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I was wondering, what the difference is between 〜ておく and 〜っぱなし? For example, how is the sentence お皿を洗いながらお水を出しっぱなしにしました。different from お皿を洗いながらお水を出しておきました。? Thanks.

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These two phrases are totally different, and please see other questions for the general meanings.

~ておく ≒ do something in advance / in preparation for something. (Maybe you left the place after that, but it's not necessary)

~っ放【ぱな】しにする


お皿を洗いながらお水を出しっぱなしにしました。

This means you didn't turn off the water while you were doing the dishes. A typical response to this would be "Oh, please don't do that next time, let's save water."

お皿を洗いながらお水を出しておきました。

This is a bit strange sentence, but a typical response to this would be "Wait, what do you mean? Maybe the water is still turned on? Stop it!" It's because the sentence sounds somewhat like "While I was doing the dishes, I didn't forget to turn on the water in advance", as if you had some other purpose you didn't mention.

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