で Particle (Means / Instrument) Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Particle
Essential Meaning: Using / With / By means of / By
- Instrument / Means + で
- E.g. ナイフで [With a knife]
- E.g. バスで [By bus]
- で (Means) indicates a noun that is used by someone or something as a means or instrument of accomplishing some action. It often corresponds to the English prepositions “With” or “By” (e.g. “With a knife“, “By bus“).
- で (Cause) is another similar usage of the で particle that indicates cause or reason. Without context, the interpretation of some sentences may be ambiguous between で (Means) and で (Cause), so an expression such as なんで? can be interpreted as meaning “By what means?” or “For what reason?”.
- E.g. で (Means): なんで大阪へ行くんです。[By what means are you going to Osaka?]
- E.g. で (Cause): なんで大阪へ行くんです。[For what reason are you going to Osaka?]
- で (Means) is interchangeable with を使って (i.e. the て-Form of 使う [To use]). The one difference is that を使って can refer to human beings and で (Means) cannot.
- E.g. 私たちはタクシーを使って来ました。[We came by taxi.] Because the means (i.e. taxi) is non-human, either を使って or で (Means) is acceptable in this example.
- E.g. 私は子供を使って家具を動かした。[I used my children to move the furniture.] Because the means (i.e. children) is human, で (Means) can not be used in this example.
宮本さんは毎日バスで会社へ行く。[Mr. Miyamoto goes to work by bus every day.]
日本人は箸でご飯を食べる。[Japanese people eat rice with chopsticks.]
私は日本語で話した。[I spoke using Japanese.]
豆腐は大豆で作ります。[Tofu is make with soybeans.]
ラリーはこのいすを１０ドルで買った。[Larry bought this chair for 10 dollars.]
マークはそのレポートを一日で書いたそうだ。[I heard that Mark wrote that report in one day.]
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