How to use 〜てある ( = te aru)


Shadow 「窓が開けてあるから外がよく見えるよ。」

= Mado ga akete aru kara soto ga yoku mieru yo.

= The window has been kept open so I can see outside very well.


= Ah, asoko ni inu ga iru!

= Oh, there is a dog over there.


Chibi : 「今日はベッドメイキングがもうしてあったよ。」

= Kyou wa beddo meikingu ga mou shite attayo.

Bed has been already made for today.


= Mama, arigatou!

= Thanks, Mom!

Hi everyone!  How have you been?

Today’s guest teachers are Shadow Sensei and  Chibi Sensei.

Chibi Sensei became an angel when she was 22 years old.  She is missed most deeply by the whole family.  Now she can teach her dad Japanese from Cat Heaven.

And Shadow Sensei is a big cat, and according to his dad, he is afraid of doorbells, sneezes, thunder, and strangers.

He also seems to have a special affection for shoes and dirty clothes. Those are his favorite sleeping places!

He is a wonderful, temperamental, neurotic feline who gets depressed when his family goes away.

Although, he does come when called by his mom, studiously ignores the rest of the family.

I love all these cute anecdotes.

So today these two lovely cat teachers have gotten together to make this lesson for us.

Shadow先生、Chibi先生、準備はいい? !JYANE!

= Shadow Sensei, Chibi Sensei junbi wa ii?

= Shadow Sensei and Chibi Sensei, are you both ready?



= Hajimemashite Shadow to Chibi desu.

= Hello,  Nice to meet you! We are Shadow and Chibi.

今日は一緒に皆さんに 「~てある」の使い方を教えますね。

= Kyou wa issho ni minasan ni “~tearu” no tsukaikata wo oshiemasune.

= We will teach you how to use “~ te aru” today.

⭐️  How to form :

transitive verb + てある ( = te aru )

* 開ける= akeru = to open something  (transitive verb )

:rrrr: make( = te) form and add ある ( = aru )

:rrrr: 開けてある =  akete aru = to be kept open  (intentionally)

* 書く( = kaku) = to write

:rrrr: make ( = te) form and add ある ( = aru )

:rrrr: 書いてある ( = kaite aru) to be written (when you find something that someone wrote with a purpose. ) 

* する( = suru)  = to do

:rrrr: make ( = te)  form and add ある ( = aru )

:rrrr: てある ( = shite aru ) have done  (intentionally)


⭐️The basic pattern:

🔸 Something + / + Vてある/ てあります

= Something + ga / wa + V +  te aru / te arimasu

= Something is done intentionally

past tense:

🔸 Something+ が/は+ V+てあった / ありました (more polite )

= Something + ga / wa + V + te aru / arimashita

= Something was done intentionally


In the previous lesson, Max Sensei taught you how to use ~ている ( = te iru).

Someone asked us the difference between  ~ている  ( = te iru )  and ~てある  ( = te aru ).

Maggie Sensei made a lesson on the difference between いる  ( = iru) and ある  ( = aru) in this lesson.

Then what is the difference between 〜ている  ( = te iru) and 〜てある ( = te aru)?

Let us teach you the basic difference first.

1) Grammatical difference: You  use ~ている (= te iru) with both transitive and intransitive verbs

     but you only use ~てある ( = te aru ) with transitive verbs.

(Note: In case you don’t know how to distinguish transitive and intransitive verbs, you can tell by the particles.)


If you use the object particle,  「」 , it’s a transitive verb  (他動詞 = tadoushi )


Ex. ドアを開ける (transitive verb)

= Doa wo akeru

= to open the door

:rrrr: ドアが開く ( intransitive verb)

= doa ga aku

= The door opens 

(You can’t say ドアを開く( = doa wo aku) because 開く( = aku) is an intransitive verb.)

→*Subject +   ( = ga )/ ( = wa ) +  intransitive verb +ている  ( = te iru )

Ex. 電気がついている

= Denki ga tsuite iru

= The light is on.

(You are just describing the current state.)

*Subject +   ( = ga )/ ( = wa ) + transitive verb +ている  ( = te iru )

Ex. 電気をつけている

= Denki wo tukete iru.

= To be turning on the light (ongoing action)

(Someone keeps the light on)


Ex. 電気をつけている

 = Denki wo tsukete iru ie.

 = The house with lights on.

(The house where someone keeps the light on. Focusing on the current state of the house.)

→ *Subject +   ( = ga )/  ( = wa ) / ( = wo)* + transitive verb + てある ( = te aru )

(Someone left the light on intentionally and the light has been on.)

