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Koto Ga Aru


doraemon wa sensei ni natta koto ga aru

~ことがある (~koto ga aru)

:: pronounciation and sentence examples are available in the next post, Letter of The Grasshopper (Japanese song) :

Meaning : Someone has done something, someone has had an experience doing something; There was a time when..

Example :

日本へ行ったことがある / あります
Nihon he itta koto ga aru / arimasu
I have been to Japan

納豆を食べたことがある / あります
Nattou wo tabeta koto ga aru / arimasu
I have (ever) eaten nattou (japanese fermented soybeans)

ダンサーになったことがある / あります
Dansa- ni natta koto ga aru / arimasu
There was a time when I/speaker/writer/someonw was a dancer.


Sinf* / past + ことがある (koto ga aru)

Sinf = sentence that ends with an informal predicate (e.g. nihon e ikun desu)


  1. In general, Sinf / past koto ga aru express the idea that there was a time when someone or something was in some state or did something.
  2. More specifically, Sinf / past koto ga aru express one’s experience. In this case, Sinf / past koto ga aru is an extended use of the possesion expression “A wa B ga aru”, where B is a past action rather than possesed thing. Compare (1) and (2) :

             (1)  私は自転車がある : watashi wa jitensha ga aru = I have a bike. [POSSESIVE]

            (2)  私はぼんおどりをしたことがある: watashi wa bonodori wo shita koto ga aru = I have ever danced bon   odori [EXPERIENCE]

3. There is also koto ga aru in present form. In this format, koto ga aru means : an idea that something happens from time to time. Example : 山田君は朝ご飯を食べずに学校へいくことがある。: There are times when Yamada goes to school without eating breakfast. 

Adverbs of frequency such as yoku ‘often’ , tokidoki ‘sometimes’ and tamani ‘occasionally’ are sometimes used with this expression. Example :

このレストランの料理はたまにまずいことがある : kono resutoran no ryouri wa tamani mazui koto ga aru = Occasionally, this restaurant’s cooking is not delicious.


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