I know you use いる to talk about living things, but is a team separate from its players enough to refer to it as a non-living thing?

  • 1
    I suggest you to add some example sentences or guesses to your question
    – jarmanso7
    Apr 28, 2019 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


Both 「いる」 and 「ある」 can be used correctly but not interchangeably so. Only one of the two will be correct for a given context /situation.

Only 「いる」 is correct when saying that a team is physically at a place at a given time. For instance, you occasionally get to see an entire team at an airport, train station, hotel, etc.

「昨日{きのう}ヒルトンホテルに行ったら、ロビーにNYヤンキースがいた。」← You cannot use 「あった」 in this sentence.

Only 「ある」 is correct when saying, for example, that a certain city has a pro-baseball team or the like.

「この町{まち}には、プロ野球{やきゅう}チームはあるが、プロサッカーチームはない。」← You can never use 「いる」 in this sentence.

  • So when talking about the team members (people) you use いる; when it is about an abstract entity, it's ある? Apr 30, 2019 at 18:46

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