I just learned about: います and あります.

I know I should use います for people and moving things and あります for plants and inanimate things.

I have two doubts:

  • Which one should I use with "dead body". For example: "Is there a dead body inside the room?"
  • What about robots or a non living thing with AI?

3 Answers 3


Basically it depends on how the speaker feels. However, I think we usually say:

  • 死体があります。
  • ロボットがいます。 if it looks like it has a mind of its own.
  • ロボットがあります。 if it is an industrial robot without a mind.
  • 車がいます。 if it is being driven by a human.
  • 車があります。 when we talk about cars in general.
  • 人工知能(AI)があります。 if it doesn't have anything visual, auditory or physical.
  • コンピュータのソフトウェアがあります。
  • ゲームのキャラクターがいます。 if it is controlled by computer software.
  • 細菌/ウイルス/コンピュータウイルスがいます。 when we talk about someone's symptoms.
  • 細菌/ウイルス/コンピュータウイルスがあります。
  • ゾンビがいます。
  • 幽霊がいます。
  • 2
    +1. I never knew that things are this way: "車がいます。 if it is being driven by a human.". Thank you.
    – herby
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 9:56

According to a quick google search, and agreeing with my thoughts, you should say "死体があります" for dead body, but you would say "死んだ人がいます" (if you like zombies).

For robots and AI, well, I guess います is acceptable, provided it's like a living thing (such as an aibo). I doubt you'd say it for a clever car, unless it's KITT from the Knight Rider… To sum up, it's quite subjective in this case.


If you said: there is a fish that is died on the table。

います or あります。

例:机に魚がいます。 (でも魚は死んだ。)

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