Wild Nihongo!
に Particle (Time)

に Particle (Time)

に Particle (Time) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: At (X time) / On (X day) / In (X month)

Construction: 

  • Time Expression + に
    • E.g. 3 [At 3 o’clock]
    • E.g. 月曜日げつようび [On Monday]
    • E.g. 一月いちがつ [In January]

Notes:

  • に (Time) is used wth specific time expressions that can be expressed numerically, such as particular dates (e.g. クリスマス [Christmas]), days of the week (e.g. 月曜日げつようび [Monday]), years (e.g.れいねん [Reiwa Year 2]), and times of the day [e.g. 3 [3 o’clock], etc.) に (Time) is not used with time expressions that are defined relative the current moment (e.g. あさ [Morning], 今日きょう [Today], 明日あした [Tomorrow], 昨日きのう [Yesterday], 来年らいねん [Next year], 一昨日おととい [The day before yesterday], et cetera). Days of the week are acceptable because they can be expressed in an immutable numerical order (i.e. Sunday is the 1st day of the week, Monday is the 2nd, etc.).
  • に (Time) can optionally be used with time nouns such as the seasons (i.e. はる [Spring], ふゆ [Winter], あき [Autumn], なつ [Summer]) as well as with ごろ, とき, and あいだ(に) in order to emphasize the point in time at which something takes place. An example of this usage is the expressionあいだ (に). Without に (Time), the event in the main clause continues throughout the duration of the あいだ clause, and with に (Time), the action in the main clause occurs somewhere within the time span of the あいだ clause.
    • E.g. 子供こども学校がっこうっているあいだ手紙てがみいていた。[Throughout the time that the kids were at school, I was writing a letter.] The lack of に (Time) indicates that the time periods of the kids being at school and writing the letter coincide totally
    • E.g. 子供こども学校がっこうっているあいだ手紙てがみいていた。[At some point while the kids were at school, I was writing a letter.] The に (Time) particle indicates that writing the letter occurs at some point within the period of the kids being at school, but does not occupy that full period of time.
    • E.g. 今朝けさ5はんごろ(に)おきました。[I got up around 5 AM this morning.]
    • E.g. はる (に)結婚けっこんします。[I’m getting married in the spring.]

Example Sentences:

わたし毎朝まいあさ六時半ろくじはんきる。[I wake up every day at 6:30.]

わたし四月しがつ一日ついたちまれました。[I was born on April 1st.]

来年らいねんなつ(に)外国がいこく旅行りょこうをするつもりです。[Next summer, I plan to travel abroad.]

田中たなか大学だいがくにいるとき(に)いまおくさんと出会であった。[While Tanaka-san was in university, he met his present wife.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line at 0:27: 九月くがつのとある木曜日もくようびあめりまして [On one Thursday in September, it began to rain]
Listen to this line at 3:29: 土曜日どようびでも日曜にちようでもない、水曜日すいようびいましょう [Not Saturday nor Sunday, Let’s meet on Tuesday]

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