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  5. "I buy manga in Ikebukuro."

"I buy manga in Ikebukuro."


July 12, 2017



Accidentally entered メイドを買います which is a different issue. LOL


how do you know whether it's ikebukuro de or ikebukuro ni


に indicates a motion towards something, whereas で just tells us that the action takes place at that location (so it does not indicate motion towards it). There are some exceptions, such as ある , いる and 住む, which take に and not で. From a linguistics standpoint it might make sense to use に for these cases, but it's best to just consider these as irregular and just remember it.


This is really a big difficulty for foreigners (like me). Many verbs carry no hint of motion or only very limited motion, such as 立つ、読む、寝る、考える、困る… I think I can't finish the list. Sorry but personally I think considering them all as exceptions is not quite a helpful way. I have no better way than using gut feeling though.

As long as there is no risk of causing a big misunderstanding, I would excuse myself if I have chosen a wrong one.


に and で are tricky ones, sometimes, but there are a couple of differences that can make it easier!

1) に represents direction as well as location... and indirect objects, time, and other things too! It's a very busy particle. But when it comes to it and で, the difference is that one is about is direction:

店に行きます = I'm going to the store.

家に帰りました = I returned (to) home.

And the other (で) is about where you are when you're doing something:

図書館で本を読んでいます = I'm reading a book at the library.

その店で傘を買いました = I bought an umbrella at that store.

As KiritsuguZFC said, there are some verb exceptions where に is considered more appropriate, such as いる:

図書館にいます = I'm at the library.

But these are irregular and you'll easily be forgiven if you use で instead.

2) I find it helpful to think of で as "by way of," because it can also be used to describe a method of accomplishing things:

タクシーで店に行きました = I took a taxi to the store.

電話で話しました = We talked over the phone.

"By way of" catches both meanings, location of action and methodology, pretty well. Consider one of the previous sentences, this time using this trick:

その店で傘を買いました = By way of that shop, I bought an umbrella.

It's not the most grammatically correct translation (and Duolingo will certainly mark you wrong :P), but remembering it this way has helped me figure out the distinctions between で and に, especially during casual conversation. I hope it helps you, too!


A little bit shorter but not as thorough as Cici's explanation and how I remember is に is to and で is at.

And if I mix them up, well, hopefully the Japanese person will be kind enough to understand. Although even when you have perfect grammar and pronunciation they still might hit you with "sorry I don't speak English" so I guess don't worry too much about it.




Out of curiosity, is マンガの本 relatively common, or do people mostly just use マンガ? I would've expected the latter these days, but while Duolingo accepts both it seems to lean towards the longer version...


池袋でマンガの本を買います。This was marked wrong.


A place in Tokyo. 池袋


Why do I need 本 after マンガの?


You don't. The course is stupid. The answer is stupid. You don't need to say it, 漫画 is just fine.

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