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Do ことある and ことある mean the same thing?

  • Possible duplicate of When to use である vs であります? – bjorn May 22 '18 at 18:35
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    No, I think this is about ある vs だ. – mamster May 22 '18 at 19:18
  • I think he just doesn't know what である means (considering his title in particular), and there are already a plenitude of threads describing its usage. Anyway, it would help if he tells us what he thinks that they mean. – bjorn May 22 '18 at 21:17
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I don't think so.

である is basically equivalent to or です (the copula), so ことである can be replaced by ことです/ことだ where こと is either nominalizing the preceding expression, or is used as literal "thing/fact".

これは大事なことだ

This is an important matter.

大事なことがある

[I] have something* very important. (lit. A very important thing exists.)

*Note: unlike similar もの, こと refers to intangible things.

Additionally, ことがある (or polite ことがあります) can describe either an event that happened in the past (with past form verbs), or something occurring with some regularity (with non-past forms).

~に何度か行ったことがある
[I] have been to ~ several times

This usage usually describes personal experience.

It cannot be replaced by ことです to express the same meaning.

~に何度か行ったことです

Fact of the matter (?) is that [I] went to ~ several times*

*I'm not very sure it's a correct translation.

See also The different usages of ことがある

References: A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino, articles on aru1,koto1, koto2, koto ga aru 1, koto ga aru 2

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