Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 2: 16/17

~る所(ところ)だ
About to, On the verge of

In this use, ところ means stage/level/situation

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[る] + ところ +
Verb[る] + ところ + です
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
The noun ところ (sometimes shortened to とこ) is often used to describe the ‘place’ or ‘situation’ in which something happens. The primary determining factor for the nuance of ところ, is the tense of the verb it follows. When it is in the non-past form, ところ means ‘about to (A)’, or ‘on the verge of (A)’.
  • 彼(かれ)手紙(てがみ)書(か)いてるところだ。
    He is writing a letter.
  • 今(いま)から友達(ともだち)会(あ)ところです
    I'm on my way to meet my friend.
Caution
When the kanji form of 所(ところ) is used, it is often referring to an actual physical location, rather than a situation/standpoint. However, this is something that native speakers will sometimes mistake. Therefore, seeing the kanji form, and the hiragana form, are both relatively common.
  • いま所(ところ)...
    This current place…
  • いまところ...
    This current situation…
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
今(いま)から帰(かえ)るところです
I am just about to go home.
Play  
友達(ともだち)話(はな)し手(て)待(ま)っている時(とき)電話(でんわ):「家(いえ)から出(で)るところだからもうすぐ着(つ)く。」
When friends are waiting for the speaker, phone call: "I am about to leave home, so I will be there soon."
Play  
ちょうど出かけところ
I am about to leave right now.
Expressions like 今から、ちょうど are often used with Verb[る]ところ for emphasis.
Books
Tobira
Page 123
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 496
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 237
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 14