Wild Nihongo!
で Particle (Means / Instrument)

で Particle (Means / Instrument)

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): なんで大阪おおさかくんです。[By what means are you going to Osaka?]
    • E.g. で (Cause): なんで大阪おおさかくんです。[For what reason are you going to Osaka?]
  • で (Means) is interchangeable with を使つかって (i.e. the て-Form of 使つかう [To use]). The one difference is that を使つかって can refer to human beings and で (Means) cannot.
    • E.g. わたしたちはタクシーを使つかってました。[We came by taxi.] Because the means (i.e. taxi) is non-human, either を使つかって or で (Means) is acceptable in this example.
    • E.g. わたし子供こども使つかって家具かぐうごかした。[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.

Example Sentences:

宮本みやもとさんは毎日まいにちバスで会社かいしゃく。[Mr. Miyamoto goes to work by bus every day.]

日本人にほんじんはしでごはんべる。[Japanese people eat rice with chopsticks.]

わたし日本語にほんごはなした。[I spoke using Japanese.]

豆腐とうふ大豆だいずつくります。[Tofu is make with soybeans.]

ラリーはこのいすを10ドルでった。[Larry bought this chair for 10 dollars.]

マークはそのレポートを一日いちにちいたそうだ。[I heard that Mark wrote that report in one day.]

WILD Examples:

At 1:44 the follow line appears: ボロつりざおつれすぎる。[You are able to catch an excessive number of (Koiking) with an old fishing rod.]
At 1:32, listen for this line: くものようなやさしさそっとぎゅっと [With kindness like that of a cloud, gently, tightly]
This is a famous ad campaign for Georgia Coffee. The catchphrase is ジョージアきましょう [Let’s go with Georgia]

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