Verb present tense /adjective + ことがある ( = koto ga aru) 

= Oshougatsu demo shigoto wo suru koto ga arimasu.
= I sometimes even work on New Year’s Day.

みなさん、明けましておめでとうございます。 :l:

= Minasan, akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!!

= Happy New Year, everyone!!!

新しい年がみなさんにとって最高の年となります様に! !onpu!

= Atarashii toshi ga minasan ni totte saikou no toshi to narimasu you ni!

= I hope this new year will be the best year for all of you!

So today’s lesson will be our 初レッスン ( = Hatsu ressun ) The first lesson of the year.

:rrrr: You will hear or see a lot of words with  ( = hatsu) this month.

🔸 初日の出 ( = hatsu hinode) = the first sunrise of the new year

🔸 初雪 ( = hatsuyuki) the first snow of the season

🔸 初夢 ( = hatsuyume) the first dream of the new year


In our previous lesson, we learned (verb past tense) ~たことがある (=~ta koto ga aru) = have ever done/been, have experienced something.

Today we will study (verb present form /adj +) ことがある ( = koto ga aru)


⭐️How to form a sentence :

verb (present plain form ) / i-adjective (plain form) / na-adjective ~な ( = na)  + ことがある ( = koto ga aru)

(polite form)

verb (present plain form ) / i-adjective (plain form) / na-adjective ~な ( = na) + ことがあります ( = koto ga arimasu)


🔸 話す ( = hanasu ) to speak + ことがある ( = koto ga aru)

:rrrr:  話すことがある ( = hanasu koto ga aru) sometimes speak(s)

negative form

:rrrr:  話さないことがある ( = hanasanai koto ga aru) sometimes not to speak

(more polite)

話す ( = hanasu ) to speak +ことがあります ( = koto ga arimasu)

:rrrr: 話すことがあります ( = hanasu koto ga arimasu.) sometimes speak(s)

negative form :

:rrrr: 話さないことがあります ( = hanasanai koto ga arimasu.) sometimes not to speak


🔸 遅い ( = osoi) slow + ことがある ( = koto ga aru)

:rrrr: 遅いことがある ( = osoi koto ga aru) Sometimes S is slow

negative form:

:rrrr: 遅くないことがある ( = osoku nai koto ga aru) sometimes S is not slow

(more polite)

遅い ( = osoi)  slow +ことがあります ( = koto ga arimasu)

:rrrr: 遅いことがありますsometimes S is slow

= Osoi koto ga arimasu.

= Sometimes it is slow.

negative form :

:rrrr: 遅くないことがあります sometimes S is not slow

= osoku nai koto ga arimasu.


:s:  静かな ( = shizukana) quite + ことがある ( = koto ga aru)

:rrrr: 静かなことがある sometimes S is quiet

=shizukana koto ga aru

negative form:

:rrrr: 静かでないことがあるsometimes S is not quiet

=shizuka de nai koto ga aru

(more casual)

:rrrr: 静かじゃないことがある ( = shizuka ja nai koto ga aru) sometimes S is not quiet

(more polite)

静かな ( = shizukana) +ことがあります( = koto ga arimasu)

:rrrr: 静かなことがありますsometimes S is quite

=Shizuka na koto ga arimasu.


:rrrr: 静かではないことがありますsometimes S is not quiet

= Shizuka dewa nai koto ga arimasu.

Polite (a little more casual)

:rrrr: 静かじゃないことがありますsometimes S is not quiet

= Shizuka janai koto ga arimasu.

!Anapple! Note:

First,  this form:

!star! verb (present plain form ) / i-adjective (plain form) / na-adjective ~(=na)   +ことがある(=koto ga aru)

is also used when you want to say

:rrrr: “to have something/things (to)~ ” “there is/are things to ~ “

Ex. 話したいことがあるあります

= Hanashitai koto ga aru/ arimasu.

= I have something to tell you.

Ex. いつかいいことがあるよ。

= Itsuka iikoto ga aruyo.

= Something good will come someday. 

Ex. 気になることがあります

= Kini naru koto ga arimasu.

