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チームでバレーボールをしている。

healer

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Could we say the following instead for the same meaning?
チーム は/が バレーボールをしている。
What could be the difference in the meaning or nuance where で is used instead of は or が?
 
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In this case, the difference is significant and straightforward: the title sentence has some unstated group of people as the subject, the second has "The team" as the subject.
This means the title sentence talks about the manner (で) in which "they" are playing volleyball, while the change talks about what activity "the team" is engaging in.


チームでバレーボールをしている⇒They are playing volleyball as a team. (when, e.g., talking of a group of people who have formed a volleyball team.)
⇒They are playing volleyball in teams. (when, e.g., talking about the activities of a gym class.)

チームがバレーボールをしている⇒The team is playing volleyball. (The team already exists; it might not even be a volleyball team, but the team is playing volleyball right now.)


I don't think there's any general principle that can be drawn from this. You replacing the "manner" particle with the "subject" or "topic" particle, which are completely different purposes. Depending on the starting sentence, the results could end up being ungrammatical or nonsensical.

e.g.
地下鉄で通っています⇒I take the subway to work. (lit. "I commute by subway")
地下鉄が通っています⇒The subway is commuting(???)
 
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Toritoribe

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Could we say the following instead for the same meaning?
チーム は/が バレーボールをしている。
What could be the difference in the meaning or nuance where で is used instead of は or が?
Two different interpretations are possible for the expression in the thread title. When チーム means "group for sports", で indicates manner/state in that expression, as in みんなで or ひとりで. On the other hand, when チーム refers to a specific volleyball team, で more likely indicates the location of action, so the meaning is close to "(the subject) belongs to the volleyball team (which is already mentioned in the context), and is playing volleyball there".

As for は/が, it's an objective description of an action; a/the team is playing volleyball.

Incidentally, all those sentences are somehow awkward as a stand-alone sentence.
cf.
体育の授業では、チームで(=チームに分かれて)バレーボールをしている。
彼は、あるチームでバレーボールをしている。
二つのチームがバレーボールをしている。
あるチームはバスケをしているし、別のチームはバレーをしている。

地下鉄が通っています⇒The subway is commuting(???)
In that sentence, 通る is read とおる.;)
 
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In that sentence, 通る is read とおる.;)
Oh, wait... yeah... uhm.... I didn't think about the other readings.... o_O
It was meant to be かよっています in both sentences, of course, in order to demonstrate how it becomes ungrammatical, but I kinda messed up. Hopefully it still conveys the idea.
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, I understand what you wanted to convey.:) Although 通る is more common, 通う also can mean "to run/ply" when a means of transportation is the subject.

かよう【通う】
2〔交通機関が往き来する〕
新潟と佐渡を通う船
a ship plying between Niigata and Sado

この町から海岸まで鉄道が通っている
There is railroad service from this town to the seaside.


Thus, your example sentence is grammatical even when written in hiragana かよっている. 通う is not a good choice in this case, unfortunately.;)
 

healer

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チームでバレーボールをしている⇒They are playing volleyball as a team. (when, e.g., talking of a group of people who have formed a volleyball team.)
⇒They are playing volleyball in teams. (when, e.g., talking about the activities of a gym class.)
Ref: FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101
I asked for the difference in meaning and suggested the use of は and が because the translation for the sentence was simply "The teams are playing volleyball. " It was also because I hadn't come across チームで meaning "as a group" due to my little exposure to the Japanese language as SomeCallMeChris-san and Toritoribe-san explained. Having read all the explanations from SomeCallMeChris-san and Toritoribe-san I believe the sentence should be translated as "They are playing volleyball as a team."

地下鉄が通っています⇒The subway is commuting(???)
I had supposed I could readily understand the ungrammaticality of the sentence even without your English translation because 地下鉄 is not a living thing that can commute.

In that sentence, 通る is read とおる.;)
I'm not too sure why Toritoribe-san pointed out 通る is read とおる while both 通る and 通う conjugate to 通っています. Was he simply making sure that 通る should be read for the given sentence and the sentence was actually sensical and grammatically correct?

Incidentally, all those sentences are somehow awkward as a stand-alone sentence.
I understand the 4 given example sentences Toritoribe-san gave. However I don't understand how チーム は/が バレーボールをしている is considered awkward.
 
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Was he simply making sure that 通る should be read for the given sentence and the sentence was actually sensical and grammatically correct?
He was pointing out that there was, in fact, a grammatically correct interpretation that was how the sentence would normally be read, and also pointing out that there was in fact a secondary meaning to かよう that could make the sentence still grammatical.

In short, I chose a poor example that can be interpreted differently from how I was thinking of it, and he was correcting my choice. Next time I'll try to choose an example that doesn't have so many layered meanings!
勉強になりました!

I think you understood what I was getting at though.
 

Toritoribe

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I believe the sentence should be translated as "They are playing volleyball as a team."
Or, "he/she is playing volleyball in a team" if チーム refers to a specific team, as I wrote above.

I understand the 4 given example sentences Toritoribe-san gave. However I don't understand how チーム は/が バレーボールをしている is considered awkward.
My point is that a background context is needed for チームで/は/がバレーボールをしている. Just チーム is awkward even for が.
 

healer

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I think you understood what I was getting at though.
Yes I did. Thanks again!

I had supposed when you said "awkward" referring to a sentence or the like, you meant the saying was grammatically correct but Japanese natives in general wouldn't say in that way because the choice of words or the order of words. Could it be what you meant sometimes?
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, I might have a tendency to use "awkward" in a broader sense. It might be "grammatical but almost never used" or may be sometimes "understandable but ungrammatical." I think I mostly use for the former case, though. It's the former also here.
 
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