The #1 Easy List Of Japanese Prepositions

Japanese is considered one of the most challenging languages to learn on earth. People probably think so because of the kanji writing system and the Japanese grammar.

Yes, Japanese grammar is pretty different from English, but that doesn’t necessarily make learning Japanese difficult. Once you start studying Japanese grammar, you realize everything is in order and makes sense.

This is the case with Japanese prepositions as well. Don’t become discouraged yet! Because in this post, you’ll learn the most commonly used Japanese prepositions and how to use them in sentences.

But first, let’s see what actually is a preposition in linguistic terms.


What Is A Preposition?

A preposition is a word or group of words used right before a noun, pronoun, and noun phrase. They can indicate a direction, time, or location or introduce an object. The most common English prepositions are “in, at, on, of, and to.”

I think prepositions are a kind of assistant words that help us to complete our sentences fully and perfectly.


What Is The Difference Between Prepositions In English And Japanese?

Prepositions in Japanese have the same function as in English; however, they show differences in how they are formed in a sentence. Japanese prepositions often come right after the noun phrase they modify. So they’re like postpositions in English.

The other difference is that a Japanese preposition is usually separated between one or more words, usually the standard Japanese particles.


How To Use Japanese Prepositions In A Sentence?

Unlike English, Japanese has an SOV sentence structure, is generally agglutinative, and usually adds particles at the end of sentences. Due to those reasons, prepositions in Japanese are formed differently than in English.

First, let’s look at the three different ways to use prepositions in Japanese, and then we’ll give you a list of Japanese prepositions where you can find any preposition you need.

I. _の + Preposition

Usually, you add aの (no) before the preposition so that you can connect a noun to a location word. To understand it better, please analyze this example:

  • In front of the bank – 学校の前 (Gakkou no mae) [Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]学校の前[/Speechword]

If you want to describe where something is located in relation to another thing, you should use the particle は (wa). To understand it better, please analyze this example:

  • The library is next to the park. – 図書館公園のとなりです。(Toshokan wa kouen no tonari desu.)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]図書館は公園のとなりです[/Speechword]

II. __の + Preposition

If you have to attach a preposition to two different nouns, you can connect them with と (to). The most common example of this situation is 間 (aida)which means ”in between”.

To understand it better, please analyze this example:

  • In between the park and the hospital. – 公園病院間です (Kouen to byouin no aida desu.)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]公園と病院の間です[/Speechword]

III. Without の

It’s possible to use a preposition without の (no). However, you must figure out what the preposition is related to based on the context. Most of the time, it is from the speaker’s perspective.

  • (I) saw something interesting to my right. – 右面白物ものが見。(Migi ni omoshiroi mono ga mieta.)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]右に面白物ものが見[/Speechword]


The Ultimate List Of Japanese Prepositions

aboutやくyaku[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]約[/Speechword]
above上にうえにue ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]うえに[/Speechword]
according to によるとni yoru to[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]によると[/Speechword]
across横切っておこぎってyokogit te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]おこぎって[/Speechword]
after後にあとにatoni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]あとに[/Speechword]
againstに対してに たいし てni taishi te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に たいし て[/Speechword]
amongの間にの あいだ にno aida ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の あいだ に[/Speechword]
aroundの周りにの まわり にno mawari ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の まわり に[/Speechword]
as としてtoshite[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]として[/Speechword]
as far as限りかぎりkagiri[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]かぎり[/Speechword]
as well as だけでなくdake de naku[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]だけでなく[/Speechword]
at ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に[/Speechword]
because of のためにno tame ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]のために[/Speechword]
beforeまえmae[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]まえ[/Speechword]
behind後ろにろにushiro ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]後ろに[/Speechword]
below下 にしたにshita ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]下 に[/Speechword]
beside横によこ にyoko ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]横に[/Speechword]
betweenの間にの あいだ にno aida ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の あいだ に[/Speechword]
beyond越えてこえ てkoe te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]こえ て[/Speechword]
by によってniyotte[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]によって[/Speechword]
close toの近くにの ちかく にno chikaku ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の ちかく に[/Speechword]
despite にもかかわらずni mo kakawara zu[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]にもかかわらず[/Speechword]
down下にした にshita ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]した に[/Speechword]
due to の ため にno tame ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の ため に[/Speechword]
during間にあいだ にaida ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]あいだ に[/Speechword]
except除いてのぞい てnozoi te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]のぞい て[/Speechword]
except forを除いてを のぞい てwo nozoi te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]を のぞい て[/Speechword]
for のためにno tame ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]のために[/Speechword]
from からkara[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]から[/Speechword]
in中でなかでnaka de[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]なかで[/Speechword]
in addition toに加えてに くわえてni kuwae te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に くわえて[/Speechword]
in front ofの前にの まえ にno mae ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の まえ に[/Speechword]
in spite of にもかかわらずni mo kakawara zu[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]にもかかわらず[/Speechword]
inside内部でないぶ でnaibu de[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]ないぶ で[/Speechword]
inside ofの中にの なかにno naka ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の なかに[/Speechword]
instead ofの代わりにの かわり にno kawari ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の かわり に[/Speechword]
into中になか にnaka ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]なか に[/Speechword]
near近くにちかく にchikaku ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]ちかく に[/Speechword]
near toの近くにの ちかく にno chikaku ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の ちかく に[/Speechword]
next次のつぎ のtsugi no[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]つぎ の[/Speechword]
next toの隣にの となり にno tonari ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の となり に[/Speechword]
of no[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の[/Speechword]
on上にうえ にue ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]うえ に[/Speechword]
on behalf ofに代わってに かわってni kawat te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に かわって[/Speechword]
opposite反対のはんたい のhantai no[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]はんたい の[/Speechword]
out外でそと でsoto de[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]そと で[/Speechword]
outside外側でそと がわ でsoto gawa de[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]そと がわ で[/Speechword]
outside ofの外側にの そと がわ にno soto gawa ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の そと がわ に[/Speechword]
over上 にうえ にue ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]うえ に[/Speechword]
per ごとにgoto ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]ごとに[/Speechword]
plus to[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]と[/Speechword]
prior toの前にの まえ にno mae ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]の まえ に[/Speechword]
round周りにまわり にmawari ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]まわり に[/Speechword]
since からkara[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]から[/Speechword]
than よりyori[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]より[/Speechword]
through までmade[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]まで[/Speechword]
to ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に[/Speechword]
towardに向かってに むかってni mukat te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]に むかって[/Speechword]
under下 にした にshita ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]した に[/Speechword]
unlikeとは違ってと は ちがってto wa chigat te[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]と は ちがって[/Speechword]
until までmade[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]まで[/Speechword]
up上 にうえ にue ni[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]うえ に[/Speechword]
with to[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]と[/Speechword]
without なし でnashi de[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]なし で[/Speechword]


3 Japanese Words That Mean ”Next To”

There are three different words that you can use to say ”next to” in Japanese. Since it may be a little confusing for new Japanese learners, we wanted to shed some light on this issue.

となり (tonari)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]となり [/Speechword]

となり implies that something is right next to the object you’re talking about. There are no other objects in between.

よこ (yoko)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]よこ[/Speechword]

よこ implies that something is on a horizontal line from the thing you’re talking about. It may sometimes be used instead of となり. However, keep in mind that よこ has other stuff in between.

わき (waki)[Speechword voice=”Japanese Female” isinline]わき[/Speechword]

わき implies that there is a small gap or space in between. For example, it’s usually used for the side of the road.


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