6.5 The Particles に (ni) and へ (e)

This module helps you learn the nuances of the Japanese particles に (ni) and へ (e), both of which are instrumental in indicating direction or destination.

What are the particle に and へ?

The particles に and へ both indicate the direction or destination towards which someone or something is moving. Note that although the particle へ is written as ‘へ’, it is pronounced ‘e’, not ‘he’.

While these particles can be used interchangeably, they convey subtle differences in nuance. Here is an outline of the key grammar points:

Key points to remember

  • is commonly used in both spoken and written language.
  • へ, with a slightly more formal tone, is more frequently used in written contexts.


Usage in sentences

With this foundation, let’s explore practical examples to master the use of these particles in constructing sentences.

The particles に and へ indicating direction or destination are often accompanied with the following verbs:

行(い)く (iku: to go)

来(く)る (kuru: to come)

帰(かえ)る (kaeru: to return, to go home)


These verbs describe movement between places and pair up with either に or へ to show the destination where someone or something is going, coming or returning.

Here are some example sentences:


Kyou gakkou ni iki masu

I will go to school today.


Ashita Nihongo no kurasu ni ki masu.

I will come to the Japanese class tomorrow.


Mainichi ie ni kaerimasu.

I go home everyday.

Exercise 1




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Japanese Introductory 1 Copyright © 2024 by Iori Hamada is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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