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I saw ただいま at the beginning of two expressions and I couldn't understand its meaning in the context.

A : すみません。かいがいじぎょうかのぱくさん、おねがいしたいんですが。

受付:おやくそくですか。

A : はい。

受付:ただいまおよびします。しょうしょうおまちください。
もうしわけございません。ぱくはただいま電話中ですので、こちらでおまちください。

What do ただいまおよびします and ただいま電話中 mean?
And is there a rule about ただいま in grammar?

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I shall explain each word as I am not sure of your level, or how much of the sentence you understand.

ただいまおよびします and ただいま電話中

およびします is a humble way to say よびます (polite) / よぶ (plain), to call (someone). If you are unfamiliar with humble conjugations and keigo and you would like to learn more, please visit this site (hard!).

電話中 means currently on a call (電話{でんわ} phone; phone call + 中{ちゅう} currently).

ただいま, other than a greeting meaning "I'm home!", can also mean "right now". (See comment by Shoko below)

Putting it all together:

ただいまおよびします

I will call ぱく right now. (Edited)

ただいま電話中

ぱく is currently on a call.


and is there a rule about ただいま in grammar ?

In these cases, ただいま is used in the sense of "right now", as an adverb. Adverbs often can be placed in many places in a sentence, but it is usually immediately to the left of the word it is describing (currently calling = ただいまおよびします; currently on a call ただいま電話中)

  • 2
    ただいま as an adverb can be used for an action in present, future and past. 「ただいま電話中」→ 今現在 currently (present),「ただいまお呼びします。」→今すぐ。すぐに。ただちに。right away (future), 「ただいまお帰りになりました。」→たった今。ついさっき。つい今しがた。just did (past) – Chocolate Mar 17 '17 at 10:29
  • I've edited my answer to try to reflect this better. Thank you! – rhyaeris Mar 19 '17 at 1:44
  • @Chocolate Bit of a silly question but your explanation also applies for when it's used with station names too right? e.g 「ただいま、新大阪」as seen on the electronic board. – Nubcake Jan 28 at 21:00
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    @Nubcake 「ただいまXX(駅)」 should be short for 「電車はただいまXX駅です/に停車中です/にいます。」"The train is at XX station now." The ただいま represents present and not future or past, meaning 今現在, "currently" or "now". – Chocolate Jan 29 at 4:41
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According to 明鏡国語辞典:

ただいま【只今】
🈩〘副詞〙
❶〘名詞〙まさに今。今現在。「ただいま準備中」
❷〘名詞〙つい今しがた。「ただいまお帰りになりました」
❸すぐに。もうすぐ。「はい。ただいま参ります」

ただいま can mean:

  1. "right now" "now at this moment" "currently". Often used with 「Verb+ています」「XX[中]{ちゅう}」「XX[中]{ちゅう}です」
  2. "a moment ago" "just now". Often used with 「Verb+ました」「Verb+たところです」
  3. "right away" "at once" "immediately". Often used with 「Verb+ます」

ただいま in ただいまお呼びします means 3. "right away" "at once" "immediately", and ただいま in ただいま電話中です means 1. "right now" "now at this moment" "currently".

ただいまお呼びします。I will call him immediately.
ただいま電話中です。 He is on another line at the moment.


As a side not, ただいま used in these meanings is pronounced [ただいま]{LHLL}.
ただいま as a greeting is pronounced [ただいま]{LHHH}.
(Though it might depend on the region; in Kansai I often hear it pronounced as [ただいま]{LHLH}.)

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