Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 9: 4/20

ずじまい

Ended up not, Did not (in the end), Never did

originates from the voiced verb[stem] form of しまう. Very often used in past form.

Structure

Verb[ない+ + じまい

Details

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    Standard

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    一般

About ずじまい

ずじまい is a grammar structure that combines the literary form of the classical auxiliary verb ぬ, ず 'not', and the voiced conjunctive form of the う-Verb しまう 'to finish', or 'to bring to a close', じまい. Like しまう, ずじまい will often indicate regret at something ending up a certain way. However, this regret is about '(A) not happening', due to the negation provided by ず.
This structure will be used following the indeterminate form of verbs. Common translations include 'to end up not (A)', and 'to not have done (A) in the end'.
  • マウンテンバイクを()ったが、使(つか)ずじまい()ってしまった。
    I bought a mountain bike, but I ended up selling it without using it.
  • コンサートのチケットを()ったが、色々(いろいろ)とやることがあって()ずじまいだった。
    I bought the ticket to the concert, but I had a lot on my plate so I ended up not going.
  • 日本(にほん)使(つか)うために電子(でんし)辞書(じしょ)()っていったが、()(はこ)ぶのが面倒(めんどう)だったから結局(けっきょく)使(つか)ずじまいだった。
    I brought my electronic dictionary to Japan to use it there, but I ended up not using it because it was a pain to carry it.
ずじまい will often be followed by だった or でした, indicating that (A) was not something that turned out happening, despite the wishes or intentions of the doer.
Caution
As is always the case with ず, する will be altered to せず.
  • ()きな()告白(こくはく)ずじまいで、高校(こうこう)卒業(そつぎょう)してしまった。
    I ended up graduating highschool without confessing my feelings to the girl I liked.

Examples

--:--

    A:「結局(けっきょく)やらずじまい(しん)学期(がっき)になっちゃった。」
    B:「なにをやらなかったの?」
    A:「夏休(なつやす)宿題(しゅくだい)…」

    A: 'I ended up not doing it, and the new school term started.'
    B: 'What did you not do?'
    A: 'The summer homework...'

    宇崎(うざき)さんと映画館(えいがかん)()こうと(おも)っていたけど、仕事(しごと)から()(はな)せなくて結局(けっきょく)いけずじまいだった。」

    'I planned to go to the cinema with Uzaki, but I couldn't get away from work, so I ended up not going.'

    小説(しょうせつ):「事故(じこ)原因(げんいん)について調(しら)べようとしたが、ついにわからずじまいだった。」

    Novel: 'I tried to investigate the cause of the accident, but I ended up not discovering anything.'

    最新(さいしん)(あい)Phoneを()おうとストアに10時間(じかん)(なら)んだのに、自分(じぶん)(ばん)()(ころ)には()しい(いろ)がもう()()れていて結局(けっきょく)かえずじまいだった。」

    'I stood for 10 hours in line to buy the new 愛Phone, but when my turn came, it turned out that the color I wanted had already sold out, so I ended up not buying it.'

    日本語(にほんご)教科書(きょうかしょ)をたくさん()ったけど、結局(けっきょく)つかわずじまいだった。」

    'I bought lots of Japanese textbooks, but I ended up not using them.'

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