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焼けたころ and 固まったころ

killerinsidee

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I need some help with 2 sentences, If anyone has some time.

1. 「もう焼けたころだよ。」 - もう can usually mean "soon" or "already", but I'm not sure which one it is or can it be both here? I would think that it's "already" since 焼けた is in past, but then I saw the sentence in question 2. which made me doubt it. Is もう modifying 焼けた or can it modify だ (not sure if that's possible)?

2. 「そろそろプリンが固まったころだ。」(given TL - Similar as above, except that そろそろ can't mean "already", only "soon", yet 固まった is in the past which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me if そろそろ is modifying it. I doubt そろそろ has the other "ゆっくり" meaning here. Same as above, what is it modifying and does it mean "soon" here?

Side question for both sentences, what would putting 焼けた and 固まった in non-past change exactly? e.g. 「もう彼が帰宅するころだ」- given TL 「He should be home by now [any minute].」. It seems to me that this sentence can mean both "he's already home" and "he'll be home soon".

Thank you in advance.
 

nekojita

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ころ is the key here. It indicates a point in time, and そろそろ・もう are pointing to ころ (clunkily - "it will soon be that point in time") not the verbs by themselves.

焼けたころ would be the point when the thing will be done cooking
焼けるころ sounds to me like the time it starts cooking (not sure if it's natural, though).

So think of the past tense here as indicating the state of the thing being finished (cooked/set), and もう or そろそろ with ころ wrapping around that past tense meaning "we're close to that state". By itself (without ころ), もう焼けたよ。 would mean "It's done/cooked already." The sentence with ころ means "It's nearly done/soon will be done." Adding そろそろ makes it more explicit but I think these sentences are both pointing to the near future, as is the 帰宅 one (it it was "already" 帰宅 would be in past form and you wouldn't need ころ).

Another example of where the past tense would be used to refer to a (potential) future situation would be with 場合 (often seen in more formal writing), e.g. 事故が発生した場合 would be "in the case that an accident/incident has occurred".
 

Toritoribe

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I moved the posts to the Learning Japanese section:).

As nekojita-san pointed out, ころ is the key.
ころ has a nuance of "about/around", i.e, it has width, therefore 焼けるころ, 焼けたころ and 焼けているころ express almost the same meaning as a result. Strictly speaking, the speaker thinks "it's not done yet" by もう焼けるころ/そろそろ固まるころ and "it's already done" by もう焼けた/焼けているころ and そろそろ固まった/固まっているころ, but the difference is often subtle.
"The time it starts cooking" would be more likely もう焼く頃. ;-) (It's not impossible to use the potential form 焼ける for "the time it can start cooking", but 焼いてもいいころ would be more common for the case.)

As for 帰宅, 帰宅する can mean both "to reach home" and "to leave the place to go home", so もう帰宅する/した/しているころ doesn't always means "to be in home".
 
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killerinsidee

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Thanks for the help. Guess I'll stop posting in the wrong sections now :).

Edit: the そろそろ固まった/固まっているころ part is still bugging me a bit. How can this mean "already done"? :/
I looked around and I can't seem to find anything with そろそろ that "already happened" (just this meaning -ある時期・状態になりつつある).
Is this (whole sentence) one of those things that are said without much thought and looking into its grammar is pointless?
 
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Toritoribe

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The nuance of "already happened" is provided by 固まった/固まっている.

