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 Japanese noun to a location word. To understand it better, please analyze this example:

  • In front of the bank – 銀行の前 (Gakkou no mae)

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.)

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.)

III. Without の

In Japanese grammar, 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.)


The Ultimate List Of Japanese Prepositions

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


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)

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)

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)

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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