Practice Using the De で Particle

Whenever I’m learning something new, I like to associate the new material with familiar things to better recall and retain the information.

Today, I thought I’d share how I practiced learning the basic uses of the de で particle using one of my all-time favorite movies, Beetlejuice. I’ve included five example sentences using movie scenes to demonstrate how the de で particle may be used.

First Off, What is the De で Particle?

The de で particle is used to indicate things such as:

  1. where an action takes place,
  2. the means by which an action takes place,
  3. a total, time, or cost,
  4. what something is made of, and
  5. cause.



  1. WHERE AN ACTIONS TAKES PLACE (location: in, at, on, etc.)


いえおどりましよう。       Let’s dance in the house.

We look in front of the で to learn the house [いえ] is where we’re being invited to dance. で is used here, rather than に because the focus of the sentence isn’t the house, it’s the action happening inside the house: dancing.



beetlejuice door

かれはチョークドアをつくった。He made the door with chalk.

We look in front of the で to learn that chalk [チョーク] is the means our subject (は) he [かれ] made [をつくった] the door [ドア].



beetlejuice movie

あなたは1時間半えいがをみることができます。You can watch the movie in an hour and a half.

Notice that the amount of time it takes to watch the movie comes before the で particle.



shimp hand

この手はエビつくられています.    This hand is made of shrimp.

この=this, 手=hand, エビ=shrimp


5. CAUSE (Because of, due to, owing to, etc.)


車が落ちたの、彼らは死んだ。 Because the car fell, they died.

The cause (falling) comes before the de で  particle.


Hopefully this helped give a bit more clarity on the basic uses of the de で  particle. If learning this way isn’t your cup of tea, you can also visit the following resources on the de で  particle:

Japanese Meow:

PuniPuni Japan:

Nihongo Ichiban:



Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!





Talking about Possession in Japanese: Basic Grammar for Beginners

Today I want to talk about possession.

I’m talking grammatical possession here, NOT the Grudge-type possession.


(How do people watch that sorta spooky stuff, anyways?)

the grudge

This simple intro and explanation of possession is a great early grammar lesson for beginners, even those of you still in the hiragana and katakana learning stages.  I kept this really basic, I promise.

In English, we can indicate possession by using the words, my/mine/your/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs, or adding ‘s.

But in Japanese, we use the particle:   (pronounced: no).

Particles (in case you’re familiar with them yet) are a bit like the little laundry tags attached to the neck of t-shirts.

clothing tag

Except Japanese particles at attached to the ends of Japanese words in a sentence, not the back of your shirt.

And instead of giving you care instructions for your clothes, they give you grammatical “care instructions” for Japanese words.

And instead of chaffing your tender neck flesh, they burn your precious brain cells.


At least that’s how I feel for now. Hopefully particles won’t be such a painful part of speech down the road. Only time will tell. 🙂

Let’s start with some basic possessive pronouns created with the  particle:

Yours, Mine, Ours

There’s also:

HIS: かれの (kareno – pronounced ka-ray-no_

HERS: かのじょの (kanojyono – pronounced ka-no-joe-no)

Here’s the basic sentence structure for using  の as a possessive particle.

basic possessive sentence structure

As you can see, it’s pretty simple. You can also see how to use the particle to indicate possession with ‘s, as is done in English.

Lastly, here’s how to use the  particle to indicate possession in question sentences.

basic possessive sentence structure for questions

だれ (dare – pronounced da-ray) means whose.

です (desu), which is a verb coupla meaning. it is or to be.

The  (ka) at the end of the sentence is used as a question particle. (I can go more into the ka particle later)

You could also get more specific and ask: だれのすしですか?Whose sushi is that?

And a simple response might be: わたしのです。It is mine. OR あなたのです。It is yours.

Like I said, this is just a super simple intro and explanation to some really basic possessive Japanese grammar. Nothing fancy, just another small piece of the Japanese language learning puzzle. I hope you found it helpful. 🙂

Other links for learning possessive particle and grammar in Japanese:

PuniPuni Japan 

The Japanese Page

Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!





Japanese Sentence Making for Beginners

It’s been less than 6 months since I began my daily Japanese studies. Time flies when you’re having fun! 🙂

Up to this point, I’ve learned hiragana, katakana, around 1,500 vocabulary words (according to my Memrise app), some basic “survival” phrases, and most of the first grade level Kanji. This past week I began studying grammar.

My biggest fear about beginning grammar was it would be complicated and frustrating that I’d want to give up learning Japanese. At the same time, I understood that jumping over the grammar hurdle would make me one step closer to being able to think and communicate in Japanese one day.

fry fear
Pretty much sums up my approach towards Japanese grammar.

But guess what? It’s really not that bad. Not yet, anyways.

really not bad

The first step in learning Japanese grammar (at least for me) is understanding basic sentence structure.

Knowing the kana and a bunch of vocab words felt like having a 1,000 piece puzzle without the picture on the puzzle box to know how to put it all together, a.k.a. grammar.  The following resources (all free, by the way) helped me put the “border” of my lanauge puzzle together.  I obviously have a loooooong way to go, but the task ahead seems less daunting now that the foundational parts are in place.

Hopefully, these things will help you, too. 🙂

10 Major Aspects of the Japanese Language by

An intro to basic Japanese phrases, a few vocab words, and a run down of 10 things to keep in mind when trying to understand some key elements of the Japanese language, which I’ve found helpful as I learn grammar and language “construction.”


How to Build a Sentence in Japanese: The Ultimate Guide to Kickstart Your Understanding of Japanese Basics by Japanese

At first glace, I was overwhelmed by all the information on this page. I took my time and went through each of the areas and took notes, which took me about an hour. My favorite part about this page is the way sentence structure examples are presented with a little formula. For example:




I wrote these down in my study notebook to refer to ask I work on making sentences for practice.


Basic Polite Sentence Making from

Great site for people who enjoy visual aids to support their learning. The entire site is FULL of incredible info for learners at every level.


Beginners Japanese Grammar 1 (JLPT N5 Grammar) on the Memrise App



Creating Simple Japanese Sentences with Japanese From Zero

Sensei George is hilarious. At least I think so. 🙂 His lighthearted and playful approach to learning Japanese helps me not want to curl up into the fetal position and cry when Japanese learning gets difficult. Most of the videos are around 10 minutes or less, and although created as a supplement to the book, are helpful for folks without the books as well.

*What about Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese?*

I am using Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese, but mostly as a reference as I get more comfortable with grammar and kanji. I do think it’s a great resource, but it most definitely is overwhelming if you’re super new to Japanese because of the use of kanji right away.

My Study Plan as of Today:

  • Better understanding the various parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, etc.), while continuing to plug away at vocabulary words and kanji.
  • I also need to do more speaking and listening practice, which I’ve been awful at doing up to this point. :/
  • Memrise App daily, especially Beginners Japanese Grammar 1 (almost done with Japanese 2 and JLPT N5 Vocab)

Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and considering donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!