Ex. 電気がつけてある

= Denki ga tsukete aru

= The light is on.  (Someone turned on the light on purpose. Focusing on the result.)

(Note:  I will explain when we use the particle ( = wo)* later in this lesson.)

2) While 〜ている ( = te iru ) is used to describe ongoing action or a current state,  〜てある ( = ~ te aru ) is used when the result of an intentional action still affects the current state or the result exists until the moment when the speaker describes it.

If there is an open window in front of you,  you can describe,

Ex. 1) 窓が開いている。/ います

= Mado ga aite iru. / imasu.  (more polite )

= The window is open

(Note: 開く(=aku ) is an intransitive verb )

It just describes the current state which is “the window is open”.

Now when you want to express that someone left a window open intentionally (you don’t need to know exactly who did), you say

Ex. 2) 窓が開けてある。/ あります

= Mado ga akete aru. / arimasu.  (more polite)

= Window is kept open (intentionally)

( Note: 開ける ( = akeru) is a transitive verb)


Ex. Shadow :「窓が開いているよ。」

= Mado ga aite iruyo.

= The window is open, you know.

Shadow’s mom: 「空気を入れ替えるために開けてあるの。」

= Kuuki wo irekaeru tame ni akete aruno.

= I have left it open to change the air.

If you want to learn more about 開く(=aku), go check this lesson. お開き-ohiraki-開くひらく/あく-etc


Ex.3) いつも財布の中には一万円札が入っている

= Itsumo saifu no naka niwa ichimanen satsu ga haitte iru.

= There is always a 10,000 yen bill in the wallet.

(Note: 入る (=hairu) is intransitive verb. )

In this sentence, you just describe the simple state of the wallet which has 10,000 yen.

Ex.4) いつも財布の中には1万円札が入れてあります

= Itsumo saifu no naka ni wa ichiman en satsu ga irete arimasu.

= I always keep 10,000 yen in my wallet   (intentionally)

(Note: 入れる ( = ireru)  is a transitive verb.)


⭐️ When to use てある ( = te aru)

1) Resultant states of some action.  (Some action is done intentionally and you can still see the result.)

So when you describe a certain condition/state as a result of some intentional action, you use てある  ( = te aru)

It is not important who did/does the action but you focus on that person’s intention by using てある  ( = te aru)

You can use てある ( = te aru) for your own intentional actions as well.


Let’s compare these sentences.


Ex.1) 夕食はもう作りました。

= Yuushoku wa mou tsukurimashita.

= I (have) already made dinner.

 (It expresses just the fact that the speaker made dinner.)

Ex. 2) 家に帰ったら夕食が作ってあった

= Ie ni kaettara yuushoku ga tsukutte atta.

= When I got home, the dinner was already prepared.  

 (Someone has cooked dinner for you.)

Ex. 3) 夕食はもう作ってあります

= Yuushoku wa mou tsukutte arimasu.

= The dinner has been prepared already 

(I have already made dinner. )

(Focusing on the state of the dinner which is ready  “to be eaten”/ I took care of the dinner so I don’t have to worry about it.)


Ex. 4) 宿題はもうやりました。

= Shukudai wa  mou yarimashita.

= I have already done my homework./ I did my homework already.

Ex. 5) 宿題はもうやってあります

= Shukudai wa mou yatte arimasu.

My homework has been done already.

 (I have already done my homework. Focusing on the fact that the  homework is already taken care of.)

⭐️ See the picture above :


= Kyou wa beddo meikingu ga mou shite atta.

= Bed has been already made for today. ( Someone has done bed-making already and the bed is ready.)

This sentence doesn’t specify who made the beds.

But obviously, our mother did because I said,


= Mama, arigatou!

= Thanks, Mom!


So we use てある ( = te aru) when some action is done on purpose and you see the resultant state when you talk about it.

We will show you lots of examples so hopefully, you can get the idea.

Note: Please know that the translation of てある  ( = te aru) in English is not consistent because if I translate it directly it may not sound natural.  I translate it in various ways in the hope that it helps give you a sense of how it’s used.


★Describing the resultant state that someone has done something (intentionally).

Ex. 家の前に大きな車が停めてある

= Ie no mae ni ookina kuruma ga tomete aru.

= There is a big car parked in front of the house.

 (Someone parked the car in front of the house intentionally.)

Ex. 「これ何て書いてあるの?」

= Kore nante kaite aruno?

= What does this say?


= Arigaqtou tte kaite aruyo.

= It says “Arigatou = Thank you”

(Someone wrote something and you can still see what they wrote as a result.)

