It has been awhile since I studied/ used my Japanese, so I bought a dictionary. While looking around in it I found the word つむ{tsumu} - to pick , to pluck.

The example sentence used for the word is:

'かそく{kazoku} で{de} はたけ{hatake} で{de} いちご{ichigo} を{o} つみました{tsumimasita}.' - They picked strawberries in the field as a family.

I am a bit confused by this.

  1. The first で - I normally use Xで as a way to say by means of X. For example: I came by bus, an inanimate object, but in this case the family, an animate object, is being referenced. Why is と not being used?

  2. The second で - Why is this not a (target) に instead of a で?

I looked in my grammar books for an explanation but could not find anything that addressed these usages.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Dave

  • 1
    You also can say 自分私の家の台所作った料理 in Japanese. – HING May 23 '18 at 8:35
  • 1
    Dave, to type Japanese characters, search for "Japanese IME" + your platform (windows or mac) and set up your input method. – mamster May 23 '18 at 14:48
  • 1
    Since there are many more OSes besides just Windows and Mac, have a look here for additional resources. – istrasci Jun 6 '18 at 16:37

The first で means "動作・作用の行われる状態(manner of an action)". For example, 一人で旅行した(I traveled by myself), 彼ら自身でその家を作った(They made the house by themselves).

と means "with". For example, 私は彼女と旅行した(I traveled with my girlfriend), 友達と昼御飯を食べた(I ate lunch with my friends).

家族と旅行した and 家族で旅行した are the same meaning. However you can't say 友達で旅行した but 友達と旅行した. This is because this で means "including me", so 友達で can't include "me". 友達と三人で旅行した make sense because it can include "me", and it is the same meaning as 友達二人と旅行した(I traveled with two my friends).

As for the second で, generally, place+で+action, place+に+state. For example, 公園で走る, not 公園に走る, 公園にいる, not 公園でいる.


the first de, meaning "as" or "in the form of", is used instead of to, meaning "with", because this is not a case of some unspoken "I" telling the reader about their experience with their family, rather it's a third person view of an unrelated family.

(although kazoku de and kazoku to issho can both be used to talk about doing something as family, the to issho form, without any other information, implies that it's YOU and your family while with kazoku de, that information doesn't specifically imply whether you are talking about yourself or not.)

You see this de form in cases where the point being made is that everyone is part of some group:

kurasu (class) de kouen ni itta. (We/They went to the park as a class.)
danjo pea- (pair) de kimodameshi ni sanka shita. (We/They participated in a test of courage as co-ed pairs.)

the second de is being used instead of ni because ni is more appropriately used for showing movement in/toward some place, while de is more appropriate for marking the location where some non-movement action is happening.

kazoku de kouen ni itta. (We/They went to the park as a family.)
kazoku de kouen de baabekyuu o shita. (We/They had a barbecue at the park, as a family.)

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