Particle で used as with


Hello guys. I just saw today that partice で can mean with. I was just wondering if it can replace particle と which also means with. So, is it the same if I say:






Maybe wait for an expert to chime in but I can tell you at least the following.

で only means “with” in the sense of “by means of”.

For example: “I brush my teeth with a toothbrush”, versus, “I brush my teeth with my cat”

Clearly in the second sentence the speaker is trying to say the cat is sitting nearby while the speaker brushes their teeth (and not using the cat to brush their teeth, I hope).

In the first sentence, the “with” is supposed to mean “by means of” or something similar.

で should be used for the toothbrush, と for the cat.

So you could say something like フォーク で バーベキュー を します - I barbecue with a fork (I do a barbecue by using a fork), but not みんなで.

Hope this answers your question


What @ihatethepodcast said. Be careful when translating words like “with”, since even in English it can have completely different meanings and uses. Using で here would possibly suggest you’re using your family to barbeque food, which wouldn’t be a great idea…


Hello! Thanks for your answer. The thing is the textbook I am using is using the expression as みんなで、 so it should be correct, what I am trying to say is if と and で are interchangable.



Interesting, what are some examples that the text gives?


みんなで is perfectly valid but means “together with everyone” rather than “along with everyone”.

皆んなで東京に行く。→ everyone going to Tokyo together
皆んなと東京に行く。→ going to Tokyo with everyone

You would, for example, use to former when suggesting going to Tokyo to your friends, and the latter when explaining to your parents what you will be doing in the weekend.


Basically what Kumirei said. Regarding interchangeability, it depends on what you mean by interchangeable.

Will they roughly give the same meaning? Yes.
Do they mean exactly the same? No.

A quick google search gave me this which says that essentially [de] gives context, a “way of doing”, while [to] explicitly states with whom you’re doing the action. This answer is as credible as the source.

Another interesting nuance was in the second answer, which said that the topic of the sentence is included in minna of [de], but not in minna of [to]. See the post for more info.


Thanks @Kumirei this makes sense!!


I didn’t know about that use for で, that’s really interesting! runs back to the textbooks


Hello Saruko, actually, until know, this is the only example I’ve seen. It’s in Genki, beginning of chapter 8. It is basically a girl asking his friend if he wants to have a barbecue with everyone else (みんなで). If I find another example later i’ll post it here!