Translation:I eat dinner at a restaurant.
The way に as a particle has been explained to me is that it marks the target of an action. Like in the sentence 学校に行きます (I go to school), the school is the target of the going. So レストランにばんごはんを食べます would mean something like "I eat dinner to a restaurant", which makes no sense.
Totally agree with you @TomPiddock. Some native could correct me, but apparently, Ni is used to express where the action is taking place when you use a "movement" verb. while De is used with non-movement verbs.
So, I go to school -> Go > use Ni I eat at a restaurant -> Eat > Use De
I dont have japanase symbols here but hope it helps.
I was marked wrong for not putting "I eat MY dinner at a restaurant." But there's absolutely nothing in the sentence corresponding to "my" in what's offered as the English translation - come to that, there's nothing to specify that it's in the first person. What this course is bringing home to me as I race through the elementary stages is just how IMPOSSIBLE it is to compile a Japanese course for English-speaking learners on the basis of simple one-to-one- right-or-wrong translation equivalents!
This might be a stupid question, but I put in "I am eating dinner at the restaurant.", and it counted as incorrect. It's not the "the" part, it's the "I am" part. I don't understand. Can you help me out here, please?
I know this is an old comment, but hopefully this helps someone. "The Japanese particle で (de) is used to indicate the place at which an action or event takes place. It is translated as “at,” “in,” or “on” in English. The particle で comes after the place (noun) and before the action (verb) in the sentence."
"Using the particle に (ni) or へ (e) as “to”: The Japanese particles に (ni) and へ (e) can be used to indicate destination or direction. They are translated as "to" in English."