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This has been split from this question..

So what are differences between two? Are there times where they can be interchangeable or can they only be used in certain situations?

I saw this about ことがある.

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Would you have a sentence that confuses you? Or when you think that you can switch both ? –  oldergod Nov 14 '12 at 6:27

1 Answer 1

For ものがある:

  • (plain form verb/i adjective/na adjective+な)+ものがある (Kanji 物がある, but I think it's usually written in Hiragana), can mean:

    • とても〜だ
    • なんとなく〜感じる
    • 〜という感じがある
    • 〜ように感じられる

    and is used in regards with things the speaker felt, for expressing feelings while describing the characteristics of something, or that a certain characteristic can be seen, for example:

    半年前にいなくなったねこが帰ってきた。わたしにとって特別うれしいものがある。
    "The cat which disappeared half a year ago has returned. To me it's special, and I feel very happy."

    この文章はまだまだ未熟だが、しかし随所にキラリと光るものがある。
    "This sentence has still got some way to go, but it twinkles at every turn."

    この絵には人を引きつけるものがある。
    "This painting feels like it pulls a person into it."

    You can also use 見られる, 認められる etc in place of ある here.

    (Sources: 日本語文型辞典, どんな時どう使う日本語文型辞典500, the Kanzen master JLPT 2 grammar book).

  • It can also mean "there is a thing (generally a tangible thing)" (with the Kanji 物がある).

  • ものがある can also mean "there is a person" (written with the Kanji 者がある)

For ことがある:

  • It can mean "there are times when..." when expressed as plain form verb+ことがある and "there are times when it doesn't" when expressed as plain negative verb+ことがある

  • It can express that something has been experienced when expressed as plain past+ことがある, and that something hasn't been experienced when expressed as plain past+ことがない.

  • It can also mean "there is a thing (generally abstract)" as well. (It is structurally ambiguous between an appositive clause and a relative clause)

The question you linked to describes these usages in more detail, so I think I might leave those for now.

There are probably many other different usages too, but the two are generally quite different to each other as far as I know. I think as a (possibly broad generalization) that ものがある tends to be about feelings and tangible things and ことがある tends to be about abstract things, experiences and occurrences etc.

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