Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 2: 5/23

ところで
by the way, incidentally

Structure
ところで + (New Topic) Phrase
Details
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使用域 一般
Information
ところで is a 接続助詞(せつぞくじょし) (conjunction particle) that is made up of the noun, ところ ‘place’, and the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle) で. It is used in a similar way to ‘by the way’, or ‘incidentally’ in English, but will only be used for introducing new topics, not continuing within the same topic.
ところで will primarily appear at the beginning of a sentence, before making a statement or asking a question about something unrelated.
  • ところで、昨日(きのう)話(はなし)はどうなった?
    By the way, what happened to the plan you told me about yesterday?
  • ところで、お宅(たく)旦那(だんな)さんは元気(げんき)ていますか。
    By the way, is your husband doing well?
The literal translation of ところで is closer to ‘and with that’, and implies that something (within the previous topic) suddenly reminded the speaker of another thing (that happens to be a new topic).
Caution
When ところで appears after the past tense of a verb as たところで, it carries a different meaning, and will express that something isn’t the case, despite (A). This is an advanced grammar point that will be covered at another stage.
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ところでどこ行(い)くつもりですか。
By the way, where do you plan on going?
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ところで明日(あした)パーティー何(なに)を持(も)って来(き)ますか?
By the way, what are you going to bring to the party tomorrow?
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ところでパソコンの使(つか)い方(かた)をご存知(ぞんじ)ですか。
By the way, do you know how to use a computer?
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