Particle – “に(ni)”, “で(de)” and “へ(he)”

Particle – “に(ni)”, “で(de)” and “へ(he)”

In this session, let’s study particles relating with place, “に(ni)”, “で(de)” and “へ(he)”.

You can use these particles in case you want to ask someone the direction to your destination or in case you explain the place where you are. Ok, let’s start!

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①  Location

The particle “に(ni)” indicates the location of objects. It is equivalent to “at” or “in” in English. 

Ex a)


(kouen ni tori ga takusan iru)

“に(ni)” indicates object(tori) stays in the place(kouen). In English, this means “There are many birds in the park.”


② Destination

The particle “に(ni)” indicates the destination of a motion verb. It is equivelent to “to”  in English. 

This can be replaced by “へ(he)”.

Ex b)


(Rolling stones ga Singapore ni kuru)

“に(ni)” indicates the destination of a motion verb. In English, this means “Rolling Stones will come to Singapore.”


③ Point in time

The particle “に(ni)” indicates a point in time. It follows the time expressions, which is like “at”,  “on” or “in” in English. However, “に(ni)” usually does not follow the time words which work as adverb, such as “today” “next week”

Ex c)


(shichiji ni aimashou)

“に(ni)” indicates point in time. In English, this means “Shall we meet at 7 o’clock?”

 However,in caseShall we meet today?” in English, usually we do not use “に(ni)”.We say “今日きょういましょう。(kyou aimashou)


④ Indirect object

The particle “ni” indicates its preceding word or phrase as an indirect object in the sentence. Indirect object is object related with someone. On the contrary, “Wo” indicates direct object.

Ex d)


(watashi ni jisho wo kakashite kudasai)

“に(ni)” indicates “watashi” is indirect object in this sentence. “wo” indicates “jisho” as direct object. In English this means “Please lend me the dictionary.”



① Place

The particle “de” indicates the place where an action takes place or an event occurs. It is equivalent to “in” or “at” in English.

Ex e)


(watashi wa Jakarta de sodatta)

“で(de)” indicates the place where an action(sodatta) takes place. In English this means “I was grown in Jakarta.”


② Means

The particle “de” indicates the means for doing something. It is euivalent to “by” or “with” in English

Ex f)


(hashi de gohan wo taberu)

 “で(de)” indicates the means(hashi) for doing something. In English this means “I eat rice using chopsticks.


③ Cause

The particle “de” indicates the cause. It is euivalent to “because of ” in English

Ex g)


(ame de golf ga chuushi ni natta)

“で(de)” indicates the cause (ame). In English this sentence means golf was cancelled because of rain.



Direction of motion

The particle “へ(he)” indicates the direction of motion verbs. It is equivalent to “to” in English. It can be replaced by “ni”. Pronounciation for へ is not “he” but “e” if “へ” is used for particle.

Ex h)


(watashi wa konsyuumatsu ni Jogjakarta e iki masu)

“へ(he)” indicates the direction(Jogjakarta) of motion verbs(iku). In English this means “I will go to Jogjakarta this weekend.”



“に(ni)” has location, destination, point in time and indirect object.

“で(de)” has place, means and cause.

“へ(he)” is used mainly for destination for motion.

These particles are similar but used in different way. Learn with example.


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