とき (toki) means “when”
In Japanese, we use 時 (とき / toki) to express the time of a state or action. It is similar to “when” in English.
Using とき (toki) with a verb
It’s important to remember not to use a formal verb when you are “connecting” two parts of a sentence. Since とき is always connecting a time and state / action together, we must use the casual form. If you wish to make the entire sentence formal, save the formal verb until the end.
Using とき (toki) with an いadjective
Using とき (toki) with an なadjective
Using とき (toki) with a noun
Adjectives and nouns carry no tenses
This is totally normal! The last verb (shimashita) has full authority here, and so we can assume that both parts of the sentence are in the past tense. I’ll show you again with an adjective:
Placing に (ni) after とき (toki) emphasizes the time
に (ni) can be used as a time marker, but it’s totally optional. Let’s compare two sentences to see the difference:
There is a little more emphasis in the second example, but the nuance is small.
More Examples of とき (toki)
Shinbun o yomu toki, megane o kakemasu.
When I read the newspaper, I wear my glasses.
|Shinbun o yomu toki, megane o kakemasu.|
Shizuka na toki, hon o yomimasu.
When it’s quiet, I read.
|Shizuka na toki, hon o yomimasu.|
Shukudai o shiteiru toki, Yamadasan ga kimashita.
When I was doing my homework, Mr. Yamada came over.
|Shukudai o shiteiru toki, Yamadasan ga kimashita.|
Kodomo no toki, Nihon ni sunde imashita.
When I was a kid, I lived in Japan.
|Kodomo no toki, Nihon ni sunde imashita.|
Jitensha o noru toki ni herumetto o kaburu.
When I ride my bike, I wear my helmet.
|Jitensha o noru toki ni herumetto o kaburu.|
Itsudemo tsugou no ii toki ni okane o kaeshite kudasai.
Pay me back when it’s convenient.
|Itsudemo tsugou no ii toki ni okane o kaeshite kudasai.|
Ame no toki, yoku uchi de hon wo yomimasu.
When it rains, I often read books at home.
|Ame no toki, yoku uchi de hon wo yomimasu.|
Kodomo no toki, kumo ga kowa-katta desu.
When I was a child, I was scared of spiders.
|Kodomo no toki, kumo ga kowa-katta desu.|
|Not at all: ZENZEN||Japanese Grammar Index||Seems like: SOU DESU|