Time: From, Until, At [89/365]

Yesterday I talked about particles (or absence thereof!) for saying what day something happens. For the same reason (writing plans in Japanese emails with friends) I needed to say what time things happen.

In Japanese for Busy People 1 they introduce time by saying what time something begins (from から) and what time it finishes (up to まで):

“depato wa gozen jyūji kara desu”
The department store opens at 10am

“paーtiー wa nanji made desu ka”
What time does the party finish?

“shigoto wa kuji kara goji made desu”
Work is from 9:00 to 5:00

But what about saying something happens at a specific time?

Well here is what I wrote in my email (I didn’t put the pronunciation or translation in the email, just the Japanese):


“watashitachi wa mokuyōbi ni kafe CB2 ni ikimasu”
We will go to cafe CB2 on Thursday.

Note: “We” (私たち) in this context is supposed to allude to me and some members of the Cambridge Japanese Circle. Also, I should possibly have written “CB2のカフェ” instead of “カフェCB2”, but since CB2 is a postcode (yes, the cafe is called “CB2” and isn’t even in that postcode hahaha) I think that might be even more confusing/misleading/wrong.

“issho ni kimasen ka?”
Shall we come together?

Note: My ideal meaning was “You should come with us!” which is how I would say it naturally in English – taking the emphasis off “together” (as two individuals) and instead saying I am doing something, then suggesting another person joins in. However, what I wrote in Japanese is more like “Shall we come together?” and I should probably have said “Shall we go together?” (一緒に行きませんか?) or perhaps even “Shall we meet together?” (一緒に会いませんか?) 🤔

“atsumari wa yojihan kara jūji made desu”
The gathering is from 4:30 to 10 o’clock.

でも、私は7時半に出ます。 (私は8時からBridgeをします。)
(でも、わたしはしちじはんにでます。 (わたしははちじからBridgeをします。))
“demo, watashi wa shichijihan ni demasu. (watashi wa hachiji kara Bridge o shimasu. )”
But I will leave at 7:30. (I am playing Bridge from 8 o’clock.)

“mata ne!”
See you!


Notice that I am able to get by on から and まで until I mention leaving early and there I was hesitant to use から because it didn’t seem appropriate since I really would be leaving on the dot of 7:30 (or even before – maybe I could use まで then?). So I did some research and found that I could use に just like in yesterday’s entries with things happening on days of the week.

My takeaway from this is that I can use に with time to say an exact time something happens, rather than simply から and まで to indicate start and finish. I hope that is correct!

Image credit: A bit of free clipart.

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