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Someone more knowledgeable will come along I’m sure, but my feeling is that the ところ makes it into a “right now” kind of thing.

i.e. “I’m walking to the store” vs. “I’m walking to the store right now.”

EDIT: here’s the relevant place of Tae Kim’s guide.


The way I get it, and I have no idea really, is that in the first one your are walking to the “stores” generally.

In the second one you are going to a specific store you have probably discussed earlier

It’s the way crihak mentioned it, ているところ means that you are in the process of doing something at that moment. It’s nothing about a physical place.

ところ can be used that way with all the grammatical forms, emphasizing the “moment” of that particular tense. Non-past plus ところ means “about to.” 出るところ means “about to leave.”


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