Uki Uki NihonGO! Lesson 36 – Place de vs. ni

May 18, 2016 - May 18, 2016
past event image
Language Lesson past event

Today, we’ll be focusing on the particles で and に. As explained in Uki Uki Lesson 17, で is a particle that typically goes after a place word in Japanese. But what about に, which is also common? If you’re not sure of the difference, you may be confused and misuse these particles. But don’t worry! These guidelines will help you.

As a general rule, で is your default place particle.

サンフランシスコでケビンさんに会いました。(San Furanshisuko de Kebin-san ni aimashita.) I met Kevin in San Francisco.

ジャパンソサエティーで日本語を勉強しています。(Japan Sosaetii de nihongo o benkyou shite imasu.) I’m studying Japanese at Japan Society.

今週末はセントラルパークで本を読むつもりです。(Konshuumatsu wa Sentoraru Paaku de hon o yomu tsumori desu.) I’m planning to read a book in Central Park this weekend.

カフェでコーヒーでも飲みませんか?(Kafe de koohii demo nomimasenka?) Would you like to grab coffee or something at a cafe?

東京で生まれました。(Toukyou de umaremashita.) I was born in Tokyo.

When is the particle に used, then? Generally speaking, you only use it when you’re using certain verbs. There are two groups of verbs that use the particle に.

The first group is called

1. Motion verbs (or Directional verbs), including いきます, きます, かえります

よく図書館に行きます。(Yoku toshokan ni ikimasu.) I often go to the library.

毎朝7時に学校に行きます。(Maiasa shichiji ni gakkou ni ikimasu.) I go to school at 7 every morning.

今年の夏に、友達がニューヨークに来ます。(Kotoshi no natsu ni tomodachi ga Nyuu Yooku ni kimasu.) My friend will come to NY this summer.

安くて美味しかったから、このレストランにまた来たいです。(Yasukute oishikatta kara, kono resutoran ni mata kitai desu.) It was inexpensive and good, so I want to come to this restaurant again.

with 帰ります, the place words usually need to be your home, hometown or home country.

先生、ちょっと熱があるみたいなので、家に帰ってもいいですか。(Sensei, chotto netsu ga aru mitai nanode, ie ni kaettemo ii desuka?) Professor, I seem to have a fever. May I go home?

ルームメートは毎年夏に、国に帰ります。(Ruumu meeto wa maitoshi natsu ni kuni ni kaerimasu.) My roommate goes back to her country every summer.

With these motion verbs, you can use へ instead, although is less common.

A few more verbs belong to this category, but for now, be sure to know how to use these 3 verbs well.

The other group is called:

2. Existence verbs: あります、います

家にピアノがありますか?(Ie ni piano ga arimasuka?) Do you have a piano at home?

東京に、有名なスカイツリーがあります。 (Toukyou ni yuumeina Sukai Tsurii ga arimasu.) There is the famous Sky Tree in Tokyo.

この街に、日本語を話せる友達がいますか?(Kono machi ni, nihongo o hanaseru tomodachi ga imasuka?) Do you friends in this city who can speak Japanese?

私のアパートにネコとイヌがいます。(Watashi no apaato ni neko to inu ga imasu.) I have a cat and a dog in my apartment.

Summary: if you’re using one of these motion verbs (いきます、きます、かえります) or existence verbs (あります、います), use the particle に with the place word. With most other verbs, use で.

ジャパンソサエティーに来てください。(Japan Sosaetii ni kite kudasai.) Please come to Japan Society

次のウキウキレッスンで会いましょう! (Tsugi no Uki Uki ressun de aimashou!) Let’s meet in our next Uki Uki lesson.

  • May 18, 2016 at 12:00 am