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Tell me please in the sentence below, can うちは means the same as うちに? Or it's just うち like "we" ? enter image description here

Thank you very much for help!

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The うち(に) means "while/during/before", similar to [間]{あいだ}に.
→ No. 2 うちweblio辞書 or No. 5 うちgoo辞書

明るいうちに帰ってきなさい。(Come home before dark.)
本を読んでるうちに寝てしまった。(I fell asleep while reading.)

The は is the binding particle([係助詞]{かかりじょし}). うちは is like "as long as~" and similar to [間]{あいだ}は. うちはweblio辞書

おとなしくしているうちは、ここにいてもいい。(You can stay here as long as you keep quiet.)
[双方]{そうほう}(が)[噛]{か}み合っているうちは、[極上]{ごくじょう}の[桃源郷]{とうげんきょう}に[身]{み}を[置]{お}ける。(The two can stay in a paradise/utopia? as long as they are fighting.)

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I think you can also translate 桃源郷 as "paradise". –  istrasci Mar 8 '13 at 15:41
@istrasci Ah I see~ Thank you ^^ –  Chocolate Mar 8 '13 at 17:51
I am not sure if I can get this in to a comment but I have not seen うち referred to as same as 間 before, altho it is logical (thank you). However I do wonder about うちに:We learn it has two meanings. 1)To do something before a state/situation changes, as in the 1st example, & 2) while a continuous process is happening, another change occurs w/o the volition of the speaker, as in the 2nd example. I accept うち(は)can be the same as 間 but can うちに? Like 〜間 & 〜間に、I thought うち & うちに were different. (??) –  Tim Mar 9 '13 at 2:02
@Tim You can also say them as 明るい[間]{あいだ}に帰ってきなさい/本を読んでいる間に寝てしまった/おとなしくしている間はここにいてもいい/双方かみ合っている間は桃源郷に身を置ける, but 間に and うちに are not always interchangeable; you can say 暗くならないうちに帰ってきなさい but not 暗くならない[間]{あいだ}に帰ってきなさい. And the に and は are the case/binding particles, and 間 and うち are nouns, so 間 and 間に / うち and うちに are not the same. (間 / うち can also be used like the conjunctive particles/接続助詞 but they cannot be replaced with 間に/うちに in most cases.) –  Chocolate Mar 10 '13 at 23:00
@Tim As for 間 vs うち... japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2620/… –  Chocolate Mar 12 '13 at 22:05
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