304 - おり(に)

JLPT N2: おり(に)

おり(に)is a grammar point that means “at the time of” or “on the occasion of.”

The kanji is 折(おり)and it's often used when you see this grammar point in the wild.

The construction is:

Vplain(る)+ おり(に)*
Vpast(た)+ おり(に)
Noun + の + おり(に)

*Note: It is very unlikely that you will hear or see a present/future tense verb (=Vplain [る]) with おりに... but it is technically possible.

For example:

100歳になったおり(に)
ひゃく さい に なった おり(に)
when one becomes 100

卒業式のおり(に)
そつぎょうしき の おり(に)
on the occasion of one’s graduation ceremony

Now you might be thinking, This grammar point is just like 時 (とき)!

It has the same construction and meaning!

Well, there are a few differences between the two.


Differences Between おり and とき:

- First, おり(に) is much more formal than 時 and because of that, it isn’t as widely used.

- Second, おり(に) tends to be used on very rare occasions, something you will only do once in your life, or a special occasion.

- Third, おり(に)is only used for good or favorable occasions. It is not followed by any sort of negative event or phrase.


Here are a few example sentences to show the use of 折(に):

今度お目にかかった折にパンフレットをお渡しいたします。
こんど おめにかかった おりに パンフレット を おわたし いたします。
The next time I see you, I will give you a pamphlet.
Literally: “next time (=this time) + saw someone + on the occasion of + pamphlet + を + hand over + (humbly) do.”
Note: お目にかかる is honorific language (尊敬語/そんけいご). いたします is humble language (謙譲語/けんじょうご).


去年出張に行った、妻に出会った。
きょねん しゅっちょう に いった おり、 つま に であった。
It was on a business trip last year that I met my wife.
Literally: “last year + business trip + に + went + at the time of + wife + に + met (by chance).”


何かの折に大阪に来たら連絡をくださいね。
なにか の おりに おおさか に きたら れんらく を ください ね。
If you ever happen to be coming to Osaka, please contact me.
Literally: “something + の + whenever there is an occasion of + Osaka + に + if you come + contact + を + please + ね”


The last point about おり(に) is that it is used as a set phrase in letters, usually to talk about the weather. When it is winter time you use 寒さのおりから(さむさ の おり から)meaning, “From the (time of) cold.”

In the summer a letter might include this:

酷暑のから、くれぐれもご自愛ください。
こくしょ の おりから、 くれぐれも ごじあい ください。
In this intense heat, please take care of yourself.
Literally: “intense heat + の + at the time of + sincerely + take care of yourself + please.”
Note: The second half of sentence is a set phrase commonly used in letters and emails.

Now try making a few 折(に)sentences of your own!


This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor:


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