Is there a good and complete guide somewhere for the に particle?

This particle is giving me a headache, there are so many ways to use it, I know the basics of usages like movement, time and existence.

I need a complete guide because I see it used with a lot of stuff and cannot tell why it’s used like this and it’s driving me crazy.

I would actually advise doing the opposite. Get an idea how the particle works and then whenever you see it being used with a grammar pattern, learn it in context with that same grammar concept.


I can’t really help you, I don’t even feel in place to advise, but I hope me saying this soothes your pain a little: I know. I feel you. It’s the most difficult particle. I’ve read a thousand articles on it, written my own notes, yet its presence still manages to wreck my understanding of a sentence.
On the brighter side, I think the basics are the hardest part. Once you’ve got a good grasp on them, you’ll progress more smoothly.

How about this:

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Thanks! looks like I did not search enough -_-

Knowing myself pretty well, I’m at a point that I need a guide or explanation not just seeing sentence and trying to make sense of them .

Thanks again ! :slight_smile:

I didn’t advise you to do that. That article is a good one indeed, but I’m not sure where you are in terms of grammatical knowledge. Reading that summary can easily become overwhelming if you don’t know the grammar rules where に is being used in. But I’d definitely agree that it serves as a great complementary tool. Just not your main one.

True, I think it’s all fine and well to learn grammar rules and patterns. But on the other hand, that’s not the only way - and probably not the best one either. I doubt you’re actually using all the grammar points of your native language consciously - you’ve developed a ‘feel’ for the language through constant exposure. That works for foreign languages as well.

… which doesn’t mean that grammar shouldn’t be studied in some form, obviously :wink:

That’s… not a bad guide, but it does have some issues. For example:

How’s this for a clear definition: を marks the direct object (the thing that has the verb done to it) while に marks the indirect object (the thing that benefits from the verb being done).

Also it’s missing the following functions of に:

  • Marks purpose of motion (e.g. 買いに行く go (for the purpose of) shopping)
  • Marks agent of passive or causative verbs (which is to say, the doer of the action)
  • Marks the surface on which action directly takes place (e.g. 紙に書く write on paper)

I know but a lot of people say get exposure/read sentence and try to understand them by yourself which is a valid point and I do that already as much as I can, I have read a lot of stuff so far and can confirm that each time I see this particle and don’t understand the usage, I try to make sense of it, see how it’s used and I just cannot understand.

I’m at a point where I need to see the grammatical rules like using it in this condition or something that explain to me why it’s used like that because I am not making any progress with this particle.

I know some grammar, enough to understand a lot of text and article in Japanese my biggest issue right now is Kanji and vocabulary which I don’t know enough.

But that’s not the best advice in my opinion and it certainly isn’t what I recommended you to do :slight_smile: So I don’t understand the connection here.

The trick with particles is seeing them being used with grammar structures. When I mean by this is study the grammar points and then focus on the function of に in those exact structures. Go from broad to specific, not from specific to broad. In a more extreme example, you could force yourself to try and understand が vs は, but that would lead you nowhere. The trick is knowing how they change the nuance in the grammar structures.

Sorry I misunderstood your first reply I just read it again and my bad, I totally misread :sweat:

As for your tip on how I should study it, my issues are I lack methods or knowledge on how I should proceed on my own so I do my best but I’m clearly not doing this right :frowning:

How could I focus on one grammar point when everything I found is 2-3 examples here and there.
I need to find materials where I can practice with this particle.

If I read articles/text in Japanese they don’t necerraly have only sentences with に.
I feel so lost lol.

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I find this grammar guide helpful for a lot of difficult Japanese language concepts. Scroll down to the Particle section for に to get a breakdown of its various uses. I would also recommend doing a word search for all the instances of に in this document, which should give you many more examples. This is definitely one of the trickier particles to grasp, since it has both direct and abstract uses.

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The problem with this article is that it explains all the easy cases and for the hard case (object of verbs) is says:
“に, を and と can express object of verb. The difference between に and を cannot be defined clearly.”

The information in DBJG is pretty comprehensive. But i think the problem you are having (that we all are having) is that knowing the 12 different uses for に doesn’t help us when we come across a specific usage.

What i think was being recommended above is that you need to learn how に works in relation to specific verbs, not just specific “grammar patterns”. I don’t know of a shortcut to figuring that out.

If you want more info, look up the wiki article on verb valence, that can give you a starting point to think about this stuff.

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No textbooks? :slightly_smiling_face:

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