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I always use this in English to excuse myself from a planned meeting/meet up (professional or personal). Basically, I don't want to bother the interlocutor with the details and notify them I am busy.

I am not happy with what I can currently produce:

  • 新しい予定があります
  • いけなくなりました

Could you suggest more natural ways and idiomatic ways to express the same idea?

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  • 急事ができました also works.
    – oldergod
    Apr 22, 2015 at 2:36
  • @user5185 dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/54991/m0u
    – oldergod
    Apr 22, 2015 at 5:19
  • @oldergod I know it's in a dictionary. Are you saying 急事 is more common than 急用? Do you think きゅうじができました would be understood as 急(な用)事ができました in daily conversation?
    – chocolate
    Apr 22, 2015 at 5:32
  • I don't really know about this. 急事 is something someone taught me when I asked the question the OP is asking to a coworker few years ago. To tell you the truth, because the kanji do not come up right away when typing, I think it's rather rarely used. I also used it in an email so I don't know if it is really used in speaking. For daily conversation, Electeur's answer is good.
    – oldergod
    Apr 22, 2015 at 5:47

2 Answers 2

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More natural expressions would include:

「ちょっと[用事]{ようじ}(or 用)ができてしまって。」

「[急]{きゅう}に[予定]{よてい}が[入]{はい}ってしまって。」

It would be nice to say 「すみません(が)」 or 「ごめんなさい」 at the beginning.

Informally, one could replace 「てしまって」 with 「ちゃって」. In business settings, I recommend the former.

The ambiguous 「って/て」 ending is very common with these little expressions.

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  • Or even a 「申し訳ございません」 if the meeting is with a client / boss. Apr 22, 2015 at 1:44
  • 2
    (I'm aware I'm nitpicking, but...) wouldn't 「てしまいまして」 be more appropriate for most business situations? Apr 22, 2015 at 2:07
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You can also be a bit more vague with the

いろいろあって、参加できなくなってしまいました。

and add the appropriate amount of apologies.

いろいろ tends to imply something that you don't really want to talk about so you almost certainly won't be asked.

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  • 2
    This should be あって, not 合って.
    – dinogeist
    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:45
  • @dinogeist Quite right. Sorry about that.
    – paullb
    Apr 27, 2015 at 7:13

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