There are a lot of post that describe the ambiguous scenarios when to use で vs に, but there are still many scenarios that are confusing, and sometimes I'm not sure if I should be using a particle at all.

Here are a list of simple questions where the usage of particles is uncertain.


2.春(に|で|NONE)雨だ。(Any verb influence?)





7.日本語(で|を)おねがいします。(A different question, but I was still curious.)


I'm not good at explaining grammar but I think I can at least tell you which particles I would use if I were to say your sentences:


... which is like "In spring/As for spring, we have a lot of rain," since neither 春に~~ or 春で~~ sounds natural here, although you would use に when you say:

京都では、春たくさん雨が降る。In Kyoto, it rains a lot in spring.
たくさん雨が降るのは、~~~だからだ。It is because ~~~ that it rains a lot in spring.
たくさん雨が降ると、夏は~~~。When it rains a lot in spring, ~~~ in summer.
(The に is often left out in daily conversation.)


... which means "It's spring rain", since none of 春に雨だ, 春で雨だ, or [春雨]{はるあめ}だ sounds right to me.


... which means "Rainy days are beautiful." or "(Something) is beautiful on rainy days." Neither 雨の日にきれいだ。 or 雨の日できれいだ。 sounds right. You could use 雨の日に in:

事故は、雨の日起こりやすい。Accidents are more likely to occur on rainy days.
雨の日学校に行くのは、いやだ。I don't want to go to school on a rainy day.


Basically you can use に for a specific point in time, eg: in/on/at + year/month/day/time etc. → ~年/月/日/時. (In daily conversation you'd often leave out the に, as in 今月の31日、日本に行く。)


in/during + break; on + holiday etc. → 休み


in/within + period of time → ~~で. eg:

2週間ひらがなを[覚]{おぼ}えた。I learned hiragana in two weeks.
1年100万円[貯]{た}めた。I saved ¥1,000,000 in one year.


... which is like "In Japanese, please." You'd use を when asking for / ordering something, like コーヒーふたつ、おねがいします。/ Two coffee, please. (The を can be left out in conversation, as in コーヒーふたつ、おねがいします。)

  • So based on #6, A. 一時間 食べた。 = I ate for one hour. B. 一時間で 食べた。 = I ate in one hour. C. 一時間に 二つ食べた。 = I ate 2 in one hour. I guess I was confused because B & C are so similar. I read this sentence in my book. Is it correct? D. 私は一時間に出発する。
    – akami
    Jun 5 '14 at 0:51
  • I also want also clarify the meaning of B. 一時間で食べた。= I ate in one hour. = I waited for exactly one hour, and then I ate.
    – akami
    Jun 5 '14 at 5:38
  • 2
    @akami For A, I think 1時間食べた is okay and understandable (or you might say it as 1時間食べ続けた(I kept eating for one hour) to be clearer). I think 1時間に2つ食べた and 1時間で2つ食べた are both okay for "I ate 2 in one hour". (Maybe 1時間に modifies 2つ adjectivally (like "2 per hour"), and 1時間で modifies 食べた adverbially (like "I ate lunch in one hour", cos you don't say *1時間に夕食を食べた。but 1時間で夕食を食べた。). D. 私は一時間に出発する sounds incorrect; I think you'd say it as 私は1時間で出発する(I'm leaving in one hour) or 私は1時間[後]{ご}に出発する(I'll leave after one hour).
    – user1016
    Jun 5 '14 at 8:06
  • 2
    When you say 1時間で食べた, you usually don't mean "I waited for one hour and then I ate". It'd normally mean that it took you less than one hour to finish the meal.
    – user1016
    Jun 5 '14 at 8:06

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