How to use 間 & 間に ( = aida / aida ni)

おいしそ〜

= Oishisoo

= Looks yummy!

「ねえ、ママがいない間に食べちゃおうか。 

= Nee, Mama ga inai aida ni tabechaou ka.

= Hey, why don’t we eat that while Mom is away.

「賛成! 

= Sansei! 

= Good idea! 

 

 

 

「あれ?私のごはんがない

= Are? Watashi no gohan ga nai…

= Hum? My meal is gone.

「え!?僕はママがいない、ずっと寝ていたから知らないよ。

= Eh!? Boku wa Mama ga inai aida, zutto nete itakara shiranai yo.

= What? I don’t know anything ‘cause I was sleeping the whole time you were gone.

 

 

Hi everyone!

Papi-Sensei is back with his bunny friend, うさ太朗 = Usatarou) to make a request lesson.

***

こんにちは! = Konnichiwa! 

パピとうさ太朗です。

= Papi and Usatarou are here.

We are going to teach you the difference between   ( = aida) and 間に ( aida ni) today.

The word ( = aida) means

1) between: to indicate the physical location “between A and B 

Ex. 名古屋は東京と大阪のにあります。

= Nagoya wa Toukyou to Oosaka no aida ni arimasu.]

= Nagoya is between Tokyo and Osaka.

2) to indicate the time period between A and B 

Ex. 9時から6時の、仕事です。

= Kuji kara rokuji no aida, shigoto desu.

= I work from nine to six.

Now what we are going to focus on today is 

3)  “during some time period”, “while doing something” / “while something is in certain state” 

You use both ( = aida ) and 間に ( = aida ni ) but they are slightly different.

Let’s look at each one individually.

  = あいだ = aida  

* How to form:

* noun + ( = no) + ( = aida)

* verb ( dictionary form/progressive tense ) ている( = teiru) /  +  ( = aida)

* adjective + ( = aida) + ( = wa) 

*How to use:

You use ( = aida) when you do something the whole time during a certain period of time

→on-going actions during a certain period of time.

Ex. 夏の間、塾で勉強をしていた。

= Natsu no aida, juku de benkyou wo shiteita.

= I had been studying at a cram school during the summer. 

Ex. 子供が、食事の、ずっとテレビを観ていたので注意した。

= Kodomo ga, shokuji no aida, zutto terebi wo mite ita node chuui shita.

= I scolded my child because they were watching TV the whole time during their meal.

Ex. 母が出かけている、昼寝をしていた。

= Haha ga dekakete iru aida, hirune wo shiteita.

= I was taking a nap while my mother was away.

Ex. 私が旅行で留守の、花に水をあげてください。

= Watashi ga ryokou de rusu no aida, hana ni mizu wo agete kudasai.

= Please water the flowers while I am gone on my trip.

Ex. 彼は私がしゃべっているずっと黙って聞いていた。

= Kare wa watashi ga shabette iru aida zutto damatte kiite ita.

= He kept quiet and just listened to me while I was talking. 

Ex. 私が買い物をしている、そこで本を読んで待っていてくれる?

= Watashi ga kaimono wo shite iru aida, soko de hon wo yonde matte ite kureru?

= Can you read a book and wait for me there while I shop?

Ex. デートの、携帯の電源を切っておいた。

= Deeto no aida, keitai no dengen wo kitte oita.

= During my date, I turned off my cellphone. 

Note: ( = aida wa)

When you emphasize what came before, you use ( = aida wa).

Ex. 母が出かけているは、弟の面倒をみなくてはいけない。

= Haha ga dekakete iru aida wa, otouto no mendou wo minakute wa ikenai.

= When my mother is away, I have to look after my little brother.

(I don’t usually have to look after him but when my mom is away, I do.)

Ex. 子供が小さいは、働きに行くのが難しい。

= Kodomo ga chiisai aida wa, hataraki ni iku no ga muzukashii.

= When my child is little it is hard to go to work.

(But maybe when my child grows up, it will be easier for me to go to work.)

Ex.僕がいないは、部屋を好きに使っていいよ。(male speech)

= Boku ga inai aida wa, heya wo suki ni tsukatte iiyo.

= Feel free to use my room while I’m gone.

Ex. 赤ちゃんが寝ているは、静かにして。

= Akachan ga nete iru aida wa, shizuka ni shite.

= Try to keep quiet while the baby is sleeping.

******

間に = あいだに = aidani 

*How to form:

* noun + ( = no) +  間に ( aida ni)

Ex. 休み時間の間に

= yasumi jikan no aida ni

= During the break 

* verb (dictionary form / progressive form ている ( = teiru) ) / +   間に ( aida ni)

Ex. マギーがいる間に/いない間に

= Maggie ga iru aida ni / inai aida ni

= While Maggie is here / is gone 

Ex. 寝ている間に

= Nete iru aida ni

= While sleeping

*How to use: ~ 間に ( = aida ni )  ~ 

(1) While / During (A),  you want to do something/ You have to do something.

→You choose that time period to do something. / You do something intentionally during the time period.

Let’s compare the following sentences:

Ex. 母がいない、ゲームで遊んでいた。

= Haga ga inai aida, geemu de ason de ita.

= While my mother was away, I had been playing the game. 

The whole time when my mother was away, I was playing the game.

Ex. 母がいない間にゲームで遊んだ。

= Haha ga inai aida ni geemu de ason da.

= While my mom was away, I played the game.

→I would get in trouble if my mother found out I was playing the game too much so I took out the game as soon as my mom went out and played the game until she came back.

