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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!

1 Answer 1

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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.)

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 in 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 paradise (utopia?) as long as they are fighting.

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    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, 2013 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, 2013 at 23:00
  • @Tim As for 間 vs うち... japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2620/…
    – user1016
    Mar 12, 2013 at 22:05

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