(Sorry for extremely late reply. It seems that I didn't realize you edited your last post.:facepalm:)
 

raikado

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I'm a little bit confused about why it has the nuance of "already happened" and I think it has to do with そろそろ.
Rather than "soon", isn't そろそろ closer to "around this time / around now"?
そろそろプリンが固まったころだ。 = "It is around the time that the pudding hardened" >>>”The pudding should have hardened just about now."
そろそろプリンが固まるころだ。  = "It is around the time that the pudding will harden" >>> "The pudding should harden about now."
 

killerinsidee

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I'm a little bit confused about why it has the nuance of "already happened" and I think it has to do with そろそろ.
Rather than "soon", isn't そろそろ closer to "around this time / around now"?
そろそろプリンが固まったころだ。 = "It is around the time that the pudding hardened" >>>”The pudding should have hardened just about now."
そろそろプリンが固まるころだ。  = "It is around the time that the pudding will harden" >>> "The pudding should harden about now."
I don't think そろそろ means anything like "around this time / around now" . Check そろそろ(ソロソロ)とは - コトバンク
The "around this time / around now" is from ころ, not そろそろ.
But I agree, そろそろ in that sentence is still bugging me as well. If you remove そろそろ from it, the sentence would mean what you suggested.
The reason why it's bugging me is because, to me, そろそろ doesn't fit with the rest of the sentence. :S
It seems like そろそろ is showing that some state will arrive soon while the predicate (固まった) shows that the subject already reached that state. A bit conflicting.
I'm totally fine with そろそろ固まるころ since the predicate also points to the future.
 
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Toritoribe

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Unlike もうじき, そろそろ doesn't apply only to the future, as in the example 話がそろそろ佳境にはいってきた in the dictionary you linked. そろそろ固まったころだ is valid, whereas もうじき固まったころだ is not.
 

killerinsidee

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Yeah, I saw a similar example now "そろそろ暗くなってきた". I'm having a bit of trouble determining what tense those sentences actually are. Especially with てきた thrown in.

Edit: If I imagine that そろそろ shows the past in 「そろそろ固まったころだ」, would it be ok to assume that 「そろそろ固まった」means lit "it was soon going to harden"? And ころ pointing to the present. That's the only way I can think of this working :/
 
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Toritoribe

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It would express an on-going action, I think (already 佳境に入っている/暗くなり始めている).
 

killerinsidee

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It would express an on-going action, I think (already 佳境に入っている/暗くなり始めている).
Yeah, I would agree with that.
Still, with those sentences it almost feels like it's the first そろそろ usage (動作が静かにゆっくりと行われるさま), rather than the second. *shrugs*
Is what I wrote under "edit" valid or am I thinking about it the wrong way?
 

Toritoribe

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そろそろ applies only to the speaker's guess/expectation. It can't be used for the events that the speaker knows it has already happened. For instance, you can't say そろそろ夜が明けた/明けているころだ when you are outdoors, since you know whether the sun rises or not. When you are indoors, the difference between 明ける and 明けた/明けている is subtle, as I wrote in my previous post. Although the speaker would think that the sun won't rise yet when using 明ける.
 

raikado

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I've searched around since then but I had no luck...I don't understand this any better since my last post.
I didn't mention the dictionary definition until now, because honestly, I don't like it.
ある時期・状態になりつつあるさま。ぼつぼつ。「話が―佳境にはいってきた」「―出かけよう」
1) They say it means ぼつぼつ, which it doesn't really help. For me, I think it is the first time I've seen this word. And they also say "ある時期・状態になりつつあるさま". I can see how this definition applies to these examples そろそろの英語・英訳 - 和英辞書 - 英語辞書 - goo辞書, but I don't think the meaning of "soon" is accurately reflected just with ある時期・状態になりつつあるさま.

And when you have plain past in the sentence (そろそろ夜が明けた or そろそろ固まったころだ), what should be in the past in the definition?
夜が明けた状態になりつつある ・ 夜が明けた状態になりつつあった ・ 夜が明ける状態になりつつあった. Is any of these equivalent to そろそろ夜が明けた?

2) killerinsidee mentioned this, and I too had the impression that the example given, 話がそろそろ佳境にはいってきた, doesn't really fit in that category.
そろそろの英語・英訳 - 英和辞典・和英辞典 Weblio辞書
Here, だんだんに is also given as a possible meaning. I'd like to know what you think about this. Do you think そろそろ can be replaced with だんだんに in this example?
 

