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I'm trying to understand the difference between に and で as particles in the following example: 学校に勉強します。 学校で勉強します。 What are the nuances between these two expressions? Any help or explanation is very appreciated.

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    Where did you see the sentence 学校に勉強します?
    – Leebo
    Jan 26 at 2:50
  • Just wanted to mention that "I'm studying to school" doesn't make any sense in English either, it must be "I'm studying at school"
    – dvx2718
    Jan 26 at 4:44
  • @Leebo I didn't actually see the sentence, I just assumed it is correct because に is sometimes translated to 'at' in Japanese. For example, ケーキが冷蔵庫にある。I didn't realise that に can only be used with a select number of verbs like ある、いる、すむ.
    – Ruo Su
    Jan 26 at 7:07
  • I see, no problem. The reason I ask is because it helps the answerers know what the state of your knowledge is. More information about why the question is being asked helps out.
    – Leebo
    Jan 27 at 1:03

1 Answer 1

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学校で勉強します is the only correct sentence. 学校に勉強します is ungrammatical.

に can be used when 1) the verb is a motion verb such as 行く and 歩く, or when 2) the verb is an existence verb such as いる or ある. When you "do something" somewhere, you need to use で to mark the location. See: Particles: に vs. で

(If you've already learned the ~に + motion verb construction) You can say 学校に勉強しに行きます ("I go to school to study").

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    2) the verb is an existence verb such as いる or ある. Wanted to add that 住む (to live in) also counts as one of the "existence" verbs and uses に
    – dvx2718
    Jan 26 at 4:48
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    I see! Thank you so much. So に can only be used with a select number of verbs while で is preferred when most actions are taking place.
    – Ruo Su
    Jan 26 at 6:56

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