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What bothers you is the ambiguity of ~た form which could indicate both past and perfect. And the worse thing is you have no way to distinguish them in form, in this case. What you did: すみませんでした その節はすみませんでした。 What you have done: すみませんでした (~ present perfect) or すみません (~ present) こんなことになってしまいすみませんでした。 こんなことになってしまいすみません。 Now or future: すみません ...


You're largely correct, both of them refer to situations in the past, however, すみません has has the tendency of being used for immediate apologies (stepping on someone's foot). すみませんでした is more along the lines of, "Sorry about the other day."


No. かたじけない is one of the most famous 武士語/サムライ言葉, but it's never used in ordinary conversations today.


There is a meaning of 「それまで」 that you appear to be unfamiliar with, judging from your paraphrase. 「それまで」, in this context, means "(that is) the end of the story" and for this meaning, it is very often paired with hypothetical forms such as 「~~と言われたら/言われれば」,「~~であれば/だったら」, 「~~なら」, etc. ...

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