Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 4: 10/21

ところだった ①

Almost, Nearly, About to, On the verge of

Structure

Verb[る]+ ところだった
Verb[ない]+ ところだった

Details

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About ところだった ①

As explained in the ところ grammar point, ところ is a noun that is often used to highlight the situation within which a verb is 'about to' happen (when that verb appears in its non-past form). However when followed by だった, it emphasizes that the thing that was 'about to' happen never actually eventuated (or that another more important event happened at that moment). This can be translated as 'to almost (A)', or 'to be on the verge of (A)'.
  • やばい、大事(だいじ)書類(しょるい)()てるところだった
    Oh shoot, I was just about to throw away an important document.
  • (どく)キノコ()べるところだった、きのこ(くわ)しい友達(ともだち)()めてくれた。
    I was about to eat a poisonous mushroom, but a friend that is very knowledgeable about mushrooms stopped me.
The verb that ところ is paired with may also be seen grouped with the auxiliary verb ない. In this case, it implies that something was 'about not' to happen (but then did).
  • この電車(でんしゃ)()()てよかったもう(すこ)()()わせ時間(じかん)()()わないところだった
    I am so glad that we made this train. I was about to be late for the meet up.
  • 現金(げんきん)()なくて家賃(やちん)(はら)えないところだった
    I was about to not be able to pay my rent because I didn't have cash.

Examples

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  • もう(すこ)(ふね)からおちるところだった

    I nearly fell off the ship (had I been a little closer to the edge).

    • ちょうど電車(でんしゃ)発車(はっしゃ)するところだった

      It was right when the train was about to depart.

      • (あや)うく遅刻(ちこく)するところだった

        I was on the verge of being late.

        危うく(narrowly, barely) emphasizes ところだった further.

        • (ねむ)りに(はい)ところだったのに、電話(でんわ)()こされた。

          I was just about to go to sleep, but was woken up by a phone call.

          • 発見(はっけん)(おく)れたら、(あや)うく()ところだった

            I would have been on the verge of dying had they not found me sooner.

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            ところだった ① – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

            • mrnoone

              mrnoone

              @ljoekelsoey

              Hey
              It works as well

              I hope it helps,
              Cheers

            • ljoekelsoey

              ljoekelsoey

              Great! I wonder if that could be added as I keep getting tripped up by that in the reviews

            • mrnoone

              mrnoone

              @ljoekelsoey

              Added as an alternative answer!
              Cheers

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