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Why に, not で?

GenjiMain

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In the sentence でんしゃのなかにかばんをわすれてしまいまし, Why is it なかに and not なかで? に indicates a place of existence while で indicates a place of action. To forget is an action, so shouldn't the latter be used?

Ps sorry for all hiragana.
 

Toritoribe

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忘れる means "to forget" as "to leave something behind~/to forget to bring something from~", and に indicates the location of existence of the lost article (= baggage). で is also acceptable, but に is more commonly used.
 

GenjiMain

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I understand everything you said yet I still don't see why に is acceptable here. The particle indicating location of existence (に) is used, but grammatically, it is proceded only by "nani nani を nani nani", which is an action. This "nani nani を nani nani" is describing an action at a place, therefore according to the rules of Japanese grammar (as I understand), で is the only grammatically correct particle that can be used for this sentence.

Am I missing something here? Is this just convention or?
 

Toritoribe

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Some action verbs can take に as the location marker. See the following examples.

教室で机の上にカバンを置きました。
郵便局でアメリカに荷物を送りました。

で indicates the location of action. に also indicates the location, but this is for the destination of action. で and に are not interchangeable in these cases.

The location of action is not always necessary for these verbs, thus, there is no problem with the following sentences.

机の上にカバンを置きました。
アメリカに荷物を送りました。

Here's another example.

家の前で車を停めました。
家の前に車を停めました。

Both are acceptable because 家の前 is the location of action(to stop a car), and it's also the location of existence (parking place) at the same time.

Your example sentence is close to this parking case. 電車の中 is the location of action, as you said, and it's also the location of existence at the same time. That's why both で and に are valid.

Incidentally, you can't say 電車の棚カバンを忘れました。. It should be 電車の棚カバンを忘れました。 because 電車の棚 is not the location of action. You were not on the overhead rack in the train, right?

Hope this makes sense.
 

nice gaijin

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While both can be simply translated to "I forgot my bag in the train," it changes the nuance of what is being said.
電車の中でカバンを忘れてしまった - The train is where I forgot my bag; the forgetting happened in the train
電車の中にカバンを忘れてしまった - The bag is in the train, where I forgot it

Perhaps it's clearer if you use both in one sentence: I forgot my bag in the train, on the shelf
電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった - the train is the location where I forgot, and the shelf is the location where the forgotten bag was placed and is presumed to still be.

My guess is one reason に is more commonly used is that the focus of "forget" is usually where the forgotten item can be recovered

I would probably say/have probably said the following:
電車の中でボーッとして、棚にカバンを忘れてしまった。- I had my head in the clouds/got lost in my thoughts on the train and forgot my bag on the rack!
 
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Toritoribe

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My guess is one reason に is more commonly used is that the focus of "forget" is usually where the forgotten item can be recovered
I totally agree with it.

google search results
電車の中カバン/かばん/鞄を忘れ 268
電車の中カバン/かばん/鞄を忘れ 11


Here are other examples where に and で are both valid.

廊下に倒れた。
廊下で倒れた。

ソファーに寝た。
ソファーで寝た。

部屋の隅に座った。
部屋の隅で座った。

芝生に寝転んだ。
芝生で寝転んだ。

ホテルに宿泊した。
ホテルで宿泊した。


Note that 忘れる doesn't always mean "to forget to bring something from~".

旅先で彼女の顔を忘れた。
今朝ホテルで薬を飲むのを忘れた/飲み忘れた。

In the examples above, で is used because 旅先 "somewhere during a trip" and "hotel" can only be the location of action. に can't be used since there is no place where the forgotten thing exists or destination of action for these actions "to forget her face" and "to forget to take a medicine", respectively. Thus, locationに彼女の顔を忘れた and locationに薬を飲むのを忘れた/飲み忘れた are both ungrammatical.
 

GenjiMain

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This is fairly confusing so forgive me if I'm slow on the uptake.

My interpretation of what you are both saying is that に is being used as a destination particle, even when the destination and origin location of the thing are the same. Additionally, the use of に for action verbs is exclusively applicable to the movement of physical things, since only physical things can have physical destinations.

For example, if we take these sentences: コンビニにおにぎり売ってる or 電車にカバンを置いてきた, both can take the で particle, however に can also be used because they are denoting physical destinations of physical things, even though the destination and origin are the same.
 

bentenmusume

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コンビニにおにぎりを売っている is not correct, or at least not if you intend it to mean that they're selling おにぎり at the convenience store. If anything, it would imply selling onigiri to the convenience store, as a wholesaler of おにぎり might. (i.e. someone selling おにぎり such that the final destination of those products ends up at the convenience store)

My interpretation of what you are both saying is that に is being used as a destination particle, even when the destination and origin location of the thing are the same.
I think you're overcomplicating this a bit. The point is whether the focus is on the destination or the place where the action described by the verb was/is performed.

