Difference between に ‘ni’ and へ ‘e’

On this article we will learn about the difference between particle に (ni) and へ (e) in Japanese language.

に = indicates specific location/destination/place/time
へ = indicates direction towards specific location/destination/place

Lets understand the usage with below examples:

Japanese: わたし は とうきょう いきます。
Kanji: 私 は 東京 行きます。
Reading: Watashi wa Toukyou ni ikimasu.
Meaning: I will go to Tokyo.

From above sentence it is understood that, i am going to the city named Tokyo. Here, the location is specific/fixed. The destination is more important here.

Japanese: わたし は とうきょう いきます。
Kanji: 私 は 東京 行きます。
Reading: Watashi wa Toukyou e ikimasu.
Meaning: I will go to Tokyo.

From above sentence it is understood that, i am going towards the direction of Tokyo city. Here, the direction of the location specified. Here, the journey is more important but not the destination. Lets see another example:

Japanese: みぎ いきます。
Kanji: 右 行きます。
Reading: Migi e ikimasu.
Meaning: I am going right (direction).

Here, you cannot not say Migi ni ikimasu because Migi is not a place/destination you can go to. It is rather a direction.

Japanese: ごぜん じゅう じ かいぎ が あります。
Kanji: 午前 10時 会議 が あります。
Reading: Gozen juu-ji ni kaigi ga arimasu.
Meaning: I have a meeting at 10am.

Here, time of the meeting is fixed/specific, therefore, に (ni) is correct. Usage of へ (e) is incorrect. Lets see another example:

Japanese: テーブル あります。
Kanji: テーブル あります。
Reading: Teeburu ni arimasu.
Meaning: It is on the table.

Again, here place is fixed/specific, therefore, に (ni) is correct. Usage of へ (e) is incorrect.

Hope this lesson helped you understand the core difference between particle に (ni) and へ (e) in Japanese language. Remember the above rules and you will be fine with making Japanese sentences correctly.

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