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JPLearn! - Volume I
Here and There / ここ・そこ・あそこ
Here and There / ここ・そこ・あそこ
The conviction Particle よ
Previously we had learned how to make a statement with あります and いますbut what if you want to offer more conviction in your statements?

Essentially what よ can do is it gives the speaker more authority by telling it how it is, rather than making a subjective statement. It’s like saying “That is definitively something” or “This is absolutely something”. The particle よ also has an expectation such as the listener or listeners to agree with them. While it may seem like using よ may have a negative connotation or rather give the speaker a condescending tone, it can just as easily be used to re-affirm someone’s beliefs or to simply add emphasis to something.

Sample Sentence: ひとみさん、ねこがいますよ。
Translation: Hitomi-san, there is definitively a cat. [Or] Hey, pay attention Hitomi-san, there is a cat.

That wasn’t very hard was it?

Now let’s learn どこ which essentially means “where”. どこ is often paired with the particle に to denote location.

うまがいますよ。- There is a cow.
どこにいますか?- Where is the cow?

Breaking it down!
We are already well familiar with “There is a blank” but the question that followed may have been a little tricky.

Let’s make sure you fully understand.
どこ meaning “where?”
に is the particle indicates direction or destination, in this instance we’re associating it with どこ and the known subject (うま).
います defines whether something is living or not (Generally)
か? Denotes the sentence as a question

All together now: どこにいますか?- Where is it?

We can also get rid of redundancy
When both the speaker and the listener know what they are talking about, it is generally acceptable to omit the subject in question such as in the previous example, we were talking about a cow. The first person spoke of the cow, now both the listener and the speaker knows about the cow. The response can simply omit the need to mention the cow again.

うまはどこにですか?Where is the cow?
どこにいますか?Where is (the cow)?

Now it’s your turn! Please take the time and fill out the answers below:
EnglishYour Answer in Japanese
Hideyo: It’s a cat!
Hitomi: Where is the cat?

How did you do? Here are the answers:
Hideyo: It’s a cat!ひでよ:ねこがいますよ。
Hitomi: Where is the cat?ひとみ:どこにいますか?

We can complete this conversation by saying “Over there” and to do this, we will continue to the next part of the lesson to learn about ここ、そこ、あそこ。

Before we begin, let's have a quick review.

How do you say
“This is a pen”

Now, how do you say
“That is a computer" (near the listener)

Finally, how do you say
That is a car (not near either the speaker or listener)

In our earlier lessons, we had learned the usage of これ・それ・あれ which means “This, that, and that over there”. We understand this concept very well but what if we wanted to reference a place such as “Here, there, and over there”?

Take a look:
そこThereそれThat (Near)
あそこOver ThereあれThat (Over there)

As you can see, there are similarities between both ここ and これ which does make it easier to remember. The usage between all three can be placed in the same sentence pattern as これ、それ、あれ. Let’s look at a few examples to see how they are used.

New Word: Cell Phone in Japanese

JapaneseEnglish Translation
けいたいでんわはここです。The cell phone is here.
まどはそこです。The window is there.
くるまはあそこです。The car is over there.
けいたいでんわはここですよ。The cell phone is here (emphasis).
わたしはここがすき。I like it here.

Now that we understand the differences between the three, let’s continue the dialogue between ひでよ and ひとみ.
EnglishYour Answer
Hideyo: It’s a cat!
Hitomi: Where is the cat?
Hideyo: The cat is over there!

Please don’t forget to complete your homework assignment for this lesson before continuing to the next. Good luck!
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