= I have some concerns.

Ex. 面白いことがあります

= Omoshiroi koto ga arimasu.

= There is something interesting.

Ex. 年末はいっぱいやることがあります

= Nenmatsu wa ippai yaru koto ga ippai arimasu.

= There are so many things to do at the end of the year.

Ex. あなたに隠していることがあります

= Anatani kakushite iru koto ga arimasu.

= I am keeping a secret from you.

But in this lesson, we will focus on the usage,

⭐️ When you are talking about the possibilities,  when we are talking about the possibility or when something happens regardless of our will.

there are times when ~ / sometimes ~/ occasionally ~

Let’s look at these example sentences.

Ex. インターネットの速度が遅いことがあります

= Intaanetto no sokudo ga osoi koto ga arimasu.

= There are times when my Internet speed is slow.

Ex. 彼は2、3日お風呂にはいらないことがある

= Kare wa nisan, nichi ofuro ni hairanai koto ga aru.

= Sometimes he doesn’t take a bath for a couple of days.

Ex. 5月でも寒いことがある

= Gogatsu demo samui koto ga aru.

= There are times when it is cold even in May.

Ex. 祖母に無性に会いたくなることがある

= Sobo ni mushou ni aitaku naru koto ga aru

= Sometimes I miss my grandma so badly.

Ex. 職場で誰とも話さないことがある

= Shokuba de daretomo hanasai koto ga aru.

= There are times when I don’t speak to anybody at work.

Ex. 彼はこの頃、ぼうっとしていることがある

= Kare wa konogoro boutto shiteiru koto ga aru.

= He has been getting spaced out recently.

Ex. 時々、何もかも忘れてどこか遠くへ行きたくなることがある

= Tokidoki, nanimo kamo wasurete dokoka tooku he ikitaku naru koto ga aru.

= Once in a while, I feel like forgetting everything and going somewhere far away.

Note: The particle が ( = ga) and は (=wa)

You use は ( = wa) when you want to show contrast 

Ex. お酒は基本的に飲みませんが (A) 、付き合いで少し飲むことあります(B)

= Osake wa kihonteki ni nomimasen ga, tsukiai de sukoshi nomukoto wa arimasu.

= I basically don’t drink alcohol, but occasionally I drink for social reasons.

In this case, it shows the contrast between (A) and (B)

Ex. 彼は私の誕生日を忘れることがあります

= Kare wa watashi no tanjoubi wo wasureru koto ga arimasu.

= My boyfriend sometimes forgets about my birthday.

Note: If you switch the particle が  ( = ga) with も   ( = mo) you can add the nuance of “even” or “also”

Ex. 彼は私の誕生日を忘れることあります

= Kare wa watashi no tanjoubi wo wasureru koto mo arimasu.

= My boyfriend sometimes forgets even my birthday.

So it implies he does something else besides forgetting this person’s birthday.

🔸 negative form : Something won’t happen (denying the possibility) ・It is impossible to…

*~ことはない ( = koto wa nai)

*〜ことない ( = koto ga nai)

more polite

*~ことはありません ( = koto wa arimasen.)

*~ことありません ( = koto ga arimasen.)


~ことはないです ( = koto wa nai desu.)

〜ことないです (= koto ga nai desu.)

Note: The difference between が  (=ga) and は (=ha) is very complicated. But  you use が  ( = ga) when you emphasize the subject which comes before ( = ga)

Ex. 彼は疲れることない

= Kare wa tsukareru koto ga nai.

= He never gets tired.

Ex. 12月に台風が来ることはありません

= Juunigatsu ni taifuu ga kuru koto wa arimasen.

= We never have typhoons in December.

Ex. タイマーを使えば電気を消し忘れたか心配をすることはありません

= Taimaa wo tsukaeba denki wo keshiwasuretaka shinpai wo suru koto wa arimasen.

= If you use the timer, you will never have to worry about whether you have turned off the light or not.

maggie-senseiマギー先生よ = Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Watashi wa shukudai wo wasureta seito san wo kamu koto wa arimasen ga,  shukudai wo shita seito san no kao wo nameru koto wa arimasu.

