Hitoban de zenbu yonde-shimaimashita.

(I totally read all of it in one night.)

Situation 1: Mr. Tien returns a book that he borrowed from his colleague, Ms. Shiba.



Tien: Hon, arigatō gozaimashita. Hitoban de zenbu yonde-shimaimashita.

Shiba: Wā, hayai desu ne! Kono hon, yomi-hajimetara, tomaranai deshō?

Tien: Thank you for the book. I totally read all of it in one night.

Shiba: Wow, that was quick! This book, once you start reading, you can’t stop, right?


The structure Xしまう, where “X” is a verb in the connective te-form, shows that the state that “X” is referring to is totally complete. Adverbs such as 全部 (ぜんぶ, all), 完全(かんぜん)に (completely), or すっかり (completely) often accompany the phrase:


(Let’s write the entire report by the end of today.)

In spoken Japanese, “てしまう” and “でしまう” are contracted as “ちゃう” and “じゃう,” respectively. So, 食(た)べてしまう becomes 食べちゃう, and 読(よ)んでしまう becomes 読んじゃう:


(This cake, did you eat it all by yourself?)


Situation 2: Mr. Mita has lost his shinkansen ticket at Tokyo Station.



Mita: Dō shiyō. Shinkansen no kippu o nakushite-shimatta-n da.

Gurei: E, taihen. Demo, eki no hito ni kiite-mitara? Todoite-iru kamo shirenai yo.

Mita: What should I do? I’ve totally lost my shinkansen ticket.

Gray: Oh, that’s terrible. But, what if you try asking someone at the station? It may have been handed in.

Xしまう is mainly used to convey regret and “X” is usually a nonvolitional verb such as なくす (to lose), 落(お)とす (to drop), こわす (to break), 忘(わす)れる (to forget), 遅(おく)れる (to be late) or 盗(ぬす)まれる (to be stolen from). The structure often expresses the idea that an irreversible mistake has been made:


(I totally forgot about my appointment with her)


(My wallet was stolen.)

Xしまう can also be used to convey an apology:


(I’m sorry. I broke the plate.)


Bonus Dialogue: Continued from Situation 1.

芝(しば): 私(わたし)もこの本(ほん)を読み始(はじ)めたら、止(と)まらなくなってしまったんです。それで、次(つぎ)の日(ひ)、朝寝坊(あさねぼう)をして…。

ティエン: え、遅刻(ちこく)してしまったんですか。

芝: いいえ、なんとか間(ま)に合(あ)いました。

ティエン: よかったですね。私もおもしろいドラマを見(み)ていると、最終回(さいしゅうかい)まで一晩(ひとばん)で見てしまうことがあります。

芝: あ、ティエンさんもですか。

ティエン: 次の日、眠(ねむ)くてぼーっとしてしまいます。あ、でも、こんなこと、上(うえ)の人(ひと)に聞(き)かれたら、まずいですね。

芝: そうですね。特(とく)に仕事(しごと)で何(なに)かミスをしたら、叱(しか)られてしまいますよ。

ティエン: そういう本とかドラマには注意(ちゅうい)マークをつけてほしいですね。

Shiba: When I also started to read this book, I couldn’t stop. Then, the next day, I overslept.

Tien: Oh! Were you late?

Shiba: No, somehow I managed to make it on time.

Tien: That’s good. Me as well, when watching an interesting drama I sometimes end up watching up to the final episode in one night.

Shiba: Oh, you too, Mr. Tien?

Tien: I’m sleepy and inattentive the next day. Ah, but it would be bad if my boss hears this, right?.

Shiba: That’s true. Especially if you make a mistake at work, you’ll be scolded.

Tien: I wish they’d put a warning sign on these kinds of books and dramas.