I’ve gathered that these all can be used like “just” (right?) so I’m wondering what the difference in usage is between them.




Are these all basically the same?

(also, in informal speech is it appropriate to just say ばかり and ところ by themselves at the end like in my examples?)

1 Answer 1


The difference between ばかり and ところ is that ばかり means you just finished, can be 1 minute ago, 1 hour ago, 1 week, it really depends on what you are talking about. ところ means this moment exactly. for example: 彼は旅行から帰ったばかりでも、また旅行する。 (Even though he just came back from his trip, he is going on another trip.) 帰ったところ、電話が鳴った。(the moment I got home the telephone rang)

The first example can mean that the guy came back from his trip a week ago and already goes on another trip where the second example really means the moment you got home.

As for 今, it just means now and can be compared to ところ, but a bit less strict with it being the exact moment.

The meaning of ところ also changes with which form of verb you use (past, present, future). Past tense means just finished doing it, present means in the midst of, and future means just about to. 話したところ(just talked) 話すところ(going to talk) 話しているところ(talking)

I hope this explanation makes sense and answered your question.

When using ところ always put だ behind it, ばかり can be with or without だ.

  • perfect! thank you so much :)) Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 21:19
  • But then what's the difference between past verb + ところ and ばかり? Both seem to refer to events that just finished.
    – max
    Commented Jun 18, 2022 at 13:03

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