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...


Verb[る] + ところだった


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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...




    I was just about to apply the paint.


    I was just about to be taught the Kansai dialect.


    I was just about to narrowly miss the deadline.


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


    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

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • Ross_99


    I’m quite confused with the phrase: “やっと馴れてきたところだったのに、仕事を辞めなければいけなくなった.”

    Having done “Verb[た] + ところ + だ”, meaning “just finished doing”, shouldn’t “馴れてきところだった” mean “had just gotten used to” ? Or is it an exception being that it’s a past progressive given the “てくる” (basically putting more emphasis on the fact that it’s progressive first, and only then that it’s in the past)?

  • wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV


    I suppose I could see this being translated either way. Either, “despite finally (having been in the process of) getting used to it,” or, “despite having finally gotten used to it.” In fact, I think the first translation has the same flavor of being somewhat ambiguious. You could take it to mean I was used to it but still growing more so, or that I was fully and thoroughly accustomed to it, I think.

    The 馴れる spelling in reference to 仕事 here made me

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