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All About Japanese Particles: ところで (tokoro de)

[Serie: All About Japanese Particles]

Note: Tokoro de is always used after the -ta form of a verb. The tense of this verb, however, is not necessarily past, but is determined by the tense of the verb in the main clause.

* 1. Between contrasting clauses, emphasizes that an extent, number, or amount of something is less than expected: “even if, even though.”

Note: This usage is similar to -te mo (#4, no. 1), but the emphasis is greater with tokoro de.

Tōkyō wa yuki ga futta tokoro de, sonna ni tsumoru koto wa arimasen.
Even though it snows in Tokyo, it never snows that much [never gets that deep].

Ano hito nara ikura ganbatta tokoro de, kono teido no shigoto shika dekinai deshō.
Try as he might, this is about the best [level of work] he can do.

*2. Indicates that the outcome of what is stated in the first clause will not be favorable: “even if, no matter how much.”

Ima kara isoide itta tokoro de, ichiji no shinkansen ni wa mani-aimasen yo.
No matter how much we hurry now, we’re just not going to be on time for the one o’clock Shinkansen.

Takaoka-san ni tanonda tokoro de, yatte kureru hazu ga nai deshō.
Even if we asked Takaoka, there’s little chance he would do it for us.

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words


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