What is the difference Japanese particle に-ni and で-de

紙コップの写真

As you may know, there are some meanings the particle ni and de.
However, I will explain them very simply and focus on the 場所 + で.

What is the difference に and で?

The particle ni に

に is used for the direction or existence things.

  • Direction
    わたしは、学校(へ) 行きます。
    来週末、東京(へ) 行きます。
    ここ、コップをおいてください。
  • Existence things
    わたしは、京都 住んでいます
    ここ、コップがあります
    公園、こどもがいます

Even advance class, Some often make a mistake the way of using ni and de.

Please pay more attention to the existence things.

The particle de で

The particle de is often used with action.

  • Location
    わたしは、カフェ コーヒーを 飲みます。
    ここ、会いましょう。
    子どもたちは、公園 遊びます。

So, You can’t say

わたしは、京都 住んでいます。incorrect.
*In the very few case, you can. but normally, no.
ここ、コップがあります。incorrect.
公園、こどもがいます。incorrect.

まとめ

I focus on the place + de pattern, this time.

Now you can explain the difference those sentences below, can’ you?

ここ、コップをおいてください。

ここ、コップをおいてください。

Both are correct, but the meaning is different.

The first one means “to here”*direction
This is kind of like this, “Please put the cup from there to here.” / “Please put the cup here, not there”
It focuses more on the position.

The second one means “in/at here”*location
This sentence focus on the action.
You are holding the cup, and you have to put it here.
The place you do that is here.

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