Why are we using で instead of を here?

Hey everyone,

I was just looking at the example sentences of the ましょうか section.
One of the sentences is:

Shall we speak in Japanese?

I was wondering why the で-particle is used in this case?
I would’ve said 日本語話しましょうか

For me this is the same as in 日本語を勉強しています (I am studying Japanese).

Could someone explain this to me please? :blush:

1 Like

Hey :grin:

The particle で is not only used to mark locations but has another use (among others) - marking means of doing something (tools). Like “with” and “by” in English.

getting to work by bus, cutting cake with a knife, speaking in English etc

So you could say it means something along:
“Shall we communicate by means of Japanese?”


By the way, を also does not only mark direct object (answers to question "who/what is being verbed - I am studying(verbing) Japanese), but also has another uses I superficially explained here:


Thanks a lot!

By looking at the grammar point you linked to, I saw that this use of で is explained later in Genki - I’m just not that far into the book :smile: There is even the same example mentioned.