"I eat between my father and mother."
Yes, you can use it with people if you intend to say “inside”.
Don't come within 2 ft from me.
中 here applies to 私の周囲2ft, “my 2 ft surroundings”, not to 私.
However, if you search for 私の中に入ってこないで you'll find a well known anime scene where a character does say “don't come inside me”: https://youtu.be/iCj6TDH8RjA?t=50 (SFW)
It can also be used with groups of people:
in a crowd
But it doesn't mean “between” individuals.
に represents existence (at a place)
で represents action (at a place)
This means "(I am / I exist) between my mother and father. The place is not being acted at/in/on. Existing isn't doing any action to an outside thing (the outside thing here is the place between mother and father). That's the major difference.
I eat between my mother and father. Here, "eat" is happening at a place, "between my mother and father." Eating is happening at/in/on the place. I am doing something, so で here instead of に.
を is not used because I'm not eating the space between my mother and father. I'm eating food, probably.
Where a lot of people get confused is sentences like
I (will go / go) to my mother and father's house. But wait, isn't going an action, since we're moving? We don't simply exist there, so why に and not で?
Well, I'm not going/moving AT/IN/ON my parents' house. I'm moving TOWARD/TO it. So で can't be right because I'm still not acting on something directly. Maybe I'm driving a car to my mother and father's house
I go (in/via/by) car to my mother and father's house.
But go isn't the best word, let's get more specific.
I drive the car to my mother and father's house. Here に makes sense because I'm not driving inside the house. Though there are some complicated phrases like "I'm driving at the racetrack" or "I'm driving inside the house" and I'm not sure which particle would be used there.
In this case, being 'between' two people or objects, it would be あいだ. As a standalone (non-compound) character it would normally be あいだ, but not always. It can also be read as ま and かん. These readings would have different meanings.
・間（ま）に合う Make it in time. ・その間（かん）In that period ・その間（ま）In that (physical) space ・その間（あいだ）In between people or things.
When dealing with periods of measurable time, in compound kanji words, it would be かん (時間 - time, 期間 - period, 年間 - year).
Generally, in almost all cases the form 'A と B の 間' would be pronounced あいだ. The other readings you will likely get into eventually, but don't concern yourself too much about them right now.
De The particle de is used for the place where an action takes place. For example,
Gakkō de benkyō suru (学校で勉強する), "I study at school" Kōen de ohiru wo tabeta (公園でお昼を食べた), "I ate my lunch in the park". Toshokan de hon wo yonda (図書舘で本を読んだ), "I read a book in the library". Ni
The particle ni is used for:
(1) A place where something exists Kouen ni ahiru ga iru (公園にアヒルがいる), "There are some ducks in the park." Hon wa kaban ni haitte iru (本は鞄に入っている), "The book is in the bag." (2) To indicate a destination Watashi wa mainichi kaisha ni iku (私は毎日会社に行く), "I go to the office every day." Nōto ni ji o kaku (ノートに字を書く), "I write in my notebook."
It's あいだ で. The text-to-speech bot picked the wrong pronunciation because it doesn't know how 間 is being used:
The basic guidelines are as follows:
- あいだ is typically used when describing a literal interval or space between things
- ま is used when the distinction is more figurative, in particular such as a period of time, and in the set phrase
間(ま) を 置(お) く
- あいだ is used when describing something that happens during something else
And it happens more often than not on words that are split. Even happens if the phrase voice is using the correct reading, picking the word will give another read. When in doubt always check in discussion and click the blue sound icon near the phrase, it tends to have the correct reading in a complete sentence. Then there's the comments of course for the cases where that does not apply, like right here, complete phrase is using まで lol.
Wow, as I typed that windows was also auto concluding to 間で for まで ！D: x-files theme
で is used for location where an action is performed, in this case 'eating'.
に is used for simple location with non-action verbs (with motion verbs like 行く it is used to indicate direction and placed after the location headed towards).
For verbs that can be either transitive or intransitive (like 座る), there might be some overlap depending on whether the location or the action is being emphasized.
My answer was "父と母の間で私が食べます", but it got marked wrong, it said correct answer is "父と母の間で食べます". Why?
I wouldn't necessarily say it is incorrect but it puts a weird amount of emphasis on the pronoun "I" in a situation where you would normally want to stress the action or the location instead, "I am the one who is eating between my father and mother".
The corrected answer leaves "I" as the implied topic of the conversation since it can be assumed the speaker is referring to themself and emphasizing the action
Here it would be あいだ
response to the same question on the reverse sentence:
間・あいだ・means a gap or interval with a definitive starting and end point and can be thought of as "between". "Between my mother and father" "Between 8:00 and 10:00"
間・ま・is used for a span where the start and end is more flexible and can be thought of as "space". This can be used when talking about the floorplan of a room, or about a period of time in which nothing happened. "There is a 12 year gap between the events" (there is a space that exists that is 12 years long but the start and end of that space is not mentioned),
It is also common in compound words and set expressions. 間に合う ma ni au - to be in time for (meet in the interval), 昼間 hiruma - daytime (noon/day + span)
BJCUAl also explains above
に marks a target of movement or a place of existence with existence verbs. 母と父の間にいます - I am between my mom and dad. (Between mom and dad に I exist)
で is a means particle, it marks the means/method and the location where an action takes place. 母と父の間で食べます I eat between my mom and dad. (Using the space between mom and dad で the action of eating happens)
プールに行きます - I go to the pool (The pool is the target of movement)
プールにいます - I am at/in the pool (Pool is the location of existence)
プールで泳ぎます - I swim at the pool (Pool is the means of swimming)
It's never going to be まで; the で is a particle after 間 indicating it's where the action is taking place. The common readings for that character are ま, あいだ, and かん. In this case it's あいだ, as has been answered several times previously in this thread, as far back as 3 years ago. But (as I mentioned up-thread), the bot is bad at choosing readings sometimes.