Ex. 夜は入り口がいつも閉めてあります

= Yoru wa iriguchi ga itsumo shimete arimasu.

= The entrance is always kept closed at night.

Ex. この店にお酒は置いてありますか?

= Kono mise ni osake wa oite arimasuka?

= Do you have alcohol in this store?

Ex. マックスから来た絵はがきにはきれいな切手が貼ってあった

= Max kara kita ehagaki niwa kireina kitte ga hatte atta.

= There is a beautiful stamp on the postcard from Max.

Ex. 壁にポスターが飾ってある

= Kabe ni posutaa ga kazatte aru.

= They have a poster on the wall.

Ex. 鍵がかけてあったから入れなかった。

= Kagi ga kakete atta kara hairenakatta.

= The door was (has been) locked so I couldn’t get in.

Ex. 今日のカレーはいつもより辛くしてあります

= Kyou no karee wa itsumo yori karaku shite arimasu.

= I made the curry spicier than usual. (←The curry  has been made spicier than usual.)

Ex. 冬なのに暖房が切ってある

= Fuyu nanoni danbou ga kitte aru.

= The heater has been turned off even in winter.

★When you have done some preparation.


=  Kae no denkyuu wa itumo katte arimasu.

I always buy spare light bulbs and stock them.

Ex. 保存してあったデータがすべて消えてしまった。

= Hozon shite atta deeta ga subete kiete shimatta.

= All the data that I have saved is gone.


= Maggie Sensei niwa mou renraku shite arimasu.

= I have already contacted Maggie Sensei.


= Jizen ni yoyaku ga shitearu hito dake ga hairemasu.

= Only a person who has made an advanced reservation can enter.

Note :

As we explained, the basic pattern of てある ( = te aru) is

:rrrr: S + subject particle, が/は ( = ga / wa) + V +てある ( = te aru)

However, when you describe some preparation has been done, there are some cases which you can use V + てある ( = te aru) with a particle を ( = wo)

Ex. チケットが買ってある

= Chiketto ga katte aru.

= to have bought a ticket (in advance)  (a ticket has been bought)

:rrrr: チケットを買ってある

= Chiketto wo katte aru.

Ex. 録画がしてある

= Rokuga ga shitearu

= The videotape recording has been done/ to have set the videotape recording.

:rrrr: 録画をしてある

= Rokuga wo shite aru.

Ex. 予約がしてある

= Yoyaku ga shitearu

= The reservation has been done

:rrrr: 予約をしてある

= Yoyaku wo shitearu

So there.  Hope our lesson help you understand how to use てある(=tearu) more.



= Are? Kokoni miruku ga oite arukedo dareno?

= Hmm? There is milk sitting here but whose is it?

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


= Shadow Sensei, Chibi Sensei ressun, arigatou!

= Thank you for your lesson, Shadow Sensei and Chibi Sensei.


= Sokoni oite aru miruku wa Shadow Sensei to Chibi sensei no dayo. Yukkuri nonde ittene.

= The milk which is sitting there is for you two. Take your time and drink it before you leave.


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  1. Hi Maggie-sensei! I thought this lesson was a bit difficult! Is it right to say that you would use てある only if you are currently seeing/experiencing the subject? For example, if I say: 壁にポスターが飾ってある,then I am probably looking at the poster on the wall right now. If the poster was in a different house, I would probably say 飾っている , right?

    Another question, I sometimes hear ておる/ております Is it something completely different?

    1. Hello ルナ
      Maybe the English translation might have confused you for the example sentence.
      Even if you are not looking at the poster right now, you can still describe the wall, 飾ってある

      Here’s the difference
      Ex. 壁にポスターが飾ってある (Describing the current state of the wall. Someone put the poster on the wall in the past and you are looking at the result.)
      Ex. 壁にポスターを飾っている (The subject is a person (or a store) Someone is putting the poster on the wall (either right now or routine work, they usually put the poster on the wall.)

      ておる is a humble expression of Vている

      Ex. 鍵を預かっています。 ( We keep your key.)

      1. Thank you for explaining. It is a difficult concept for me. Is this correct:

        猫カフェで、たくさん猫を見ていた > Focuses on me who saw cats at the cafe.

        猫カフェで、たくさん猫を見てあった > Focuses on the cats that I was able to see by going to the cafe.

        1. Hi ルナ again
          猫カフェで、たくさん猫を見ていた > Focuses on me who saw cats at the cafe.
          →Right. The speaker was looking at many cats.

