Today’s Question

実家じっかかえったところ留守るすでした implies

a. I thought my parents would be home.
b. I thought my parents wouldn’t be home.
c. I didn’t have any anticipation.
d. none of the above.

Today’s Grammar Point:  ~たところ

The word ところ can be used in a number of different ways and today’s ~たところ (i.e. used with a past tense verb) is an expression used to specify a time/occasion in the past when the speaker discovered something unexpected or contradictory to their anticipation. As it is an expression for an unexpected result, this ところ is often used with ~してみたところ (When I tried ~ing).


  • [たform verb] + つもり
    たform verb is the past plain form of a verb


I went to my parents’ home but they were not home.

When I asked the person in charge I learned that it wasn’t true.

I took it along thinking they’d be pleased to see it, but they hardly gave it a glance and I was disappointed.

When I applied for it thinking I won’t get it, my permanent residence was granted three months later.

When I called hesitantly, I was lucky enough to answer John.

When I bought an ice cream with a lottery, I won.

When I tried doing it, I found it unexpectedly easy.

When I tried my luck, it worked.

When I wrote the answer while thinking that it was wrong, it was the correct answer.

When I started blogging, many people read it.

Answer to Today’s Question: a.

For the actual meaning of the sentence, see above. The word ところ suggests the latter part was contradictory to the anticipation, so the anticipation was for the parents to be home.

When ところ should be avoided

If the latter half of the sentence is something predictable, ところ sounds odd.

(?) ダメもとで申請しんせいしたところ、やっぱり駄目だめだった。
(✓) ダメもとで申請しんせいした、やっぱり駄目だめだった。
I applied even though I didn’t think it would be successful and surely it wasn’t.

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