While learning about the particle ところ, you'll be introduced to combination particles. We've seen many instances where 2(+) particles can be used together, but we haven't really dealt with instances where one or more used together make a new phrase.
Combination Particles: A particle phrase made up of either more than one particle or a particle(s) with another part of speech.
The noun 所 means "place". There are four usages of ところ. These usages can be used in many situations. It can be used to show place, moment of time, situation, or the substance of a matter. More specific things that it can show include the following.
When seen after a verb, tense is very important for correct interpretation. With the non-past tense, ところ means "just about to...". When used with the past tense of a verb, it shows what you "just did". This can only be used to indicate the time when a certain action has literally just been done. If you want to say that you just recently did something, you should use ～たばかりです.
When used with the progressive, it shows that you are now doing a certain action. The "just" may also be emphasized with adverbs such as ちょうど. This simply an extension of translation of its usage to show time. The tense just shows the time factor.
I'm about to go home.
I was about to go to school.
I was about to cause an accident.
I almost forgot.
There are also places where it is quite clear.
There also seems to be places where it's raining.
The sun is about to set.
I just left the company.
I didn't understand what he said.
In this/our country's parliament, B party is the majority.
Her theory mainly relies on the research by his friends.
People are building buildings exhaustively.
You're just one more step away, but...
We have just bought a new house in the countryside.
Grammar Note: You can also see ところ after speech modals like ～ようとする ～てしまった. It works the same way.
The meaning of a combination will reflect that of its individual parts put together. However, for the conjunctive particles that are created with ところ, this may not be that obvious. These combinations below may also not be used as conjunctive particles and can be more literally interpreted in different situations. Don't let punctuation get the best of you.
|ところへ||Just when||Shows coincidence of events after -ている or -た.|
|ところが||But/while||Shows unexpected bad outcome.|
|ところで||Even if (X) were to...||Poses an undesirable hypothetical situation.|
|ところを||Although usually||Shows something unexpected is happening|
1. ところ may often be shortened to just とこ.
2. ところへ may also be ところに.
3. The particle ところ either shows a sequence or contradiction depending on context. The last usage is synonymous with ところが. These are conjunction usages of ところ.
Just when I was about to start doing my science homework, my friends came to play.
Just when the shower quit, a typhoon hit the town.
She (seems) to love me you know. But, she doesn't realize that I know it at all.
Grammar Note: As you can see, ところが may also be used as a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence to mean "even so/however/but".
I've finished half, but he's already finished!
Although I always wake up at six, I overslept this morning and became late to school.