= I’ve never bitten students who haven’t done their homework, but I sometimes lick the faces of  students who have done their homework.

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  1. Hello Maggie (again),

    I’m trying to understand this sentence but it’s all mixed up in my head (I mean I understand the meaning but I couldn’t rewrite this because I don’t understand the grammar)
    毎日お前と会えることが : Seeing you everyday…
    Until here it’s okay… and after that it’s the circus, all the words and particles are mixed up!

    十分に価値のある : I thought the expression was 価値は十分にある
    〜のある : what is 〜のある? Is it the same as 〜がある? 価値 is a noun here, so の can’t be a nominalizer
    あること : why is it あること and not ことある? or ことがある?

    Maybe it’s just some expressions or vocabulary I lack. Thank you again Sensei!

    1. おはよう、Gaspatcher

      When you modify a noun you can use の as a topic marker as well.

      When you talk about the manga which Gaspatcher read, you can say

      The manga that Gaspacher read ⬇️
      Gaspatcherが読んだ漫画 (X Not “Gaspatcherは読んだ漫画”)

      The same idea works for your question.
      When you add こと, you can say either
      or use の

      I have a lesson how to modify a noun. Link is here.

      1. Thank you!
        Your explanations are always well written and clear for my level!

        You’re the best sensei!

  2. Hello! I am studying for N3 and one question says: 一度にバナナを20本も食べられる( ). The answer is わけがない but another choice is ことがない. Why is ことがない wrong? Don’t they both mean “There’s no way I can eat 20 bananas”?


    1. Hello ヘイリー
      Yes, the correct answer is わけがない
      わけがない is used with something extreme for that person. “There is no way to do something”
      ことがない also negates what one would do/can do. but it’s based on the idea that doing something is not so extreme (you can see that from the opposite sentence.)

      Eating 20 bananas at once is something extreme and there is no way to do that so you use わけがない

      Check the translation difference in the following three sentences.
      A 一度にバナナを20本も食べられることがある means I sometimes can eat 20 bananas at once.
      B 一度にバナナを20本も食べられることがない (this sentence itself is not so natural but..) it means I sometimes can’t eat 20 bananas at once.
      A and B: You think eating 20 bananas is
      C 一度にバナナを20本も食べられるわけがない means “There is no way that I can eat 20 bananas at once”

      So the answer is わけがない

      1. Oh, I was under the impression that ことがない meant never because of the examples like: “彼は疲れることがない”. So I was thinking it would mean: “I can never eat 20 bananas at once,” (一度にバナナを20本も食べられることがない). So does ことがない actually imply that there are a few times that he is tired (first sentence)?

        1. In that case, you don’t use the potential form 食べられる
          If you want to use こと, you use the dictionary form + ことはない
           → 一度にバナナを20本食べることはない He is not going to eat 20 bananas at once or There is no way for him to eat 20 bananas at once.

  3. Hi マギー先生
    Sometimes こと still confuses me a bit, what does 「気持ちのいいことじゃないことも」mean here in this sentence- “けど、私がどんな話をしてもスライムさんは面倒くさがらずに真摯に話を聞いてくれた。話が進むにつれていつの間にか、これまでため込んでいた愚痴や村の子供のことなど聞いて気持ちのいいことじゃないことも結構言ったのに。”

    1. Hi Milk
      There are two こと so it might be confusing. It means 聞いて気持ちがよくないこと
      the things which are not pleasant to hear

  4. Hello Maggie! Hope you’re doing fine!

    I saw the sentence: 彼は映画評論家なので、仕事がてらよくアジアの映画を見ることがあるそうだ。

    I didn’t quite get the relation between よく and ことがある, since ことがある means “sometimes” and よく “often”. 時々 and ことがある seems to work fine, since they both mean “sometimes”. Could you please help me on this one?

    Thanks a lot! 頑張りましょう!

