It is my understanding (could be wrong of course) that the addition of ところ to a verb draws the time aspect of the verb nearer to the speaker/subject. So the following progression can be established.

I walked there (Unclear about the time except that the action is over and done with.)

I just walked there (States that the action ended very recently from the perspective of the speaker/subject.)

I am walking there (States that the action is currently occurring)

I am about to walk there (States that the action hasn't happened but will in the near future.)

I will walk there (States that the action hasn't happened and will in the future.)

I have read that 歩いているところだ can also be translated as "I am walking".

Could someone please explain how 歩いている (when it implies continuing action as opposed to habitual action) differs in meaning from 歩いているところだ and how it could be placed in the above progression if possible? In addition, I feel like it may be a separate issue so please ignore if too complicated, when would 歩いていたところだ be used?

If I had to guess, I'd say that 歩いているところだ falls between 歩き始める and 歩いている.

As a slight side note, for momentary verbs, does 帰っているところ mean "I am just about to enter the house" or "I am just about to leave where I am and start going home"?

4 Answers 4


Can ところで be ambiguous (time vs. location)?
My answer: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/39711/16344

Could someone please explain how 歩いている (when it implies continuing action as opposed to habitual action) differs in meaning from 歩いているところだ

I think 歩いているところだ just contains emphasis of [This is what i'm doing NOW] (or This was what i was doing THEN).

  • I'm walking, and i'm talking to someone on my cell phone. The person asks what i'm doing now, and I answer:

    駅に向かって歩いてる or 駅に向かって歩いてるところ ---- either sounds fine. ( The latter would sound a bit theatrical with the DA at the end, as ...ところだ )

That is a lot of questions and I might forget some but here goes. First, let me just warn you to be careful with ところ especially the the way it is used in your examples. It also has the meaning of place. And in your examples it really feels like you are talking about the place you were walking to.

歩いているところだ basically mean "Now is the time I am currently walking". Which sounds silly and basically means "I am walking".

歩いていたところだ means while I was walking. Which could be used as an answer to "when did it happen?". Although 歩いていたところでした would sound better.

帰っているところ means I am currently on my way back. 帰るところだ means It's time to go back now./I'm about to go back. 帰ったところだ means I just came back now.


The word ところ has several meanings:

ところ is not just "place". It may also indicate the time or occasion or moment of the action.

Most people will interpret like this:
When I was walking.

  • So, does 「歩いているところ 。」 mean "When I was walking" ?
    – Chocolate
    Oct 14, 2016 at 7:47

歩いている can be taken as either "I'm walking" or "I have walked" and when you use it in the former meaning, it's the same as 歩いているところ(だ).

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