Using V-てしまいます and V-てしまいました with different verbs in Japanese

Hey guys, welcome to another awesome online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. Today we are going to be talking about V-てしまいます and V-てしまいました to express things that happen by acciednt or things that happen completely. This is a super useful piece of grammar that you can use with any number of verbs to express that that specific verb has happened and it’s not necessarily a good thing that it did 

So that being said let’s look at the structure of today’s lesson so you can understand how we will break up the concepts. 

First we are going to look at what Te Shimaimasu and Te Shimaimashita are and the usefulness of said language. 

Next we will have a look at how to form it and how to actually use it grammatically 

Then we will look at some example sentences to give you some context and help you learn more thoroughly. 

Next we will look at an effective study technique to make sure you don’t forget today’s lesson. 

Lastly, we will look at a quick summary of today’s lesson 

Okay y’all let’s jump into today lesson and learn all about  V-てしまいます and V-てしまいました

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What is Te Shimaimasu and Te Shimaimashita?

So how do we use V-てしまいます and V-てしまいました

So  V-てしまいます and V-てしまいました has two meanings. The first can be that something happened by accident and you didnt mean for it to happen. (Usually bad) The second is to express that something was done completely. For example, the cake was eaten completely. 

As this form stands it is in the polite form (masu form). In the dictionary form this is てしまう or てしまった。Please see the graph below 

てしまうTe shimauPresent tense (informal)
てしまったTe shimattaPast tense (informal)
てしまいますTe Shimaimasu Present tense (formal)
てしまいましたTe shimaimashitaPast tense (formal)

Today we are exclusively looking at the masu form polite version however you can also use the dictionary form verb version to if you are talking with friends or family. 

It is a really useful piece of grammar to help you express these two different expressions. Before we look at how to make sentences we are going to need to know how to form the grammar structure 

How can i use Te Shimaimasu and Te Shimaimashita grammatically? 

Getting to grips with the grammar 

First we are going to need to look at how to create the form. Lets start with a verb such as たべる taberu – to eat. 

You need to change this to て form、 たべて and then add しまいます


It’s as simple as that. You can conjugate the end into しまいました like any over very to turn it into the past too. Now lets have a look at some example sentences to get you started. 

Example sentences with Te Shimaimasu and Te Shimaimashita

Lets learn some example sentences 

Let’s take a look at some example sentences here and talk through them to give you a better understanding 

Pasupo-to wo wasurete shimai mashita 
I lost my wallet (Regrettably) 

In this example the speaker loses his wallet (Mistakenly) In most cases it can also be translate to “regrettably” 

Ban gohan madeni repo-to wo kaite shimaimashita.
I finished writing my report (completely) before dinner. 

In this example the speaker has “completely” finished his report. This shows the contrast in meaning here as its not something they have done by mistake. It is something they have done “completely”. It is a little strange to get used to two contrasting meanings like this but we are sure you will get the hang of it once you practice

Nete shimaimashita 
I fell asleep (By Mistake)

In this last example you can see how effective it can be in short sentence cases too. You cash simply use just the very and てしまいました to express yourself without munich context. This is a really useful thing to get used to using. 

We are now going to look at a great study method you can use to really master todays grammar

A comprehensive study technique to master Te Shimaimasu and Te Shimaimashita

How to fully master the grammar 

Now, the most important part of this lesson is actually putting what you have learnt into practice. If you follow these easy steps every day you should have it mastered within a week.

  1. Start by writing down today’s grammar point into your notebook. Write down how your from the grammar along with all of the conjugations 
  2. Take a read of the 3 example sentences and learn them off by heart. Once you have learnt them translate them back from English to Japanese without looking.
  3. Lastly, you are going to want to create your own sentences daily to keep the grammar point at the food front of your mind until it becomes second nature.
  4. Keep consistent with this and don’t try and move onto something else until you feel confident enough to do so, that is really important, got it?.

It is much more important to learn things thoroughly and slowly then quickly and half assed. So do yourself a favour and really follow this and take it forward into you other studies.

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A summary of today’s lesson 

So guys remember to practice the conjugations of the verbs in both past and present forms. You should also try to use the verb forms in dictionary form too. Remember to read through the example sentences, following the instructions in the study technique. This is an N4 level grammar point and is very useful in daily conversation.

Thank you guys ever so much for dropping by and checking out our online Japanese lesson today. We hope that you have enjoyed yourselves and most importantly learnt something new. 

If you have any questions about today’s topic or any other suggestions for content you would like to see next please do get in touch with us. See you in the next online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo! またね 

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