Japanese Lesson 4 (Prepositions and Directions)

Duration: 30 mins

This first lesson teaches many important aspect of Japanese like prepositions, vocabulary list about directions and finally common phrases about how to introduce yourself. I will try to give examples using both vocabulary and grammar. That way it will be easy for you to see the words when they are separate and when they are in a sentence. Going through the whole page should take about 30 min. Make sure to read the pronunciation and hear the audio as well. If you have any question about this course, please email me directly at Japanese Classes.


Prepositions are used in almost every sentence. They can be a great tool to link words with each other. For example by simply knowing how to use "to", "with", "from", "after" you can expand your conversation scope. In short, a preposition describes a relationship between words in a sentence, for example: I agree with you.

Below is a list of 27 prepositions that you might come across or use very often. The table contains 3 columns (English, Japanese, and Audio). Make sure you repeat each word after hearing it by either clicking on the audio button or by reading the pronunciation. That should help with memorization as well as improving your pronunciation.

Prepositions List in Japanese

Prepositions Japanese
In front of前に [mae ni]
Behind後ろに [ushiro ni]
Before前に [mae ni]
After後ろに [ushiro ni]
Insideの内側で [no uchigawa de]
Withと [to]
Withoutなしで [nashi de]
Outsideの外側で [no sotogawa de]
On top of上に [ue ni]
Under下に [sita ni]
About (in regards to)約 [yaku]
Againstに対して [nitaisite]
Andと [to]
As (similar to)として [tosite]
Betweenの間に [no aida ni]
Butしかし [shikashi]
Forのために [no tame ni]
Fromから [kara]
Inの中で [no naka de]
Instead of代わりに [kawari ni]
Nearの近くに [no chikaku ni]
Ofの [no]
Orまたは [matawa]
Sinceから [kara]
Soそう [soo]
Toに [ni]
Untilまで [made]

Now we will try to implement some of the prepositions above into full Japanese sentences. That way you will be able to use the word not only by itself but embedded in a structure.

Japanese Prepositions in a Sentence

English Japanese
Can I practice Italian with you?私はあなたとイタリア語を練習できますか? [Watasi wa anata to Itaria go wo renshuu dekimasu ka?]
I speak French but with an accent私はフランス語を話しますがなまりがあります。 [Watasi wa Furansu go wo hanasi masu ga namari ga arimasu.]
I was born in Miami私はマイアミで生まれました。 [Watasi wa Maiami de umare masita.]
I'm from Japan私は日本出身です。 [Watasi wa nihon shusshin desu.]
The letter is inside the book手紙は本の内側にあります。 [Temami wa hon no uchigawani arimasu.]
The pen is under the deskペンは机の下にあります。 [Pen wa tsukue no sita ni arimasu.]
Can I help you?どうかされましたか? [Douka sare masitaka?]


If you have any questions, please contact me If you simply want to ask a question, please Japanese contact form on the header above.

Vocabulary List about Directions

Below is a list of 28 words and sentences related to directions that you might need when lost or asking for help. If you can memorize them by heart, you will be able to travel from point A to point B by following directions.

Giving Directions in Japanese

Directions Japanese
Can you help me?お願いがあるのですが? [Onegai ga aru no desuga?]
Can you show me?見せてもらえますか? [Misete morae masuka?]
Come with me!私について来てください。 [Watashi ni tsuite kite kudasai.]
Downtown (city center)繁華街(町の中心地域) [hannka gai (machi no chuusin chiiki)]
Excuse me! (to ask someone)すみません!(人に尋ねごとをする場合) [Sumimasen! (Hito ni tazume-goto wo suru baai)]
Go straight真直ぐ行ってください。 [Massugu itte kudasai.]
How can I get to the museum? 博物館への道順を教えてもらえませんか? [Hakubutsu kann eno michijun wo oshiete moraemasen ka?]
How long does it take to get there?そこへ行くのに時間はいくらかかりますか? [Sokohe yuku noni jikan wa ikura kakari masuka?]
I'm lost道に迷ってしまった。 [Michi ni mayotte simatta.]
I'm not from hereここから来たのではありません。 [Koko kara kita no dewa arimasen.]
It's far from hereここからは遠いです。 [Koko kara wa tooi desu.]
It's near hereここから近くです。 [Koko kara chikaku desu.]
One moment please!ちょっと待って! [Chotto matte!]
Turn left左にまがる。 [Hidari ni magaru]
Turn right右にまがる。 [Migi ni magaru]
Far遠い [tooi]
Hereここ [koko]
Left左 [hidari]
Right右 [migi]
Near近い [chikai]
Straight真直ぐ [massugu]
Thereそこ [soko]
To drive運転すること [unten suru koto]
To turn曲がること [magaru koto]
To walk歩くこと [aruku koto]
Traffic light交通信号 [koutsuu singou]
Transportation交通 [koutsuu]


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Daily Conversation in Japanese

Finally, a couple sentences to help you know how to introduce yourself in Japanese. For a complete list of commonly used sentences, please visit our Japanese Phrases page. Enjoy!

Common Expressions in Japanese

English Japanese
Do you speak English?英語を話せますか? [eigo o hanase masuka?]
Just a little少しだけ [sukoshi dake]
What's your name?あなたの名前は? [anata no namae wa?]
My name is (John Doe)私の名前はジョン・ドーです。 [Watasi no namae ha jon-do desu.]
Mr... / Mrs. ... / Miss...Aさん、Bさん、Cさん [A san, B san, C san]
Nice to meet you!初めまして! [hajime mashite!]
You're very kind!ご親切に、ありがとうございます! [go shinsetsuni arigatougozaimasu!]

Fun Facts

Language Quote: The language of a society changes slowly but steadily with the result that an educated person will not be able to read or understand words in his language written 500 years ago. Do you feel like you can't talk to your parents? Maybe it's because you belong to the Niger-Congo family. More than 1,400 languages are spoken by different members of this family from Africa..

Congratulations! You finished your 4th lesson in Japanese about prepositions, and directions. Are you ready for the next lesson? We recommend Japanese Lesson 5. You can also simply click on one of the links below or go back to our Learn Japanese homepage.