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particle で versus particle と

For example:

  1. 今晩家族**レストランに行きます。(Konban kazoku de resutoran ni ikimasu) Tonight, I will go to the restaurant with my family.

  2. 私は来週父**京都に行きます。(Watashi wa raishuu chichi to Kyouto ni ikimasu) I will go to Kyoto with my father next week.

Does it matter which I use? I think と is more common for saying "with someone" right? Just curious, thanks ^^

EDIT: Also is there a different connotation or feeling given if you use one over the other?

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marked as duplicate by istrasci, Tsuyoshi Ito, Dono, Andry, Flaw Dec 11 '12 at 16:08

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3 Answers

  • と means literally "with"
  • で means "as"

In your first example "as a family" means the same as "with (the rest of) my family". But "as father" is different from "with my father"...

The difference in nuance is pretty close to English:

今日家族でレストランに行きます。
Today we will go to a restaurant as a family.

今日家族とレストランに行きます。
Today I will go to a restaurant with my family.

In the first sentence (although slightly cumbersome in English) sounds more like the subject feels part of the family. In the second sentence the subject feels more separate from the family.

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Think of で as being a general sort of marker of a group while と has that general idea of "together." In the example you gave, 家族でレストランに行く, you can think of it as being the equivalent in English of "We will go to a restaurant as a family." It creates a kind of cohesive unit rather than a specific companion. You see it used in other situations, too, like the very common みんなで, like みんなでパーティーに行きました, or "We went to the party together as a group."

と, on the other hand, is a very simple "with." 友達とランチを食べに行った。 I went to eat lunch with my friend. みんなと遊ぶのは好きです, or "I like 'playing' with everyone."

And just for kicks, you can even modify the sentence 友達とランチを食べに行った into 友達[同士]{どうし}でランチを食べに行った, or "we went to lunch as friends."

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Take a look at my answer to almost exact same question: particle で versus particle と

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Wish I had noticed that before I wrote mine! Oh well... –  ssb Dec 10 '12 at 5:52
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