A Japanese word corresponding to "exist" in English. This is one of the few words that is usually written phonetically (in kana) rather than with kanji. Its major forms include arimasu (exist), arimasen (does not exist), arimashita (existed) and arimasen deshita (did not exist).

It is highly idiomatic in usage. It is often used to indicate possession and frequently replaces the copula ("to be") in declarative sentences. For example:

Ano tokoro wa ookii tatemono ga arimasu.
There is a large building over there. (Lit. 'As for that place over there, a large building exists')

Watashi wa konpyuuta ga arimasu.
I have a computer. (Lit. 'As for me, a computer exists')

Aru can only be used to describe inanimate objects. For people, iru should be used. An older word, oru is used in still other situations, such as describing animals and in certain expressions.

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