How do you describe what you simply did in Japanese? Perhaps you simply brushed your tooth, otherwise you simply purchased a automotive. How will you describe these previous actions which have simply occurred?
Nicely, you have acquired two nice choices: ばかり and ところ. Say you wish to inform somebody that you just simply purchased a automotive in Japanese. To easily say you «purchased a automotive,» it is 車を買った. Nevertheless, if you wish to say it simply occurred, you should use both ばかり or ところ and say:
- I simply purchased a automotive.
Each are translated as «I simply purchased a automotive» on this case. So do they imply the identical factor? The reply isn’t any, and that is why we’re writing this text! Past what you see within the English translation, there are variations in nuance, and one works higher than the opposite relying on the scenario or what you are actually attempting to say. Which one would you utilize, for instance, in the event you’re holding somebody up to date in your whereabouts and also you wish to allow them to know you have simply completed the errand on the automotive dealership? How about if somebody scratches your new automotive and also you wish to scream at them that it is a automotive you solely simply purchased?
In case you’re curious, preserve studying! On this article, we’ll cordially introduce you to every one, clarify the character variations between ばかり and ところ, and aid you resolve which one to whip out relying on the scenario. You simply plopped your self right down to learn this text anyway, so may as nicely preserve going!
Earlier than going deeper on the topic, we additionally wish to make clear that this text will focus completely on utilizing ばかり and ところ once they observe verbs of their previous tense to speak about latest happenings, as in 〜たばかり or 〜たところ.
You will have additionally heard ばっか or ばっかし used as a substitute of ばかり, or とこ as a substitute ところ. These are simply informal variations of ばかり and ところ. Examples you see on this article primarily use ばかり and ところ, however know that they are all interchangeable.
Stipulations: This text assumes you already know hiragana and katakana. In case you want a refresher, check out our Final Hiragana Information and Final Katakana Information. To get essentially the most out of this text, ensure you’re already accustomed to tense typically, particularly previous tense types. Bonus factors in the event you’re already slightly accustomed to ところ and ばかり, however don’t fret if you do not know an excessive amount of but. That is what you are right here for!
What Are ばかり and ところ?
First issues first: what’s ばかり and what’s ところ? Earlier than leaping into the variations between them, let’s first get to know extra about what every does, and what every means.
ばかり originates from the Japanese phrases for measurement or quantity — 計り, 測り, and 量り, all pronounced はかり — and has a couple of completely different meanings immediately. A kind of meanings is «simply» or «solely.»
In case you have by no means seen how ばかり means «simply» or «solely,» here is a fast instance. If you wish to describe that every one somebody does is sleep, you may say that they 寝るばかり (solely sleeping) and never doing the rest. In the identical method, you may complain that your child’s doing ゲームばかり (solely video games) on a regular basis. And when it will get used with previous tense verbs (which this text is all about), it mainly means «this factor occurred, and solely simply slightly time has handed since then.»
When you consider it, «solely» or «simply» is subjective. You may consider a glass of water as half empty — there’s solely this a lot water — or as half full. It simply is dependent upon your perspective.
When ばかり is used to explain a previous occasion, it expresses how one thing feels prefer it occurred lately to you, the speaker, in all probability in an effort to make some form of level. In that sense, ばかり is fairly subjective in that the precise period of time that has handed does not actually matter. You possibly can even use it to explain one thing you probably did some time in the past — so long as it feels latest to you in that context.
Here is an instance. You bought your nails achieved a couple of days in the past, and somebody asks you to dig a gap for his or her pet alligator’s funeral. You may indignantly exclaim:
- However I simply acquired my nails achieved!
Technically it isn’t one thing you simply did if it occurred a couple of days in the past. Nevertheless, you should use ばかり right here as a result of it nonetheless feels latest to you, particularly contemplating this example the place somebody’s requested you to assist them dig a gap within the floor. With these contemporary nails? No method!
Truly, chances are you’ll know what ところ means already. It is the identical as 所, a Japanese phrase for «place» or «location.» An necessary factor to bear in mind right here is that ところ does not solely imply a «place» within the bodily sense — it may well additionally imply a «place» in time.
When ところ is used to say what you simply did, it is such as you’re saying, «This factor simply occurred, and that is the place I am at now.» For instance, in the event you simply completed consuming some water, you would say this:
- I simply completed consuming.
By saying ところ on this sentence, you are merely pointing to the second shortly after gulping down water and saying, «Here is the place I am at.»
You possibly can really use different verb tenses with ところ too. It simply is dependent upon which stage of the exercise you are at, and which one you wish to level to!
