Can someone help explain the Grammar in: 家族 と 日本 へ 来ました。

家族 と 日本 へ 来ました。= I came to Japan with my family?

I’m guessing the “I” part is assumed from the sentence. But I don’t quite understand the “と” in this case. I see it as like a connector sort of like “My family and Japan came”?

Which I don’t know if it makes sense.
I imagine the full sentence would be: 私は家族 と 日本 へ 来ました。
But in my mind, I’d think it more like: 私と家族は日本へ来ました。

So I sort of see it more like: I and my family, came[went?] to Japan.
Thanks heaps!


と can also mean “with,” as in this case.

Pronoun “I” is presumed, and 私は家族と日本へ来ました is the full sentence.
“I (the subject) my family (with) Japan (to) came” would be my breakdown.

I would also like to add - and I’m by no means an expert on this, just my general observation - thatと as “and” seem to more often than not connect like- or similar objects/subjects.


That’s the one.

Wasabi has a short article about it that might be helpful for you:

と as “and” implies a complete list.


It’s important to keep in mind that almost all of the particles have many uses and meanings.

と has probably a dozen or so, depending on how you count.


Thanks for this, I think it helps a lot. I think I was looking at と as more of a list, and didn’t look at the next grammar type “is to express partners of interaction.” from the article.

So my understanding is that 家族 と 日本 is “my family” is interacting with “Japan” by coming to it?

Some questions arise:

  1. The examples in the article always assume “I and …”, so is this grammar point always assuming “I” in there?
  2. Earlier I noted between: 家族 と 日本 へ 来ました。and 私と家族は日本へ来ました。while I think I understand the above now, is there still a functional difference between the two? (like does one emphasize my family more then the other or something?)

Thanks again!

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You can consider the 家族とpart more as an additional information. Let’s start with the following:

  • 日本へ来ました。=> (I) came to Japan. The “I” can be omitted when it is clear from context. Otherwise you can state it directly:
  • 私は日本へ来ました。

So far in these examples you’ve been only talking about yourself. If you want to add that you came “together with your family” you can say:

  • (私は)家族と日本へ来ました。

You are the topic and doing something together with your family.

If you say something like 「AとB は…」 then A and B would be the topic. @Leebo senpai can maybe say something whether 「私と家族は日本へ来ました。」would be natural or not.

Edit: forgot about the following:

I’d say it depends on context. If you’ve be talking about the new colleague C all the time then a sentence like 「家族と日本へ来ました。」would assume C being the topic (which is omitted because of context… :slight_smile: ) => “C came together with their family to Japan”.


I wouldn’t put it that way.

There is an activity taking place (日本へ来ました)

You did this activity, as you are the implied subject of the sentence.

家族と just indicates that you did the activity with your family.

The と is sandwiched between 家族 and 日本, but it is not making a 家族と日本 combo.

The sentence would be equally valid as 家族と、私は日本へ来ました (though probably less natural, or only appropriate situationally). This would be distinct from 家族と私は日本へ来ました, which would be the “and” meaning you’re more familiar with.

Generally speaking particles attach to something that comes before them, and then they can be shifted around pretty liberally without changing the core meaning. The “and” use of と is a bit different in that regard, where you have to keep the items together. But the “with” meaning does not need to follow that, like most other particles.

And if we wanted to go one more layer deep on this… I’m pretty sure 家族と私は (“and” meaning) and 家族と、私は (“with” meaning) would actually have different pitch accent patterns, meaning they could be distinguished in speech, but I’ll have to check more on that.


The “and” use of と is a bit different in that regard, where you have to keep the items together. But the “with” meaning does not need to follow that, like most other particles.

Ohhh right, so is the idea being that the particle just shows that you (or whoever based on context) did something together with what is before the と? I think my problem is I keep thinking of it as a “combo” and so I keep combo-ing the “family” and “Japan” then using that combo for the へ来ました “to come” section which made me wonder “how do they both come/go/move”.

If I decouple it, and thinks its 2 parts, 家族と (I did something together with), and 日本へ来ました (come to Japan), it makes soooo much more sense.

Thanks heaps!


In case you were still wondering about this part…

(私は)家族と日本へ来ました = I came to Japan with my family
私と家族は日本へ来ました = My family and I came to Japan

I think in both the English and Japanese, both sentences get the same idea across, just with slightly different emphasis. You can probably think of examples where “with my family” or “my family and I” are more natural in English, and I’m sure similar situations exist in Japanese where one is more natural than the other. (Though of course, the situations where one is more natural don’t have to match up 100% between the languages.)


Thank you so much everyone, this has helped sooooo much! Really appreciate it.

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I always think about this sort of grammar as omitted 一緒に「いっしょに」