Read the Kanji on this page with      

  XML RSS feed
  XML RSS feed
  XML RSS feed
  XML RSS feed
  XML RSS feed

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

<< iroiro | is, am, are >>

いる (居る) [いる] (iru)
    Meaning: Is (animate)
    Example: There's a dog in that car.
    JLPT Level: 4
    Category: grammar
    Author: Amatuka

  [ Edit This Grammar Entry ]

Like aru iru is also an stative (non-action) verb. Iru, unlike aru is used to express "is" or "exists" for living things, people, or beings, with plants being excluded.
Like aru, iru uses ni/に to indicate the location when specified.

iru also is used as an auxillary verb to form progressive tenses. Similar in function to English's verb "to be" in the following: He is going, I was going, We are going, etc.

iru does not require the use of ga/が.

When iru is used in an auxillary form, it can be used with non-living things just like aru.

For an auxillary form, iru is usually preceeded by the -te form of the other verb. Then iru is conjugated accordingly.

Aruite imasu. --> (He/she,you/it/etc.) is walking.
Aruite imashita. (He/she,you/it/etc.) was walking.

Note that iru cannot be used for the future tense, as there isn't a real future tense in Japan. Therefore, sentences like "He will be going." will not exist.

Other notes
iru is commonly written with kana alone, instead of kanji. Kanji can be used in written Japanese to indicate subtle nuances in meaning.

[ Add Note(s) ]
Note: visit WWWJDIC to lookup any unknown words found in the example(s)...
Alternatively, view this page on

ex #619   その車に犬います。[sono kuruma ni inu ga imasu] 
There is a dog in that car.  
ex #4823   あしたは家にいるつもりだ。 
I will stay at home tomorrow.  
ex #4824   彼はまだ休暇でハワイにいる。 
He is still on vacation in Hawaii.  
ex #4825   その時私は家にいました。 
I was at home then.  
ex #4826   あなたはどのくらいカナダにいたのですか。 
How long did you stay in Canada?  
ex #4827   あなたはニューヨークにいたことがありますか。 
Have you ever been in New York?  
ex #4828   70ぴきぐらいねこが近所にいた。 
There were about 70 cats in the neighbourhood.  
ex #7829   たなかさんはいますか?   
Is Mr. Tanaka here? Tanaka san wa imasu ka?  
ex #7830   はい、います。  
Yes, [he/she/living animal/being] is. Hai, imasu.  
ex #7831   猫は何処にいますか? ねこはどこにいますか?  
Where is the cat? Neko wa doko ni imasu?  
ex #7832   メリさんは来月日本にいるでしょう。メリさんはらいげつにほんにいるでしょう。   
Mary will probably be in Japan next month. Merii san wa raigetsu Nihon ni iru deshou.  

Help JGram by picking and editing examples!!
  See Also:  
  • aru    (iru for living things, aru for objects.
    I find a way to remember which is which is that people _need_ (iru is also the verb to need) stuff.) [dc]
  • da    (だ and いる can both indicate the presense of something living - used in different ways.) [Amatuka]
  • ga    (The particle が is used in いる sentences) [Amatuka]
[ Add a See Also ]
Amatuka'iru' for _need_ has a) a different kanji and b) is godan not ichidan.
"kare wa iranai" "I don't need him(boyfriends)"
"kare wa inai" "He's not here(I don't have a boyfriend)"
your nameI remember that "iru" is for living things because it is used in the construction te+iru for the present progressive tense. And it is usually a living creature that is presently doing something. This isn't always true I guess, but it helps me remember the difference. 
Amatukaている teiru can't be used with the verbs of existance (e.g. ある aru and いる iru) 
Sasuke21I thought you can say あっている when talking about past experience, as in:
A:I expect you have already met my son, right?
B: I'm not sure, but I think I have.
please correct me if I'm wrong because I have been wondering about this! ^-^
bamboo4あっている is past of 会う+いる and いる in this sense denotes the continuation of some status or event, here the fact that you have met and that situaiton continues to exist.  
zeptimiusMy two Japanese (native) teachers say that iru applies only to animal life, or more specifically, as they say, 'something that has a heart'. So for trees, flowers etc. you use aru. Also, how about animals without hearts? I think those exist, like jellyfish or something. 

Add Comment

Due to some problems with spam comments, we have had to make the Add Comment feature available to members only. Please login or register.

Add Entry to Your Study List
Choose the priority of studying you want to assign to this item from the drop-down select list and then hit the save button. This will be used for sorting your personal study list. If you wish to delete an entry that's already in your list, just set the difficulty to '0'


jgram 2018