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What is the difference between に and として in the following example:



When is one more appropriate than the other?

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There is no difference in the meaning but there is a huge difference in the formality and grandiosity of the words.

It is 100% natural-sounding to say 「お[土産]{みやげ}にチョコレートをもらった。」 because もらった is as light and informal as the に.

But not too many careful speakers would say お土産としてチョコレートをもらった。because the heavy として does not go too well with the informal verb もらった.

With として, you might want to use at least [頂]{いただ}きました if not a more formal verb.

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