How to use particle と/to in Japanese
How to use particle と/to in Japanese
Published on: June 5, 2021

What are Japanese participles?

In English relationships between the words of a sentence are shown mostly by word order.
In Japanese, however, the sentence function of nouns and pronouns is shown by additional words that are placed immediately after the noun or pronoun. These words, which are called particles.

In English, there are special words called prepositions. Japanese has no prepositions, but particles have many of the same functions as prepositions.

Japanese uses particles after words to mark what they are for. Particles will follow the words they control. That is why particles are sometimes called postpositions.

There are many kinds of particles like: ga/が, which is a to things you give attention marker; wa/は, which is a topic marker; o/を, which follows the direct object; no/の, which means “of” in most of the English senses of the word, and indicates possession; and ka/か, which indicates a question.

Let’s learn particle と/to for now.

How to use particle と/to

と/to can sometimes be translated as “with” (meaning accompaniment) and sometimes “and.”

<Example 1>
Tomodachi to ryokoo ni itta.
ともだち と りょこう に いった。
友達 と 旅行 に 行った。
[friends with traveling went]
I went traveling with my friends.

<Example 2>
Satoo to shio o katta.
さとう と しお を かった。
砂糖 と 塩 を 買った。
[sugar and salt bought]
I bought sugar and salt.

と/to is not always equivalent to the English word and, however. と/to is used only to link series of nouns or pronouns, and cannot be used to link verbs or clauses.