    1. Hi Victor,

      As I mentioned in the beginning of this lesson, I focused on the usage of ことがある in the meaning of “sometimes ~ happens/sometimes one does something” but there are a couple of different usages of ことがある
      Ex. to have something/things (to)~ /there is/are things to ~ “
      V+こと: こと makes a verb into a noun.
      The sentence you saw よく〜を見ることがある belongs to this one.
      Ex. 話したいことがある・あります
      Ex. 年末はいっぱいやることがあります。

      In this usage, you can say “frequently” “always” “every day”

      You can make a noun using こと

    1. There is a nuance difference between ことがある and こともある

      As I wrote in the note も ( = mo) adds the nuance of “even” or “also”
      They both mean “It sometimes happens” but by using も, you emphasizes what comes before more.

      Ex. 職場で誰とも話さないことがある。
      = There are times when I don’t speak to anybody at work.

      You give another example when you don’t want to deal with other people first and then continue with こともある
      Ex. 職場で誰とも話さないこともある。
      = There are times when I even don’t speak to anybody at work.
      = Sometimes I also don’t speak to anybody at work.

    1. The difference is,
      ときどき “sometimes” is focusing on the frequency. How often you do things/how often things happen.

      ことがある is focusing on one’s experience /whether you have done something or not/ whether something has happened or not.

      1. “ことがある is focusing on one’s experience /whether you have done something or not/ whether something has happened or not.” Isn’t this is for [~ta koto ga aru] ? If yes, i already understood for this one. ^ ^

        From your example :

        Could we only use 時々? or only ことがある?

        1. Yes, you can say


  5. Sensei, sensei

    did I understand this sentence right?


    It seems that Luca have something to buy so we parted our ways here.

    1. yatta!

      I’m soo happy sensei, it’s the first time I got it right

      it’s all thanks to sensei lesson hehehe

  6. thank you so much dear maggie sensei and 天人さん. .n_n. thank so much for helping me realized that focusing too much on songs is not a practical way to learn the grammar.

  7. good evening dear maggie sensei and everyone. question about specific sentences again.

    a. ame ga furu wa owaranai

    b. junbi shita wa ii

    just to confirm dear maggie sensei, (koto/no) has been omitted before “wa” particle right?

    1. Hello obakasan000,
      I have no idea where did you get these kind of sentences. The sentences are – of course – incorrect.
      If you really want to learn Japanese, please use appropriate books or Internet websites like

          1. @obakasan000 & @天人

            You know 天人 is really nice to help you out.

            Obakasan000 is learning Japanese through lyrics. That can be very confusing because a lot of sentences in lyrics are not complete and you have to guess who is talking about what…and it is hard to translate just by one line.


            The first lyrics that you wrote is from this part, right?

            雨が降るわ 終わらない
            恋が散るわ 密やかに
            誰にも教えない 恋

            This わ is a female speech suffix.
            雨が降る(It rains/it is raining) →female speech 雨が降るわ

            雨が降るわ 終わらない are two different sentences.
            It is raining. I won’t stop raining.

            So guessing from 1), 2) could also means 準備したわ いい? = I am ready, OK? or I prepared, OK?

            But since it lacks of information, I could be wrong.
            How’s that, obakasan000?

  8. こんにちは、マギー先生!

    “Since my injury 2 years ago, sometimes by knees flare up again and become really sore.”って言いたいです。

    1. @Lava


      2年前(に)、怪我をして以来、時々、膝が炎症を起こし痛くなることがある。/or 痛むことがある。

      Note :
      Ex. 2年前の怪我で足が動かない



  9. こんにちは、マギー先生!
    実は去年から先生のサイトをよく見ているんですが、先生に「こんにちは。」と言う何て恥ずかしくて、勇気がないんです ^^;
    Sorry if I made any grammatical errors orz

    1. @Kai

      こんにちは、Kai!!! 初めてのメッセージとってもうれしかったです。これからもいつでも気軽にメッセージ書いて下さいね。

      1. はい、こちらこそ O w O)/
        and in what kind of context should we use it?

        1. @Kai
          “早く” is a general word and you can use it in the meaning of “early”/ “quickly”/”fast/now” and さっさと is an onomatopoeia and it describe a quick action and often implies one’s cold-hearted,nonchalant, careless behavior and emotion.