          猫カフェで、たくさん猫を見てあった > Focuses on the cats that I was able to see by going to the cafe.
          →This sentence is not correct.
          For example if someone who works there placed lots of toys for cats for the customers and the cats ahead of time and you describe the state, you can say

          1. Ok. Would you say that てある is mostly used to describe inanimate objects?

            Would this be correct: 猫を撫でてので、服に毛が付けってある

            I’m sorry for so many questions D:

          2. In that case you say

            As I wrote in the lesson, you intentionally do something and leave it
            For example if you are looking at the clothes and there is a name tag on it (someone put the name tag on it and leave it for some reason) you say

  2. I have a question.
    I came across this sentence in my book (赤いTシャツを着ています) the book says it’s a 結果の状態a result state!. I don’t see any result and why it’s ているwhen the subject is intentionally wearing a red t-shirt? Am I missing sth ?

    1. I know understand this sentence. I forgot about ているother usages.
      My question will be 替えの電球はいつも買ってありますcan we use ておくhere ?

  3. Hello Maggie Sensei.

    You said in your lesson above:

    “However, when you describe some preparation has been done, there are some cases that you can use V + てある ( = te aru) with a particle を ( = wo)”

    –> Q: How do you know when to use which particle?

    –> E.g Is it wrong to say ”パンが買ってあります。” with が?

    Q: Difference between てある and てあった
    てある – happening now.. as in a current state..

    てあった – happened in the past.. as in the preparation was done before…

    1. Also, Maggie Sensei,

      Can you say “きのう、家に帰った時、主人が晩ご飯が作ってありました。”
      Meaning “When I went home yesterday, my husband had already made dinner”?

      1. Since you make it clear who made it, it will be more natural to say

        If you just want to describe the state, the dinner was made by someone, you can say

        1. Hello Maggie Sensei.

          So when using “てある” it is about the state of something being done… and we don’t emphasis on who did it or how it has been done… Hence, in the sentence (for example)
          “昨日、家に帰ったら、晩ご飯が作ってありました。” there is no person (for focus on the person who did it) ?

          1. Actually… very very sorry. すみませんでした!I am re-reading your response again.

            It really depends on what one wants to emphasize then.

            So, if I try to summarize it, would the following be correct?

            –> If the emphasis is WHAT has been done by someone –>
            (Someone が) something ~ を~てある・あります

            eg: 妹がケーキを焼いて、テーブルの上においてあります。

            –> if the emphasis is on the STATE for what has been done, it should be:

            〜が〜てある・あります (where who or how isn’t the emphasis here)

            e.g パンが買ってあります <- where the literal meaning is "The state of purchasing the bread has been done…"


        2. Hello Maggie Sensei.

          If I wanted to describe that:

          ”it was my birthday yesterday, and when I went home, dinner was made and a cake was baked/bought. ”

          Would the following make sense?


          (Not caring who did it but caring the state that it was done)

    2. Can you also prepare a number of things like:


      (The cake is made and already put on the table)

      1. Thanks, Maggie Sensei.

        If there was not birthday, is it strange to just say


        — like as a statement on what happened yesterday?

        Kind regards,

    3. Hi Jen,
      Q: How do you know when to use which particle?

      –> E.g Is it wrong to say ”パンが買ってあります。” with が?

      〜が〜てある・あります is much more common than ~ を~てある・あります

      The cases that you use を is rare but when you emphasize what has been done, you use を
      And when you just state what has been done, stick to が

      Q: Difference between てある and てあった
      財布が置いてある You are talking about the current state.
      財布が置いてあった You are talking about the state in past.

      There are cases that you use てあった to describe the current state but the nuance difference is

      夕食が作ってある focusing on the current state (dinner is there)
      夕食が作ってあった focusing on the action (Someone prepared the dinner and left it for you.)

      1. Thank you for explaining the difference, Maggie Sensei.

        I am studying using the Genki Textbook and our teachers mainly focus on the “〜が〜てある・あります” form. There is no mention of the “~ を~てある・あります” form. Hence, it is very interesting to learn there is that subtle difference between the two. Thank you again!

  4. Maggie Sensei, my grammar books don’t list a verb form that ends in -taro. What is this a contraction of?

    Talking to my Japanese friend on email about watching Game of Thrones, he asked if I saw an episode already, but the sentence ended…


    Why the ro?

    Thanks so much! This is the best Japanese site on the web!

    1. Hi Ed,
      It is not listed because it’s a casual male speech.
      I’ll show you how it changes.
      見たでしょう(You saw it, right?)

