Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 4: 13/18

ところだった ②

Was just about to do something, Was in the middle of...

Structure

Verb[る] + ところだった

Details

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Rare Kanji

About ところだった ②

When combined with the dictionary form of verbs, ところだった will indicate that something was about to happen, and will regularly be translated as 'was just about to do (A)', or 'was in the middle of (A)'. In many cases, ところだった will indicate either a positive or negative result that came about from 'not doing (A)'.
As this grammar pattern is a combination of ところ 'place', and the past tense of だ, だった; it will put emphasis of 'having been in the place or situation of (A)', before something happened that caused the expected result to change.
  • (あぶ)なかった。(あや)うくあの(ひと)をひくところだった
    That was close. I was about to run over that person.
  • ()きるのが3(ぷん)(おそ)かったら、遅刻(ちこく)するところだった
    I was about to be late had I woken up 3 minutes later.
In cases where a positive result was narrowly missed out on, のに will often appear directly after ところだった. This can be interpreted as 'despite almost doing (A), (B)'.
  • (いま)から(いえ)()ところだったのに、いきなり(あめ)()ってきたから(あめ)()むまで()つ。
    I was just about to leave the house, but it suddenly started raining, so I'm going to wait until the rain stops.
  • もうすぐ犯人(はんにん)自白(じはく)するところだったのに、お(まえ)余計(よけい)なことを()うから...。
    The killer was just about to confess, but you went off on a tangent...

Examples

  • ()()をつけてしまうところだった

    I was just about to apply the paint.

  • (いま)から関西弁(かんさいべん)(おそ)わるところだったのに。

    I was just about to be taught the Kansai dialect.

  • (あや)うく期限(きげん)()れてしまうところだった

    I was just about to narrowly miss the deadline.

  • 悪友(あくゆう)()()って、寿命(じゅみょう)(ちぢ)めるところでした

    I was just about to become friends with a bad person and shorten my lifespan.

  • ()温度(おんど)調整(ちょうせい)しているところだったのに、ブレーカーが()ちてしまった。

    Just as I was in the middle of adjusting the hot water temperature, the breaker unfortunately tripped.

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ところだった ② – Grammar Discussion