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In the following sentence, what is the usage of the particle で?

彼は、先生と話すときと友達と話すとき、ことばや話し方をうまく使い分けている。

Can で indicate time?

1 Answer 1

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No, this で is associated with the verb 使い分ける. ~で使い分ける means "to use (things differently) by ~" or "to use (different things) according to ~". This で before 使い分ける is interchangeable with によって.

  • 自動車を目的で使い分ける
    to use different cars according to the purpose
  • 気分で香水を使い分ける
    to use different perfumes depending on your mood
  • 彼は、先生と話すときと友達と話すときで、ことばや話し方をうまく使い分けている。
    He uses different words and ways of speaking properly depending on whether he is talking to his teachers or his friends.

Similar で is found in 日付で並び替える "to sort by date".

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