Hey there you awesome Japanese learners, how are you doing? Today we have a fantastic topic for you all about “てあります”.  This lets you express that “something has been done”. It is definitely a really useful grammar point and sits around the JLPT N4 level. We will break today’s lesson down into the following sections:

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Expressing when something has been done in Japanese.

  1. We will look at the definition of “~te arimasu” and learn how it can be useful for conversion.
  2. We will look at how to create “~te arimasu” sentences as well as the grammar behind it. 
  3. We will look at a host of example sentences with てあります to get you used to all the different usages.
  4. We will teach you a great technique to master てあります. This will be practical and something you can use everyday. 
  5. We will provide a short summary on today’s topic to ensure that you haven’t missed anything. 

Okay so now that we’ve covered off the intro let’s jump straight into today’s online Japanese lesson.

The definition of “~te arimasu” 

Learn how it can be useful for conversion.

So let’s take a look at てあります. When adding this form after a verb you create the meaning “something has been done” and focus on the resulting state of that action. For example you could say things like:

“I’ve already done my homework”

“I’ve made food already etc.”

It does sound similar to just using the past form however this has more of a focus on the resulting state of the verb

てある can be used as a more informal version of this grammar point. 

Let’s look at the grammar and focus on how we can actually create sentences. 

How to create “~te arimasu” sentences 

The grammar behind the magic. 

So first we need to learn how to make this form. You use てあります after verbs. So let’s look at the following table.

開けるAKERUTo Open Change to TE form 開けてAKETEOpen (Command)ADD あるあります開けてあるAKETE ARUTo leave open (Intentionally)

Actually it is quite easy to form but the nuance on the meaning is quite difficult to understand. Let’s look at an example sentence. 

The window has been left open. 

In this sentence the focus is on the end result of the window being left open and is not focused on the action of opening the window.

This will be more clear as we look at some example sentences in the next section. 

One final note is on the differnnce between ている and てある

– Mado ga aite iru. (The window is open – stating a fact)

– Mado ga akete aru. (The window HAS BEEN OPENED – points to an action by someone.)

With てあります you use transitive verbs and not instrastive. 

A  host of example sentences with てあります

Get used to all the different usages.

Take a look at these examples below to get a little more used to the form. Remember in comparison to the past form were the focus is on the action, てあります focussed on the end result and not the action itself. 

In this example the speaker is saying that they have finished their work and it’s in a state of being finished. 

shigoto wa mou yatte arimasu.
I have already finished my work

In this example the speaker is saying that the gates are closed and are in that state, they are not focusing on the action of closing the gate. 

asa ni wa ginkou no iriguchi ga shimete aru.
In the morning, the bank entrance is closed.

In this example we are not focusing on the act of writing, but in fact on what has been written. This is a really popular phrase that you can use when you want to ask “What is written here?” or “Where is it written” etc. 

soko ni nante kaite arimasu ka?
What is written there?

We understand that this is rather tricky and the nuance is really slight but we know with practice you will get used to it. Let’s look at a great technique you can use now to master today’s topic.

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A great technique to master てあります. 

A practical tip which you can use everyday. 

We have obviously found out that the difference between the past form and てある is quite subtle so we are going to concentrate on mastering that. This is a technique you should use every day to make sure you fully understand the differences. 

Firstly start by writing out plenty of verb sentences in the past form. Write their translations next to them too. Now try to conjugate those sentences into てある sentences and write the translation down next to that as well. 

Compare the examples and try to study the difference. Try to write 5 – 6 examples for the next 4 days to really ensure you get used to the pattern.

Remember whenever you want to focus on the end state of the action and not the action itself, use てある.

We will now have a quick look at a small summary of today’s lesson to ensure we haven’t missed anything. 

A short summary on today’s topic 

Ensure that you haven’t missed anything. 

  1. てあります focusses on the state of the action and not the action itself 
  2. It is used with transitve verbs like 開ける and not intrastiive ones like 開く.
  3. To form a sentence with this form simply turn a verb to the て form and add あります
  4. Make sure you are using the effective study technique from today’s lesson. 

Well guys that certainly wasn’t the easiest lesson but challenge is what this game is all about. Thanks ever so much for joining us for today’s online Japanese lesson from BondLingo. If you have any other comments or suggestions on future topics that you would like us to cover please don’t hesitate to get in touch quick sharp. Until the next time people, またね。

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