A very warm welcome to you reader, we hope you are well and ready for some awesome Japanese content. Today we are going to be looking at the past form verbs ありました and いました。These verbs are not only terribly useful for your Japanese, but they are also quite easy to understand too. If you are a complete beginner or looking to brush up on some of the basics then this is definitely the lesson for you.
We will set the lesson up into the following sections so you can get a good idea of what’s to come. If you feel like you need to skip ahead or refer back, this should make things easier.
- What do arimashita and imashita mean?
- How do you conjugate these verbs and make sentences?
- Lets look at some examples of using ありました and いました
- How to practice and really master the grammar.
What do arimashita and imashita mean?
ありました and いました are the past form verbs of あります and います。ありました and いました both mean “There was” or “I had a”. The only difference is that ありました is more for objects that are not alive like books, food, and time. いました is used when your are talking about living things like, friends, people, pets etc.
If you want to say things like:
I had a friend
There was a book
Then you can use いました and ありました to do just that.
It represents the idea that things have existed. We are now going to have a look at conjugating these verbs and how to string some basic sentences together.
How do you conjugate these verbs and make sentences?
So before we start learning how to put sentences together and actually use arimashita and imashita we are first going to need to learn a bit about the other forms and how they are conjugated. ARU and IRU the dictionary form of arimashita and imashita, sit into verb group 3. There are 3 different types of verb groups in Japanese and group 3 has only these 2 verbs within it.
So when it comes to learning their conjugations you have to essentially just remember all of the patterns. There aren’t really any set rules. The table below shows all of the dictionary and masu forms in both past and present tense.
|Arimasu||あります||There is (Polite)|
|Imasu||います||There is (Polite) (Living thing)|
|Arimashita||ありました||There was (Polite)|
|Imashita||いました||There was (Polite) (Living thing)|
|Iru||いる||There is (Living thing)|
|Ita||いた||There was (Living thing)|
Let’s now take these verbs and see how they work with sentences. Pay close attention to the use of Imashita and Arimashita and what they are marking, Remember Arimashita is for things that are not alive and Imashita are for things that are.
|HITO GA IMASU||ひとがいます||There is a person|
|HITO GA IRU||ひとがいる||There is a person|
|HITO GA ITA||ひとがいた||There was a person|
|HITO GA IMASHITA||ひとがいました||There was a person|
|PEN GA ARIMASU||ペンがあります||There was a pen|
|PEN GA ARU||ペンがある||There is a pen|
|PEN GA ATTA||ペンがあった||There was a pen|
|PEN GA ARIMASHITA||ペンがありました||There is a pen|
When using this structure it is important to note the use of the particle が which is most comonly used before ある and いる。
We are now going to have a look at some example sentences to help you gain a further understanding on the usage of arimashita and imashita.
Lets look at some examples of using ありました and いました
Take a look at these sentences and pay close attention to the examples with living things vs objects.
おかね が ありましたか
Okane ga arimashita ka
Did you have money?
まちに としょかん が ありました
Machi ni toshokan ga arimashita
There is a library in my town
Ke-ki ga arimashita
There was a cake
お父さん が いました
Otousan ga imashita
My father was here
いぬ が いました
Inu ga imashita
I had a dog / There was a dog
So now you’ve learnt all the basics with arimashita and imashita we now need to look at setting up a fantastic study routine to ensure you really master it. This is an absolute essential grammar point for your Japanese. Without the understanding of these 2 verbs and applying practical usage you won’t get very far!
Start by reading the examples that we have given today. We want you to really take it all in and read them aloud multiple times until you know them off by heart. Once you have this pattern mastered you will then need to write out 5 – 10 sentences of your own every day for the next 3 – 4 days. This way you will absolutely internalize the grammar point and have it at your disposal for the rest of your life.
Make sure you are writing these examples and speaking them too as it is important to pick up on both patterns. Remember to also use a good spread of いました and ありました
In summary this is such an important lesson for you to grasp to make sure you re read it if necessary. Remember to practice your example sentences and create as many examples as possible for yourself.
We really hope that you have enjoyed today’s online Japanese grammar lesson from BondLingo and if you have any more questions or suggestions around others please get in touch. Until the next online Japanese lesson, バイバイ。