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)
Register Standard
使用域 一般
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)’.
  • 車(くるま)で左折(させつ)しているところに、急(きゅう)に自転車(じてんしゃ)が飛(と)び出(だ)してきた。
    I was making a left turn in my car when a bicycle suddenly jumped out at me.
  • 休憩室(きゅうけいしつ)で踊(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)に入(はい)ってきた。
    I was dancing in the break room when my junior came in.
  • 倉庫(そうこ)を取(と)り壊(こわ)しているところへ近所(きんじょ)の人(ひと)が来(き)て手伝(てつ)ってくれた。
    My neighbor came to help me when I was tearing down the shed.
  • 上司(じょうし)に怒(おこ)られて落(お)ち込(こ)んでいたところへ、先輩(せんぱい)がきて慰(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)’.
  • お見苦(みぐる)しいところをお見(み)せして申(もう)し訳(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)なところ、彼(かれ)の言(い)うことはあまり信(しん)じない方(ほう)がいい。
    To be honest, you should not trust what he says.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)、お休(やす)みのところすみません。今(いま)お時間(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?
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When I was locking the door, it suddenly opened and my sister came in.
A male friend came while I was tidying up and I couldn't hide my scattered clothes in the dressers.
I got mad because my mom called me to dinner while I was playing the game.

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