While studying the basic functions of particles, I came across the following sentence:

パンコーヒーか紅茶を飲みます (I have coffee or tea with / together with bread)

I don't know if this is the correct translation of that Japanese phrase, but it is nevertheless a usage of the particle に that I had not seen before and that I do not seem to find much about online.

What would the literal translation of that phrase be in English? What is the function of the particle in this case?

I have heard that this type of expression is used while ordering something in a restaurant or while buying things, as well as when describing what someone is wearing (as in "スーツにスニーカーを履く).

2 Answers 2


に can mean addition (添加 #8 here).

It can be considered as with, but it adds a nuance of in addition to, on top of. Other than those in questions,

  • 小麦粉に卵を混ぜる throw egg to flour and stir
  • ソーセージにビールが最高 Beer (in addition) to sausages is the best

FYI some other に/と questions.


You are correct. There are other definitions of this に such as

  • to (公園に行きます/I’m going to the park)
  • for (ケ-キ作るために牛乳を使う/I will use the milk for the cake)
  • as (私にはカッコいいと思う/to[as] me, I think it’s cool)

There are many others, too. You can take a look at them here. In this case, the に is being used as “with” because of it being noun (パン) + noun/phrase of it being an item (コ-ヒ-か紅茶) + indication of the object (を) + verb having to do with the two nouns (飲みます).

Edit: I would translate it as “On top of bread, I’ll have coffee or tea.” The reason being the physical actions taken for eating bread is different from drinking coffee or tea.

  • In your second example sentence, did you mean to provide a sentence with に?
    – Earthliŋ
    Nov 16, 2022 at 14:14
  • Oh yes, my mistake xD
    – leguchi
    Nov 16, 2022 at 14:21

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