On page 21 of 「初級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック」, the authors make a valiant attempt at compiling the meanings of Japanese particles. The chart is at the bottom of this post. However one has always been difficult for me to comprehend, and that's the 「内容」 meaning of で.

(The asterisk after 内容 indicates that details are explained in the book's sequel, but unless I'm somehow missing it, I can't find information about it there.)

Other than 「進学のこと先生に相談する」from the chart, the only explicit example of this で in the book is 「ともやくんは宿題人形を作った。」"Tomoya-kun made a figure for his homework." on page 20.

So my three questions are: ① What is a definition of this で? ② How does 「宿題作った」differ from に in sentences like 「朝食お茶を飲む」"drink tea for breakfast" or 「お土産葉書が欲しい」"I want a postcard as a souvenir"? ③ I found two sentences below that I THINK fit into this category, but I could use some confirmation that they are in fact the same で:

この動画は、浅草で写真を撮りましょう。In this video, let's take pictures in Asakusa.

(JLPT N5 聴解 introduction) 問題一は、初めに、質問を聞いてください。For problem number one, first, listen to the question.

enter image description here

  • 3
    The table indicates it's used in the form of 〜のことで and the sequel explains it under のこと (p50-52) in §5 格助詞 (4).
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 23:40
  • Thank you for that clarification! So that's where it was hiding.
    – Hikonyan
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


You know what 内容 means right? It means "matter" (content).
で means "through", "along with", ... depending on the context,
but here matter + で you can easily think of it as "on behalf of that matter" or even easier just "about".

In your example the matter would be the desire to reach a higher school, and from that you are going to consult your teacher.

Here's another example:

Don't be nervous about tomorrow's exam.

Again you can think of it as "Don't be nervous on behalf of that exam"

Hope it helps.

  • 5
    To do something "on behalf of" someone or something means to do it in the interest of that thing, or as a representative. Thus, "Don't be nervous on behalf of that exam" doesn't make much sense. Maybe you mean "because of"?
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 1:48
  • 2
    Then it's a very strange sentence.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 9:02
  • 3
    This has nothing to do with Japanese. "Don't be nervous on behalf of that exam" either means "Don't be nervous for the benefit of that exam" or "Don't be nervous in place of that exam", both of which seem nonsensical.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 9:11
  • 1
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 15:54
  • 1
    Perhaps "don't be nervous on account of that exam"? Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 4:04

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