The particle と is one of the easier particles to learn. It simply means ‘and’ and in some cases ‘with’. You use it to connect nouns and other elements in a summary, or use it to show involvement with somebody. It’s also called the connecting particle or an involvement marker. 

  • Main lesson: と is used as ‘and’ and ‘with’

と as ‘and’

In a summary, と comes after a noun and when you use it in a summary it comes after every noun, except the last one. So in English, you would say: vegetables and fruit. In Japanese, this would translate to: やさい と くでもの. So when the list becomes larger, you would use more と’s. For example: 

  English : Wednesday and Saturday  
  Japanese : すいようびどようび  
  すいようび : Wednesday  
  どようび : Saturday  
  English: Monday, Tuesday and Friday  
  Japanese: げつようびかようびきんようび  
  げつようび : Monday  
  かようび : Tuesday  
  きにょうび : Friday  
  ギョーザ さき からえだまめ を ください  
  Gyoza, tebasaki, kara-age and edamame please  
  さき : Fried chicken wings  
  から : Juicy fried chicken  
  えだまめ : Soybeans  

と as ‘with’

と is used as ‘with’ when it’s used after a person or another living thing. For example, when you do something together as in the sentences below

  ムハンマド は サラ ばんごはん を たべました  
  Mohammed ate dinner with Sarah  
  ムハンマド : Mohammed  
  サラ : Sarah  
  ばんごはん : Dinner  
  たべました : Ate (past tense of たべる, to eat)  

と comes after サラ (Sarah) because モハンマド (Mohammed) is doing something with Sarah. When Sarah would be the object of the sentence the と would come after モハンマド (Mohammed). Another few examples: 

  はるとくん おんがくかい に いきます  
  I am going to a concert with Haruto  
  はると : Haruto  
  くん : Boy,   
  おんがくかい : Concert   
  いきます : To go  
  ほのか は うま あるいています  
  Honoka is walking with the horse  
  ほのか : Honoka  
  うま : Horse   
  あるいています : Walking (from あるく, to walk)