Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 5: 1/12

With, By (using)

Noun +
Part of Speech Particle
Word Type Case Marking Particle
Register Standard
品詞 助詞
単語の種類 格助詞
使用域 一般
is a particle that has several different uses in Japanese. At its core, it is always used to highlight something that is ‘required’ to perform some sort of action/reach some kind of goal. One of these uses relates to ‘things’. This comes across as ‘by’ or ‘with’ in English.
  • 車(くるま)空港(くうこう)へ行(い)く
    I go to the airport by car. (Required to reach a goal)
  • 電車(でんしゃ)行(い)
    I go by train. (Required to reach a goal)
In these sentences, the item is considered essential for the action to be performed. While other items may be used, simply highlights the one that was chosen.
is also used when groups of people perform actions together, this is something that many people learning Japanese have trouble with initially (because may also be used as ‘with’ for people). However, the use of is actually the same as this by/with, meaning that the speaker considers the group as the tool used for performing the action.
  • みんなレストラン行(い)
    I go to the restaurant with everyone. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
  • 来年(らいねん)皆(みんな)ハワイ行(い)
    I will go to Hawaii with everyone next year. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
The difference between and as ‘with’, is that is used when everyone in the group has the same objective/end goal. is used when each person is performing the action toward each other, not toward an external objective.
  • 家族(かぞく)全員(ぜんいん)沖縄(おきなわ)へ行(い)く
    I will go to Okinawa with everyone in my family. (Being with everyone is what allows/gives purpose to the action)
  • お母(かあ)さんご飯(はん)食(た)べ
    I eat with my mom. (Being together is the objective, eating is just what is happening while being together)
Slow Male
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I go by bus.
I go to school by bus.
By bicycle is good.
Genki I
Page 198
Genki I 2nd Edition
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みんなの日本語 I
Page 38 [CH 5]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 106
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 58