Phosphorus (P) is one of the most important nutrients for all living organisms. Recently, not only inorganic P but also organic P has been focused because of the development of an analytical technique— 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In the current paper, we reviewed historical backgrounds of the P analysis with the reason for using NMR and the limitation. Furthermore, we discussed the processes of sediment and suspended particles in lakes in the recent studies. The processes are complex, including physical, chemical, and biological aspects (i.e. diffusion, resuspension, adsorption/desorption, and enzymatic hydrolysis). Because P is present majorly as particulate forms, it is affected by physical processes compared with carbon and nitrogen. We shed light on how the processes of physical, chemical, and biological aspects affect P behavior in sediment and suspended particles in shallow and deep lakes.