Are you struggling with Japanese Particles? They are confusing, aren’t they?
Particles are grammatical markers that are attached to other words and indicate how the words function in the sentence. They are written either one of two Hiragana letters, and pretty much meaningless as isolated entities. For instance, the Particle NI に doesn’t mean anything by itself. Once it added to a place name like Nihon (Japan), however, and you say Nihon-NI, now it’s marking Japan as the destination. The closest translation of Nihon-NI will be “to Japan” in English.
They are crucial elements in the Japanese language and in many times, hardest for many to master. Firstly, there are so many of them. Secondly, one Particle can mark several different things.
I often receive comments from my students that Japanese Particles are confusing and they are struggling.
Japanese Particles Cheat Sheet
Since I received so many requests from my students, I have created Japanese Particles cheat sheet for you to download. These are the most basic Particles that many schools and textbooks cover during the first year of Japanese learning.
Let me know where I can send it (PDF, 2 pages). Hope you find the cheat sheet helpful!
Can You Answer These?
After you downloaded the cheat sheet, try Japanese Particles practice in the videos below. In each video, I give sentences with a blank for a Particle to fill in like this. Do you know the answer to this particular question, by the way? Would you the Particle NI に or DE で for the sentence to make sense?
I added each sentence Romaji readings so you do not need to know Hiragana letter to try these exercises. Choose a right Particle to complete each sentence. Let’s see how well you do!
Particle Practice 1 – で DE or に NI? (3:33)
Dictionary of Japanese Particles
If you are looking for a handy dictionary to quickly look up Japanese Particles, I recommend these two. The explanations for each Particle are not in depth, but they are handy to grasp the core meaning with example sentences.
By Naoko Chino
By Sue A. Kawashima
I hope the information in this blog post will help you understand Japanese Particles better. Leave me comments if you have any questions. Happy learning!