I want to translate:

"I gave my little sister a doll for her birthday".

I do not want to use but imply that I did it, so the right particles are crucial.

I've come this far, but I'm not sure about the particle which I chose basically because it was the most likely one that was left.


My original choice was 誕生日に but then I would have two s.

How can I say "for occasion"?

  • 2
    What's wrong with having two にs?
    – istrasci
    Mar 26, 2015 at 20:50

4 Answers 4


There is no problem having two に particles in one sentence. Your original choice is most correct.

Using [event]+に is the best way to express that something will happen for [event], and [person]+にあげる happens to also be the best way to express that you are giving something to [person].



As @Eric mentioned, に is the correct choice, and there is no harm in having two of them in this sentence. In addition to that, you could use には to emphasize that it was specifically for her birthday instead of some other occasion.

誕生日には妹に人形をあげました。 → For her birthday, I gave my little sister a doll.

Note that you can also use [贈]{おく}る for giving a present.


This isn't literal but it seems natural:



To say 「誕生日に」>「誕生日は」 in OP's context is very Japanese-as-a-foreign-language-esque.

There is absolutely nothing wrong or unnatural in saying 「誕生日は」. In fact, 「は」 would be a very natural choice among native speakers.

To attach 「は」, the word does not have to be the grammatical subject of the sentence.

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