Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 2: 8/17


Around, About


Noun + ごろ, Noun + + ころ


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About ごろ

ころ, or ごろ (the colloquial pronunciation) is a word which carries the meaning of 'around', or 'about'. It is utilized in a similar way to くらい, but has a few differences. When ごろ is used, it will need to be attached to the end of a noun, or a noun followed by .
  • 11()(ごろ)(かえ)てくる
    I will be home around 11.
  • (わたし)大学生(だいがくせい)(ころ)富士山(ふじさん)(のぼ)ました
    I climbed Mount Fuji around when I was a college student.
The main difference between ころ and くらい is that ころ can be (and often is) used to express a broad point in time, while くらい is limited to expressing timeframes that are more specific.
  • 子供(こども)くらいよく(おや)動物園(どうぶつえん)()ました
    When I was approximately a child, I often went to the zoo with my parents. (Unnatural Japanese, as being a child is a broad time frame)
  • 子供(こども)のころよく(おや)動物園(どうぶつえん)()ました
    Around when I was a child, I often went to the zoo with my parents. (Natural Japanese)
Conversely, ころ will not be used when expressing approximate distances/lengths.
  • 2メートルくらい(ところ)(しるし)つけてください
    Please make a mark around the 2 meter point. (Natural Japanese, as an approximation is being discussed)
  • 2メートルごろ(ところ)(しるし)つけてください
    Please make a mark within the span of 2 meters. (Unnatural Japanese, as the listener would think that marking a line anywhere within the two meter space is fine)
The primary reason for this is that ころ expresses a span of something, while くらい expresses an extent. In this way, ころ could also be translated as 'within the span of (A)', while くらい is closer to 'at the point of (A)'. As an easier way to think about it, if we have a one meter ruler, ころ could express anywhere between 1 to 100 centimeters (the span), but くらい can only express somewhere between 90 and 100 centimeters (the extent).
Just like with English, if the 'time' expressed is very specific, then either くらい or ころ could be used naturally. This is due to the 'span', and the 'extent' already being something that is a 'precise point' in these cases.
  • 今日(きょう)12()くらい(かえ)る。
    I will be home around 12.
  • 今日(きょう)12()(ごろ)(かえ)
    I will be home around 12.
The kanji form of (ころ) is also very common, so it is worth learning as soon as possible, to save any confusion while reading.




    I went home around eight o'clock.


    My friend who went to Tokyo is probably arriving around now...


    It will rain around Monday night.


    Around what time will you come home?


    I will get home about 11, so I don't need dinner.

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ごろ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • nekoyama


    A ころ is a somewhat blurry point in time (when does something happen?), while a くらい is something like a degree or extent and not specifically related to time, but can be used to make points in time or durations blurry, just like it can be used with quantities of other things (500円くらい etc.).

    By “broad periods of time” they don’t mean long durations, but broadly defined periods in time like 子どもの頃 (~”when I was a child”). Only ころ can do this because it has the built-in time meaning and くらい does not. Another thing only ころ can do is express “the best time to do xyz” like in さくらの見頃.

    くらい has a few different uses that bunpro has grammar points for, maybe looking at those helps too to avoid associating it with time too much.

  • amph1ptere


    Does anyone know when you do/don’t use に after ころ/ごろ? The About section doesn’t mention it at all and I can’t see any pattern to it from the example sentences.

    For example, why is 東京に行った友達は今ごろ着いているでしょう wrong?

  • DerKastellan


    In a similar fashion, why no の after 時 for ころ? Is it because it’s considered a suffix? The examples insist on 1時ころ…

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