飲むところ is if you end up about to start out consuming. 飲む is within the so-called current tense, however it may be used for a future motion as nicely. 飲んでいるところ is if you end up within the technique of consuming, as a result of as you may know, 飲んでいる is the current steady kind. Then, 飲んだところ is when you might have simply completed consuming, as 飲んだ is previous tense. Utilizing ところ, you might be merely reporting the place you might be within the course of: «I am about to do that,» «I am in the midst of doing this,» «I simply did this,» and so on.
Utilizing ところ, you might be merely attempting to state the very fact of the place you might be on a timeline.
Did you discover how ところ is goal in comparison with ばかり, which is dependent upon the subjective feeling of recency?
Now, let’s check out one of the frequent examples of how that is used for one thing that simply occurred. In case you’re in your technique to meet up with a pal and so they ask you the place you might be, you may say this:
- Simply left the home.
(Actually: I am on the level the place I simply left the home.)
On this state of affairs, you are both actually standing exterior your entrance door, you have solely taken a couple of steps away from it, or perhaps you have made it down the road, however not a lot farther. It is positively solely been a couple of quick seconds/minutes because you ventured into the skin world. And in contrast to ばかり, it may well’t solely be your feeling that you’ve got simply left the home. It is an proven fact! They have safety digicam footage to show it and every thing.
Now that you just get the fundamental gist of ところ, wanna strive making a full sentence with it? Oh yeah, I do know you do. So, what if somebody desires to know your progress on that report you have been engaged on?
- I simply completed writing the report.
(Actually: I’m on the level the place I simply completed writing the report.)
That is it — nothing extra to say, simply that the report is completed, and also you achieved did it simply now. This sentence sounds so impartial and detached, you would whip it out to your boss and so they would not bat an eyelash. In case you wished to, you may add some emotional shade to this assertion with further phrases or phrases, and even the tone of your voice. However in contrast to ばかり, ところ is fairly easy by itself.
ばかり vs ところ: What is the Distinction?
Alright, we have met the subjective ばかり and shaken fingers with the extra goal ところ. Now, let’s evaluate what every one is about earlier than we transfer onto the nuances of every.
To reemphasize, ばかり is extra subjective and could be linked to the speaker’s emotions, whereas ところ is extra goal and studies the place you are at in «time.»
While you wish to make a press release about how latest one thing feels to you, chances are you’ll wish to use ばかり. It does not matter when it really was. Its focus is relatively on how little time appears to have handed since, so it provides a subjective really feel.
Nevertheless, once you merely wish to specify a time limit to explain what you have simply achieved, you may wish to use ところ. You are reporting your standing or stage of progress objectively by telling «the place you might be at» in time. These items have in all probability actually simply occurred otherwise you’ve simply achieved them, and there is not essentially a lot feeling concerned. Not too arduous to understand, huh?
However simply to delve slightly deeper, we’ll present you examples with the intention to evaluate the 2 aspect by aspect and actually see the variations between them.
Evaluating the Nuances Between ばかり and ところ
For comparability’s sake, let’s begin with conjuring up some conditions the place it may be extra pure to make use of one over the opposite.
Scenario #1: «I Simply Purchased a Automobile»
Hey, keep in mind the instance scenario of shopping for a automotive we supplied firstly of this text? It is time to lastly discover out what the distinction is once you use ばかり vs ところ on this state of affairs.
You now know that ばかり is used once you wish to make a barely stronger assertion of the way you really feel like one thing «simply» occurred, whether or not or not it was significantly latest. You are in all probability making some extent about how you’re feeling a few sure scenario. Folks typically use ばかり to say that it is inconvenient/nonsensical for
[second thing] to occur, as a result of they really feel like
[first thing] only recently occurred.
For instance, have a look at this sentence about shopping for a automotive.
- I simply purchased a automotive.
By saying ばかり, you are placing emphasis on the finished motion and the way little time you’re feeling has handed since then. You simply purchased a brand new automotive! Perhaps somebody’s pressuring you to purchase a brand new automotive, however you’re feeling prefer it’s method too quickly for that because you simply purchased your present automotive a couple of months in the past. Otherwise you scratched the automotive to procure final 12 months, and it is a disgrace since you’d hoped to maintain it in good situation for for much longer. Or maybe it’s a must to scrap your automotive, despite the fact that to procure it model new three years in the past. Oof!
See how the precise period of time that is handed does not matter? Form of like how folks say «it looks like solely yesterday!» Tossing ばかり into your sentences can have these layered implications about how you’re feeling concerning the scenario, so ensure you’re utilizing it deliberately.
However, you additionally know that ところ is used once you merely wish to state the very fact of the place you might be on a timeline. Not like ばかり, you are probably not placing emphasis in your emotions concerning the scenario or subjectively commenting on the recentness of the occasion. As a substitute, you are pinpointing a particular second in time.
As an example, you would objectively report this about the place you might be within the car-buying course of:
- I simply purchased a automotive.