  5. Hello 先生、what a difficult topic! Thanks for shedding some light on it! :D I would like to ask a question about a sentence you wrote in the comments:

    Someone keeps the light on
    (Someoneが)電気をつけている (transitive verb)

    From what I understand, most transitive verbs are durative(継続動詞), and with these verbs -ている expresses:

    -something happening right now: 昼ご飯を食べている
    -a habit: 毎日お昼ご飯を作っている
    -focus on experience in the past: 彼は多数のおもしろい探偵小説を書いている

    … so how does

    (Someoneが)電気をつけている (transitive verb)

    mean ‘Someone keeps the lights on’ ?

    I wonder if this is because tsukeru doesn’t behave like a durative verb even though it’s transitive (similarly to 店を開(あ)けている ‘the store is open’)

    1. Hi Davide, 元気?

      電気をつけている can be one’s habitual action

      I usually leave/keep the light on when I sleep.

      but (電気を)つける is 瞬間動詞 (punctual verb/momentary verb).
      Since the action of turning on the light in one second, the action is not durative.

  6. Hi,

    This may sound like a dumb question, but what’s the difference between ~てある and the passive form in terms of use and meaning? I feel like they sound similar to one another in their meaning.

    eg. クロッケはじゃが芋で作ってある。

    Neither require the person doing the making is necessary to be expressed. How do I know when to use one versus the other?

    1. Hello,
      Actually neither one sounds natural. You just say コロッケはじゃがいもで作る。
      I guess it’s because we expect you to make korokke with potatoes.
      Let me change the example sentence a little.

      夕食にコロッケが作ってある。 Someone or you made korokke for dinner (The dinner is all set. The preparation is done.)
      (Focusing on the state)
      このコロッケはおからで作られている。 This korokke is made of tofu refuse.
      (Focusing on the ingredients)

  7. こんにちはMaggie先生。^,^

    Thank you so much for all the detailed explanations of this and many more topics, it really helps me to understand crucial grammar points much easier.
    I finally have a general understanding of when to use the ~てある grammar.

    But I still don’t get the difference between ~てある and ~てあった.
    Sure, I know the latter one is in the past tense but I struggle to understand when to use ~てある and when to use ~てあった.

    お茶が作ってある。The tea has been prepared. (to mean: someone prepared the tea in the past and now that I see the result, I can talk about it.)

    お茶が作ってあった。The tea has been prepared. (but that action has also taken place in the past)

    I’m not entirely sure but, when I’m talking about something I noticed in the past, could I use ~てあった?
    昨日、お茶が作ってあった。Yesterday, the tea has been prepared.

    I’d be glad to hear from you soon, Maggie先生

    1. Hi Sebaz

      I think your interpretation is right. Let me add one thing.
      お茶がつくってある You are looking at the tea which someone prepared.
      お茶がつくってあった You are talking about the tea which someone prepared. The tea doesn’t have to be in front of you.

      1. Hi Maggie-sensei,

        thank you for taking the time explaining that to me. It’s actually not that hard to understand but the more time I spent on this grammar point the more I got confused… By now I’m used to the ~てある grammar point.

    2. Hi Maggie先生、

      In your example of the differences between ている anてある you give the example of:
      電気をつけている家 “the house with the lights on”.
      Why does this use the transitive verb and not the intransitive verb, in other words, why isn’t it:


      1. Hi Chris,

        (~ を)つける = transitive verb
        (~ が)つく = intransitive verb

        電気をつけている家 “the house with the lights on”
        You can’t tell by the translation but there is a hidden subject.
        Therefore it’s a transitive verb.

        Someone turns the light on
        (Someoneが)電気をつける (transitive verb)

        Someone keeps the light on
        (Someoneが)電気をつけている (transitive verb)

        電気がついている is intransitive verb.
        You just describe the state of the house.

  8. 説明してくれて有難うございます。
    てあった と てあるの違いについて問いが有りますよね。。

    今日はベッドメイキングがもうしてあったよ。 You are already in the bed or telling someone that you saw someone made a bed for you.
    今日はベッドメイキングがもうしてあるよ。 You are not in the bed yet. You are looking at the clean bed.

    I wonder if teatta shall be used only if the speaker is enjoying \ doing something through whatever was done by others,
    or if might be also used if the speaker is attempting to say he enjoyed\ did something through what other people have done.

    The food was prepared (it wasn’t eaten yet)

    The food was prepared
    Shall I say this only if I\someone is eating it right now?

    Or if someone ate it as well?
    Please correct me:
    10年前あそこに車を停める。 The car was parked 10 years ago and its still there.
    10年前あそこに車を停めてあった。When the speaker saw the car,it has been parked there for 10 years already.
    The current state of that car is unknown.

