Saying "now" is easy, with 今, but in my experience that doesn't express so much "right now, this instant" as it does "currently". I am looking for structure that translates these examples well:

  • I have just now been thinking about that.
  • At that exact moment, X happened.

Edit: I also know that I have heard a grammatical structure for "I was in the middle of something (watching TV) and then I was interrupted by X (the phone ringing / an earthquake)". Anyone knows what I mean?

  • Strange, the answer with 今どころ has been deleted although it was correct.
    – repecmps
    Jun 1, 2011 at 15:36
  • @repecmps: Yes, I just saw that too. That's weird. If it was wrong, it should be downvoted, and not deleted.
    – Kdansky
    Jun 1, 2011 at 15:39
  • Well I was going to comment after Ito who said he never heard about it but I saw this expression actually used by Japanese people. Then it disappeared.
    – repecmps
    Jun 1, 2011 at 16:12
  • I have never heard 今どころ to mean “right now” or “currently,” but I am happy to see examples. The answer contained other errors, too. I downvoted the answer and explained the reasons for the downvote, and the user who posted it deleted it. Jun 1, 2011 at 17:15
  • Oh, ok. What is the meaning of 去年の今どころ?
    – repecmps
    Jun 2, 2011 at 1:51

4 Answers 4


If you are looking for the word for "moment", I think 瞬間 is the most appropriate.

At that exact moment, it happened.

As for "I have just now been thinking about that", you can use ただ今.

I have just now been thinking about that.

  • 2
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    – Lukman
    Jun 1, 2011 at 13:52

I would translate "Right Now" to "tadaima"「只今」 and "At that exact moment" to "choudo sono toki"「ちょうどその時」

I would tranlste that two sentenses to

  • 只今、それを考えていました。

  • ちょうどその時、X がありました。

  • 2
    I know that I am nitpicky, but 只今、それを考え込んだばっかりだ。 is slightly unnatural for the following two reasons. (1) 考え込む means to be deep in thought, and therefore the sentence would mean “I have just been deep in thought about it,” but getting “deep in thought” probably takes some time and it sounds contradictory to the use of ばっかり (have just done). (2) The formality level is inconsistent: 只今 is formal but ばっかり is informal. Of course, whether the asker should care about the language fluency to this extent or not is a separate matter. Jun 1, 2011 at 13:05
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito, Yeah, you're right.
    – YOU
    Jun 1, 2011 at 13:08

Don't forget that 〜ているところ also means "starting something right now".

母;部屋の掃除した? (Did you clean your room?)

子:片付けてるところなんだ! (I'm starting to right now!)

  • 1
    +1 for a most used, most natural and least heavy expression to say "right now", "at the moment". (girls and kids would also say ~してるトコ)
    – repecmps
    Jun 1, 2011 at 14:41

I would tranlste that two sentenses to

  • ちょうど、今、そのことを考えていました。

  • まさにその時、Xが[起こりました/ありました/発生しました]。

  • ちょうど今 sounds incredibly 外人 to me (very "translated"), but I may be wrong.
    – Kdansky
    Jun 1, 2011 at 15:33
  • @Kdansky: No, ちょうど今 is a usual phrase to describe “exactly now,” and it can refer to the very near past, too (just like “just now”). Jun 1, 2011 at 17:12

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