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De Particle

Like other particles of Japanese language, "de" particle plays an essential role in forming meaningful sentences. This particle is included in the list of Japanese particles that has more than one use. The Japanese particle de is always written hiragana. Again, over here meaning of "de" particle depends upon the context of sentence. There is no reason to worry if the uses of "de" particle are many because they are very simple to understand and not at all confusing.
The different ways in which Japanese particle de is used along with the examples have been listed below:-
  1. Place of action: The particle indicates the place where the action has/ is/ will take place. It comes immediately after the place in the sentence. As in the following

    Watashi wa resutoran de gohan o tabemasu. (I eat food at the restaurant.)
    Here "resutoran" is the location where the action is taking place. Hence, the Japanese particle de is used to indicate this place.

  2. By using: This means that the particle is used to show the object which is being used to perform a particular action. E.g.: Watashi wa hasami de kami o kirimasu. ( I cut paper by using scissor. The object scissor, which we are using, is shown by "de" particle.

  3. Another use of "de" particle is to show the means of transport. In other words the vehicle, which is used to commute.
    E.g.: Watashi wa jitenshya de gakoo e ikimasu. ( I go to school on my bicycle.)
    Here the means of transport is the bicycle that I use to commute.

  4. In Japanese grammar, "de" particle is also used as a conjunction, which joins two small sentences. When "de" is used as a conjunction it means "and". In such a sentence, a comma comes immediately after the "de" particle. Following is the example of such a type of sentence construction: Kore wa ochya de, sore wa coohii desu. (This is tea and that is coffee.) Above sentence can be written into two different sentences. However, the "de" particle has been used as a conjunction to form one single statement.

  5. When we are talking about a medium of language in our conversation then at such a time "de" particle is used to show that medium. E.g.: Eigo de tegami o kaite kudasai. ( Please write the letter in English language.) In this example the medium of language about which we are talking is English. So, the Japanese particle de is being used.

  6. While showing the limit or the number of people and objects "de" particle is used. In other words it means " in all, total". E.g.: Hitori de nihon e ikimasu ka. ( Are you going alone to Japan?) Bara no hana wa sanpon de sanbyaku yen desu. ( In all, the 3 rose flower are for 300 yen.) In the first sentence, the number of people traveling to Japan is only one, which has been shown by "de" particle. In the second sentence, the total number of books is 3 which has been demonstrated by "de" particle.

  7. While giving reason of something that has occurred suddenly "de" particle is used. In English, it means "because of/ due to". E.g.: Kaze de kaishya e ikimasen. ( Due to cold I did not go to company.) All the above stated uses of "de" particle are very important parts of Japanese grammar. Read the examples very carefully to understand the various meanings and uses of this "de" particle.

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