Nihongo - Let's Learn Grammar

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  • 公開済み: 21 8 2013
  • アップデートされたもの: 14 7 2015
  • 状況: 完了
This movella teaches you straightforward the grammar of Japanese. From 助詞 to 動詞, you will be able to get a complete and organised movella that includes all major particles and essential grammatical usages to make cool Japanese sentences! 行きましょうね!


3. に • Target Particle; Location and Time

The particle に can be sometimes confused with the particle へ. A lot of textbooks I see and teachers teach you that に and へ are interchangeable. This is almost true, but it's very important to know which one you're using and whether に is better than へ, or vice versa, depending on your sentence and how much information you want to say.



You use the particle に when the noun is the target for the verb. What I mean by "target" is that the noun is needed in order for the verb to be executed. For example, you cannot walk into a building without the building, or you cannot walk your dog on a leash without the leash.


Let's use a quick example, since the concept of に in this usage is straightforward.


映画 【えい・が】= Movie

見る 【み・る】= To see

行く 【い・く】= To go


• 映画を 見に行きます。=  Go to watch a movie.

Notice there are two verbs being used. You cannot just say:


映画に 行きます。


...because you are not going to a movie just to go to it; you are going for the act of watching. The target of 行く is 見る, and the direct object marks 映画 for the target.


How to Make Target Verbs for Verbs

To make a verb become a target of another verb, you simply make the target into the stem form of its verb, attach に, and then finish it off with the verb for the target.


見る → 見(stem) → 見に(target) → (target) + 行く → 見に行く (Go to see)

食べる → 食べ(stem) → 食べに(target) → (target) + 行く → 食べに行く (Go to eat)



To determine which action needs to take on the target, you can visualise the two verbs stacking on each other like blocks. The table is the noun that is marked with を. The block being set down first is the verb taking the role as the target (the "to [verb]" part of the sentence). Then, the verb stacking on top of the first block is the action upon which the target will receive (the "[verb] to {target}" part).


Go (action) to see (target) a movie (object).

映画を (object) 見に (target) 行きます (action)。



Location and Time

The に is also used very frequently with locations and specific times. You have to specify a location of something with the particle に.


図書館 【と・しょ・かん】= Library

読む 【よ・む】= To read


• 図書館読んでいます。= Reading in the library.


With time, you have to label specific times with the particle に. What I mean by "specific" is for clock times and particular dates.


日曜日 【にち・よう・び】= Sunday

本 【ほん】= Book

毎日 【まい・にち】= Every day

七時 【なな・じ】= Seven o'clock

行く 【い・く】= To go


• 日曜日本を読みました。= Read a book on Sunday.

• 毎日七時学校へ行きます。= Every day, I leave for school at seven o'clock.


Notice in the second sentence, 毎日 does not have a に particle. This is because 毎日 is a general time, meaning it's not a specified moment; it is a span of time.

This includes the times of day for the specific duration:

• 朝 【あさ】= Morning

• 昼 【ひる】= Afternoon

• 晩 【ばん】= Evening

• 夜 【よる】= Night

☆  夜中 【よ・なか】= Midnight (After hours)

☆  真夜中 【ま・よ・なか】= Midnight (~12 AM)

You wouldn't usually use the starred times of day, but I have provided it for you!

• コーヒーをのみました。= Drank coffee in the morning.


Below are some examples of non-specific times of day:

• 今朝 【け・さ】= This morning

• 今日 【きょう】= Today

• 今晩 【こん・ばん】= This evening

• 今夜 【こん・や】= Tonight

All of these are spans of time throughout the day, so these do not need に.

You cannot attach に with these broad times. Even in English you cannot attach a preposition to them.

飲む 【の・む】= To drink

宿題 【しゅく・だい】= Homework

完了 【かん・りょう】= Completion


X 今朝{}コーヒーを飲みました。= I drank coffee {in} this morning.

〇 今朝コーヒーを飲みました。= I drank coffee this morning.

X 今夜{}宿題の完了しなくてはだめです。= I have to finish my homework {at} tonight.

〇 今夜宿題の完了しなくてはだめです。= I have to finish my homework tonight.



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