What's the difference between the particle で and に? I am interested to know why in some cases we use に instead of で when referring to places, for example: えきの前に友達にあいます。Why use Eki no mae NI instead of Eki no mae DE? I don't understand the different nuances between the two particles :(. Help please!
Apr 20, 2016 7:26 PM
Answers · 9
We say 駅の前で友達に(or 友達と)会います. Sometimes we use に depending on the verbs. Ex.) 駅の前に友達がいます。(に + いる) 駅に友達と会うために行きます / 友達と会うために駅に行きます。(に + 行く) Since I'm not an expert of the Japanese language, I can't explain well. I'd like to suggest you to learn the particles with verbs. I did the same when I learn English, for example, "mix UP", "help OUT", get accustomed TO". I hope this was helpful.
April 21, 2016
The differences are slight, but I will try to explain them the best I can as I understand them. に - emphasizes the location. Imagine this particle as if it is an arrow pointing to a particular location. 駅の前に友達に会います。 I will meet my friend AT the station. で - emphasizes an action taking place at a given location or event. 駅の前で友達に会います。 I will MEET my friend at the station. The structure of the sentence doesn't really change, but the change of particle simply changes the focus and in some cases one particle may be preferable to the other. Here are some other examples. 図書館で本を読みます。 I will read a book at the library. 学校に毎日行きます。 I go to school everyday. To reiterate, に points toward a particular location, while で shows that an action is happening in a given location or event. I feel like if the action happening is not a verb that implies motion (such as 行く、会う、来る、etc.), then で may be more appropriate. This are just some of my impressions of how these particles are used. I think a native speaker could confirm or expand upon the points that I've made. Let me know if this is clear or if you have any other questions, please ask.
April 21, 2016
April 20, 2016
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April 20, 2016
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