だけで (dake de) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Just By

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'だけで (dake de) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Just By'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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だけで (dake de) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Just By

The espression だけで (dake de) means just by, just with, just doing.

In this expression we find the particle だけ that we studied in a previous post, with the meaning of only, just.

Now we add to だけ the particle which gives the form a different meaning and nuance.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of だけで, how it is formed, and when だけで is used through real example sentences.

How だけで is formed

This expression is formed

  • by the adverbial particle だけ meaning only, at least, just and
  • by the particle で which generally describes the place where an action is performed or the means or instrument by which it is performed.

だけで expresses:

  • only by that thing / action
  • only through that thing / action


I am studying Japanese using only manga.

Verb in its dictionary form+だけで


I'm happy just meeting you.

With this expression, the verb can be in the past tense and in the negative form, but not in the polite form in ます.

Plain form in Past Tense た or だ+だけで

The previous sentence can be translated using the past tense:


I'm happy just to have met you.

How and when to use だけで

だけで describes an action or a state that is only realised through another action or thing.

Only through action A does action or state B arise.


Just watching TV news makes me anxious.

  • Action A: テレビニュースを()る: I watch Tv news.
  • State B: ()(あん)になる: I become anxious.

This sentence shows a structure widely used in Japanese:

  • Noun + the particle に + the verb なる become
  • ()(あん)になる: to become uneasy, anxious


Just thinking about traveling makes me happy.

だけでいい + Noun

だけで combined with the adjective いい fine, good and followed by a noun, emphasizes the term だけ and translates:

  • it is ok just
  • it is fine just
  • it is only needed


Just water is fine.


It's okay to be alone.

The translation varies depending on the context:

  • I am doing well on my own;
  • I can do by myself;
  • I can be alone;
  • Only one person is needed.

Just imagining... from the Internet




7 things you can do to improve your life just by stopping doing them.

I just drew it from my imagination.
(そう)(ぞう)だけで: just by imagining


I just drew it from my imagination.

What was the challenge?


What is the pattern on the 1 yen coin? What is the color of the logo? What is that mark?

だけでも even only

だけで combined with the particle も meaning also, emphasises the preceding element.

  • even the mere thing
  • even the mere fact of
(こと)(だま): the word Spirit or the word Soul


Words that work miracles in your life, just by listening to them.

Examples of だけで


I am satisfied with just having a job.


I lost wait just by exercising.


I can't run with just sandals.

You can get benefits just for taking part.
(とく)(てん): benefit, privilege


You can get bonus just for taking part!