Usage of ありin this construction sign…

I enjoy watching videos of drives through the Japanese countryside. I often have them on for background while I study. I enjoy trying to read signs sometimes as well. I just saw this sign:

Google Translate tells me this might mean “With iron plate”. I had to look up that first kanji on jisho as I had never encountered it. What I’m interested in, though, is the ありhere.

Is that short for あります? So like “There is nani nani”?


Not necessarily “short for”, but it is the same kanji/meaning.

You see it a lot as 異議あり and its antonym 異議なし.


あり is Classical Japanese. In modern Japanese, it is still used in contexts just as in your example. “with” for あり and “without” for なし is a pretty good translation.


Isn’t the い stem basically an infinitive form? So in this case it would be “iron plate having”

In Classical Japanese, あり can be a continuative 連用形 or a final form 終止形, but it’s counterpart なし is only final. I therefore would argue that both are final in this usage, but I can see how in modern Japanese, it might simply be analysed as continuative.
But I’m no expert on this so I might be wrong. Long story short: You will encouter this usage in similar phrases.


Not continuative, strictly infinitive. Just the -ing part of the whole equation.

Continuative is what the て form is, right? Because I see the stem used that way in writing all the time

yeah, and you get present continuous if you append いる to the end

What do you mean by “infinitive” in actual Japanese grammar terms? If you mean the 連用形 (e.g. 分かり for 分かる) I don’t believe you can end a sentence with that form and have it be grammatically correct (unless it’s also the 終止形, as is sometimes the case).

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…I was thinking I was actually thinking of connective, not continuative (in my defense, 1. they both start with “c” and 2. if two actions are connected, one continues into the other), but I double-checked 連用形 and it’s given as “conjunctive form; continuative form; -masu stem of a Japanese verb” so now I’m just confused

But the infinitive is the unconjugated form of the verb, so wouldn’t that be the dictionary form?

Not sure, if I’m even talking about the correct idea, could be gerund instead. But tl;dr, I’m talking about the form that’s used for example in the 〜に行く structure. Couldn’t find a japanese name for it, but

Yeah that’s 連用形, and as far as I’m aware it can’t be used at the end of a sentence. So I don’t think that can be the form used in the OP, unless there’s some weird exception for signage ('cause let’s be honest, it’s not like signs have to be grammatically correct or even complete words).

Ah, I see, I just kinda assumed it was like headline-ese, it doesn’t need to make perfect sense, because it has to fit

That could very well be the case since あり is shorter than がある or があります. It just happens that あり is also valid grammatically in classical Japanese.

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