Japanese Grammar: あいだ (aida)

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Hello everyone, today i will learn about Japanese grammar. In this post we will discuss about how to use あいだ / aida Japanese grammar. Below is example usage of this pattern, with explanation and some example sentences.

1. Nのあいだ

A. Nのあいだ <space>

1) ステレオと本棚の間にテレビを置いた。sutereo to hondana no aida ni terebi o oita./I placed the television between the stereo and the bookshelf.

2) 古本を買ったら、ページの間に1万円札がはさまっていた。furuhon o kattara, peeji no aida ni ichi man en satsu ga hasamatteita./When I bought a secondhand book, I found a 10,000 yen bill between the pages.

3) 大阪までの間のどこかで駅弁を買って食べよう。Oosaka made no aida no doko ka de ekiben o katte  tabeyou./ I’ll buy lunch (a lunch box at a station somewhere before Osaka and eat it.

あいだ indicate a space between two places/things. When both things or places are indicated, NとNのあいだ is used, as in (1)

B. Nのあいだ <relationship>

1) 最近二人の間はうまくいっていないようだ。saikin futari no aida wa umakuitteinai you da./It seems that the relationship between the two hasn’t gone well recently.

2) そのホテルは安くて清潔なので、旅行者たちの間で人気がある。sono hoteru wa yasukute seiketsuna no de, ryokoushatachi no aida de ninki ga aru./Since the hotel is cheap and clean, it is popular among travelers.

3) 二つの事件の間にはなにか関係がある。Futatsu no jiken no aida ni wa nani ka kankei ga aru./It seems that there is some relationship between the two incidents.

In these cases, あいだ aida indicates “the relationship among several people or matters,” and it is used to express a state or an action or an event that happens in it.

2. あいだ <time>

a. … あいだ

Formation

Nのあいだ

A-い + あいだ

V-ている/V-る + あいだ

  1. 彼は会議の間ずっといねむりをしていた。Kare wa kaigi zutto inemuri wo shiteita./He was dozing all through the meeting.
  2. 彼女が戻ってくるまでの間、喫茶店で本を読むことにした。
    kanojo ga modottekuru made no aida, kissaten de hon o yomu koto ni shita.
    I decided to read a book at the coffee shop until she returned.
  3. 一生懸命泳いでいる間はいやなことも忘れてしまう。
    isshoukenmei oyoideiru aida wa iyana koto mo wasurete shimau.
    I can forget about an unpleasant thing while swimming hard.
  4. 子供が小さい間は、なかなか夫婦での外出ができなかった。
    kodomo ga chiisai aida wa, nakanaka fuufu de no gaishutsu ga dekinakatta.
    When my child was small, I could hardly ever go out with just my husband.
  5. 友子は、大阪にいる間は元気だったが、東京に引っ越したとたんに体をこわしてしまった。
    Tomoko wa, osaka ni iru aida wa genki datta ga, toukyou ni hikkoshita totan ni karada o kowashite shimatta.
    Tomoko was fine when she was in Osaka, but she fell sick just after she moved to Tokyo.
  6. 私たちがお茶の用意をするあいだ、彼らは緊張して一言もしゃべらずに座っていた。
    Watashitachi ga ocha no youi o suru aida, karera wa kinchou shite hitokoto mo shaberazu ni suwatteita.
    While we prepared tea, they were sitting nervously without uttering a single word.

In these cases, あいだ indicates a period of time in which a state or an action continues, and the sentence that follows indicate a durative state or a parallel action during that period. When the predicate in the following sentence is an action verb, forms which mean duration such as V-ている, V-つづける, are used.

(X) 私が勉強している間、弟はあそんだ。
watashi ga benkyou shiteiru aida, otouto wa asonda.
While I was studying, my younger brother played.

(O) 私が勉強している間、弟はあそんでいた。
watashi ga benkyou shiteiru aida, otouto wa asondeita.
While I was studying, my younger brother was playing.

When describing the past, V-ていた/A-かったあいだ are also used.

(例) example : 彼はドイツに留学していた間、スウェーデン人の女の子と一緒に生活していたらしい。kare wa doitsu ni ryuugaku shiteita aida, suweedenjin no onna no ko to issho ni seikatsu shiteitarashii./I heard that he was living with a Swedish girl while studying in Germany.

b. …あいだに

Formation

Nのあいだに

Adj-な + あいだに

Adj-い + あいだに

V-ている/V-る + あいだ

  1. 留守の間にどろぼうが入った。
    rusu no aida ni dorobou ga haitta.
    My house was broken into by a thief during my absence.
  2. 4時から5時までの間に一度電話ください。
    yoji kara goji made no aida ni ichido denwa kudasai.
    Please give a call sometime between four and five o’clock.
  3. 家族がみんな寝ている間に家を出ることにした。
    kazoku ga minna neteiru no aida ni ie o deru koto ni shita.
    I decided to leave home while everyone in my family was sleeping.
  4. リサが日本にいる間に一緒に旅行したかったのだが、残念ながらできなかった。
    Risa ga nihon ni iru aida ni issho ni ryokoushitakatta no daga, zannennagara dekinakatta.
    I wanted to travel with Lisa while she was in Japan, but to my regret, I was not able to do so.
  5. 私がてんぷらを揚げる間に、母はおひたしと酢の物と味噌汁まで作ってしまった。
    Watashi ga tenpura o ageru aida ni, haha wa ohitashi to su no mono to misoshiru made tsukutte shimatta.
  6. あそこも日本人旅行者が少ない間に行っておかないと、きっとすぐに開発されて日本人だらけになるだろう。
    Asoko mo nihonjin ryokousha ga sukunai aida ni itteokanai to, kitto suguni kaihatsusarete nihonjin darake ni naru darou.
    We had better visit there while the number of Japanese travelers is small, otherwise it will surely be developed soon and be full of Japanese.
  7. 祖母が元気な間にいろいろ話を聞いておこう。
    Sobo ga genkina aida ni iroiro hanashi wo kiiteokou.
    I wil ask my grandmother many things while she is still in good health.

… あいだに indicated a period of time in which a state/action continues, and a sentence that express an action or a situation within that time follows. The predicate of the following sentence is a verb, and forms that do not indicate duration, like …する, …しはじめる, are used.

(X) 授業の間にずっとおしゃべりをしていた。
jugyou no aida ni zutto oshaberi wo shiteita.
I was chatting during the lesson.

(O) 授業の間に3回質問をした。
jugyou no aida ni sankai shitsumon wo shita.
I asked question three times during the lesson.

To describe a past matter, …たあいだに is also used. When the agents of the first and second clauses are different as in (5), it means the two person acted in parallel at the same time.

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