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I learned that the particle に is meant to mark the place in a phrase, similar to in, on and at. But today I was reading Yotsubato and I came across this phrase 元気にしてたか and obviously this rule doesn't apply to 元気.

It didn't stop me to understand the conversation (at least I think so), I presume it meant something like:

How you doing? Good?

Am I wrong in this? Why use the particle に in this phrase?

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    the particle に -- 元気に could be analyzed as the continuative form (連用形) of na-adjective 元気な... no? – Chocolate Oct 1 '17 at 13:45
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元気 is a na adjective

To describe the verb していた(する), we add に to make 元気an adverb.

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  • I suppose it works for all na-adjectives. But what about i-adjectives? – João Brgai Oct 2 '17 at 16:46
  • @JoãoBrgai for い-adjectives, no particle is used. Instead, the い at the end of the word becomes く. Example: やさしくしてください。 – psosuna Oct 2 '17 at 21:20

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