Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Hiroko here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Japanese questions.
The question for this lesson is…Are the meanings of 冷蔵庫にジュースを冷やしておきます(Reizōko ni jūsu o hiyashite okimasu.) and 冷蔵庫にジュースが冷やしてあります(Reizōko ni jūsu ga hiyashite arimasu.) the same?
In these setences, we’re talking about the differences between ~ておく(~te oku) and ~てある(~te aru). Let’s break down the differences together.
We use ~ておく(~te oku), when the focus is on “the action” while ~てある(~te aru) is used when the focus is on “the state/condition caused by the action.”
To put it more simply, ~ておく(~te oku) highlights an action to be done in advance for some special purpose while ~てある(~te aru) mentions the past action, but the point is that the state which the past action caused is still continuing.
In the case of the sentences we mentioned, 冷蔵庫にジュースを冷やしておきます(Reizōko ni jūsu o hiyashite okimasu.) means that you’ll leave some juice in the fridge to chill so that someone can drink it later. If you say, 冷蔵庫にジュースが冷やしてあります(Reizōko ni jūsu ga hiyashite arimasu.) the implication is that I put juice in the fridge a while ago and it’s still chilling in there.
Let’s go through some examples so you can understand how to use ~ておく(~te oku) and ~てある(~te aru) correctly.
First, let’s do an example with ~ておく(~te oku)--
明日までに会議用の資料を作っておきます。(Ashita made ni kaigi yō no shiryō o tsukutte okimasu.)
This means “I’ll get the documents for meeting done by tomorrow.”
Here, you’re focusing on the action of finishing the documents by tomorrow because you need them for the meeting tomorrow. That’s why you need to use ~ておく(~te oku).
Now, let’s do an example with ~てある(~te aru)--
机にメモが置いてある。(Tsukue ni memo ga oite aru.)
This means “There’s a note on (my) desk.”
In this sentence, someone put a note on your desk in the past, but the point is that the note is still there, focusing on the continued state of the note “existing” on your desk.
~ておく(~te oku) and ~てある(~te aru) sound very similar, but if you think of the original verbs おく(oku), “to put,” and ある(aru), “to exist” or “to be,” it’s easier to understand why ~ておく(~te oku) has focus on the action "to put/place something" and ~てある(~te aru) has focus on the state of being.
How was this lesson? Did you get everything? Make sure to get over to JapanesePod101.com and keep practicing!
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
またね![mata ne!] See you!

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January 31st, 2017 at 06:30 PM
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