    1. @vinicius oliveira


      てある・てあった expresses someone did something (and leave it) for someone on purpose.


      The speaker is aware of something through whatever was done by others.
      As you say we can usually tell the speaker enjoys the state/enjoyed doing something but てあった doesn’t always mean that the speaker enjoyed doing something or not.
      It could just describe some state which has done by others.

      Ex. 家に帰ったら料理が作ってあったけれどもお腹がいっぱいだったから食べなかった。
      = Ie ni kaettara ryouri ga tsukutte atta keredomo onaka ga ippai datta kara tabenakatta.
      = When I got home, I saw the food prepared for me but I didn’t eat it because I was full.
      (the speaker is aware of what has been done for him/her but we can’t tell he/she enjoyed the fact.)

      More extreme example
      Ex. テーブルに離婚届が置いてあった。
      = Teiburu ni Rikon todoke ga oite atta.
      = a divorce paper was on the table.(the wife/husband put the divorce paper and left it on the table on purpose)

      10年前あそこに車を停める。 The car was parked 10 years ago and its still there.
      →it should be 10年前からあそこに車が停めてある。

      10年前あそこに車を停めてあった。When the speaker saw the car,it has been parked there for 10 years already.
      The current state of that car is unknown.

  9. Konnichiha Maggie-Sensei :mrgreen:
    _I’ve Been Stuck In This Matter About (Te) Form:
    As We Know That When There’s A Couple Of Linked Verbs Or Events In A Sentence We Have To Conjugate Them Into A (Te) Form Except The Last Verb/Noun/Adj/Event…etc, But I Just Want To Figure Out This Difference Between The Two Sentences:

    – I Want To Ride A Bike.
    – I Want To Go To Japan.
    – I Want To Be A Writer.

    _Alright When We Link Them As One Sentence, Become:

    (Jitensha Ni Notte, Nippon Ni Itte, Hissha Ni Naritai.)


    (Jitensha Ni Noritakute, Nippon Ni Ikitakute, Hissha Ni Naritai.)

    WHICH ONE IS THE CORRECT, Sensei?! :roll:

    1. @Kibounokata

      When you continue the three sentences, I would use し instead of て

      (Jitensha Ni Notte, Nippon Ni Itte, Sakka Ni Naritai.)
      It means “I ride a bike and go to Japan and want to be a writer.”

      (Jitensha Ni Noritakute, Nippon Ni Ikitakute, Hissha Ni Naritai.)
      is not natural.
      Jitensha ni noritaku te = this “te” gives a reason. I want to ride a bike and do something in order to ride a bike.

    1. @black blue

      Ah good question. I should have included the information.
      Yes the negative form is 〜ていない

      You also might see てない. It is a casual contraction and you drop い in conversation.

  10. In paragraph 1), just after “basic pattern”, the example is:

    Ex. ドアを開ける (transitive verb)

    = Doa wo akeru

    = to open the door

    :rrrr: ドアが開く ( intransitive verb)

    = doa wo aku

    = the door opens

    But the second time it should be “ga” (in romaji)

  11. I don’t get why you dont use tearu for when you are wearing things,the verbs of wearing are obviously transitive and you put clothes on on purpose and keep wearing them.

    シャツをきています。 wear a shirt
    ズボンをはいています。 wear pants

    1. @Frendo12

      The verb “to wear/to put on”, you use ている/ています
      S is/are wearing something

      (Check ている lesson 5)

      化粧(けしょう= make up)をつけている
      describe the state of the person who wear those or will of the person who is wearing those.

      However, if you are talking about a mannequin, you can say

      Someone put the shirt/pants on the mannequin (on purpose)

      It doesn’t matter who did/does it. You describe the result of an action (putting on).

  12. Hello, I have heard people using te aru in anime, but the meaning is totally different because it is referring to the future (or one’s intention I am not sure)
    Here are some examples:
    Sono jidai ore ga kaetearuyo.
    Orega hokage ni nattekara, hyuugawo kaetearuyo.
    Keep in mind all of these actions have not happend yet. They are both referring to the future.
    Thank you in advance :)

    1. @Mina124

      tearu could be used to refer to the future state but I think what you saw in your example sentences is not tearu, it’s teyaru

      ~てやる(= te yaru) = to show your will. I am going to ~~~

      = Ore ga kaete yaru yo.
      = I am going to change ~

  13. Hi Maggie,

    I realized that instead of ある、 you have used あった in this sentence, 今日はベッドメイキングがもうしてあったよ。But the way i intepreted it, it is no different than ある.

