This has been split from this question..

So what are differences between two? Are there times where they can be interchangeable or can they only be used in certain situations?

I saw this about ことがある.

  • 2
    Would you have a sentence that confuses you? Or when you think that you can switch both ?
    – oldergod
    Nov 14, 2012 at 6:27

1 Answer 1


For ものがある:

  • (plain form verb/i adjective/na adjective+な)+ものがある (Kanji 物がある, but I think it's usually written in Hiragana), can mean:

    • とても〜だ
    • なんとなく〜感じる
    • 〜という感じがある
    • 〜ように感じられる

    and is used in regards with things the speaker felt, for expressing feelings while describing the characteristics of something, or that a certain characteristic can be seen, for example:

    "The cat which disappeared half a year ago has returned. To me it's special, and I feel very happy."

    "This sentence has still got some way to go, but it twinkles at every turn."

    "This painting feels like it pulls a person into it."

    You can also use 見られる, 認められる etc in place of ある here.

    (Sources: 日本語文型辞典, どんな時どう使う日本語文型辞典500, the Kanzen master JLPT 2 grammar book).

  • It can also mean "there is a thing (generally a tangible thing)" (with the Kanji 物がある).

  • ものがある can also mean "there is a person" (written with the Kanji 者がある)

For ことがある:

  • It can mean "there are times when..." when expressed as plain form verb+ことがある and "there are times when it doesn't" when expressed as plain negative verb+ことがある

  • It can express that something has been experienced when expressed as plain past+ことがある, and that something hasn't been experienced when expressed as plain past+ことがない.

  • It can also mean "there is a thing (generally abstract)" as well. (It is structurally ambiguous between an appositive clause and a relative clause)

The question you linked to describes these usages in more detail, so I think I might leave those for now.

There are probably many other different usages too, but the two are generally quite different to each other as far as I know. I think as a (possibly broad generalization) that ものがある tends to be about feelings and tangible things and ことがある tends to be about abstract things, experiences and occurrences etc.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .