JLPT N4 Grammar: How to Use the Grammar Point までに (made ni)


If you have been studying Japanese for a while now – you are probably familiar with から and まで.  But do you know how to use “made ni” (までに)?
Unless you have watched the video – it may be difficult for you to know.  For example, do you know which of the following sentences is correct?

  1. まで寝ました
  2. までに寝ました

In this blog post, we will be reviewing the JLPT N4 grammar point that Yuka-sensei talks about in the video above.  We will be looking at まで and までに and how to use them both.

Using まで (made) in Japanese

If you already know how から and まで, then you already know how to use まで!  If you are unfamiliar, check out this blog post about Japanese basic grammar particles!
まで translates to something like “until” in English.  Take the example from the section above – the grammatically correct option is the first sentence.
まで寝ました。
Hiru made nemashita.
I slept until noon.
In the example above, まで (made) is used as “until”.  You can use から (kara) in this sentence as well:
からまで寝ました。
Asa kara hiru made nemashita.
I slept from morning until noon.
Made (まで) is used to signify the end point of a duration or motion.
九時から十一時まで勉強します。
Ku-ji kara juichi-ji made benkyo shimasu.
I study from nine until eleven o’clock.
This is how to use まで in Japanese sentences – but what about までに?

JLPT N4 Grammar: までに (made ni)

Let’s look at the example from the video above.
明日の昼までに銀行に行かなきゃいけません。
Ashita no hiru made ni ginkou ni ikanakya ikemasen.
I have to go to the bank by/before noon tomorrow.
As Yuka-sensei explains in the video above, while まで (made) is often used with a long action, までに (made ni) is used with quick and/or short actions.  For example, going to the bank and back is not necessarily a long action.  Whereas, sleeping is a long action.

How to Make a Sentence With までに

To make a sentence with までに (made ni), use the following grammar:
Noun + までに 
Verb + までに
Yes – までに can be used with verbs as well!  Look at this example Yuka-sensei gives us:
友達がうちに来るまでに、Coto Academyにメールを送ります。
Tomodachi ga uchi ni kuru made ni, Coto Academy ni meeru o okurimasu.
I will send an email to Coto Academy by the time my friends come over.
Basically, you can think of までに (made ni) as being like “by the time” or “before” in English.  This says there is a timespan in which something happens or will be done. The action takes place before that period of time comes to an end.

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