016 3:17 PM
Answers · 2
Hi Wolfy. The use of ある is correct and I occasionally read/hear it in folk stories or a little formal situation. I think it depends on the writing/speaking style whether or not I find it unnatural. If the style is modern and casual, the use of ある would stand out and it would sound a little stilted. I would suggest Japanese learners use いる in the sentence :)
October 22, 2016
That usage has become out of date. Nevertheless it is used in novel, as joke and among elders. When it comes to honorific expression, it is used a bit more often. Though I think that still sounds lame.
October 21, 2016
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