Do viruses あります or います?
Currently, I'm under the impression that animals and humans use います (though see this question), while plants and inanimate objects use あります. Do viruses fall under the latter category?
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
I personally think both existing answers should be sufficient for this question, but since they cannot seem to gather consensus, allow me to give it my own try:
The short answer is that both いる and ある forms can be used in a scientific (biological) context. Simple as that.
A quick poll of available colleagues gave out that some preferred いる, some preferred ある, but neither form was particularly shocking to their ears.
There is just no way to derive a logical/grammatical (prescriptivist) rule as to which form should be used, considering there is no universal biological consensus as to whether viruses are "alive" (and even less so as to whether they are "animate" or "inanimate" objects). The best you will ever get is a descriptivist rule based on usage.