I'm learning from Genki 1 right now, and working my way through the workbook.

The sentence I'm confused about is this:


I'm already aware of the usage pattern of 『に』 with 『ある』 in terms of locations, such as 『机の上にねこがある』。

Because I've only ever seen 『に』 used with locating objects before, I'm wondering, is it ok to use 『で』 instead in some contexts? I mean, I suppose if it's a sentence in the book then it would be correct lol, but I still feel compelled to ask :P


1 Answer 1


で marks some sort of means by which something is done, be it some sort of tool, a location, a material, an amount of time. In many ways, this acts as an adverb marker

When a place functions as an adverb, a place where something is done, で is the particle you want to use.

に acts as a locus marker. It marks a place a person or thing exists, moves, or is moved, in or out of.

Only use に when the location is a place where something is, or something is being placed, moved to or from.


I waited for Robert in front of the library.

(The waiting was done at this particular place.)


I stopped/parked the bike in front of the library.

(The library isn't a place where something was done, per se, but it is a location where the bike is now at.)

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