Quite often “とき” is the first word that you meet to say ‘when’ in Japanese. The kanji (時) we have seen in previous examples as the time marker; however, とき it is very often written in hiragana.
とき is used with the standard form of the verb. Note to the use of the target particle to mark the time of the action.
|Please wait in the waiting room when the person in charge is not here.|
|When I graduated from university and started work every day was tough.|
Quite often the particle following とき is omitted.
|When was studying in the library Yusuke was there.|
We can also use とき to modify the noun (something we can’t do with the conditionals).
|I had a good first impression when I met him (the first impression of the time I met him was good).|
|The time will come when you will look after your parents.|
You may recall that we have already seen one way to say ‘when’ — by using the conditional ～たら.
|When work has finished I’ll go to Yurakucho.|