Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What does it mean to put で after a temporal expression? I was taught that only に should be used for times but I still see sentences with で sometimes.

This is basically my current understanding:

  • Spatial: use に for existential verbs and で otherwise

  • Temporal: use に always

This is an example sentence that uses a time+で. How would it be different if it used に?

日本では昼間でも夜でもタクシーを拾うことができる。

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

I don't think this is で used as temporal particle. I would read it as でも meaning "either or", "both..." as in AでもBでも.

This applies to all nouns, for example:

英語でも日本語でもOKです。
English or Japanese, both are OK.

So your sentence could be translated as:

日本では昼間でも夜でもタクシーを拾うことができる。
Day or night, you can catch a taxi in Japan.

share|improve this answer

As Szymon says, you have not given an appropriate example: In your sentence でも is being used to give two options but で can be used to indicate when something finishes or a duration:

-> finishing time:

仕事は5時で終わります。
My work finishes at 5pm.

You could also use に but whereas に is a more general particle that gives the time at which an event occurs (ie when work finishes) the で places more emphasis on the time an activity lasts for.

-> duration:

無色受想行識さんは3日でこのレポートを書いた。
無色受想行識 wrote this report in three days.

You have not asked about use of に so I assume you know it is not used with all temporal expresssions but, for reference, the general rule is that if the time can be specified with a digit then に is used (eg Xmas day is 25 Dec -> クリスマスに)

Reference: Dictionary of Basic Jpse Grammar

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.