Particles for places

Particles for places

Today’s Question


a. に b. を c. は d. で

Intended meaning of the question sentence

Go straight along this road.


This is one of the questions a majority people answer wrong.

Most people choose a. に or d. で.

If に is used after a word for a place, that indicates the place is either:

  • the destination: そのみちつきました。
    I arrived at the street.


  • the place of existence: その看板かんばんはあのみちありました。
    That sign was on that road over there.

When you say “Go straight along this road,” the road is neither a destination nor a place of existence. So に is not the answer.

で after a word for a place indicates the place is where the action of the verb takes place.

  • みちあそんではいけません。
    You must not play on streets.
  • あのみちころんだ。
    I fell over on that road.

The sentence is telling you to go along (to stay on) this road, so even though your action of “going” takes place on this road, “this road” is NOT the place of action.

The Correct Answer: b. を

This を is not the usual object marker but it is the “place of passage” marker.

  • 鳥は空とぶ。
    Birds fly in the sky.
  • クジラは海泳ぐ。
    Whales swim in the sea.

In the above examples, birds cannot fly elsewhere and whales cannot swim elsewhere. You don’t need to state a “place of action” for them.

Basic Grammar Exercise Modules

This question has been taken from EasyJapaneseE’s Beginners’ Particle module on Moodle. If you find particles difficult, why don’t you try more questions and get the feel of Japanese particles. This module has more than 200 rotating questions which you can attempt anywhere on any device connected to the internet. Your answer will be marked straight away and the correct answer will be displayed together with any relevant explanation. If you are interested, please click the link below to find out more about it.

For more particle explanation, watch:

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