Duolingo provides these sentences in a health related context:

Are the children powerful. (given translation)
My sister is more powerful than me. (given translation)

The English translation provided is appalling. It brings to mind images of superheroes and radioactive rats.

Are these natural and unambiguous Japanese sentences, and if so, what on earth does 力 actually mean in this context? I suspect it means that the person has a generally healthy constitution; someone who rarely gets ill. But I can think of lots of other potential meanings both health and non-health related.

  • 2
    "僕より妹のほう力があります。" -- not 僕より妹のほう力があります。 ?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 12:07
  • @Chocolate I'm afraid so. It's feature which continually bugs me with that site. Due to the lack of context they seem to freely present, and allow as answers, sentences that mess with は and が in unpleasing ways. I'm mostly there because it's a good way to collect new vocabulary. Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 12:14
  • 1
    I don't know much about Duolingo, but I also think the second Japanese sounds strange.
    – naruto
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


Aは力がある means either "A is physically strong" or "A has a political power/presence" depending on the context.

僕より妹のほうが力があります is a natural sentence that means she is either 1) a type of person who is good at arm wrestling or carrying heavy things, or 2) a type of person who is good at arguing and has a strong influence in the family.

子供たちは力がありますか is at least grammatical, but it's a bit hard for me to imagine a context where this sounds natural...

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