Fairly matter-of-fact! You simply purchased a automotive, and that is the place you might be at. Perhaps to procure a automotive actually simply now, and your mother is questioning the place you might be within the progress of your errands. She texts you 「今どこ？」 («The place are you?»), and also you’re reporting, «I am at some extent the place I simply purchased a automotive.» Do you discover how the tone and implication of the sentence varies relying on which one you utilize?
Here is one other slight distinction: As a result of ところ describes a particular level on a timeline, it carries a nuance that following the finished motion, there will probably be one other motion. For instance, saying 車を買ったところ brings up a timeline within the listener’s thoughts – perhaps going grocery buying would be the «subsequent factor» you do after shopping for the automotive, which you will in all probability inform them within the subsequent breath. However saying 車を買ったばかり does not have fairly the identical impact.
Scenario #2: «I Simply Obtained within the Taxi»
Now let’s take a look at a scenario the place both one could be okay, however they carry completely different nuances. Think about you are texting somebody you are assembly up with.
- I simply acquired within the taxi.
This sentence is just reporting that you just simply acquired in a taxi. It could possibly be a technique to inform your pal that you just’re in your method and provides an concept of once you’ll arrive. ところ is ideal for holding somebody up to date about your whereabouts like this.
- I simply acquired within the taxi.
Whether or not you need to throw out a ところ or ばかり actually is dependent upon the context and what tone you are attempting to convey.
However, in the event you used ばかり, it seems like somebody (in all probability the individual you are texting) is speeding you to get to the vacation spot. Perhaps they’re texting you issues like まだ着かないの？ («Are you not right here but?») and also you’re saying you will not be capable to get there as shortly as anticipated, as a result of it is barely been a minute since you bought within the taxi.
See? Technically each imply «I simply acquired within the taxi,» however they carry completely different nuances. Whereas ところ merely studies your progress, ばかり emphasizes how little time has handed based mostly in your emotions.
Scenario #3: «I Simply Completed My Homework»
Here is our closing state of affairs. Your pal’s calling to see what you are as much as and ask if you wish to seize dinner collectively. You simply completed your homework, so that you’re right down to exit for dinner. Which one do you suppose works higher — ところ or ばかり? Relying in your alternative, you will come off otherwise. Let’s first check out an instance utilizing ところ.
- Sounds good! I simply completed my homework (and I am able to exit).
ところ works nicely right here because it simply merely studies the place you are at on a timeline. «However cannot you then use ところ once you cannot exit for dinner too?» you may ask. Nicely, you are proper. You may use ところ even if you cannot exit for dinner — utilizing it to elucidate that you’ve got simply completed your homework and that there is one thing arising subsequent in your agenda, for instance:
- I simply completed my homework, and I’ll a film now. Sorry.
See how you should use ところ to put out your timeline like this? Now, let’s look into how ばかり works on this scenario.
- ❓ いいよ！今宿題が終わったばかり。
- Sounds good! I simply completed my homework (and I must take a breather first).
Utilizing ばかり comes off as unnatural on this scenario the place you are attempting to say «sure» to the invitation. ばかり makes it sound such as you want a minute to relax out first or one thing, as a result of the main target is on how little time you’re feeling has handed because you completed your homework. And in the event you want a while to chill out, you in all probability would not say «sounds good,» proper?
However is it okay to make use of ばかり if the reply was «perhaps slightly later,» you surprise? That is an incredible guess, as a result of ばかり may really work in that case. For the reason that downside with ばかり earlier was that it sounded such as you wanted a minute for no matter cause, it really works nice in a sentence like:
- I simply completed my homework (and I must take a breather first), so is it okay if we go slightly later?
ばかり and ところ For Issues That Truly Occurred A Whereas In the past
Up till now, we have stated loads about how ばかり and ところ are used to explain issues which have simply occurred. You simply dropped your graphing calculator in the bathroom (oops). However time to unleash the entire reality: Each can be utilized for occasions that truly occurred some time in the past, too. Like perhaps that poor calculator took the final word plunge in tenth grade, and now you are retelling that story. Stick with me! It will make sense in a minute.
For ばかり, this works when the speaker subjectively feels that it hasn’t been a lot time for the reason that factor occurred, however that period of time is weeks, months, years, and so on. And for ところ, this is applicable once you’re telling a narrative concerning the previous, and also you’re pointing to the place you have been on that timeline within the story — typically utilizing the previous tense ところだった.
Wish to be taught extra? Alright, let’s crack open our good pal ばかり first.
Take into consideration this instance scenario. If a child begged their mother to purchase them a brand new cellphone, the ママ (mama) may retort:
- Although I simply purchased (you a brand new cellphone) half a 12 months in the past?