Toritoribe

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1)
As I mentioned in my initial post in this thread, the key is ころ. The difference among そろそろ夜が明けるころだ, 明けたころだ and 明けているころだ are subtle.

Here's another example; そろそろ授業が始まる時間だ. In this case, そろそろ授業が始まった時間だ is invalid even when the speaker is talking about a class they don't attend, since 時間 shows that the speaker knows when the class will start (and the current time) accurately. (そろそろ授業が始まった時間だ sounds to refer to the starting time of a past class.) This is another evidence that "vagueness" is the key.

2)
No. That's the same meaning of そろそろ as in the examples above.
 

Jackyquah

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can I translated 'そろそろプリンが固まったころだ' as ' it soon will be around time that pudding hardened' ( the speaker expected not long in future which at that time pudding already hardened) ?
while 'そろそろプリンが固まるころだ' as 'it soon will be around that time that pudding will harden ( the speaker expected not long in future which at that time pudding will harden) ?
 

Toritoribe

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As I wrote in my post previously, そろそろプリンが固まったころだ and そろそろプリンが固まるころだ have almost the same meaning. "Soon" wouldn't be a good translation of そろそろ in these cases, as raikado-san pointed out.
 

raikado

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Wait, so my interpretation was right? I thought it was wrong since you didn't say anything about it. That is why I was looking for a way to rephrase those sentences.

Still, with the way I translated it, the meaning of そろそろ with ~てきた is still a little problematic.
話がそろそろ佳境にはいってきた >>> The story has been approaching its climax for some time time now (this comes from てきた), and it's about time for it to actually reach it's climax (and this comes from そろそろ). Is this what it means?
It would express an on-going action, I think (already 佳境に入っている/暗くなり始めている).
I know you already said it expresses an on-going action, but it wasn't really clear how this should all be pieced together.

And maybe I should have asked from the beginning but... is the meaning the same with or without ころ? As in my original example, そろそろ茹で上がったかな = そろそろ茹で上がったころかな?
 

Toritoribe

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Unlike 授業が始まる時間, 茹で上がるとき is vague, and she is unsure whether it's boiled or not until she checks it. That's why 茹で上がった is valid without ころ. This is the same also for 佳境にはいってきた. The moment the climax starts is not clear (at least in the story of the example), but the speaker thinks that it already started.
 

raikado

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Ok, I think I got it this time. I don't know why I assumed てきた would be different than the plain past. It actually works in the same way, I think.
I will use the other sentence, since it seems that 佳境にはいる has a slightly different meaning than what I assumed it had. It would just be more confusing to translate this one literally.
そろそろ暗くなってきた。>>> The speaker thinks that it has already started to get dark not too long ago, and that it has been getting dark ever since.

I think it should be right like this.
Thank you very much! This そろそろ word was so confusing, I really don't think I could have managed without your help, Toritoribe.
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, that's right.
Unlike 暗くなってきた, you can't say そろそろ暗くなった(ころだ/だろう/はずだ) when you are outdoors since you can judge whether it becomes dark or not, as same as そろそろ夜が明けた(ころだ/だろう/はずだ). In the same logic, そろそろ夜が明けてきた is valid even when you are outdoors.
 

raikado

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I see. Well, I didn't think in what conditions that sentence would work, but it does make sense to be that way. I was struggling the most with the meaning of the sentence since my impression of そろそろ was quite different than what it actually meant.
 

killerinsidee

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I'm back from the dead (no internet :/) to necro the thread again . :)
I guess this thread went on a bit longer than necessary, partially because I'm a bit slow sometimes xD.
Examples without ころ aside, I just realized that what nekojitaさん wrote and Toritoribeさん elaborated on (そろそろ・もう are pointing to ころ not the verbs by themselves.) was pretty much the source of my confusion. I was apparently blind and somehow kept thinking that そろそろ was directly modifying the verb instead of ころ. Also, the subtlety of た/る/ている makes sense now as well.

Thanks again for everyone who helped with this "elusive" word.
 
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