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そんな彼女が、普通に笑うところを、一目でいいから見てみたかったーーと。

Hi. How should I understand the ところを? I have searched a lot about the explanation of the construction ところを but none of them fits the context.

Thank you.

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Since I don't know if you fully understand ところ or not, I will give a short explanation of that first. 所【ところ】often means place, but this is also used in an abstract way to show:

  • A specific place, spot, or position
  • show time in phrases like 今のところ
  • mean "just about to" with non-past verbs
  • mean "just been done" with past-tense verbs

So generally, ところ just means "place" or "time" either in a concrete or abstract way. However, when particles are added to the end of ところ, we get slightly different meanings. In your case, AところをB, it means "although usually A happens, B happened". It shows something unexpected.

Since there's not much context, I can only give you a partial translation:

そんな彼女が、普通に笑うところを [...]
In a situation where people would usually laugh, [she did something else]

Do not confuse these with when ところ is being used literally. For example, in this sentence, を is just being used to mark ところ as the object of みる:

悪いところをみる。 To look at the bad parts.

There are other combinations of ところ as well:

  • ところ(へ・に) = shows coincidence
  • ところが = means "but" and also shows something unexpected
  • ところで = Creates a hypothetical or shows a situation

Related Post: Does ところを always mean the same thing as のに? What is the difference between ところへ and ところに?

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  • Thank you. Sorry for not providing more context (because the story is very complicated). But basically, the speaker was estranged from her and he just wanted to see her smile. So I don’t think this ところを means “although usually A happens...”. Since ところ can mean occasion, I suppose the sentence just means “he wanted to see the occasion where she smiled normally”. Does it make sense? – chino alpha Dec 14 '20 at 12:40
  • In that case, I think your interpretation is correct :), ところ and を seem like they are separate and this should fall into the case where を is being used more literally. – Shurim Dec 14 '20 at 18:24
  • Thanks for the response. – chino alpha Dec 15 '20 at 12:25

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