Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 6: 7/16


To do something by accident, To finish completely・totally, Unfortunately


Verb[て]+ しまう
Verb[] + ちゃう(1)

(1) じゃう(*)

(*) Used when Verb[て]ends with で


  • Register


  • 使用域


About てしまう・ちゃう

By combining the conjunction particle , with the verb しまう (sometimes written as (しま)), you are able to express that something was done 'by accident', 'completely', or 'unfortunately'. These meanings may seem quite different, but we will discuss their similarities in a moment. Let's look at a few examples of てしまう first.
  • (わたし)すぐに(みち)(まよ)てしまう
    Unfortunately, I easily get lost.
  • (いえ)菓子(かし)いっぱいある全部(ぜんぶ)()てしまうので菓子(かし)()ないようにしている
    When there are a lot of snacks in my house, I completely eat them all, so I try not to buy them.
  • メニューアイスクリームがある(たの)でしまう
    When there is ice-cream on the menu, I unfortunately order it.
  • (わたし)よく(した)()でしまう
    I accidentally bite my tongue often.
As we can see, verbs that usually take instead of will be no different when using てしまう.
Sometimes, てしまう or でしまう will be shortened to a more casual form, which are often used in speech. These forms are as follows:
てしまう will become ちゃう
でしまう will become じゃう
  • 最近(さいきん)運動(うんどう)してないから(ふと)ちゃう
    Recently, I haven't been exercising, so I'm totally going to get fat.
  • (はな)()じゃうから(はな)()な。
    Since the flowers will unfortunately die, don't step on them.
Fun Fact
While (しま) is most frequently written in hiragana, 仕舞(しま) may also be seen. There is a slight nuance difference between these two kanji structures, but the primary meaning of しまう will always be that 'something has come to the point where ending/ending up in a specific state cannot be avoided'. This 'no turning back point' may be temporary (likely to be written as 仕舞(しま)う), or it may be permanent (likely to be written as (しま)).
Due to this 'cannot be avoided' nuance, しまう often comes across as 'totally', as in 'ah… I totally left the chicken in the oven for too long'. In these cases, it is simply expressing the speaker's exasperation that something is 'too late' to change. However, despite regularly being used negatively, てしまう can also be used positively. In these cases it still has the nuance of 'no turning back'.
  • ゲーム(はじ)める(まえ)宿題(しゅくだい)()わらせてしまおう
    Let's completely finish my homework before I start playing video games! (I'm going to completely finish my homework before I start playing video games)
  • 青木(あおき)先輩(せんぱい)定時(ていじ)までに社長(しゃちょう)(たの)まれたレポート完成(かんせい)させてしまいましょう
    Aoki senpai, let's completely finish the report that our boss has asked us to do before work is over.




    I unfortunately forgot my umbrella. (I totally forgot my umbrella)


    My friend finished off my cake. (eaten completely)(totally)


    (Someone) accidentally broke a plate. (unfortunately・totally)


    If you don't leave now, you will unfortunately be late. (totally)


    Sorry! I completely used all the eggs. (Sorry! I totally used all the eggs)

  • Get more example sentences!

    Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

Self-Study Sentences

Study your own way!

Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

てしまう・ちゃう – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (24 in total)

  • Pablunpro



    I just saw Kaname Naito’s video on this grammar and thought it was quite clarifying. Would it be a good idea to add it to the オンライン section?

    Thank you for your consideration, 良い一日を

  • xgc1986


    Hi, for some reason it says my solution is wrong, is it wrong using the polite form or I am missing something?

  • Fuga


    Hey @xgc1986 !

    We have just added わすれてしまいました to the list of answers that would trigger a hint so that the it wouldn’t be counted as wrong!

Got questions about てしまう・ちゃう? Join us to discuss, ask, and learn together!

Join the Discussion