In the sentence 何できた (nandekita), the de is a particle and connects nande to the verb kita, but in the case of nande, there isn't a particle, so what is it in the sentence?

I'm just confused about the fact that the words have to be connected by particles? Or am I wrong?

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    Can you provide some context? Cos it can be either 「何で+来た?」 or 「何(が)+出来た?」. Also, 「何で」 can mean either "Why~?" or "How~?" so it's up to the context whether it means "Why did you come here?" or "How did you come here?"
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 8:23
  • What I meant was why なんできた didn't have any particles. the thing that confused me was what なんで is like is it a noun or what?
    – Hamzeh
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 10:30
  • 2
    できた can only be interpreted as [何]{なん・なに}で+[来]{き}た (not [何]{なに}+[出来]{でき}た). 「何で来た?」 means either "Why did you come here?" or "How did you come here?". The で in 何で is a particle. (Btw, particles は, が, を, (に,) often drop in casual conversation, eg これはなに? → これなに? これをください。→これください。 おなかが痛い。→おなか痛い。 トイレに行ってくる→トイレ行ってくる)
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:03
  • ya i notice that sometimes in anime but is it disrespectful to do it with someone i dont know very well?
    – Hamzeh
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:01
  • 2
    う~ん、そんなに失礼じゃないと思います。I don't think it would be so disrespectful as long as you're using the polite forms ~です、~ます... If you wanted to sound very polite you'd tend to use full forms though... でもまあ、上司やお客さんにも「コーヒーいかがですか?」(omitting は) 「ハンコお願いします」(omitting を) 「ご希望の商品、入荷いたしましたので・・・」(omitting が) とか言うと思います
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


I'm just confused about the fact that the words have to be connected by particles?

In Japanese, instead of thinking the function of particles is not to connect words, it is better to think of them as providing the role for the preceding word. In 友達がパンを犬に上げた "the friend gave the bread to the dog", を indicates that the bread was given, に that the dog was given to, and が that the friend gave.

Particles can be omitted, or replaced by pauses, in casual speech when it is relatively unambiguous. 友達、犬にパン上げた.

However... 何で is an adverb. Adverbs do not get particles. We already know what role adverbs play in a sentence - adverbial. 今日 "today", 速く "fast", 何で "why" are all adverbs, and as such they have no use for particles.

(There are adverbial phrases that are made by using non-adverbs - these do take particles to indicate adverbial usage, typically に, sometimes と. For example, 静かに "silently" from "silent" + に, 犬みたいに "like a dog", ボスに言われたら通りに "just as he was told to do by his boss".)

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    "However... 何で is an adverb. Adverbs do not get particles." That's one valid analysis. Another analysis - from the Western perspective - is that 何 is a noun marked with the で particle - so it specifies (as an indirect question) the bounds within which きた occurs. Just as we can, in English, often replace "how" with "in what way". More generally, the combination of a で-marked noun with the で particle typically functions adverbially - because it describes something about the action rather than the participants in the action - in the same way as your 静かに example. Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 13:02

何で is it's own word meaning 'why?' or 'what for (as in 'for what reason?'). 何 by itself means 'what?'

It's really up to the context of the sentence, but it's more likely in this case that it is NANDE as one sentence rather than NAN de.

何で きた 'Why did you come?'

It's a little misguided to assume that there will ALWAYS be a particle between words. As a general rule there will GENERALLY be particles in longer sentences. In the case of this simple sentence, there is no particle needed, simply 'why' and then the verb 'to come'.

  • so in some cases i don`t have to insert a particle? for example i hear this alot in anime 何これ which is a varient of これは何ですか is this correct
    – Hamzeh
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 10:28
  • In spoken Japanese it is fairly common to drop は, が, and を. Some others might be dropped, but those are the most common. So your example, 何これ, as a full proper sentence would be something like これは何ですか
    – Dナイ
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 7:30

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