          *朝早く起きます。= I wake up early in the morning.(You can’t use さっさと)
          *彼は早く走ります= He runs fast. (You can’t use さっさと)

          *彼は早く帰った= He left (somewhere) early.
          *彼はさっさと帰った = He left quickly (without any hesitation.)

          早く起きなさい!= Get up now!

          means the same but さっさと sounds strong and condescending so it is OK to use to describe your actions but avoid using it with someone superior.

  10. は当たり前じゃない?www 本とか雑誌はできない。ここにないし。残念よね(T ^ T)

    1. @ヽ(*´∀`)ノ


    1. @ ヽ(*´∀`)ノ

      What do you mean → “other ways I can practice”? You want to find other ways to practice reading Japanese other than DS?
      If so, yes, tons! Books, magazines, internet….and :)

  11. Not all the words but you can say 初カレ(The first boyfriend), colloquial, 初トモ(The first friend), colloquial, 初旅(the first trip).
    反対側 means the other side, the opposite side
    →っていうか、文の意味は「This is the back of the school building’s opposite side?」ちょっと変かな?それとも「This is the back of the school building」でいいかもね。
    校舎 is school building. (I don’t understand 畏. I wonder if it is 裏=ura= behind)

    1. @ ヽ(*´∀`)ノ
      OK, if the sentence is ここが反対側の校舎の裏かな? the translation is
      I wonder if this is the back of the school building in the opposite side.

      And どういたしまして!

  12. Just in case I made too many mistakes that you can’t understand what I wrote(^◇^;)
    Question→Can I add hatsu to anything (hatsukare, hatsutomodachi, hatsutabi etc)?
    These days I play/read visual novels on my ds. I get to learn different words kinds of words but sometimes the dictionary doesn’t have the meaning to those words. Could you tell me what 反対側 and 校舎畏 mean? The sentence I found them in was ”ここが反対側の校舎畏かな?”

  13. This lesson was interesting(≧∇≦)b
    質問→”初” と何もを付けられるかな(た例えば→初彼、初達、初たび)
    この頃DSでビジュアルノベルやってる。色々単語をならってるでもたまに辞書に引けない(?)。反対側と校舎畏ってなんの意味でしょ?The sentence is 「ここは反対厠の校舎畏」。

    1. @ヽ(*´∀`)ノ

      Not all the words but you can say 初カレ(The first boyfriend), colloquial, 初トモ(The first friend), colloquial, 初旅(the first trip).
      反対側 means the other side, the opposite side
      校舎 is school building. (I don’t understand 畏. I wonder if it is 裏=ura= behind)

  14. お正月であっても日本語を勉強せねばならぬ!^^

    一つ: 「~たことがあった」の形もありますね。 英語なら “there where times when”, “there was a time when”, “one day I ~ed”という意味です。
    例)「うち娘はニンジンが嫌いなんだけど、目に見えなかったら食べられるのよ。キャロットケーキを作ったことがあったんだけど、すごく喜んで食べたのよ!」(Our daughter hates carrots, but she can eat them if she can’t see them. !One day I made! a carrot cake, and she happily ate it!)

    二つ: 「~たことがある」は話し手の過去の経験を表すことだけでなく、時に「過去の時別なことがあった」という意味を表すこともあります。
    例)「5年前にこの地方で大変な山火事が起こったことがあります。」(5 years ago !there was! a terrible forest fire in this area.)


    1. @天人


      1. こちらこそ、素晴らしいレッスンをどうもありがとうございました、先生!
        役に立つコメントだったので嬉しいです。I will try to post some comments to every of your lessons – as a supplement – if something interesting will come up to my mind or when I will have some questions. I’m very happy that you love to share your knowledge about the Japanese language. I also share my knowledge with some of my friends (友達は日本学科学生です。2、3年生). 私は独習ですので and it is sometimes really hard to see the slight differences between some patterns, especially when you
        are not Japanese, although I use good Japanese dictionaries and websites like or, but still… ま、ちょっと喋り過ぎちゃったね^^とにかく、居てくれてありがとう!

        1. @天人


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