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トイレに行っているあいだに電車が行ってしまった

The choices were either あいだ or ところ but the answer is あいだ.

Google translate it :

The train went while I was in the bathroom.

I thought it meant :

I was about to go in the bathroom but the train (was about to) go.

my questions:

1. Why not use ところ instead of あいだ? Why should it be あいだ?

2. Is しまった just an expression? Oops?

3. What is the correct translation?

Thank you

1
  1. I think ところ focuses on a point time. On the other hand, あいだ focuses on a period of time. So, トイレに行っているあいだに電車が行ってしまった would be more natural because it implies "While I was going to the toilet."

  2. As Setris said in the comment field, V+てしまう means "An action has been done, and it is not returning to a former state. They express their regret about this."

  3. My attempt is "The train had left while I was going to the toilet."

  • 2
    I think @Shiniboi is asking in (2) if this しまった is 〘感〙失敗に気づいたときなどに思わず発する語。「━、薬を間違えた」. But it is probably Vてしまう→Vてしまった : 〘補動〙《「…て[で]━」の形で》〔無意志性の動詞を受けて〕その動作・作用が完了してしまって、もとへ戻らない意を表す。特に、取り返しがつかない意を表す。 i.e. something happened which shouldn't have happened, and the speaker is expressing their regret about this. – Setris Sep 22 at 3:29
  • @Setris Thank you for teaching. I thought that "Oops" means "their regret about this". – Yuuichi Tam Sep 22 at 8:23
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A ている + ところ means "while doing A". This meaning is similar to the usage of Verb A + あいだ (間)to indicate "while". However, while the former is usually used at the end of a sentence

本を読んでいるところです。

the latter can be used to connect two clauses with the particle に:

トイレに行っているあいだに電車が行ってしまった。

That is the reason why the correct answer is あいだ in spite of having a similar meaning.

As for the nuance of "about to", it requires the verb before ところ to be in its dictionary form rather than the ている form, therefore the translation should be "I was going into the bathroom... ", rather than "I was about to go in the bathroom...".

The しまった or しまいました is attached to the end of a verb sentence in て form in order to convey a feeling of regret because the outcome of the verb is not pleasant or desired. In this case, the speaker regrets that the train went away, probably because he or she wanted to get on the train but couldn't.

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    Sadly I don't know the correct answer to this question, but I see no reason why you can't have ところに in the middle of a sentence. – user3856370 Apr 25 at 7:42
  • Would you be kind to provide an example sentence? – jarmanso7 Apr 25 at 11:08
  • I searched for あいだに and ところに within the tatoeba corpus of example sentences and could not find an example where ところに is used to convey "while", whereas I did found examples using あいだに. – jarmanso7 Apr 25 at 11:16
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    Here's an example from a Weblio search: 僕がなにやらもっともらしい言い訳をいろいろ考えていたところに、リバシー先生がちょうどそばに呼んでくれた。 – user3856370 Apr 26 at 7:29
  • Thank you very much. I actually found another example of this 私達が話し合っているところに彼が帰ってきた. Nevertheless, I'd like to point out that in the answer, I stated that ている + ところ is usually used at the end of the sentence, which is different from saying that ところに can not be used at all to link both sentences with the "while" meaning. Note that in some cases the choice in such test questions is not between the correct and the incorrect answer but between the more natural or common answer from within the available ones. This might be one of those cases. – jarmanso7 Apr 26 at 12:50

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