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逃げる以外方法がない。

逃げる以外方法がない。

I know the sentence means roughly 'There is no other way except to run away' (per this site; https://www.japaneseforbeginners.info/2016/07/igai.html), but I don't understand what would be the difference in alternating between these two particles. Can't they both 'adverbialize' a noun? I just want to better understand the nuance between で and に when they are modifying a verb.

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    Where did you see で used like that? – Leebo Apr 16 at 2:11
  • @Leebo I came across a post where this sentence was being asked about: 文部科学省は、病気などの理由以外で、1年に30日以上学校を休んだ子どもが、2016年度に13万4398人いたと発表しました。"The Ministry of Education announced that there were 134398 children in the 2016 school year who had more than 30 days of absence for reasons other than illness.". One person described that 「病気などの理由以外で」 is modifying「学校を休んだ; This makes sense, but I came across the sentence I mentioned in my original question with に, and that made me wonder if で could be substituted for the particle. Isn't "逃げる以外に" modifying "方法がない" in the same way if it were "逃げる以外" instead? – MW3777 Apr 16 at 2:21
  • That wouldn't be the way that に is used in your first sentence. Imagine 病気などの理由で (for reasons of sickness), where で is basically acting like "for" there, and then they added 以外 to say "for reasons other than sickness." The で there is a typical "by means of" で usage, which is not what was happening in 逃げる以外に. – Leebo Apr 16 at 3:07
  • @Leebo Yea I understand what I was confused upon now. Thank you for the clarification you provided – MW3777 Apr 16 at 3:20
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When a word takes で even without 以外, it still takes で with 以外:

  • 現金以外で支払えますか?
  • 東京以外で働きたい。
  • 炊飯器以外でお米を炊く方法

Notice that we can say 現金で支払う, 東京で働く, 炊飯器でお米を炊く. This explains 病気などの理由以外で, too (理由 safely takes で).


Next, what about 逃げる以外で? 逃げるで of course makes no sense because 逃げる is not even a noun. This type of で is a kind of condition marker, and 逃げる以外で sounds like you are imposing some constraint on your request/question. Something like this is perfectly fine:

  • 逃げる以外で何か方法はありますか? (逃げる以外に is also fine)
  • 逃げる以外で対策を考えよう。 (逃げる以外に is acceptable but less natural)
  • お勧めの観光地を教えてください。京都以外で。 (京都以外に sounds weird)

However, in your case, the sentence is not asking for something in the first place, so 逃げる以外に方法がない sounds more natural to me. Other examples where に is more appropriate:

  • 大学に入ったら運転免許以外にノートPCも欲しい。(運転免許以外で is acceptable but less natural)
  • 日本語を学ぶなら漢字を覚える以外にない。(漢字を覚える以外でない is wrong)
| improve this answer | |
  • Your explanation helped me understand the difference tremendously. I'm so grateful; thank you so much :D – MW3777 Apr 16 at 3:17

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