What is the function of the particle “で de”? [FJL Podcast]

You are currently viewing What is the function of the particle “で de”? [FJL Podcast]

Japanese particle で de

Many learners don’t like particles.

As not many languages have particles, it’s one of the most challenging grammar parts to learn Japanese.

In this episode, I pick up one of the particles, で, and show you how to use it.

 

4 Ways to use で de

1. Transportation

バス とうきょうへ いきます。

I go to Tokyo by bus.

2. Tool

はさみ かみを きります。

I cut paper with scissors.

3. Language

にほんご メールを かきました。

I wrote an email in Japanese.

4. Place where the action happens

えき やまださんに あいました。

I met Ms. Yamada at the station.

 

These usages look very different from each other.

Then, you may wonder, what is the core meaning of the particle で?

 

The primary function of the particle で is to set a limit

For example,

1. Transportation

バス とうきょうへ いきます。

I go to Tokyo by bus.

You can go to Tokyo by any transportation, such as a taxi, car or train.

The で in the phrase バスで set only one way, using a bus, and eliminate other possibilities.

 

2. Tool

はさみ かみを きります。

I cut paper with scissors.

Again, there are many ways to cut paper. Still, the で in the phrase はさみで show the only one method to cut paper, using scissors and eliminate other possibilities.

 

3. Language

にほんご メールを かきました。

I wrote an email in Japanese.

Now you can guess.

It’s possible to write an email in English, French, or Chinese.

But にほんごで shows only one language, in this case, the Japanese language.

 

4. Place where the action happens

えき やまださんに あいました。

I met Ms. Yamada at the station.

You may meet Ms. Yamada anywhere, but えきで limit the place where this action happened.

The core function of particle で is to set a limit and eliminate other possibilities.

 

Recap: The core function of particle で de

で is used to show transportation, tool, language, or a place where the action happens.

The core concept of the particle で is to set a limit.

Once you know this core concept of で, it’s easier to understand how で works!

 

Happy learning!

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