    We all know that ある is the present form as such, we can understand that the Bed has been already made for today (Since the state is there after bed making). Hence, what i could interpret it my way is that the state may no longer be there when we use あった instead (It could be there somebody went to the bed and we do not know or such).

    May I know why is that so? Would appreciate it if you can show me an example in both its present tense and past tense may help me to understand better in this matter.

    1. @Kelvin

      Hi Kelvin,
      I think it is related my verb tense lessons (Part 1, Part 2)
      You are already in the bed or telling someone that you saw someone made a bed for you.
      You are not in the bed yet. You are looking at the clean bed.

  14. Hello Maggie 先生,

    I just found your website a few days ago, and I really like it! It has been very helpful to me, and I love the animals you bring on to give the lessons. This post reminded me of my own sweet kitty Minky, whom I had for more than 15 years. She became an “angel” two weeks ago. :cry:

    1. @Palidor

      Hello Palidor!
      Welcome to Maggie Sensei’s site!
      Sorry to hear about Minky. I am an Angel, too, you know. I will show her around here if I see her around.
      She is always welcome to be a guest teacher. (You can send a picture from About Us.)

  15. “Denki wo tsukete iru ie” – The house with lights on
    Without seeing the translation that you wrote, I’m sure I’d have translated something like “The house that it’s turning the lights on” lol Why the -te iru here? Since it’s transitive and when I see a transitive with -te iru, I understand an ongoing action by the subject, so I don’t get the use of “te iru” there, instead of “denki ga tsukete aru ie” (on purpose) or more stative ” Denki ga tsuite iru ie” , the house with lights on (by themselves). What is the difference?
    I’m a crazy commenter, I know. itsumo osewa ni narimasu ne :P

    1. @Sarah

      電気をつけている家 (Denki wo tsukete iru ie) The house with lights on
      The literal translation is “The house which is turning the lights on” But since the subject is a house, it will be more natural to translate “The house with lights on” So your interpretation is correct.

      1. Oook, so, I see it’s more up to the context. Sometimes your omitting things confuses me :cryingboy: hahaha. Thinking about it as “The house whose owners have switched the light on” makes much more sense to me, but I guess it’s unnecesary to specify “juumin ga denki wo tsukete iru ie”. I think that I sometimes overexplain things when I’m talking japanese, because I’m afraid of saying something awkward, but then I see you Japanese people are not that strict, and as long as it makes good sense you don’t mind it that much !happyface! So it gives me more confidence. Thanks!!

        1. @Sarah

          It might be easier to understand the sentence with the translation,
          The house has the lights on

          But yes, we omit particles, subjects and switching the order of words….In that sense, Japanese is not that strict languages.

          1. 電気をつけている家 – The house that turns the lights on. (It implies that the house itself turned on the lights. As if the house has its own will – I think that’s a bit strange, don’t you think so Maggie?)

            電気が/のついている家 – The house with lights on. (Describing the state)

            電気がつけてある家 – The house which someone (on purpose) turned the lights on. (Implying that someone for some purpose turned the lights on)

  16. Maggie Sensei,

    見る is a 他動詞, so it should be able to be used with てある form. However, I have never heard anyone say 見てある。

    この映画はもう 見てあります。。 sounds so odd.
    but using it in the same form with different words…
    ご飯はもう 作ってあります。This works.

    Why is it wrong??

    There are some other transitive verbs that just sound odd used with the てある form… Is there a rule to this?


    1. @Mariko Shimasaki

      Hello Mariko!
      I see your point.
      If you just want to say
      I have seen this movie already.
      sound more natural.

      As you said 見てあります sounds odd because you don’t usually see a movie to prepare yourself.
      You usually use てある when you do something intentionally to prepare for something.

      So この映画はもう見てあります only works for example you are a judge of some movie contest and you have to see a lot of movies to attend the contest.
      Then you can say この映画はもう見てあります。= I have seen this movie already (I am prepared to be a judge for this contest.)

    1. @eli

      Hello eli!
      OK, I will show you some examples もう with verbs

      1) already

      already ate/ have already eaten = もう食べました (=mou tabemashita)・もう食べた(=mou tabeta)
      already read/ have already read = もう読みました(=mou yomimashita) ・もう読んだ(=mou yonda)

      Ex. それはもう終わりました。
      = Sore wa mou owarimashita.
      = It is already over.

