Grammar detail: ころ vs ごろ

ころ vs ごろ - when vs approximately when
163 words
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The words ころ and ごろ are both used to indicate when something happened, but they have slightly different nuances.
ころ is typically used to refer to an era or period in which something happened. For example:
I was only a little child then.
ごろ is typically used to indicate approximately when a specific event occurred. For example:

Let's have dinner at around six o'clock.
ころ and ごろ are actually the same word, as can be seen from the fact that they are both written with the same kanji, 頃. ごろ is the 'voiced' version (voicing refers to the idea that a sound is somewhat hardened, and ご is a hardened version of こ). When the second part of a compound word is voiced in Japanese, it tends to tie the word more closely to what it follows. In the case of ころ / ごろ, the voiced version is tied to the time it follows and means 'approximately ~'. When it is not voiced, the two words remain separate, and mean 'during the period when ~'.
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Kanji used in this grammar

ころ time   
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シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
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シ   ス   こ child   
キョウ   ク   そなえる to make an offering   とも servant, attendant   
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ロク   むっ six   む    むい    む    
ジ   とき time, occasion   
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ショク   ジキ    food   たべる to eat   く to eat   
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