Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 2: 3/22

ところが

Even so, However, Even though, But

Structure

(Expectation) Phrase + ところ + (Unexpected Result) Phrase

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

Rare Kanji

About ところが

ところが is a conjunction in Japanese that is a combination of the noun, ところ 'place', and the conjunction particle が. It is used to highlight that (A) was expected, but the unexpected result (B) occurred. It is usually translated as 'however', or 'despite that'.
ところが is most often used at the beginning of a new sentence, before highlighting something that is contrary to what was described in the previous sentence.
  • 今日(きょう)(はや)()ないといけなかったから9()()た。ところが目覚(めざ)ましがならなかったから寝坊(ねぼう)した。
    I had to wake up early today so I went to sleep at 9pm. However, my alarm didn't go off, so I overslept.
  • (あたら)しい洗濯機(せんたくき)()った。ところが洗濯機(せんたくき)(おお)きすぎて(いえ)(はい)なかった
    I bought a new washing machine. However, it was so big that it didn't fit in my house.
This use of が in Japanese is referred to as 確定(かくてい)逆接(ぎゃくせつ), which basically means 'a contradictory conclusion'.
Caution
Because ところが highlights a result that is unexpected, it can only be used for things that are beyond the control of the speaker. However, if the speaker is trying to do something, but assumes that their attempt may result in failure, ところが can be used to show that they were unexpectedly successful.
  • 友達(ともだち)勉強(べんきょう)手伝(てつだ)(たの)だら(いや)がる(おも)ていたところが(よろこ)んで手伝(てつだ)ってくれた。
    I thought my friend was not going to like it if I asked him to help me with studying, however, he did so without hesitation.
Fun Fact
Sometimes, ところが is referred to as a conjunction particle itself, disregarding the combination of ところ and が. This is similar to ところで, another conjunction particle that has a slightly different meaning, and is frequently translated as 'by the way'.

Examples

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  • 日本(にほん)のチームが()つと(おも)っていた。ところが()けてしまった。

    I thought that the Japanese team would win. However, they lost.

    • あの(ひと)非常(ひじょう)(やさ)そうでした。ところが(うら)ありました

      That person seemed extremely nice. However, they had ulterior motives.

      There is more to that person than meets the eye.

      • 友達(ともだち)によると、テスト(むずか)しかったそうだ。ところが(かれ)百点(ひゃくてん)()った。

        According to my friend, the test was difficult. Even so, he got a perfect score.

        • テスト()そうなところを予想(よそう)して勉強(べんきょう)した。ところが全然(ぜんぜん)(ちが)問題(もんだい)しか()なかった。

          I studied what I thought would be on the test. However, the questions were totally different from what I had studied.

          出る also has the meaning of 'to appear', 'to emerge' or 'to be published'.

          • ()てる試合(しあい)だった。ところが怪我(けが)をして()けてしまった。

            It was a match I could win. However, I got injured and lost.

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            ところが – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

            • Ambo100

              Ambo100

            • dokidokiwakuwaku

              dokidokiwakuwaku

              What is the distinction between this point and それなのに? It appears both points connect two phrases A and B, where B is an unexpected result of A. I’m sure there is some nuance that distinguishes them, but I’m having some trouble seeing it from the example sentences. Any insight would be appreciated!

            • mrnoone

              mrnoone

              @dokidokiwakuwaku

              I would say those expressions are completely interchangeable.
              ところが might be a bit more formal and objectively stating facts, while それなのに has more emphasis on speaker emotions and is therefore more subjective (and casual).

              I also feel (subjective opinion) that ところが is more often used with unexpected results of events.

              I hope it helps.
              Cheers

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