This question comes from 新完全マスター文法N2:

(    )うちに欲しい物を買っておこう。

1. お金がある
2. 給料をもらう
3. お金が残る

The second answer seems pretty obviously incorrect to me, but I'm not sure why #1 is correct yet #3 is not. They both seem to have the same meaning. Is there some subtle distinction that allows only #1 to fit here? Does 残る perhaps only imply that there is money left short-term? (for example, the difference between "there is no money left in my pocket right now" and "I'm penniless and going to lose my home").

1 Answer 1


ある is a verb describing a state. もらう and 残る aren't stative verbs.

The phrase ~うちに needs to be connected to a stative verb, like いる and then it would make sense.



For a comparison in English I think about the difference between hire, fire and employ.

Hired ⇒ Employed ⇒ Fired
  1. When you get hired by a company, that's something that happens once and then its over. Your hired!
  2. Then you're employed by the company, which is a state that you're in for a period of time.
  3. Then BAM! You're fired! (*cobra hand gesture) This also happens once and your state of employment is over.
  • I'm not sure about this analogy with English. You can't be fired 50%, but you can potentially make 30 payments and if after each one money will remain - it somewhat describes the state/condition of having enough.
    – macraf
    Jun 16, 2016 at 2:07
  • What you say makes sense for my question but leaves me a little uncertain why "溶けないうちに" (from an example in the book) is correct given your statement on the second line ("The phrase..."). So are verbs always considered stative in their negated form or does "xないうちに" require a different explanation altogether?
    – Aurast
    Jun 16, 2016 at 2:09
  • "hired" doesn't necessarily refer to once. it is perfectly proper to say "while you're hired..."
    – A.Ellett
    Jun 16, 2016 at 2:26
  • @Aurast I think 溶けないうちに makes sense because ない is the opposite of ある and is treated sort of like an adjective. 熱いうちに would be correct as well.
    – sazarando
    Jun 16, 2016 at 6:03
  • 1
    自然な文だと思います。「お金があるうちに/残っているうちに/お給料をもらっているうちに~~する」の「うちに」(= "While/Before~~") ではなく、"As~~, ~~ gradually~~ / more~~" (勉強していると/勉強するにつれ、だんだん/ますます~してくる) という感じがします。
    – chocolate
    Jun 17, 2016 at 9:57

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