Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 5: 1/12

With, By (using)

Structure

Noun +

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Particle

  • Word Type

    Case Marking Particle

  • Register

    Standard

  • 品詞

    助詞

  • 単語の種類

    格助詞

  • 使用域

    一般

About で

is a particle that has several different uses in Japanese. At its core, it is always used to highlight something that is 'required' to perform some sort of action/reach some kind of goal. One of these uses relates to 'things'. This comes across as 'by' or 'with' in English.
  • (くるま)空港(くうこう)()
    I go to the airport by car. (Required to reach a goal)
  • 電車(でんしゃ)()
    I go by train. (Required to reach a goal)
In these sentences, the item is considered essential for the action to be performed. While other items may be used, simply highlights the one that was chosen.
is also used when groups of people perform actions together, this is something that many people learning Japanese have trouble with initially (because may also be used as 'with' for people). However, the use of is actually the same as this by/with, meaning that the speaker considers the group as the tool used for performing the action.
  • みんなレストラン()
    I go to the restaurant with everyone. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
  • 来年(らいねん)(みんな)ハワイ()
    I will go to Hawaii with everyone next year. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
The difference between and as 'with', is that is used when everyone in the group has the same objective/end goal. is used when each person is performing the action toward each other, not toward an external objective.
  • 家族(かぞく)全員(ぜんいん)沖縄(おきなわ)()
    I will go to Okinawa with everyone in my family. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
  • (かあ)さん(はん)()
    I eat with my mom. (Being together is the objective, eating is just what is happening while being together)

Examples

  • バス()

    I go by bus.

  • バス学校(がっこう)()

    I go to school by bus.

  • 自転車(じてんしゃ)いいです

    By bicycle is good.

  • 自転車(じてんしゃ)

    By bicycle.

  • 電車(でんしゃ)()ます

    Are you coming by train?

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    • Genki I

      Page 198

    • Genki I 2nd Edition

      Page 236

    • みんなの日本語 I

      Page 38 [CH 5]

    • [DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

      Page 106

    • Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide

      Page 58

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で – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (4 in total)

  • mrnoone

    mrnoone

    About 5 years ago

    Hey!

    You are absolutely right! The examples are kind of monothematic.
    I will fix it!
    Thank you very much for the feedback.

  • Bambamlindsay

    Bambamlindsay

    About 3 years ago

    Hate to say this, but you haven’t fixed it yet

  • Pushindawood

    Pushindawood

    About 3 years ago

    @Bambamlindsay Welcome to the community! It did take us a little while, but we actually added a whole new grammar page to cover the other uses of て/で when it is used to express “by means of” or “in the manner of.” Cheers!

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