Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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!

share|improve this question
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 in weblio辞書 or No. 5 うち in goo辞書.)

Come home before dark.

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 in weblio辞書.)

You can stay here as long as you keep quiet.

The two can stay in paradise (utopia?) as long as they are fighting.

share|improve this answer
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.) – user1016 Mar 10 '13 at 23:00
@Tim As for 間 vs うち... japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2620/… – user1016 Mar 12 '13 at 22:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.