うちに - Grammar Discussion

English translation:
while, during, before

Structure:
Verb[ ている ] + うちに
い - Adjective + うちに
な - Adjective + な・ うちに
Noun + の・ うちに

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The text in brackets is confusing and not relevant

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Hey :grin:

It has been fixed :+1:

うちに

while

before

during

It looks like for this grammar point, none of the examples use the definition ‘before’ which is a bit confusing.

Perhaps the nuance section could give a note that うちに can only mean before when it is following the negative form of a verb as in ないうちに?

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@Ambo100

Thanks for the feedback!
I have removed the “before” translation completely :blush:

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So what’s the difference between this and 最中に?
Also, why would the latter be incorrect?

Hey and long time no see!
It might not be wrong per se, 最中 is more precise since it lit. means “very middle” and expresses doing something in the middle of something. うち is more general, meaning “while”.

Cheers!

I recently encountered the before meaning. Thankfully the reading section for うちに still includes information for the before meaning. Maybe in the future it should be added back or split into a new grammar point?

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The “before” meaning comes from a negative form before うち, essentially “while… is not…”. There is a grammar point for ないうちに here.

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I must have missed that. Thanks.

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What is the difference between the two sentences? Is the 間に describing that during the whole process of driving the speaker got more and more tired, and the うちに saying that the speaker wasn’t tired, but then suddenly they were tired at some point? (Or maybe that it happened during a short period of time during the driving process, as opposed to the whole period of time?)

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On of the reviews for this grammar point does not seem to match the answer that is accepted as seen below.

This is the only accepted answer and is not mentioned in the うちに grammar point.

Edit: Seems like the issue have been resolved as the review is now attached to the correct grammar point.

It’s giving me the orange funny face when I enter うちの, but also showing as an alternative correct answer after entering just うち. Not a fan of mixed signals. Is うちの acceptable in this case or not?

Images hidden for space

I’m using the grammar book “New Kanzen Master N3” at a Tokyo language school and it has some different nuance and I’m not seeing it matched anywhere. Not sure how much it matters but I figured I’d add it.

In the book, has two meanings for うちに
~うちに…

  1. Do: …(verb) before state/situation changes. The Phrase ~ expresses a state or situation, and … expresses an intentional action.

  2. While: ~ (continuous process or action) is happening, … (a change) also happens. Refers to a change that happens without to volition of the speaker during a certain period.

for 1, it seems the time isn’t just the best, but a possible limit. Like “While in Japan” implies that time is limited (before that state changes)

for 2, The second action is a change and one out of the persons control: 赤ちゃんは食べているうちに寝てしまった。
The baby fell asleep while eating.

with the action of falling asleep being out of the persons control…

This is the ChatGPT It would be nice if someone can confirm if this is right.

  1. 運転している間に眠くなったので、コンビニで休憩をした。
  • Translation: “While (I) was driving, I became sleepy, so I took a break at the convenience store.”
  • Usage of 間に (aida ni): This sentence uses “間に” to emphasize the temporal relationship between the action of driving and the feeling of becoming sleepy. It suggests that the sleepiness occurred during the ongoing action of driving.
  1. 運転しているうちに眠くなったので、コンビニで休憩をした。
  • Translation: “While (I) was in the process of driving, I became sleepy, so I took a break at the convenience store.”
  • Usage of うちに (uchi ni): This sentence uses “うちに” to emphasize the completion of the action (運転している) before the sleepiness sets in. It implies a sense of urgency or the desire to take a break before the sleepiness becomes more intense.