[present / past] + とき

Nucleara

Senior Member
Hello there!

I'm learning about "とき" [when...] and would like to recheck if I got it right, because the use of it causes a little bit of confusion to me.

1. うちをでるとき、電気をけしませんでした.
When leaving the house, I didn't turn off the lights.

2. うちをでたとき、電気をけしませんでした.
When left the house, I didn't turn off the lights.

From above, 1. is the only correct one because one can only turn off the lights when leaving the house, not when they've left the house already. While 2. means after leaving the house, so it is not possible to turn off the lights then.

This is what I understand. Is it correct?

どうもありがとうございます .
 
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Yes, your understanding is excellent. I will give your a quiz one notch above. Based on your examples, and how you understand it, which is more appropriate, of つく and ついた?
    うちに____とき、あたりはもう真っ暗になっていました。
     

    akio76

    New Member
    Japanese
    I feel both sentences are correct and both are exactly the same meaning for me.

    Best Regards.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Yes, your understanding is excellent. I will give your a quiz one notch above. Based on your examples, and how you understand it, which is more appropriate, of つく and ついた?
    うちに____とき、あたりはもう真っ暗になっていました。

    This is a little tricky to me...
    My answer is つく。 It sounds like you're arriving home in a minute and tells yourself "Oh it's getting really dark and I need to hurry now."

    If the sentence ended with 。。。なりました instead, I would go for ついた。
     

    akio76

    New Member
    Japanese
    I use both equally.
    The tenses in Japanese are ambiguous, unlike in English.
    In this case, I think both mean the same meaning.

    When you need to check the tense in Japanese, ask the following.
    うちをでるとき、 ってうちを出る前?後?どっち?

    Best Regards.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi graysesame, you are right! (Sorry, readers. I forgot I made the quiz...)

    Any statement about completed action like なっていた is logically made out of an obervation that was made at a certain point in time. It follows, then, the obervation can be sequenced with other events like arriving one's home. The important question is which was the earlier of the two. In order to make clear the answer, thenact of arriving is expressed in the past form.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Hi graysesame, you are right! (Sorry, readers. I forgot I made the quiz...)

    Any statement about completed action like なっていた is logically made out of an obervation that was made at a certain point in time. It follows, then, the obervation can be sequenced with other events like arriving one's home. The important question is which was the earlier of the two. In order to make clear the answer, thenact of arriving is expressed in the past form.

    I haven't learnt about completed action [なっていた] yet... thought it was something like "getting/becoming" [〜て います]. But I have learnt a little now from your quiz, thank you!
     
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