Example from a dialog:

なにか あったら 話すし、なんでも話せる 存在だし

Approximate translation:

We'd talk whenever something happened, I could talk to you about anything

My dictionary says that 存在 means "existence; being; subsistence". The 存在だ in my example is related to this meaning, but it must carry some nuance that I don't understand. How would the meaning change if 存在だ was deleted from the sentence? Is it kinda similar to なんでも話せることがあるし?

3 Answers 3


This 存在 is indeed "being" or "existence", but it substitutes not もの/こと but 人/人間 here. なんでも話せる存在だ is roughly the same as なんでも話せる人だ, or "[you] are someone who I can talk about anything with".

This type of 存在 commonly appears as a replacement of 人 or 物 when talking about the meaning/significance of that person/thing.

  • 彼にとって私はどういう存在なの?
    What do I mean to him? / What kind of person am I to him?
    (存在 = 人間)
  • 現代人にとってスマホは欠かせない存在だ。
    A smartphone is something indispensable for modern people.
    (存在 = もの)

なんでも話せることがある would mean something totally different ("There are many things I can talk about with you").


As idiomatic English, I've sometimes seen (and sometimes used myself) the translation "presence" for when 存在 is used as a noun describing a person.

Per your sample sentence:

なんでも話せる 存在だし
[You] are a presence [in my life] where we could talk about anything

This isn't a terribly smooth translation -- I'm deliberately trying to illustrate how 存在 is used here.


In 大辞泉, 存在 is defined as 人間や事物が、あること。また、その人間や事物。and in oxford languages it is defined as 事物があること。人物が居ること。また、その、ある(居る)もの。so, it could express the action of existing(人間や事物が、あること。) or the object that is existing(また、その人間や事物。).

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