ごろ Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Suffix
Essential Meaning: About / Around (a specific point in time)
- Time Noun + ごろ (に)
- E.g. 3時ごろ(に) [Around 3 o’clock]
- ごろ (に) is used similarly to the English prepositions “Around” or “About” in order to indicate an approximate time (e.g. “Around 2 P.M.” or “Around next March“).
- E.g. 十時ごろまで寝ていました。[I was asleep until around 10.]
- ごろ is used with specific points in time rather than with general periods. However, what constitutes a “specific” point in time depends on the time horizon; as the time horizon expands, time frames become relatively more specific. For example, “This evening” is not very specific, but “Next Friday evening” is, even though both examples express a single evening.
- E.g. *夜ごろテレビを見ていました。[I was watching TV around last evening.] In this context, 夜 [Evening] is too imprecise, and the sentence just feels strange.
- E.g. 午後七時ごろ映画を見た。[I watched a movie at around 7 PM in the evening.] 7 PM is a very specific time, so ごろ is appropriate in this case.
- E.g. 2040ごろアメリカに行くつもりだ。[I plan to go to America around 2040.] With such a long time window, 2040 comes across as fairly specific.
- ごろ is similar to but different from くらい / ぐらい. Specifically, ごろ expresses a point in time, while くらい / ぐらい expresses a quantity of time.
- E.g. 僕は三時ごろ寝ました。[I went to bed around 3 o’clock.]
- E.g. 僕は三時間ぐらい寝ました。[I slept for around 3 hours.]
鈴木さんは朝七時ごろうちを出る。[Mr. Suzuki leaves his house at around 7 A.M.]
A: いつごろ北京に行きますか。B: 来年の六月ごろ行きます。[A: Around when are you going to visit Beijing? B: I’m going around next June.]
A: 今朝は何時ごろまで寝ていました。B: 十時ごろまで寝ていました。[A: This morning, until around what time did you sleep? B: I slept until around 10 A.M.]
去年の今ごろは大雪でしたね。[Around this time last year there was heavy snow, right?]
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