Ni particle in this sentence

この ほん あなた に あげます
I’ll give you this book.

Can someone explain to me the usage of the ni particle in this sentence?
I understand (this book you) but don’t understand how the ni particle effects give(agemasu).

I only know very basic Japanese, but from what I know, and assuming this sentence is grammatically correct; に means something like “to”. A literal translation of that sentence would be
“ give” or if you prefer “This book to you (I) give”. Hope that helps

What particle were you expecting to see?


A particle modifies the word immediately before it, so because に is the indirect object particle, あなたに means that あなた is the indirect object in this sentence.

There are other meanings of に as well (including direction).

I just wanted to know more about the ni usage. I thought that it was only for use when you go to something or to use it as in.

The particle に means several things, a good way of viewing it is that there are several particles that unfortunately are all written as に :slight_smile:

From DoBJG

  1. particle that indicates a point of time at which s.t. takes place
  2. indirect object marker
  3. particle that indicates an agent or a source in passive, causative, morau/~te morau and other receiving constructions
  4. particle that indicates the surface of s.t. upon which some action directly takes place
  5. particle which indicates purpose when s.o. moves from one place to another
  6. particle which indicates the location where s.o. or s.t. exists
  7. particle which indicates a place towards which s.o. or s.t. moves

〜に can also make na-adjectives into adverbs, like キレイに食べた。 among other things. So you should never lean back when you see に (or other particles) :wink:

You should parse your sentence the following way:
この本(を) +
あなたに +
________ あげます。

In Japanese everything is modified left to right, so the basis of the sentence is the end (the verb here). The sentence only implies the subject, but “I give.” is a good guess. The rest of the sentence makes that statement more concrete (what is given, who gets it). に is used to mark the indirect object here.


に is a directional particle. In this sentence it’s directing towards あなた so it means “To you” :slight_smile:
Would it be easier to understand if it was “I’ll give this book to you?” (I’m terrible at explaining things, sorry)

In your particular sentence it marks the direct object of the verb, あげる.

Generally, I like to think of に as a target/goal marker for the sentence. It works for like 95% of things and doesn’t require any knowledge of grammatical terms.

So like:
店にいきます → going to the store (goal is the store)
この本あなたにあげます → give the book to you (goal is you)
先生になりました → became a teacher (goal is [the title of] teacher)

As opposed to like:
店へいきます → going in the direction of the store (but the target isn’t the store)

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