From my understanding, "で" have many different usages in Japanese. I have some questions regarding the following particular uses of で. It would be very helpful if someone could also come up with other sentence examples related to my questions. Thank you.

1) 皆写真を撮ります。

  • What is the meaning of here? Does it sort of indicate "状態" to mean taking a picture of everyone "as a group"? I'd appreciate if someone could also come up with another sentence or two where also served as the same purpose as we have in this example.

  • If for example, there are a total of 9 people in the group and it was decided that we will take a total of three pictures with 3 different people in each picture. In this case, can one say 三人写真を撮ります? If it is incorrect, what are more appropriate ways to say this?

2) In general, we hear people say "二人", is the usage of here the same as in the previous question?(i.e.皆写真を撮ります)

3) Upon entering restaurant, when waiter asks how many people in the group, can one say "二人" if there are two people? Is this usage the same as in my previous two questions?

4) I learned that is also used when specifying a choice from a limited number of selections such as when we buy clothes, we can say 大 to specify size "large".

  • My question is, I remember hearing people say "こっち” when they tell the salesperson of a particular item they want to buy. Why do they also use here? Is the usage of here indicating "こっち” is the particular item chosen to buy "from the entire selections of clothes in the store"?
  • 1
    で, in all of these circumstances, feels to me like the て form of the copula. I'm sure a grammar book would do a better job of telling you what that is than I would, but yes, all of the で sound the same to me.
    – Billy
    May 14, 2013 at 2:27
  • 1
    Doesn't answer your question, but japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/11357/… may be worth looking at. May 14, 2013 at 3:07

2 Answers 2


1) and 2) are the same and answers already exist here and here.

3) Because the waiter usually asks "何名様ですか", I usually say "二人です", but "二人で(お願いします)" works as well, I guess.

4) "大で" is really a short way of saying "大でお願いします". Here (and everywhere else), で is the connective form of the copula だ, which in particular implies that the sentence is not complete.

  • I'm still a bit unsure about "大で" is "大でお願いします". I remember at a store the salesperson also said back to me "大で?" to confirm my size. So it can't be she also meant"大でお願いします". Instead of using"で", we could have also said これ"を"お願いします but personally I haven't heard people say just"これを" but they always use "で"(i.e.これで). Does "これを" sound rude or is it grammatically incorrect. Does using "で” implying choosing from "a set of things" like here. At a restaurant ppl say"大盛りで", but again waiter also says the same"大盛りで back to the customer. Thank you.
    – hayashi
    May 14, 2013 at 14:56
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    @hayashi "[大]{だい}で/[大盛]{おおも}りで" is short for 大で/大盛りでお願いします when said by customers, 大で/大盛りでよろしいですね or 大で/大盛りでよろしいですか? when said by salesclerks/waiters.
    – user1016
    May 14, 2013 at 21:11
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    @hayashi Does "これを" sound rude or is it grammatically incorrect? >>> I don't think it's incorrect, but it's not so common as これで。/こっちで。... 「これを。」would be short for これを下さい (or maybe これをお願いします), but we normally omit the を and just say これください. (Just 「これ。」might sound a bit arrogant and rude...)
    – user1016
    May 14, 2013 at 21:31

It all depends on context.

a)Sometimes for #4 こっち could be understood to be specifying a location for your action.
i.e; If shopping for clothes asking something about a shirt to the worker, while walking back and nearing the item something like

"it was over here (that I found it/ was looking/ had a question about"

b) Or you could be telling the salesperson that you've decided you'd buy the item you two had been talking about.

"with this (I'll finish and buy this shirt)"

You can probably guess that in Japanese you wouldn't necessarily need to say the things in brackets. I've included them in an attempt to give the feeling of an equivalent moment in English.


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