1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I swim at a pool."

"I swim at a pool."


July 21, 2017





Why is the de used instead of wo?


Wo is for the direct object of a verb, the thing that the verb is affecting

De is for destinations, where things happen


Isn't に for destinations, implying movement to a place, while で is for stuff that already happens in that place?



に marks location of existence and direction/destination of a verb.

で marks where the action is performed


there's exceptions to that, like 角を曲がる、道を歩く、etc. but you're generally right. in the case of the verb 泳ぐ, you technically can use を to indicate which way you're swimming (so it would be grammatically correct here, but the meaning wouldn't make sense, so Duo will mark you wrong)


Can I use に instead of で here?


you can't use に with this verb, unfortunately.


the particles are usually attached to the noun to the left, in this case で doesn't have anything to do with the verb but more like is what indicates where the action (verb) happens.

The comment above is wrong, you can indeed use any particle with any verb because that's how japanese works, they are just the grammatical bits that identifies who does what.

Now for this particular example you can only use で to mark プール because that's the location in which you swim, is like saying "I swim at the pool", in that case you cannot use に because for japanese people the pool is either a location in which the swimming happens or the means in which your swimming can happen. Using に would mean something like "I swim into the pool" which makes no sense even in english unless you are able to swim in the air, or if there is a pool inside the pool idk.

However like I said before you can indeed use に in other situations, for example you can say「夏にプールで泳ぎます」"I will swim at the pool in summer" but in that case に is marking an specific time on the timeline and you can see the difference it makes with both nouns "summer" and "pool" with their respective particles.


Would it be incorrect to say プールを泳ぎます? As the action of swimming would take place at the pool. Or is プール only meant as "the area including water, lifeguard chairs, and diving boards" and not "the water at the pool?"

Now, could I say プールで水を泳ぎます?

I swim (through / in) the water at the "pool-area."


夏に (in the summer)
プールで (in the pool)
Still, they don't convey the same connotation.


泳いでいます。 Is not used here, why?


That sentence does not specify you are doing that at the pool.


I think that they mean just that part of the sentence, but if you were to say "プールで泳いでいます", then that would mean that you are swiming at the pool, since conjugating it to the て form would make it present continuous tense.


I am no English native speaker, shouldn't that be "I swim IN a pool"?


It's similar to the phrase "at the gym" or "at the office". In all of these, the person is technically also in the building, but "at" is still an acceptable option.


however. AT pool, office or whatever else you ARE (not performing an action i.e. swimming, exercising, working)
you swim IN the pool just like you work IN the office and exercise IN the gym.


I think youre right for the most part, but just not in this case. The sentences "I swim in the pool" and "I swim at the pool" are both correct english sentence, but they mean two different things.

The phrase "i swim at the pool" can be better understood by replacing the phrase 'the pool' with something else. For example lets use 'the YMCA'. "I swim at the YMCA" should sound natural. Whereas "I swim in the YMCA" sounds off. That's because when we say "I x at the Y" we are not talking about the physical medium we are swimming inside of, instead we are describing a general location where the action is taking place.

As for the translation, the version with 'at' is the more correct one. The reason being that in this case で is talking about the general location where the action is taking place. But that being said it would be better if both tranlsations were marked as correct


i think "i swim at a pool" could be used as well! sometimes its used as a broad location rather than a specific thing. however, its not as common unless youre in very informal situations.


Indeed, the saying is "swimming IN a pool". You can be AT a pool. But once you swim, you are IN the pool.


What would be difference in meaning between "pu--ru DE" and "... NI"?


I find out that に is focused on where you are,

and the で is focused on what you do.



As I know, に: You are there, but doing nothing で: You are doing something at a fixed location. を: You are doing something at a range.


I am no English native speaker, but shouldn't that be "I swim IN a pool"?


If someone said "I swim at a pool" I would assume it was a public pool rather than their own pool in their backyard.


Either way you'd be understood. I think by swapping "in" for "at" in that sentence, you're treating the pool more like a location than an object (it's weird to describe a pool as an object but I couldn't really think of a better word to explain the subtle differences in emphasis that "in" and "at" create). You'd most likely only say "I swam at the pool" if you had already left the pool and were recounting the details of your day to someone else, or if you're telling someone your plans for the day you could say, "I'm swimming at the pool today" and you'd be understood as saying "I'm going to go to the pool today and swim there." In certain contexts, you could also use that same sentence to emphasize that you're swimming at the community pool or your neighborhood pool instead of somewhere else with a pool, like the gym.

If, however, you were physically at the pool, then saying something like "I'm going to get in the pool," or "I'm going to swim in the pool now," would be more natural.



Both in and at are acceptable in English in this context. (I'm afraid I can't explain why - it's a silly language. Sorry!)


I got 5.970.000 google hits with "in the pool" and 13.200.000 with "at the pool." "At" emphasizes the location of schwimming, "in" the activity of swimming. Both should be correct.


Why dont we use は?


The 私は is left implied, as it often is in Japanese.


They might've meant 私は, but they might've also meant why not は instead of で. If so, then that's because で marks a location in which an action takes place, and は just marks the topic, so if you were to say "プール泳ぎます, then that would mean that the pool is swimming.


could anybody explain why the particle で is used in this instance?

[deactivated user]

    From how it was explained to me, で is for actions happening at a location. I. E. 学校(がっこう)で勉強(べんきょう)します, I study at school. Vs. に/へ, which indicates going somewhere, I. E. 学校 (がっこう)に行きます(いきます), I go to school.

    Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.