Can you explain more about the several uses of the verb shimau?
by Pinillos Elka
(Ibaraki-ken, Omitama-shi, Kawado, Japan)
Definition and usage of the verb shimau
Hi Pinillos Elka,
I have previously answered a similar question on how to use Verb te-form shimaimashita
Over here, I will answer it in more details including the original meaning of the verb しまう (shimau)
besides Verb te-form shimau
Definition of the verb しまう shimau
The verb 仕舞う (しまう - shimau) has several meanings:1. put away, pack away, clean up
mono wo shimauMeaning
: Put away thing
Similar meaning to 片付ける (かたづける - katazukeru)2. put back (to original location)
mono wo moto no tokoro e shimauMeaning
: put thing back to the original place3. keep, store
fuku wo oshiire ni shimauMeaning
: Store the clothes in the closet.
satou wo koko ni shimatte aruMeaning
: Sugar is kept here.
naifu wa hikidashi ni shimatte okinasaiMeaning
: Keep the knife in the drawer.4. close
mise wo shimauMeaning
: to close a store; to go out of business5. have done something; finish doing something; finish something up
It's always in the format of Verb te-form shimau
Verb te-form しまうしまう (shimau)
is used as an secondary verb following te-form of another (primary) verb and indicates the idea of completion of an action (of the primary verb).
To emphasize the completion of the action, Verb te-form shimau
sentences often appear with adverbs like...
a. 全部 (zenbu - all/whole)
b. もう (mou - already)
c. 完全に (kanzenni - completely)
d. すっかり (sukkari - completely)
e. 全て (subete - all/completely)
f. 終わりまで (owarimade - till the end)Examples
kare wa watashi to no yakusoku wo sukkari wasurete shimattaMeaning
: He has completely forgotten his promise with me.
musuko to omocha wo zenbu ano chuukohinten ni agete shimattaMeaning
: I gave all my son's toys to that secondhand store.
su-pu wa mou samete shimattaMeaning
: My soup has gotten cold.
Another meaning of Verb te-form しまうVerb te-form shimau
also expresses the idea that someone did something which he shouldn't have done (unintentionally or mistakenly) or something happened which shouldn't have happened (unexpectedly).
In this case it often implies that person's regrets about what he has done or the speaker's regret, embarrassment or criticism about someone's action or about something that has happened. Most of time it's used during bad events.Examples
ani wa imouto no aisukuri-mu wo tabete shimattaMeaning
: My elder brother (mistakenly) ate my younger sister's ice-cream.
watashi wa chigau densha ni notte shimattaMeaning
: I got on the wrong train.
ame ga futte shimatta node sentakumono wo soto ni hosenakattaMeaning
: It rained, so I couldn't dry my laundry outside.
udetokei wo nakushite shimattaMeaning
: I lost my watch.
Whether a Verb te-form shimau
sentence is interpreted as simple completion of action or regret/embarrassment depends on the context and/or the situation. For instance, the following example can be interpreted in two ways.
watashi wa osake wo nonde shimattaTwo Meanings
A. I finished drinking the alcohol. completion of action
B. I drank the alcohol (mistakenly, which I shouldn't have done) regret
Using Verb te-form shimau in present tense
You can use Verb te-form shimau in present tense to indicate that the completion the action in the near future.Examples
ashita made ni sore wo sumasete shimau beki desuMeaning
: You ought to have done that by tomorrow.
hayaku shukudai wo yatte shimainasaiMeaning
: Finish your homework quickly.
sanji made ni shousetsu wo yonde shimaimasuMeaning
: I will finish reading the novel by 3pm.Verb te-form shimau in present tense
can also express the regret and embarrassment feeling as in the past tense.Example
hayaku ikanai to, okurete shimaimasu yoMeaning
: If you don't hurry up, you will be late (regret).
Difference between normal past tense and Verb te-form shimau sentences
Normal past tense of a verb can also express the completion of an action. For example,
yuube kono nureta T-shatsu wo kita mama nete, kaze wo hikimashitaMeaning
: I caught a cold beacuse I slept with this wet T-shirt on yesterday night.
In the above example, "I caught a cold" is the completion of the action.
However, it is different from Verb te-form shimau in that while the above sentence (past tense) expresses the completion of an action in the past, Verb te-form shimau
expresses completion regardless of the time of completion. For example,
kono nureta T-shatsu wo kita mama neru to, kaze wo hiichau yo.Meaning
: If you sleep with this wet T-shirt on, you will catch a cold (in the near future).
Informal version of te-form shimau
For casual spoken Japanese, te-form shimau can be shortened to chau and de-form shimau to jau.
～て + しまう becomes ちゃう (chau) present
, and ちゃった (chatta) past
～で + しまう becomes じゃう (jau) present
, and じゃった (jatta) past
忘れて + しまう becomes 忘れちゃう (wasure chau): will forget (will get to forget in a while)
忘れて + しまう becomes 忘れちゃった (wasure chatta): have forgotten
飲んで + しまう becomes 飲んじゃう (non jau): will drink up (will finish drinking in a while)
飲んで + しまう becomes 飲んじゃった (non jatta): have drunkExamples
kare wa watashi to no yakusoku wo sukkari wasure chattaMeaning
: He has completely forgotten his promise with me.
watashi wa osake wo non jattaMeaning
: I finished drinking the alcohol.Note:
Another set of informal version of te-form shimau and de-form shimau are ちまう (chimau) and じまう (jimau) respectively.
These two are rarely used and are only by male middle-aged speakers.Related PageHow to use Verb te-form shimaimashita
Hope this helps,