In the following sentence (from here),

北海道札幌市の円山動物園に、ミャンマーから来た3頭の象をみんなに見せるための広い場所と建物ができました。[...] 広さは5000m²以上あります

I would have expected です instead of あります: 広さ = 5000m²以上.


2 Answers 2



is a perfectly natural-sounding sentence.

「あります」 can be replaced by 「です」, but that will change rather drastically the basic grammar (if not the meaning) of the sentence.

In the original sentence, 「5000m²以上」 functions adverbially to modify the verb phrase 「あります」. As discussed in this Q&A, number-related phrases can function adverbially in Japanese. From my own experience with Japanese-learners, however, they seem to have difficulty getting used to this concept.

It is more natural (or more "originally Japanese") to say:

「リンゴがむっつあります。」 ← 「むっつ」 functions adverbially.

than to say:

「むっつのリンゴがあります。」 ← 「むっつの」 functions adjectivally.

Thus, in the sentence you were thinking of:


「5000m²以上」 functions as a noun.

  • So this is the difference between 'the surface area is 5000+ m²' and 'there is a surface area of 5000+ m²'? Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 10:08
  • 1
    I would be very careful to say yes here (in fact, I won't) because in English, it is just impossible to use "5,000+ ㎡" adverbially to modify a verb like "to exist". In Japanese, it is more than possible and natural-sounding to say 「5000m²以上ある」 with 「5000m²以上」 modifying 「ある」. The difference is explainable but it is not literally translatable.
    – user4032
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 12:00

In this sentence there is no difference in meaning between です and あります. But あります sounds politer.

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