Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 2: 5/24


On the way, Partway, In the middle of


Verb[る]+ 途中(とちゅう) + (1)
Noun + + 途中(とちゅう) + (1)



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About 途中に・途中で

With 途中(とちゅう) meaning 'on the way', the addition of either the case marking particleに or で will indicate that something is either being done 'on the way to (A)', 'partway through (A)' or 'in the middle of (A)'.
途中(とちゅう) may be seen after verbs in their standard form, or nouns followed by の.
As always, に will put more emphasis on the time or duration of (A), while で will put further emphasis on the process of (A) being the cause of (B), or being used as an opportunity to do (B). Let's take a look at both.
  • ()()わせ場所(ばしょ)()かっている途中(とちゅう)、「ごめん、やっぱり今日(きょう)()けないかも」と友達(ともだち)からメールが()た。
    On the way to the meeting place, I received a text from a friend saying, 'Sorry, I might not be able to make it today after all'.
  • 授業(じゅぎょう)途中(とちゅう)校長(こうちょう)先生(せんせい)から()()された(とき)はビクッとした。
    I was a bit startled when the principal called me out in the middle of class.
  • 会社(かいしゃ)から(かえ)途中(とちゅう)(へん)なおじさんに(はな)しかけられた。
    On my way home from work, a strange man tried to talk to me.
  • ミーティングの途中(とちゅう)社長(しゃちょう)(たお)れて、会社中(かいしゃじゅう)がパニックになった。
    The president collapsed in the middle of a meeting and everyone in the whole company panicked.
The meanings of で and に in regard to this particular grammar point can overlap quite often, so it may be necessary to see many examples before the slight difference in nuance becomes apparent.



  • (たび)途中(とちゅう)(まよ)っていたら、通行人(つうこうにん)案内(あんない)してくれた。

    In the middle of a trip, I lost my way, and a passerby gave me directions.

    • 面接(めんせつ)途中(とちゅう)リクルーターはいきなり(わら)(はじ)めた。

      In the middle of an interview, the recruiter suddenly started laughing.

      • (あさ)(はん)(つく)っている途中(とちゅう)電話(でんわ)()った。

        In the middle of making breakfast, the telephone rang.

        • シーズン途中(とちゅう)引退(いんたい)会見(かいけん)するのは微妙(びみょう)だ。

          Holding a retirement press conference in the middle of the season is questionable.

          • 司会(しかい)途中(とちゅう)トイレ()きたくなって(こま)った。

            I found myself in a pickle when I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of leading a meeting.

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            途中に・途中で – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

            • Skyyy


              Hi, I’m having trouble learning when to use に and when to use で with 途中. It says that に usually emphasizes the duration while で implies that A was sort of an opportunity to do B, right? Yet while reviewing, the sentence 出張の???実家に寄ってもいいと言われた。popped up and 途中に was the excepted answer. How is the duration of the trip relevant in this phrase? and isn’t the trip typically an opportunity to visit family? I don’t understand.

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