When you say 電車に鞄を忘れてきた, the focus is on the idea that "I forgot my bag on the train", i.e. that you forgot your bag and as a result it ended up on the train. The focus is not on the idea that you were on the train when you "performed the action of forgetting".

Note Toritoribe-san's final two examples in his post above. In those, there is no sense of a final destination. In 旅先で彼女の顔を忘れた and 今朝ホテルで薬を飲むのを忘れた/飲み忘れた, the focus is on where the speaker was when they forgot the girl's face or where they were when they forgot to take their medicine. The focus is not on where the girl's face or the act of drinking medicine ended up as a result of the forgetting.
 

GenjiMain

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So に marks the destination of the action, regardless of where you started. It's just a bit confusing because in most instances there is usually some kind of movement involved e.g. 東京に行く, so I always have associated に with movement.
 
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bentenmusume

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Well, you're also familiar with に simply marking location (e.g. 東京に住んでいる or そのの川には魚がたくさんいる), right?
These don't imply any sense of movement, as you no doubt already know.

So に marks the destination of the action, regardless of where you started.

I would nitpick and say it's not the destination of the action, but rather the object in question. In phrases like 電車の中に鞄を忘れてきた, and 家の前に車を停めました (from Toritoribe-san's examples), the focus again is on the eventual location (I suppose you can call this the "destination") of the bag and the car (as a result of the action), rather than where the speaker was when they performed the action of "forgetting their bag" or "parking the car".
 

mdchachi

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I've found it helps to keep good example sentences in your mind to retain this kind of information. So here's one for you. :p
トイレでうんちしました
トイレにうんちしました

:poop:🚽
 

nice gaijin

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I've found it helps to keep good example sentences in your mind to retain this kind of information. So here's one for you. :p
トイレでうんちしました
トイレにうんちしました

:poop:🚽
The particle used makes a huge difference to that poor janitor
 

Toritoribe

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even when the destination and origin location of the thing are the same
Speaking strictly, this is not correct, or at least not accurate. Think about 教室で机の上にカバンを置きました。. The bag was moved from the speaker's hand to the top of a desk, and the whole action was done in the classroom.

The same goes with 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった. 棚 is the destination, and 電車の中 is the place where the whole action was done.

As you can see, It's not "the destination and origin location of the thing are the same". The two places are different, but they both are in the same location that is indicated by で (教室 and 電車の中, respectively).

This is also applied to intransitive verbs. See the following example.

公園でベンチに座った。

"Bench" is the destination of the action, i.e., the place where the subject sat down, while "park" is the whole action of sitting (movement from the standing position to the sitting position) was done.

Even 東京に行く can be used in a similar sense.

日本で東京に行くのと、アフガニスタンでカブールに行くのとでは、難しさが全然違う。

The speaker compares the two domestic trips in Japan and Afghanistan in this sentence. Thus, the starting points of each trip are not Tokyo and Kabul, respectively, but they are in the same country (Japan and Afghanistan). The whole movement (trip) is done in the same country, so で is used for Japan and Afghanistan.


Note that the same word can refer to different things in different context. For example, in the examples 部屋の隅に座った。 and 部屋の隅で座った。, 部屋の隅 actually doesn't refer to completely the same place. In the former sentence, 部屋の隅 actually means 部屋の隅の床, thus, it means "I sat directly on the floor at a corner of the room." On the other hand, 部屋の隅 is the place the action "sitting" was done in the latter one, so 部屋の隅で椅子に座った。 also works perfectly fine.

Additionally, the use of に for action verbs is exclusively applicable to the movement of physical things, since only physical things can have physical destinations.
Not really. People or even locations also can be the destination of abstract ideas or emotions. It's often called "target" (対象) rather than destination, but the concept is the same as physical things.
e.g.
先生が生徒に文法を教えた。
父は息子に夢を託した。
故郷に愛情を注ぐ。
隣国に敵意を向ける。
 

GenjiMain

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Well, you're also familiar with に simply marking location (e.g. 東京に住んでいる or そのの川には魚がたくさんいる), right?
These don't imply any sense of movement, as you no doubt already know.
I've only ever known に when used in this sense to mark location of existence (ある/いる), with a few exceptions (e.g. 住んでいる). I've never seen it used to mark the location of an action "nantoka を nantoka", which is why I can only rationalise this に usage as a destination particle.

