:Home/Japanese Grammar/あとに (ato ni) and あとで (ato de) means “after”

あとに (ATO NI) and あとで (ATO DE) both means “after”

あとに (ATO NI) and あとで (ATO DE) means “after”.  To express that something happens after something else, we should use the past (ta-form) of a verb followed by あとに (ATO NI) or あとで (ATO DE).  There is only one small difference between these two grammar functions:

後に (ato ni) refers to a specific point in time (i.e. at the end of an event). 

後で (ato de) refers to time after an event in general. 

As a beginner, just be aware that you will come across both versions.  If you are at an intermediate level, pay closer attention to the difference and try to choose the right one if you are going to construct a sentence.

あとに (ato ni)
Forms:  Past Verb (ta-form) + あとに (ato ni) Noun + の + あとに (ato ni) 
Examples: べたあとをみがきます

tabeta ato ni, ha o migakimasu

(I brush my teeth after eating)

ばんごはんのあとアイスをべた。

bangohan no ato ni aisu o tabeta

(After dinner, I had some ice cream.)

Note: In these two examples, 後に (ato ni) refers to a specific point in time at the end of an event.  I’ll be walking straight to the sink to brush my teeth after dinner.  Think of it as being “right after”.  The second example demonstrates the same idea.  That’s right – nothing is coming between dinner and our ice cream!  Nothing.

 

あとで (ato de)
Forms:  Past Verb (ta-form) + あとで (ato de)  Noun + の + あとで (ato de)
Example: わたし宿題しゅくだいをしたあとテレビを見ます。

Watashi wa shukudai o shita ato de terebi o mimasu.

(Sometime) after doing my homework, I’ll watch TV.

学校がっこうあと勉強べんきょうします。

gakkou no ato de benkyou shimasu

(Sometime) after school I will study.

Note:

In the two examples above, 後で (ato de) refers to time after an event in general.

 

Since あとで (ato de) is much less specific than あとに (ato ni), we can even go as far as to drop the first verb completely.  This gives us something that is similar to “later”, as there is no specific event that comes first.  For example,

あといきます。

ato de ikimasu

(I will go later)

 

 

Anime Practice with あとで (ato de)

 

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More examples of あとに (ato ni) and あとで (ato de)

わたし授業じゅぎょうわったあと映画えいがく。

watashi wa jugyou ga owatta ato de eiga o mini iku.

(I will go to the movies after class.)

 

watashi wa jugyou ga owatta atode eiga o mini iku
 
子供こどもあと映画えいがました

kodomo ga neta ato ni, eiga o mimashita

(I watched a movie right after my child went to bed.)

 

kodomo ga neta ato ni, eiga o mimashita
 
ひるごはんのあと友達ともだちとコーヒーをんだ。

hirugohan no ato de tomodachi to koohii o nonda.

(I drank coffee with my friend after lunch.)

 

hirugohan no ato de tomodachi to koohii o nonda

 
卒業そつぎょうしたあと仕事しごとさがします。

sotsugyou shita ato ni, shigoto o sagashimasu

(I’ll look for a job right after graduating.)

 

sotsugyou shita ato ni, shigoto o sagashimasu
 
仕事しごとわったあとはなしましょう。

shigoto ga owatta ato de hanashimashou.

(There is something I want to talk to you about after I finish work.)

 

shigoto ga owatta ato de hanashimashou

 

仕事しごとわったあと日本語にほんご勉強べんきょうをします。

shigoto ga owatta ato de nihongo no benkyou o shimasu.

(I will study Japanese after work.)

 
shigoto ga owatta ato de nihongo no benkyou o shimasu 
   

音楽おんがくはお風呂ふろあときます。

ongaku wa ofuro no ato de kikimasu.

(I listen to music after taking a bath.)

 

 

ongaku wa ofuro no ato de kikimasu 

   

わたし主人しゅじん仕事しごとったあときました。

watashi wa shujin ga shigoto ni itta ato de okimashita.

(I woke up after my husband left for work.)

 

 

 

watashi wa shujin ga shigoto ni itta ato de okimashita

 
Coming before with MAE NI Japanese Grammar Index Too Much: SUGIRU