Lesson 14: Particles

This lesson will focus on common Japanese particles as well as vocabulary. Particles are very important to the Japanese language. They appear before many verbs and often after the subject of the sentence.

The particles covered in this lesson are:

で に へ を

で is used to talk about where an event or action takes place. It is like the English work “at.”

For example, if you read at the library, you would say:

わたしはとしょかんでよみます。 (I read at the library.)

Many sentences often use more than one particle. If you wanted to modify the above sentence to say, “I read books at the library,” you would actually use the particle を as well.

I read books at the library. わたしはとしょかんでほんをよみます。

The place where the event takes place usually appears first in the sentence, but Japanese does not have really strict rules about sentence placement.

に and へ are both used to mean “to.” If you want to say you are going somewhere or returning somewhere, you need to use に or へ. Both particles signify movement.

Examples: わたしはうちにかえります。 I will return home. (You can also use e instead of ni here).

わたしはにほんへいきます。 I am going to Japan. (You can also use ni instead of e here).

に can also be used to say “at x time” and “on x day.”

Examples: くじにクラスがあります。. I have a class at nine.

げつようびにうちへかえります。I return home Monday.

In the above sentences, に cannot be replaced by へ.

The particle を is used to indicate the direct object of a sentence. Many verbs use this particle.

Examples: みずをのみます。 (I drink water.)

えいがをみます。 (I am watching a movie.)

おんがくをききます。 (I am listening to music.)

にくをたべます。 (I eat meat.)

The particles for verbs stay the same regardless of what form the verb is in.

Below is a vocabulary list to help you form new sentences in Japanese.

Movie えいが

Magazine ざっし

Book ほん

Music おんがく

Date デート

Television テレビ

Breakfast あさごはん

Lunch ひるごはん

Dinner ばんごはん

Alcohol おさけ

Green tea おちゃ

Water みず

Coffee コーヒー

Home うち

House いえ

School がっこう

Morning あさ

Tomorrow あした

Today きょう

Tonight こんばん

Weekend しゅうまつ

But でも

*Note: For time words such as “tomorrow,” and “today,” you do not need to use a particle with the sentence (に).

Study the sentences below to become familiar with the new vocabulary.


I don’t eat breakfast.


I will eat dinner at a restaurant.


What will you do over the weekend?


I will watch a movie.


I will not go to school on Tuesday.


I will read a magazine at home.


I drink green tea.


What time will you be returning?


What time will you go to bed?


I will go to sleep at 10.


I will watch television at home.


When will you go?


I will come/arrive tomorrow.


I read the newspaper in the morning.


Do you eat lunch at school?


I eat lunch at home.


I will listen to music this weekend.

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