Home » Grammar » Chapter 6 » 64. しまった、ちゃった

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,
最後のクーキーを食べてしまった。
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

全部のお金を使ってしまいました
zenbu no okane o tsukatte shimaimashita.

Unfortunately,
I spent all my money.

 

私は完全に日本語を忘れてしまった
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

試験に落ちちゃった
shiken ni ochichatta.

I flunked the test unfortunately.

or in the present tense

ケーキを全部食べちゃう。
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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