So you use 間に ( = aida ni) when you take advantage of the time to do something.

Ex. 休みの間に漢字を200個覚えた。

= Yasumi no aida ni kanji wo nihyakko oboeta.

= I learned 200 kanji during the holidays.

Ex. 親が出かけている間に部屋の片付けをしないといけない。

= Oyaga dekakete iru aida ni heya no katazuke wo shinai to ikenai.

= I have to clean up my room when my parents are away.

Ex. マギー先生が寝ている間におやつをとった人は誰ですか?

= Maggie sensei ga nete iru aida ni oyatsu wo totta hito wa dare desu ka?

= Who took Maggie Sensei’s snack while she was sleeping?

Ex. 彼を待っている間にジュースを買いに行った。

= Kare wo matte iru aida ni juusu wo kaini itta.

= I went to go buy some juice while he was waiting.

Ex. 父がまだ元気な間に富士山を見せてあげたい。

= Chichi ga mada genki na aida ni fujisan wo misete agetai.

= I’d love to show my dad Mt.Fuji while he is still healthy and energetic.

Ex. 若い間にいろいろな国に旅行をしておいた方がいいよ。

= Wakai aida ni iroirona kuni ni ryokou wo shite oita hou ga ii.

= You should travel as much as possible while you are young.

Another usage is 

(2) While / During (A),  someone do/did something/ something happened.

So in this usage, you don’t control your action. You just state what happened during the time period. 

Ex. 留守をしている間に宅急便が来た。

= Rusu wo shite iru aida ni takkyuubin ga kita.

= While I was away, the delivery service came.

Note: You can’t say

留守をしている、宅急便が来た。(incorrect)

= Rusu wo shite iru aida, takkyuubin ga kita.

Because as we explained above, 宅急便が来た ( = takkyuubin ga kita) is just one time action. 

Ex. 彼は知らない間に出かけてしまった。

= Kare wa shiranai aida ni dekakete shimatta.

= I was gone before he realized it.

(* You can also say 知らぬ間に ( = shiranu mani ) )

Ex. 喫茶店でお茶を飲んでいる間に雨がやんでいた。

= Kissaten de ocha wo nonde iru aida ni ame ga  yande ita.

= It stopped raining while I was having a cup of tea at the coffee shop.

You can also indicate certain time period

Ex. ここ2ヶ月の間に随分日本語が上達してきた。

= Koko nikagetsu no aida ni zuibun nihongo ga joutatsu shite kita.

= My Japanese has improved in the past two months.

***

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

パピ先生、うさ太朗先生、ありがとう!

= Papi Sensei, Usatarou Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Papi-Sensei and Usataro-Sensei!

みんなが勉強している間に私はお昼寝します。

= Minna ga benkyou shiteiru aida ni watashi wa ohirune shimasu.

= I am going to take a nap while you are studying.

***

I REALLY appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう! !CHECKHEART! 

My supporters can access an audio file for this lesson on my Patreon page and some mini lessons and quiz.

Audio File for this lesson

:rrrr:  Part 1  Click here.

:rrrr:  Part 2 Click here.

Quiz of 間 vs 間に ( =aida vs aida ni) 

:rrrr: Click here.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Hi! I thought you could also use aida to mean “the other day / that time” (when you don’t remember exactly when it was, it was a while ago etc.) For example:
    The other day, I saw a black cat , or That time, I saw a black cat.
    Kono aida, kuro neko wo mita.

    Am I wrong? I think I’ve heard used this way.

    1. Hi Luna,
      Yes, you are right.
      この間 = このあいだ = kono aida = the other day

      Ex. Thank you for the other day. = この間はありがとう。= Kono aida wa arigatou!
      Ex. I went to the zoo the other day. = この間、動物園に行った。= Kono aida doubutsuen ni itta.

  2. マギー先生、いつもレッスンをして有難うね。聞きたいことがありますけど、最近この文をみました、‘‘鬼の居ぬ間に洗濯。When the cat is away, the mice will play.‘‘ 質問は‘‘まに‘‘と言う発音はいつか使いますのか。

      1. こんにちは、ギレルメ
        「間に(あいだに)」の方が一般的(いっぱんてき)ですが、「 間(ま)に」は慣用句(かんようく)によく使います。

        Though 間に(あいだに) is more general, you use 間(ま)に in set phrases.
        鬼の居ぬ間に洗濯= おにのいぬまにせんたく is one of them. It is a proverb and if you rephrase it in modern Japanese,
        鬼のいない間(あいだ)に洗濯をする

        I will give you a few more set expressions that you use 間(ま)に

        あっと言う間に = あっというまに quickly, fast, Before I knew it
        いつの間に(か) = いつのまにか  Before I knew it
        知らぬ間に = しらぬまに ( = 知らない間に= しらないあいだに) Before I knew it

  3. ありがとうございます! いっぱい勉強になりました
    そういえば、もしよかったら、ありがとうございます対ありがとうございましたというレッスンが私の勉強にすごく役立ってます❤️❤️❤️

    1. こんにちはAlexandra,

      勉強になってよかったです。 :)

      (Sorry. I am a little confused.
      もしよかったら ( = If you can) :Do you want to know the difference between ありがとう and ありがとうございました?
      Since you finished the sentence, レッスンが私の勉強にすごく役立ってます which means “The lesson was very useful”, maybe you are talking about my ありがとう lesson…)

      1. 誤解させてごめんなさい! Yes, I would like to know the difference between ありがとうございました and ありがとうございます❤️

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