The curriculum lineup has been updated!

第57課: Relative Time

Relative time phrases differ from absolute time phrases in that they do not refer to specific instances of time. Like their absolute counterparts, relative time phrases may function as either nouns or adverbs. Typically, their part of speech mirrors what they would be in English. However, this is not always the case. 

Important Phrases

Of the many relative time phrases in Japanese, the ones below are the most important to get down. Some of them involve grammar you've already encountered. For instance, よく comes from the adjective よい. Other phrases involve prefixes, suffixes, and particles that make them more or less set phrases. 

 Long ago むかし At one time かつて Before and after 前後ぜんご
 The other day

先日

 Previously 先に Already もう
 Mostly たいてい
 Later 後で No longer もはや
 Always いつも At once すぐに Usually 普通
 Frequently 度々 Sometimes 時々
 Often
 よく
 Again また Again; twice ふたた For a first はじめて
 Seldom 滅多めった Never ぜんぜん Never 決して
 A while ago さっき Every other ~おきに At about ~ごろ

Usage Notes:

1. ~前後 may mean "back and forth" when not used with time.
2. (の)ころ means "as; when" and is similar to 時.
3. 昔に is not frequently used, but it is seen in compound expressions such as はるか昔に (in the remote past).
 
4. ふたたびに is incorrect.  


Examples

1. 私たちは滅多(めった)に{口喧嘩(くちげんか)・口論(こうろん)}しません。
      We seldom quarrel.

2. 時々スプーンとフォークで食べます。
    I sometimes eat with a spoon and fork.

3. 彼女は一日(いちにち)おきに出勤(しゅっきん)する。
    She goes to work every other day.

4. 事故じこは日曜日の三時頃さんじごろこった。
    The accident happened on Sunday at about 3:00.

5. お(お)よそ五時間の(たび)となります。 
    It'll turn into around a five hour trip.

6. 8月の(なか)ばに学校に(もど)ります。
    I will go back to school in the middle of August.

7. 彼は9時前後にここに到着(とうちゃく)するでしょう。
    He'll probably arrive here at around nine o'clock.

8. 僕は子供のころから英語に興味(きょうみ)があった。
    I had an interest in England since I was a kid.

9. 彼を子供のころから知っている。
    I have known him since childhood.

10. このごろアメリカへ旅行(りょこう)する人が多い。
      A lot of people are traveling to America nowadays.

Used To

"Used to" is usually expressed with one of two patterns. The pattern ~たものだ is used to reminisce or confirm a past experience with a deep sense of emotion. かつて shows what something "used to be," not what one used "to do". かつて when used as noun means "former."

 1. Used to be/was once 嘗(かつ)て+~た
 2. Used to do よく+~た+~ものだ

Examples

11. 火曜日にはいつも友だちと()りに行ったものだ。
      I used to always like go fishing with my friends on Tuesdays.

12. かつてないほどの円高(えんだか)だ。
      The strong yen is better than ever.

Word Note: The opposite of 円高 is 円安. The suffixes ~高 and ~安 may be used with any world currency such as the ドル (dollar), the ユーロ (euro), and the ウォン (won).   

13. かつて、第二次世界大戦(だいにじせかいたいせん)にドイツはイタリアと同盟国(どうめいこく)でありました。 (Formal 書き言葉) 
      Germany used to be an ally of Italy in World War II.   

14a. かつて住んでいたところはこちらです。(Literary)
14b. 以前こちらに住んでいました。(Spoken)
        The place I used to live at is here.

15. こんな事件じけんはいまだかつてなかった。
    We have not yet had this kind of case ever before.

16. かつて彼らは同僚どうりょうだった。
    They were once colleagues.

17. 彼はかつて組織(そしき)一員いちいんであった。(書き言葉)
    He used to be a member of the organization.

18. {かつて・旧来}の友  (Somewhat lyrical)
       A former friend

Orthography Note: Although rare, かつて may be written in 漢字 as 嘗て.

Customary Action:  ~ていた

Customary action may also be expressed with ~ていた. This also equates to "used to." 

19. 毎朝ジョギングをしていました。
      I used to jog every morning.

20. 中学校の時、毎晩9時に()ていた。
       I used to go to bed every night at nine when I was in junior high.

I'm Moving!

I will moving the think tank, which is myself, to a new location this weekend and will be low on funds for a while. New lessons are still being made, but any donations at this time would greatly be appreciated.
Aside from the Donation tab, there are also two GoFundMe campaigns to help out. 

https://www.gofundme.com/remastering-japanese-curriculum?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome

https://www.gofundme.com/fixing-vehicle