Why does Duolingo write "I have a car" as "저는 자가 있습니다" instead of "저는 자를 있습니다"?

Shouldn't "car" be followed by the object marker instead of the subject marker, since "I" is the subject?

Sorry for the stupid question, I am a beginner :)

  • 를 is used on a noun which is acted upon y the directly. The verb 있다 doesn't act on 저, hence 를 doesn't work here. 전느 밥을 먹다 works because the verb먹다 acts directly on 밥 (being eaten)
    – user17915
    May 29, 2018 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Although many English sentences with 'to have' are translated with the verb 있다 (which is the root that 있습니다 comes from), 있다 doesn't really mean 'to have'. Rather, it means 'to exist', or to 'be in some place'. So the sentence

차가 있습니다

literally means 'a car exists' - you can see that the using the subject marker makes sense here, because the car is the subject. Correspondingly,

저는 차가 있습니다

literally means something like 'As for me, a car exists', or 'talking about me, a car exists', which is the natural way to make a statement about ownership in Korean. However, that wouldn't be a natural thing to say in English, so it gets translated as 'I have a car'.

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