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Grammar detail: ところ

ところ - use as a nominalizer
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verb plain form or verb plain continuous form
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ところ
is a common 'nominalizer': it causes the clause ending with the verb to function as a noun that can be used as the subject of a more complex sentence.
This use of ところ is similar to other nominalizers such as の, こと, もの etc. However, ところ, which is derived from the word for 'place', is used in situations where the verb phrase describes a physical or metaphorical location.
ほん
んでいる
ところです
I am reading a book.
A (more clumsy) translation of this sentence could be 'I am at a place where I am reading a book'. Note that the resulting phrase ending in ところ does not mean literally 'the place where ~ happened' - this example does not mean: I am (physically) in a place where I am reading a book.
ふたり
二人
なに
しているところです
What are you two doing?
はは
ゆうしょく
夕食
ようい
用意
しているところです
Mother is preparing supper.
Because of the implication that a specific point (time or place) has been reached, this use of ところ is not typically a direct substitution for other nominalizers, each of which function in a somewhat different way. Replacing ところ in the last example with もの would mean 'my mother is the person who is making dinner'. の or こと with 夕食の用意をしている would mean 'the act of making dinner'.
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Kanji used in this grammar

セキ   ゆう night   
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ショク   ジキ    food   たべる to eat   く to eat   
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ヨウ   もちいる to use   
イ    idea   
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ホン   book   もと origin   
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ドク   トク   トウ   よ to read   
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ニ   ふた    ふた two   
ジン   ニン   ひと person   
カ   なに    なん what?   
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ボ   はは mother   
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