Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 4: 9/18


At the time, When, While, Timing

Puts more emphasis on a state/scene than an action.


Verb[ている]+ ところ (1)
Verb[ていた]+ ところ (1)


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About ~ところに・~ところへ

ところに will be used to highlight the time of (A), and can be interpreted as 'at the time of (A)', 'while (A)', or 'with the timing of (A)'. As it is a structure that makes use of the noun ところ 'place' or 'spot', it puts more emphasis on the scene or situation, rather than the action itself.
This pattern follows verbs in their ている or ていた forms. Also, rather than appearing with に, へ is sometimes used instead. Depending on the form of the verb, ところに may indicate being 'on the verge of (A)', 'partway through (A)', or having 'just finished (A)'.
  • (くるま)左折(させつ)しているところに(きゅう)自転車(じてんしゃ)()()してきた。
    I was making a left turn in my car when a bicycle suddenly came out of nowhere.
  • 休憩室(きゅうけいしつ)(おど)っていたところに後輩(こうはい)たちが休憩室(きゅうけいしつ)(はい)ってきた。
    I was dancing in the break room when my junior came in.
  • 倉庫(そうこ)()(こわ)しているところへ近所(きんじょ)(ひと)()手伝(てつだ)ってくれた。
    My neighbor came to help me when I was tearing down the shed.
  • 上司(じょうし)(おこ)られて()()んでいたところへ先輩(せんぱい)がきて(なぐさ)めてくれた。
    My senpai came to comfort me when I was feeling down because I was yelled at by my boss.
Compared to other ところ based structures, the addition of に or へ will often precede a (B) statement indicating that 'at the precise moment of (A), (B) happened'. This may either be positive or negative.
Caution - In many cases, ところに will be used when (A) is either a 'situation' or an 'emotion', and will not often be used in relation to unimportant or trivial actions, unless expressing the 'precise moment' where something unexpected happened during that trivial action.
Caution - When appearing with nouns, な-Adjectives, or い-Adjectives, ところに, へ, で, and を simply highlight that 'state of (A)'.
  • 見苦(みぐる)しいところを()せして(もう)(わけ)ございません。
    I am terribly sorry that you had to see such a thing.
  • 正直(しょうじき)ところ(かれ)()うことはあまり(しん)じない(ほう)がいい。
    To be honest, you shouldn't trust what he says.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)、お(やす)みのところすみません。(いま)時間(じかん)大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)でしょうか。
    Senpai, I'm sorry to bother you on your break. Do you have some time right now?


  • ドア(かぎ)をかけているところに(きゅう)ドア()いて(いもうと)(はい)ってきた。

    When I was locking the door, it suddenly opened and my sister came in.

  • 片付(かたづ)けているところに(おとこ)友達(ともだち)()たので、()らかした(ふく)をたんすに(かく)すわけにはいかなかったの。

    A male friend came while I was tidying up and I couldn't hide my scattered clothes in the dressers.

  • (わたし)は、ゲームをしているところに(はは)晩御飯(ばんごはん)()()されたので、(おこ)った。

    I got mad because my mom called me to dinner while I was playing the game.

  • (みせ)()めているところへ(きゃく)さん()ちゃった。

    A customer came right when I was closing up the shop.

  • ちょうどジャガイモの(かわ)をむこうとしているところに電話(でんわ)()った。

    The telephone rang while I was trying to peel the potatoes.

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