I'm wondering what's the natural way to say "I have X" in Japanese where X is an inanimate object? Can I say「僕は、Xを持っている。」or「僕には、Xがある。」?

Also, is it weird to use には in the second sentence? Is it true that には, if placed after person, emphasizes a person’s attributes, not what a person physically has?

1 Answer 1


「僕は、Xを持っている」 works well. 「僕には、Xがある」 implies X is difficult to separate from you. E.g. you can say 僕には、ほくろがある but not 僕は、ほくろを持っている (unless you sliced it off...).

Similarly, 「僕は、今お金を持っている」would usually mean you have money on your person right now, whereas 僕には、今お金がある would mean you are rich currently (but it says nothing about if you have that money on you right now).

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