      2) anymore : When it is used in a negative sentence

      Ex. 彼にはもう会いません。
      = Kare niwa mou aimeasen.
      = I won’t see him anymore

      Ex. もう食べられません。
      = Mou taberaremasen.
      = I can’t eat anymore.
      = I won’t see him anymore

  17. 先生、お久しぶりです~


    1. @Blossom

      Basically when you stress what comes before the particle, you use が and when you want to show some contrast, you use は

      “考えている暇”がない stressing “考えている暇”
      You use は to show some contrast
      “考えてる暇”はない but there could be some other time to do something else.

      お母さんは”そんなに厳しいわけ”がないでしょ?stressing “there is no way to be so strict”.
      I have a lesson on the difference between わけがない and わけではない

      And ~ したくない is usually used with は not with が

      (Not 君と喧嘩したくがない)

      1. 説明してくれてありがとうございます!それにね、私最近日本語で書いてある子供絵本を読み始めたけど、なんとなく書き方はちょっとちがうと気づきました。なんだか関西弁と似てるって感じで、それから見たことのない言葉も気づいた。(例:待ってまえ、みさえ)お爺さんのイーフェックトがあるようですね~

        1. @Blossom

          Hmm 待ってまえ? Could it be 「待ちたまえ」?

          1. ああ、そうです、影響っていうんだね。。えーと、あまりわかりませんが、とにかく絵本の書き方は会話とちょっと違うだと思っちゃって。読みにくいです>。<

          2. @Blossom


  18. Hello Maggie! Thank you very much for this interesting lesson.
    I’m not entirely sure, if I understand を+動詞~て形+ある correctly. Does it imply that not someone else but the speaker himself has done some kind of preparations?

    1) チケットが買ってある.
    The tickets have been / are bought [already] ==> Someone have bought them. It might be the speaker, but we don’t know that exactly. The fact is, that the tickets are bought.
    2) チケットを買ってある.
    I have bought the tickets ==> The speaker have bought the tickets.

    I know that を+動詞~て形+ある is 正しい日本語, but for me it sounds a bit strange this combination of を and ~てある.


    1. @天人

      チケットを買ってある the subject could be a speaker as well.

      Ex. もうチケットを買ってあるのですが、行けるかどうかわかりません。
      I have already bought a ticket but I don’t know if I can go there or not.
      (focusing on the fact that “the speaker has already bought a ticket”)

      (focusing on the “ticket”)
      (Showing the contrast. The speaker has bought a ticket but maybe hasn’t bought something else.)

      1. 了解です!
        So I understand that in を…てある and は/が…てある the result we see could be caused by the speaker (ex. I) as well as by someone else. It depends on the context.

        Thank you very much for the quick answer and have a nice day, Maggie <3

    2. Hi Maggie, please check your fb. I had a question about something totally different from what I see in any of the lessons or posts. Thanks! Sharon

  19. 前、「てある」の使い方は良く分からなかったからこのレッスンはべんりだよ。だからこれを使ったことがなかった。いつも教えてくれてありがとう!

    1. @ocd

      こんにちは、ocd! 久しぶりに新しいレッスンを作りましたがまた来てくれてありがとう!

      1. なるほど!間違いを直してくれてありがとう!いつもここにきてうれしい。新しいレッスンを待ちながら先のレッスンが勉強するね。

        1. @ocd



  20. このレッスンをくれてありがとうございます。(^o^)

    At the end of the lesson, you say that you can use てある when you have done some preparation. So… is it like ておく ? Or is there any difference ?
    For example :

    Thank you ! :D

    1. @サーフィー

      こんにちは、サーフィー! いい質問ですね。
      チケットを買ってある = You already bought a ticket and ready (to go see concert, etc.)
      チケットを買っておく= You will buy a ticket and be ready. (You don’t have a ticket)

      So you have to use the past tense with おく if you want to say “I have bought a ticket.”

      EX. 1) チケットを買ってある・あります。
      EX. 2) チケットを買っておいた・おきました。

      They both means “I (have) bought a ticket for some purpose” and they are almost the same. (てある focuses on the resultant states ておく focuses on the actions (the preparation for future) more )

      Other difference between てある and ておく.

      1) You can’t make a commando form with ~てある

      Ex. チケットを買っておいて(下さい。)
      = Please buy a ticket in advance (and be ready)
      You can’t use てある here.

      2) You can’t use てある when you express what you are going to do.

      Ex. チケットを買っておこう・おきます。
      = I will go get a ticket. (and be ready)

      You can’t use てある

      (A little note for you : このレッスンをくれて→You need a verb, このレッスンを”作って”くれて”)

  21. 先生、いつもありがとうございます(((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))

    1. @メロ

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