Why is arimasen, which means "is not" the same thing as there's no hope?

I am so lazy, so there's no hope.


Watashi wa totemo namakemononanode, kibō wa arimasen.

I would have thought that a one-to-one translation of "there's no hope" would have made more sense, but Google Translate tells me that "arimasen" pretty much means "there's no hope". Is there a reason for this?

The translation used was from English to Japanese, and I used the sentence:

I am so lazy, so there's no hope.

  • 4
    I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. You bolded "kibou wa" but you don't seem to be considering it as part of the translation.
    – Leebo
    Sep 13, 2019 at 12:47
  • 2
    What do you mean, 'one-to-one translation of "there's no hope"?' That's a more difficult prospect than you realize. For one thing, 'there' in the English sentence is essentially a filler subject devoid of actual meaning. I believe the Spanish equivalent is 'Hay no esperanza', which lacks a similar filler subject - and Spanish is much closer to English than Japanese. In fact, pretty much every word in the sentence except 'hope' lacks a one-to-one equivalent in Japanese.
    – Angelos
    Sep 13, 2019 at 12:51
  • 2
    I put ありません into Goole Translate and it gave me "There is none", which is the correct translation. How did you use Google?
    – naruto
    Sep 13, 2019 at 14:05
  • Ah wait, so (nanode or noun or adjective form of node) was fused with the word and kibo means hope. I was a bit confused because of that, and namakemono means slothful. Sep 13, 2019 at 14:36
  • 1
    nanode is not the adjective form of node (it doesn't have one). na, in this case is a form of da, or the plain form desu.
    – ajsmart
    Sep 13, 2019 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


The crux of the matter is that you are focused around ありません, but you should be focusing on the entire phrase 希望はありません, which you have in bold.

ある means (as pertaining to an intimate object) to exist; to have, among other things. ありません is the negative form, don't have/does not exist. You should also check out this webpage about usage for existence verbs, as it might clear up some confusion.

希望 means hope.

is your topic marker.

Doing a linear translation we get the following:

(lit) hope (topic) exists not.

In more natural English:

There is no hope.

  • I believe it is have no hope.
    – Jack Bosma
    Sep 13, 2019 at 14:15
  • 3
    @JACK that is another possible interpretation, but ある is an existence verb, as well as a verb of possession. When translating to natural English, both will work. See example 2 of this link: guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete/existence
    – ajsmart
    Sep 13, 2019 at 14:18

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