I would nitpick and say it's not the destination of the action, but rather the object in question. In phrases like 電車の中に鞄を忘れてきた, and 家の前に車を停めました (from Toritoribe-san's examples), the focus again is on the eventual location (I suppose you can call this the "destination") of the bag and the car (as a result of the action), rather than where the speaker was when they performed the action of "forgetting their bag" or "parking the car".
Yes I don't know why I said action lol. I think the difference between に and で are clear to me now. I just think the usage of に is a little unintuitive for me personally so it'll take some practice.
 

GenjiMain

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Speaking strictly, this is not correct, or at least not accurate. Think about 教室で机の上にカバンを置きました。. The bag was moved from the speaker's hand to the top of a desk, and the whole action was done in the classroom.

The same goes with 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった. 棚 is the destination, and 電車の中 is the place where the whole action was done.

As you can see, It's not "the destination and origin location of the thing are the same". The two places are different, but they both are in the same location that is indicated by で (教室 and 電車の中, respectively).
Not sure if I'm misunderstanding here, but are you equating the placing of the bag (former example) with the forgetting of the bag (latter example)?
 

Toritoribe

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No. Even in 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった, the bag was moved from the subject's hand to 棚. 忘れる implies 置き忘れる "to put the object on somewhere and forget to take it from there" in that context. No one can forget something somewhere while holding it in their hand, right?
 

GenjiMain

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No. Even in 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった, the bag was moved from the subject's hand to 棚. 忘れる implies 置き忘れる "to put the object on somewhere and forget to take it from there" in that context. No one can forget something somewhere while holding it in their hand, right?
Okay we're on the same page about that. In that case; what I don't understand is this:

"The same goes with 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった. 棚 is the destination, and 電車の中 is the place where the whole action was done."

Indeed the shelf is the destination of the bag, but it's also the origin point of the bag.

As you said, you aren't going to forget a bag as its being placed somewhere. In this case, it's the shelf. You place the bag in the shelf, and so now the bag is in the shelf, and you are aware of that fact. At any point in the future you may forget the bag in the shelf. However, between that change of state of you remembering and forgetting the bag, the destination of the bag remains the same as the origin.

I get the whole thing is done in the train (電車の中で), but that's separate from the movement of the bag itself right?

(Sorry for lazy quotes, on phone)
 
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Toritoribe

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Indeed the shelf is the destination of the bag, but it's also the origin point of the bag.
Not really. The bag is the subject's property. It has not been on the shelf. The subject brought it when getting on the train, and put it on the shelf in the train, thus, they moved it from their hand to the destination "the shelf". That's one reason why に is used here. Notice that 忘れる implies 置き忘れる/置いて、忘れる" to put the object on somewhere and forget to take it from there" in that context, as I already wrote, so に is attached to the implied action "to put", not 忘れる.

Indeed it might not be impossible to think that the bag was already on the shelf when the action 忘れる was done, as you said. However, in this interpretation, the shelf is not the destination of action but the location of existence (カバンが棚にある). It doesn't mean "the destination and the origin point are the same", anyway.

I think 置き忘れる, i.e., に indicates the destination of the implied action "to put", not the location of existence, is a more common interpretation at least for 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった, though.
 

GenjiMain

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Not really. The bag is the subject's property. It has not been on the shelf. The subject brought it when getting on the train, and put it on the shelf in the train, thus, they moved it from their hand to the destination "the shelf". That's one reason why に is used here. Notice that 忘れる implies 置き忘れる/置いて、忘れる" to put the object on somewhere and forget to take it from there" in that context, as I already wrote, so に is attached to the implied action "to put", not 忘れる.

Indeed it might not be impossible to think that the bag was already on the shelf when the action 忘れる was done, as you said. However, in this interpretation, the shelf is not the destination of action but the location of existence (カバンが棚にある). It doesn't mean "the destination and the origin point are the same", anyway.

I think 置き忘れる, i.e., に indicates the destination of the implied action "to put", not the location of existence, is a more common interpretation at least for 電車の中で棚にカバンを忘れてしまった, though.
I suppose origin is strictly speaking not the correct word for what I'm trying to say.

The point im trying to make is that the location of the bag (the shelf) remains the same from the time you placed it to the time you forgot it (and thereafter). I believe the crux of the problem I have with this is this part:

"忘れる implies 置き忘れる/置いて、忘れる" to put the object on somewhere and forget to take it from there"

And so, while I keep separate the idea of 'placing the bag on the shelf' from 'forgetting the bag on the shelf', in this example, they are gramatically connected due to the implied 置き忘れる/置いて (so confusing).

Is this correct?
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, that's right. Object Location に忘れる implies "to put the object on the location and forget to take it from there" just by this verb.

わすれる【忘れる】 の解説
3 うっかりして物を置いてくる。「車の中に書類を―・れる」


The definition means "to put something on somewhere, leave it behind inadvertently, and go to another place."
 
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