Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 1: 3/22

(ちゅう)

During, While, Throughout, In the process of

Can be read as じゅう/ちゅう

Structure

Noun + (ちゅう)

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About 中

As a suffix, (ちゅう) is frequently used to highlight a period of time (or space). By attaching the case marking particle , the sentence can be modified, to show that (B) is happening/existing throughout the timeframe/space of (A). This is often translated as 'throughout (A), (B)', or 'during (A), (B)'. First, let's take a look at (ちゅう) being used to show events that are in process.
  • (いま)仕事(しごと)(ちゅう)なん
    I am in the middle of working right now.
  • ()()りは今月(こんげつ)(ちゅう)なんです
    The deadline is sometime (during) this month.
Now, to show that a (B) event is happening within (A), simply add the case marking particle to show a 'temporal location'. This will be done by attaching to the end of any noun that you would like to indicate as the being the 'space' within which another thing exists/occurs.
  • (かれ)休憩(きゅうけい)(ちゅう)(ほん)()む。
    He reads books during his break. (At some point during the act of taking a break)
  • (わたし)勉強(べんきょう)(ちゅう)(はな)される(きら)
    I don't like being talked to while studying. (At some point during the act of study)
  • 今日(きょう)(じゅう)レポート提出(ていしゅつ)てください
    Please submit your papers by today. (Within today as the limit)
  • 今年(ことし)(じゅう)イタリア()たい
    I want to go to Italy this year. (Within this year as the limit)
In these examples, we can see that (ちゅう) is sometimes read/said as (じゅう)に. The basic rule for when to use ちゅう or when to use じゅう is as follows:
(ちゅう) - Expresses a very specific (usually small) amount of time/space, or something that is not always the same (an amount of time/space that can change, depending on the person/situation). This 'thing' that ちゅう highlights is usually a 'process', and therefore means that (A) is 'in the process' of happening.
Examples - A meeting, class, visit to somewhere.
  • 食事(しょくじ)(ちゅう)電話(でんわ)かかってくる、イラっとする
    It ticks me off when I get a phone call while I'm eating.
(じゅう) - Expresses a predetermined amount of time/space that will always remain the same, regardless of the person/situation. Therefore, じゅう does not highlight a 'process', but focuses on the 'length' or 'space' itself. This tends to mean 'all throughout', as it focuses on the full amount of time/space.
Examples - A day, year, house, town or country.
  • ゴミ(いえ)(じゅう)(ひろ)がっていて、(ある)くスペースない
    There is so much garbage throughout my house, that there is no room to walk.
Caution
There is also a difference between 音読(おんよ)み (chinese readings of words), and 訓読(くんよ)み (japanese readings of words).
じゅう is used more frequently with 訓読(くんよ)み - (今年中(ことしじゅう), 夏休(なつやす)(じゅう), 今晩中(こんばんじゅう))
ちゅう is used more frequently with 音読(おんよ)み - (水中(すいちゅう), 会議中(かいぎちゅう), 試合中(しあいちゅう))

Examples

  • 一日(いちにち)(じゅう)勉強(べんきょう)をした。

    I studied throughout the day.

  • 授業(じゅぎょう)(ちゅう)トイレ()きたくなった。

    During class, I had to go to the bathroom.

  • テスト(ちゅう)(わたし)携帯(けいたい)()ってしまった。

    My phone accidentally rang during the test.

  • まだ(かんが)(ちゅう)だから()めていない

    I am still thinking, so I haven't decided yet.

  • あの同僚(どうりょう)仕事(しごと)(ちゅう)なのにいつも彼女(かのじょ)メールする不真面目(ふまじめ)(やつ)だ。

    That co-worker is so incompetent, always texting his girlfriend during work.

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中 – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (9 in total)

  • rinchan93

    rinchan93

    About 2 years ago

    Can someone help me with the difference between 中 and 中に ?
    Can に always be dropped? Does it add meaning like 間 and 間に?
    I’m so confused…

    考え中 / 考え中に
    世界中 / 世界中に
    テスト中 / テスト中に
    食事中 / 食事中に

    ありがとうございました❣️

  • Fuga

    Fuga

    About 2 years ago

    Hey there!

    に cant always be dropped, especially when it is used to mark a specific event/time when something happens as @Pushindawood has said.

    考え中 / 考え中に While thinking/ at the time I was thinking
    世界中 / 世界中に Around the world/ (at) Around the world
    テスト中 / テスト中に During the test/ at the time the test was being taken
    食事中 / 食事中に In the middle of eating/ at the time I was eating

    With and without the に, they both mean during~/while~/ throughout~/ in the process of~ , but the ones with に emphasizes that it is happening at a specific time. 今、テスト中。Would translate as ‘I’m in the middle of a test,’ and would not need to have a に. テスト中に電話がかかってきた。would translate as ‘My phone rang while I was taking a test’, and in this sentence you can see how the に was used to emphasize that the person got a phone call during a specific time.

    I hope that makes a little more sense.

  • rinchan93

    rinchan93

    About 2 years ago

    Yea! It does! Thanks for the quick reply! I appreciate your time

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