あとで (atode) Meaning Japanese Grammar - After

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'あとで (atode) Meaning Japanese Grammar - After'

Anna Baffa Volpe

あとで (atode) Meaning Japanese Grammar - After

The expression あとで (atode) means later, afterwards, after that.

あとで is a very common expression to state something that is done after what was done before.

In this post we are going to explore the meaning of あとで, how it is formed, when あとで is used and the differences with てから.

How あとで is formed

あとで ato de in kanji becomes ()で, but it is common to simply find the hiragana transcription.

あと is a noun that can be used in 2 ways:

  • Preceded by the particle の
  • Preceded by the plain past verb ending in or


I watch TV after homework.

Plain past in た or だ+あとで


I go to sleep after brushing my teeth.

The particle で is often omitted in sentences and it is found simply (あと) alone.

When using あとで

あとで ato de is used when we want to highlight the order, the sequence of two actions:

I perform action A and then action B.

Using あとで I want to emphasize the first action, following which the second occurred:


After class I go to the swimming pool.


Let's eat cake when dad is home.

Now let's see a particular example of a sentence from an anime that uses (あと)で:




If you are killed after Yuu-san will end up angry.

This sentence uses 後で in a hypothetical situation with the particle と: if the first event occurs:


You are killed.

Then after ((あと)で) the second will eventually happen too:


Yuu-san will eventually get angry.

たあとで and てから

A similar form that is used instead of たあとで is てから, composed by the て form of the verb with the particle から. A mom can tell the child:


Wash your hands before eating.

The first action is washing the hands, and only after the second action of eating the meal takes place. Now let's see the same example using あとで:


Wash your hands before eating.

Both sentences are correct, but the more natural one comes first with the form てから.

  • If we want to highlight the sequentiality of the actions, we can use the two forms indifferently, the concept is: first I wash my hands and then lunch.
  • If instead the first action expressed is a condition of the second and it is necessary for the second to occur, then the most correct and natural use is the one with てから. The action of washing hands prepares and facilitates the following action: eating a meal; becomes an important condition and thus results in ()(ぜん) shizen. In these cases it is natural to use the form てから. Another example:


I buy the ticket and take the train.

We see in this example that the necessary condition to take a means of transport is to buy the ticket. It is so natural to use the form てから.

More examples for the difference between あとで and てから:


I went to Japan after I graduated.

I emphasize the fact that I went to Japan only after graduation and not before.


I go out after taking a shower.

Extract from an article on the net, using (あと)

Below we see a sentence found in an article in which some students discussed the often futile mistakes made during the exams.


How do you free yourself from regret when you discover at the end of an exam that you have inadvertently made a error or have made careless mistakes?

In the text we find two points reporting (あと) in which the particle で is omitted:

  • ()わった(あと) after it's over
  • (はっ)(かく)した(あと) after discovering
Plain past in た +(あと)+Noun

We find (あと) (noun) followed by the particle の which joins the two nouns:

  • (こう)(かい)(かん) regret, repentance
  • (あと) after


the regret after finding out that...


in exams or similar situations

We have seen とか among the particles that are used in an enumeration: とか means things similar to..., things like... .


A new life begins for me, I have to buy furniture and other things.

あとで single use as an adverb

あとで can be used as an adverb combined with a verb.


I'll call you later.


I'll check after that question.

A short excerpt from an online article:


For you who always say: later, later! When will that later come? Advice for a life without putting things off.