Supposing I wanted to say "I see the fireworks at the summer festival". Would this be:




If both are correct, how does the meaning differ between each?


Yes, both are correct.

The differences are:

  1. 夏祭りに花火を見ます This is a regular phrase for "I'll watch the fireworks at the summer festival."
  2. 夏祭りで花火を見ます This would stress at. It has a nuance that "I have many chances to watch the fireworks but I will watch them at the summer festival."

Both are correct, but my reasoning will differ from @S.Wakisaka's.

「夏祭り花火を見る」 treats the summer festival as a spatial point (location) for watching fireworks.

「夏祭り花火を見る」 treats the summer festival as a temporal point (timing) for watching fireworks.

Starting around 0:25 in the video below, hear this singer say 「秋祭{あきまつ}り買{か}った指輪{ゆびわ}、小指{こゆび}にしています」.


  • This explanation is very interesting and very true, although 祭り is a word that specifies time and place, but 休み only does time. It's worth to know. 〜に & 〜で these postpositional particles have many variations of usages. I guess, the question implies the difference of ベッドで寝る and ベッドに寝る, this example is clear to lead my answer. – user20428 Mar 26 '17 at 6:37
  • 3
    ^ The 休み was clearly just a typo, you know... It's been corrected. And, the difference of に and で in ベッドに寝る/ベッドで寝る is quite different from that of に and で in 秋祭りに見る/秋祭りで見る. You'd say 秋祭り見た as a response to "When did you see~~?" and 秋祭り見た to "Where did you see ~~?", no? – Chocolate Mar 26 '17 at 15:40

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