We now have two ways of expressing that an action has just taken place. For example, “I’ve just finished eating”.


So what’s the difference? Well, firstly ところ is more flexible because it can be used with the present, present participle, and past tense.


ばかり, on the other hand, can only be used with the past tense.


Let’s compare ところ and ばかり when they are used with the past tense. One point to note is that ところ is far more time-specific—emphasising that the action has taken place that moment.

That department store has just been completed.
That department store has just been completed.

The sentence with ところ implies that you’ve just seen the final brick being put in place. Because we probably mean that the building has been built recently rather than literally just now we need to use ばかり. In other cases, they can be used interchangeably because either sentence sounds reasonable.

I’ve just come out of the ticket gates.
I’ve just come out of the ticket gates.

Finally, ばかり is often used to imply a reason or explanation for something.

I’ve just bought these shoes [factual emphasis on the time].
I’ve just bought these shoes [that’s why they look new].
You May Also Like

Expressing a Way or Method: ~方

To recap, the verb stem is the polite form of the verb with the ます removed. Verb Dictionary Polite…

Speaking Objectively

Both にしては and わりには allow us to make statements about things in an objective manner. 彼は年の割に若く見えます。 He looks…

Nothing Else to Do

しかない can also be added to the dictionary form of verbs to express that you have no choice…

Phrasal Verbs

There are many verbs in Japanese formed by thought a combination of two verbs—the equivalent of phrasal verbs…