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The difference between うちにかえるときでんわしてね and うちにかえったときでんわしてね

とき is a conjunction meaning “when,” so うちにかえるときでんわしてね and  うちにかえったときでんわしてね both means "when you  return home, please ring me."

 

The aesthetic difference is

うちにかえるときでんわしてね has かえる (non-past plain) before  とき and 

うちにかえったときでんわしてね  has かえった (past plain) before  とき.

 

When a “non-past plain” verb is used before とき, that means the action of that verb has not been completed when the action of the verb after とき happens. In short,  うちにかえるときでんわしてね means "Please ring me when you are coming home" or "Please ring me when you are on the way home."

On the other hand, when a “past plain” verb is used before とき, the action of that verb has to be completed when the second action happens. So うちにかえったときでんわしてね means "When you are back home, please ring me" or "After you get home, please ring me."

One thought on “The difference between うちにかえるときでんわしてね and うちにかえったときでんわしてね

  1. Reply
    Differences among ~と, ~とき and ~たら | EasyJapaneseE
    1 July 2020 at 10:02 pm

    […] By the way, as shown above, the word とき can be used with both a past non-past verb (like the sentences b and e) and a past verb (like c and g) and there is a small but distinct difference between the two, so if you are interested in that, please read this post. […]

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