I'm studying for the N3 from Kanzen textbook and I came across this question

私は夏休みの( )、アメリカの友達の家にいた。

there are three choices: 間、間に、中で

the answer they consider it as the right one is 間. what was I thinking is that it might be interchangeable and both are correct because you are either spend the whole summer vacation at your friend's house or some time of the summer vacation? isn't it right?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Difference between 間 and 間に
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 8:28
  • I know the difference, I'm confusing if they are interchangeable in this sentence or not, because the textbook only considers one of them as correct.
    – Alyazi A
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 9:58
  • I don't think there is something particular in this sentence. Could you explain why you think they may be interchangeable only in this particular case even though you know the basic difference?
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 10:19
  • as I mentioned above, in this sentence both of their meaning ( the whole time or part of it) can apply to this sentence? if you think otherwise can you please explain why only 間 without に is possible? that what I'm asking and need an answer for.
    – Alyazi A
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 10:38
  • Okay, I thought "interchangeable" means "can be replaced without changing the meaning", but looks like you actually want to know using 間に can mean something else even if it's different from the original...
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 11:01

2 Answers 2






  • 私は夏休みの、アメリカの友達の家にいた。
  • = 私は夏休みの間中{あいだじゅう}、アメリカの友達の家にいた。


  • 私は夏休みの間に、アメリカの友達の家に行ったり、海で泳いだり、富士山に登ったりした。
  • 私は夏休みの、アメリカの友達の家にいたので、その間に、英語で簡単な会話ができるようになった。


  • 私は夏休みの中で一番思い出に残ることは、アメリカの友達の家に行ったことです。
  • なるほど、分かりました。ありがとうございます。
    – Alyazi A
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 5:49

Prerequisites: Difference between 間 and 間に


This sentence is unnatural. 間に refers to a certain time point in the period, not a certain part of the period. This いた is a stative verb and refers to staying for a fairly long period of time (usually a week at least), so it doesn't go well with 間に anyway.

If you stayed only for some time of the summer vacation, you usually say:

  • 夏休みに10日ほど、アメリカの友達の家にいた。
  • 夏休みの間しばらく、アメリカの友達の家にいた。
  • 夏休みの2週間ほどの間、アメリカの友達の家にいた。

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