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What does Imasu mean? 2008/1/8 14:20
Like take this for example

onnanohito wa tonde imasu.

That translates to

The girl is jumping up.

but onnanohito is girl
and tonde is jumping up

but what does wa and imasu mean?

wa = is?
imasu = the?

im confused
by Joe  

AK can explain it better but... 2008/1/8 14:34
wa is a particle, indicating who is doing the action, while the imasu is the formal present tense form of iru (rough translation in this sense would be "to be happening"), so the action is currently going on.
by bgalfond rate this post as useful

Just to add 2008/1/8 14:54
Please do not try to match Japanese and English sentences word-by-word, because the Japanese grammar is different from that of English :)

- Onna no hito wa tonde imasu.

tonde imasu = is jumping/flying

It comes from the verb "tobu/tobimasu" ("tobu" is the "u-form," or dictionary form, and "tobimasu" is its "masu-form," or polite form). To express that something is going on right now, you take the "te-form" of the verb, and add "imasu."

The "te-form" of the verb "tobu" is "tonde," so you get "tonde imasu." Words like "imasu" are often called "helping verbs," because they connect to other verbs to express different things.

This "wa" indicates that "onna no hito" is the topic of the sentence, it is often called a "topic marker."

For example,
- Watashi wa AK desu (I am AK).

"watashi" = I
"desu" = be verb (am, is, are, etc.)
by AK rate this post as useful

imasu 2008/1/8 21:02
By itself, it can be used as "there is" for example

neko ga imasu

There is a cat. With this form, the thing that exists must always have a "ga" after it. Imasu in this case is used with living, moving, things. For things that are inanimate "arimasu" is used instead.

hon ga arimasu

There is a book.
by Miyuki rate this post as useful

Imasu Definition 2008/1/13 12:01
Imasu means "To Be" or "Exist" and is used to refer to people and animals, which are obviously alive. The use of Arimasu is used to refer to things that are not alive such as books, rocks or dolls.
by Melissa rate this post as useful

... 2008/1/13 17:23
I just would like to add that when "imasu" is used as the main verb in a sentence, it means "there is/are...," there exist(s)..." when talking about people, animals, etc.

When "imasu" is used as the "helping verb" after te-form of another verb, ("te-form + imasu"), as given in the original poster's question, it means "something is happening" "I am/you are/(s)he is doing something," or in other instances "something has happened," which will come later in grammar books :)
by AK rate this post as useful

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