What’s the difference between “” (you) and “使​っ​て” (tsukatte)? Both mean “to use”, but when would you use one over the other? Are they interchangeable?

Please explain by making reference to the below examples.

reitou-you Binīru fukuro

plastic bag used for freezing

Facebook ya SNS wa tsukatte imasu ka?

Do you use Facebook or social media?

Please note: I am a beginner, so would appreciate answers that aren't too complex.

1 Answer 1


The 用 in 冷凍ビニール袋 is a noun suffix which means something like 'used for', 'for the purpose of' etc.

使って in フェイスブックやSNSは使っていますか is the te-form of the verb 使う meaning 'to use'.

These are completely different pieces of grammar and are not at all interchangeable. If you don't know about the te-form then I suggest you go and research it. It is an absolutely vital and fundamental thing to learn. There are loads of resources on the internet that will teach you about this.

  • Just comparing 使う(root form) and 用: Why does 冷凍用ビニール袋 use a noun suffix instead of a verb? Is it because Freezing is a verb and so you need to use a suffix to link the noun to the verb?
    – big_smile
    Mar 17, 2019 at 16:15
  • 1
    Not really. Besides which, 冷凍 is a noun. 冷凍する is the verb form. I suppose you could say 冷凍に使うビニール袋 if you really wanted to use 使う. I guess its like the difference between talking about a 'freezer bag' and 'a bag used for the purpose of freezing'. Which one would use choose in English? Mar 17, 2019 at 16:53

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