和訳は英文の下にございます / The Japanese translation is below the English text.

HOW DO YOU SAY “AND” IN JAPANESE?

CONTENTS

1. What is the word for “and”?
2. Table of summary for "and"
3. General idea about saying “and” in Japanese 

1. What is the word for “and”?

Do you know the word for “and” in Japanese?

Some of you may say,

“Yes! It’s the particle ‘to (と)’”.

You are right, but only partially so. In Japanese, there is a set of ways to say “and” depending on the case or kind of words you want to connect.

You may already have learned some of them, so here we placed a table of summary for your reference.

If you are not sure about one or more of them, please follow the link after the table.

2. Table of summary

Case No.EnvironmentKeywordExample
1AAfter a noun not in the predicate"to"Tomodachi to watashi wa toshokan e ikimashita. (A Friend and I went to the library.)
1BAfter a noun in the predicate"de"Tezuka Osamu wa isha de manga-ka deshita. (Tezuka Osamu was a physician and a cartoonist.)
2After a verb"te-form"Bijutsukan e itte, gohan o tabete, kaimono-shimashita. (I went to the museum, ate lunch, and bought some things.)
3After Na-Adjective"de"Chikatetsu wa benri de yasui desu. (Subway is convenient and cheap.)
4After I-Adjective"-kute form"Oishikute yasui mise o mitsukemashita. (I found a restaurant which serves, tastey, inexpensive food.)
5At the beginning of a sentence"sorekara" etc.Sorekara uchi e kaerimashita. (And then I went home.)

To study each case, click:
=> How Do You Say “And” After Noun? for Case 1A and 1B
=> How To Say “And” After Verb for Case 2
=> How To Say “And” After Na-Adjective for Case 3
=> How To Say “And” After I-Adjective for Case 4
=> How Do You Say “And” As A Conjunction? for Case 5

3. General idea about saying “and” in Japanese

Here is the general idea about the expressions for “and” in Japanese.

An image of a train coupling to illustrate the "and" in Japanese
Sometimes a train car is equipped with a connector on the back like “and” in Japanese.

When you connect two words or parts of a sentence in Japanese, the words in the front needs to have a “hook” at its back to hang another word on it. Just like some train cars are equipped with a coupling on the back.

For example, to say “Today’s schedule is going to be: A dentist appointment, the Japanese class, and my sister’s birthday party,” in Japanese, you say:

Kyoo no yotee wa, ha-isha to nihon-go no kurasu to imooto no tanjoobi paatii desu. 今日きょうていは、しゃほんのクラスといもうとたんじょうパーティーです。

an example for “and” after a noun

In this sentence, each “to” functions like a “hook” preparing to receive a next word. Therefore, the following pronunciation tip:

  • Do not place a pause before “to”. Generally you don’t have to speak fast, but pronounce a noun and the following “to” in one breath. It will let the listener better understand you.

For example, when you speak while trying to remember your plans one by one, start like this:

“Kyoo no yotee wa (pause and take a breath), ha-isha to (take a breath and think), … ” 「今日きょうていは、しゃと、…」

…then we can correctly guess you will have at least one more event.

By the same token, when you do not say “to” after a word, we understand that was the last item on your list.

With this in mind, please read on to our other posts on how to say “AND” after different cases.

[End of the post]

Other posts on this topic:
=> How Do You Say “And” After Noun? for Case 1A and 1B
=> How To Say “And” After Verb for Case 2
=> How To Say “And” After Na-Adjective for Case 3
=> How To Say “And” After I-Adjective for Case 4
=> How Do You Say “And” As A Conjunction? for Case 5

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