Today I wanted to express that it hurts when my cat jumps on my stomach, so I said:


but my friend corrected me to 上で. I asked another friend, who also said で makes sense. While I understand the difference between で and に, this didn't make sense to me at first because I thought で should be where the action takes place, not where the action is resulting. And even if one couldn't use に directly, I was thinking there should be at least some phrase like に向かって that could be used. Or maybe 跳ね上がる was the wrong word to use from the start, and I should have used another word like 飛び上がる. Could anyone enlighten me?

  • I should add that while my friends were native speakers, they may have misinterpreted what I meant. I made a HelloTalk post and got some better responses than what my friends gave me, which I put as an answer to this question.
    – Eversome
    May 5, 2018 at 4:38
  • I asked for clarification, and my friend and her friends agreed that で or に would work in this case. Specifically, she said that saying simply "上に跳ね上がった" is fine. But when you change it to 跳ね上がると痛い, she feels inclined to put で.
    – Eversome
    May 5, 2018 at 9:24

2 Answers 2


I made a post on HelloTalk to see what people thought. I used the example sentence, "猫{ねこ}がテーブルの上{うえ}(に・で)跳{は}ね上{あ}がった。" and got quite a few responses. Here are some of them, translated:

  • "If you use で, it feels like the cat was already on top of the table."
  • "If you use で, it means the cat jumped from the table. に is better."
  • "I think it's に."
  • "テーブルの上に飛{と}び乗{の}った。テーブルの上{うえ}にピョンと飛{と}び乗{の}った。 I think these are used more often."
  • "テーブルの上に飛{と}び乗{の}ってきた。Perhaps it might depend on the region what people say."

It made me curious that people used 飛{と}び乗{の}る, which is defined by both Jim Breen's dictionary and Daijirin/Daijisen as jumping onto a moving object, like a horse or a car. One of the commenters said a lot of people use it this way too, however.

  • 2
    Sometimes 跳ね上がる is used when there is no specific destination, e.g. "ニュースを聞いて跳ね上がって喜んだ", but in this case people usually feel your stomach is the destination because of 上がる, i.e., the cat jumped from the floor onto your stomach. If your cat jumped while staying on your stomach, it's お腹の上で跳ねる without 上がる.
    – naruto
    May 5, 2018 at 4:49

The place is here not literally the place where it takes place but rather the limits of where the action can take place for the statement to be true. The で here is like a combination of ‘because’ and ‘within’.

東京 漫画喫茶に行きたい

You can look at this in two ways. Either Tokyo is the place where you want the action to take place, or you can think of Tokyo being the place the statement is limited to.

To come back to your example, in this instance it’s clearly a limiting で because the statement is only true when part before it is met. You might not like the cat to jump onto other places too, but this particular place takes présidence over the other possibilities.

  • I think this is true if you interpret it as "the location where something happened." Yes. I believe my friends may have thought I mean the cat jumped while on top of me.
    – Eversome
    May 5, 2018 at 4:34
  • I see what you mean though. Perhaps で is possible because whilst the action didn't start on top, part of the action took place there.
    – Eversome
    May 5, 2018 at 4:44
  • 1
    – chocolate
    May 5, 2018 at 13:15
  • 1
    「東京で満喫に行きたい」 makes no sense, I'm afraid... What are you trying to say by that?
    – chocolate
    May 5, 2018 at 16:14
  • @Chocolate I was trying to give an example of what I expressed in my comment 😂 I failed a bit I guess May 5, 2018 at 16:24

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