This sentence carries a robust emotional tone of «I simply purchased you a brand new cellphone lately, so do not push your luck, squirt!» If this sentence have been an emoji, it could be the incredulous one with the raised eyebrow. 🤨
Whether or not one thing could be thought of «latest» is dependent upon the scenario and folks’s emotions about it.
However again to the principle level right here — see how the factor that occurred wasn’t really that latest, it simply feels that technique to the speaker? Mama is expressing her opinion that six months shouldn’t be that way back to have purchased a brand new cellphone for the little scamp.
Besides, you in all probability would not say one thing like this if the child’s asking for a brand new sponge, proper?
- Although I simply purchased (you a brand new sponge) half a 12 months in the past?
You see how this does not make a lot sense, proper? Hopefully you are shopping for new sponges extra typically than each six months! So despite the fact that ばかり has fairly a little bit of leeway for subjectivity, there are nonetheless some boundaries and contexts the place it is simply nonsensical to think about an occasion latest.
However you recognize what provides loads much less wiggle room? ばかり’s counterpart ところ, as a result of solely info matter to ところ. Let’s shuffle again to the automotive dealership and revisit the car-buying instance, we could? Examine these two sentences:
- I simply purchased a automotive a couple of years in the past.
- I (am at the moment on the level the place I) simply purchased a automotive a couple of years in the past.
See how ところ does not actually make sense on this context? Conceivably, somebody may really feel that a couple of years in the past is latest, so ばかり can be utilized. However ところ? Sorry buddy, it simply will not fly. Except you are time touring, you didn’t actually «simply now» purchase a automotive «a couple of years in the past.» That will be pointing to 2 completely different factors on the timeline on the similar time, which is bending the legal guidelines of spacetime in a method that the Japanese language does not permit!
Nevertheless, there’s a method you should use ところ to speak about issues that occurred some time in the past, and it is when telling a narrative concerning the previous — pointing to a previous second of the place you «have been» on the timeline. Strive sticking a previous tense だった after ところ as a substitute of current tense だ. On this case, perhaps somebody invited you to hitch them on a visit a couple of years in the past, however you did not go. And now, you are explaining what you have been as much as again once you have been invited. You may say…
- I had simply purchased a automotive, so I used to be broke.
(Actually: It was proper on the level once I had simply purchased a automotive, so I used to be broke.)
So long as you are describing a particular level previously and never the current, you should use ところ for issues that occurred some time in the past. It isn’t latest anymore, nevertheless it was latest in some unspecified time in the future, and that time is what you are shoving your index finger at once you use ところ this fashion.
Obtained it? Good! Let’s transfer on to only one extra grammatical distinction between ばかり and ところ.
ばかり for Modifying Nouns
We have solely talked about once we use ばかり and ところ to explain latest happenings, like «I simply purchased a costume.» However what if you wish to discuss «a costume you simply purchased,» modifying a noun?
- I simply purchased a costume.
You in all probability acknowledge this grammatical sample from earlier examples. When the noun comes first like this, both ばかり or ところ is okay, relying on what vibe you are going for. However if you wish to flip the sentence round and begin it by saying «The costume I simply purchased…,» ばかり tends to work higher more often than not.
- a costume I simply purchased
As a result of ばかり focuses on how little time has handed since one thing occurred, it is typically used to specific how new one thing feels. Perhaps you are saying «The costume I simply purchased has a gap in it already!» See? It is sensible, since how lately to procure the costume is related to the sentiments you are expressing concerning the scenario, which is why ばかり is there.
ばかり is usually used like this to explain stuff you’ve simply purchased, cleaned, repaired, and so on.
However, ところ merely factors to a second in time. You not often see ところ getting used this fashion, as a result of the intention to switch nouns is often to attract consideration to how new or contemporary one thing is to you and make some extent about that.
Folks additionally typically use ばかり to explain occasions that simply occurred, or somebody who simply took a specific motion, like so:
- a pair who simply acquired married
Once more, that is the place ばかり shines — ところ isn’t used this fashion. You may be about to specific emotions about this couple, or no less than point out one thing related to how they simply acquired married. Perhaps how seeing newlyweds makes you’re feeling comfortable, or the way you’re planning to purchase a present for the couple who simply acquired married. So keep in mind, in the event you’re modifying nouns, you are in all probability going to wish to use ばかり.
You Simply Discovered!
In case you may perceive (no less than most of) the 2 sentences above and the completely different vibes they categorical, congratulations! You are smarter than you have been «simply» a couple of minutes in the past.
To sum it up, you should use each ばかり and ところ to explain latest occasions or actions. However keep in mind, ばかり expresses extra subjectivity and feeling about how lately one thing occurred, whereas ところ provides a extra impartial, goal report of the place you are at on a timeline. And you should use them to speak about previous occasions too, in some circumstances.
Hopefully after studying this text, you have discovered your self in a barely smarter ところ in life than you have been earlier than!