2

Referring to the clock that counts the time since the last nuclear test:

時計の数字を変えるのは、今日で最後にしたいです。
I want to make today the last day where I change the figure on the clock.

I'm confused by the particle で in this sentence. Maybe I've mistranslated, but I would have expected it to be 今日を. I'm thinking of the pattern AをBと/にする meaning "make A as/into B".

Depending on the explanation there's also a possibility I'll be confused as to why it's で and not に, but at the moment I don't see how either one works.

  • The pattern ”AをBと/にする” works the way you understand. In this case "Aで" is just an adverb, but not an object. So you can move the "Aで" to the beginning, e.g. "今日で時計の数字を変えるのは、最後にしたいです。". What confused you, I suppose, here is the the English sentence that you're referring, which figuratively uses 'today'. FYI, '今日に' doesn't fit at all. – Mat Watershed Oct 15 '18 at 15:08
3

Both 今日最後にしたいです and 今日最後にしたいです are perfectly fine. In the latter case, で is a particle used to mark a time limit, deadline, finish time, etc. 明鏡国語辞典 says:

⑤㋑区切りをつける点。期限。限度。「三日仕上げる」「この作業終わりだ」「明日お別れだ」

So you can think で is used with verbs related to finishing, ending, exiting, quitting, etc.

  • この学校を来月卒業します。
    = この学校を来月卒業します。
    (×この学校に来月入学します is wrong)
  • この仕事は昨日終わりました。
    = この仕事は昨日終わりました。
    (×この仕事は昨日始めました is wrong)
  • このイベントは来年度終了します。
    (×このイベントは来年度で開始します is wrong)
  • タバコは今日やめます。
0

As you can see from Jisho.org here, で can be used when:

  1. indicates location of action.

  2. indicates time of action​.

  3. indicates means of action; cause of effect.

I'm pretty sure the second one is the one being used here.

  • The exmaple Jisho.org shows for 2 does not "indicate time of action" but marks standard for amount, at least in the original Japanese sentence. – user4092 Oct 15 '18 at 3:54

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