JLPT N3. Standard grammar. Used in both conversation and writing.

うちに translates as “while” in English and is best understood in contrast to あいだに which we met here. As we have seen, あいだに is used with the present participle. In other words, it is used when another action is taking place. うちに, on the other hand, is used to express that something happened while a certain condition or situation exists.

It appends directly to verbs and i-adjectives, but requires の when it follows nouns and な when it follows na-adjectives.

大学生だいがくせいうちに、いろんな体験たいけんをしたほうがいい。
While you’re a university student, you should experience lots of different things.

Being a university student isn’t an action you can perform and thus we cannot use 間に.

めないうちにべてください。
Please eat while it’s hot.
あの女性じょせいが20だいげた会社かいしゃ売却ばいきゃくしてまだわかうちに引退いんたいしたらしい。
Apparently that lady sold the company she founded in her 20’s and retired while still young.
この演劇えんげきが月末までだといたから、できるうちにこうよ。
I heard that this play is on until the end of the month so let’s go while we can.
来週せんしゅうから仕事しごといそがしくなるから時間じかんがあるうちに準備じゅんびしておきましょう。
Work is going to get busy from next week so let’s prepare while we have time.

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