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The だけ meaning "only", and で being the "at/in" particle. When saying "only in/at", does the で come before, or after the だけ? What does it mean, if anything, when it's reversed?

Example: "You can only get this plush toy in Japan". Is it,

このぬいぐるみを日本だけで手に入れます。

or

このぬいぐるみを日本でだけ手に入れます。

Side note: does the same principle apply to しか?

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  • Side note: Yes, it also applies to しか. Also to both だけ and しか using に.
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 15:28

1 Answer 1

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The scope of だけ is different depending on where you put it.

  • このぬいぐるみを((日本だけ)で)手に入れます。- "You can get this plush toy in (only Japan)"
  • このぬいぐるみを((日本で)だけ)手に入れます。- "You can get this plush toy ((in Japan) only)"

Here it does not seem to show a big difference.

Translating from this source:

~だけで is typically used to mean "just this method/location/person will be necessary to accomplish this task"
While ~でだけ means "only by ~, and no other method, will the task be accomplished" For example,

その仕事は二人だけでできます - This job only requires 2 persons. (It doesn't need any more people)

その仕事は二人でだけできます - This job only requires 2 persons. (No more, no less)

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  • We don't say このぬいぐるみを手に入ります。 it should be このぬいぐるみを手に入れます or このぬいぐるみは(~で)手に入ります and these have different meanings.
    – Teno
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:04
  • @Teno. Ah, thanks for the correction. Is it いれます or はいれます then?
    – Flaw
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:05
  • They read このぬいぐるみを手に入{い}れます and このぬいぐるみは(~で)手に入{はい}ります
    – Teno
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:11

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