I'm learning Japanese on Duolingo.

I was wondering:

学校は日本にあります means 'The school is in Japan'

What is the difference between 学校は日本にあります and the Japanese translation of 'There is a school in Japan'? I thought arimasu could be translated as 'there is'...

Thanks in advance

  • Your question title asks about です, but you don't mention です anywhere in the question itself. Could you please edit your question to clarify a bit?
    – user1478
    Feb 16 '19 at 14:58

If I am not mistaken this question is not about です at all (if so, please change the title). It seems to be a matter of focus and of what is already known.


means 'Talking about the school, it is in Japan.' We know of the school and we give extra information about it.

On the other hand,


takes Japan for granted (so to speak) and we say something about it: 'In Japan there are schools.'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.