100 Grammar Points


64. しまった、ちゃった

This literally means “to complete; finish” but can (and usually does) involve a regret over having done something. Also it can be used sarcastically to mean the speaker really wanted to do something, but gives a halfhearted apology.

For example,
saigo no ku-ki- o tabete shimatta.
I unfortunately ate the last cookie.

Of course there really wasn’t anything unfortunate about it.

The construction is usually after the ~te form of any verb

zenbu no okane o tsukatte shimaimashita.

I spent all my money.


watashi wa kanzen ni nihongo o wasurete shimatta.

Unfortunately, I have completely forgotten Japanese.

Another very useful variation is ~chatta. This is informal and is used by both male and female speakers. chau is made by abbreviating te shimau -> chau

shiken ni ochichatta.

I flunked the test unfortunately.

or in the present tense

ke-ki o zenbu tabechau.

I will eat all the cake.


An important point by Mukade in the forums:
In the Kansai area, the use of ちゃった is limited to female speakers.

I learned both in the classroom, of course, since they are standard dialect. But when I moved here to Osaka, people started asking me if I was gay, since I kept using ちゃった all the time.

If I could help prevent someone else from having to go through the same “hard knocks” learning process that I did, it would make me very happy.

So be careful if you are in the Kansai area! But in standard Japanese. it is fine for both sexes.

100 Grammar Points


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