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How do you say that there is a thing (e.g.: Restaurant ) in a certain place (e.g.: My town)? Is there a formula for this?

If someone were to ask me if there was a restaurant in my city they would say あなたの町に日本のレストランがありますか。

They would use the particle が but in my answer do I use は? And does that have to be in the beginning of the phrase or can I put it after the location (に particle)?

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  • If a specific place is the topic then you can use [ Place + には ]. Feb 14, 2017 at 0:46
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    あなたの町に日本のレストランがありますか is not really a natural expression. It should be …日本料理のレストラン (or just 店) は ありますか. Using は is another point.
    – user4092
    Feb 14, 2017 at 2:19

2 Answers 2

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For "There is a Japanese restaurant in my city", I'd say:

私の町には[日本食]{にほんしょく}のレストランあります。

[Place]には[Thing]があります。

("Japanese restaurant" can also be 日本食の[店]{みせ}、[日本料理]{にほんりょうり}のレストラン、日本料理の[店]{みせ}、[日本料理店]{にほんりょうりてん}、[和食]{わしょく}の[店]{みせ}、和食のレストラン, etc.)

For "Is there a Japanese restaurant in your town?", I'd say:

あなたの町日本食のレストランありますか?

[Place]に[Thing]はありますか?


Addressing this comment:

When asked 「あなたの町には何がありますか?」(What's in your town?), you'd reply:

(私の町には)和食のレストランあります。

[Place]には[Thing]があります。

This is literally like "As for my town, a Japanese restaurant is there."
Use the topical は for old/known/given information, and が for new/important information.

When asked 「和食のレストランはどこにありますか?」(Where's a Japanese restaurant?), you'd reply:

(和食のレストラン)私の町あります。

[Thing]は[Place]にあります。

This is literally like "As for a Japanese restaurant, there's one in my town."
Use the topical は for old/known/given information. 

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Yes, there are formulae.

First of all, you have to understand that is a topic particle and particle emphasis on what comes before it.

Formula 1: Noun は Place に あります.
Example : アメリカのレストラン は どこ に ありますか?

Formula 2: Place には Noun が あります.
Example : 東京 には アメリカのレストラン が あります.

Usage of formula 1 and 2:

If a specific place is the topic >> use formula 2 (東京 には ~)
If noun (you wanna talk about) is the topic >> use formula 1 (アメリカのレストラン は ~ )

Take a look at Using location words with Subject/topic markers
"Objects can also be the topic of a sentence (には, では, へは), but objects can't be the subject of a sentence"

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  • Can you please clarify the diference between say: "アメリカのレストラン は東京に あります" And "東京 には アメリカのレストラン が あります"?
    – Andre R.
    Feb 14, 2017 at 0:54
  • As I know they are almost same, formula 2 emphasis on "Specific place" as the topic. check Usage of formula 1 and 2 Feb 14, 2017 at 1:16

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