i have a doubt. In the lesson 3 practice A 5:

[x] wa [ y ] desu

x= something
y= place

That mean the X is in the place Y. Like in " The CAR ( x ) is in the GARAGE ( y ) "

BUT the exemples are confusing:

  • Kuni wa France desu ( nani )
  • kuni wa IMC desu ( nani )
  • kuni wa Sakura University desu ( nani )
  • kuni wa dochira desu ka ( that ask for the name of the country )

Or if you choose the daigaku

  • daigaku wa France desu ( this make sense, the univeristy is in France )
  • daigaku wa IMC desu ( nani )
  • daigaku wa sakura daigaku desu (make sense if " Y " is a name not a place )
  • daigaku wa dochira desu ka ( again, ask for the name of the university )

Renshuu A - 5

For me this make sense if you use other things in the X like:

  • denwa wa France desu ( the telephone is in France )
  • denwa wa IMC desu ( the telephone is in the IMC )
  • denwa wa sakura daigaku desu ( the telephone is in the Sakura University )

or Albert:

  • Albert-san wa France desu ( Albert-san is in France )
  • Albert-san wa IMC desu ( Albert-san is in the IMC )
  • Albert-san wa sakura daigaku desu ( Albert-san is in the Sakura University )

Any idea ?

  • That mean the X is in the place Y. Like in " The CAR ( x ) is in the GARAGE ( y ) " Why do you think that?
    – istrasci
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:40
  • Coz the book tell me that, gave me 3 examples: otearai ( x ) wa asoko ( y ) desu, denwa ( x ) wa 2kai ( y ) desu , yamada-san ( x ) wa jimusho ( y ) desu.
    – Albert
    Feb 23, 2017 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


First, this picture says you can say 「だいがく は さくらだいがく です。」 but probably not 「くに は さくらだいがく です」. You should see only three sentences here, not nine (3×3).

enter image description here

Second, in this picture, X は Y です means X is Y, not X is in Y. The "Y" doesn't have to be a place name. These three sentences literally mean:

  • くにはフランスです。
    (My) birthplace is France. (i.e., "I was born in France.")
  • かいしゃはIMCです。
    (My) company is IMC. (i.e., "I work at IMC.")
  • だいがくはさくらだいがくです。
    (My) college is Sakura College. (i.e., "I'm a student of Sakura College." or "I graduated from Sakura College.")

Note that this くに means one's birthplace.

Third, X は Y です can colloquially mean X is currently at/in Y, too.

  • わたしはさくらだいがくです。 I am (currently) at Sakura College. (maybe as a mere visitor)
    (Of course this doesn't mean "I am a college.")
  • かれはフランスです。 He is (currently) in France.
  • かいしゃはフランスです。 My company (office) is in France.
  • でんわはフランスです。 My phone is in France. (I left it there.)
  • くるまはガレージです。 The car is (currently) in the garage.

You are confused perhaps because you already know this usage, but this usage is colloquial and rather exceptional. Keep in mind that the basic meaning of X は Y です is simply X is Y.

  • I see my mistake !!! thx to you now I see that pink square have white lines to indicate separation, in the other examples there are no white lines and I can choose freely between options.
    – Albert
    Feb 23, 2017 at 8:50

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