If て form is used alone what can it mean? from what I've found on my own it can be a request similar to てください as well as a direct command, but are there other ways to use it alone besides to link two verbs together? The reason I ask this is I saw the phrase "おそくなって すみません". I know It says sorry I'm late due to the fact that おそくなって is the て form of to be late but I'm confused as to why the て form was used here.

Sorry if the answer is obvious here and thank you for any assistance

  • Adding on this comment, how does the て form work with ばかりin a sentence like 彼女は一日中泣いてばかりだ?
    – Joe
    Apr 22, 2015 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


In this case, the 〜て form is just acting as "and" to connect separate clauses.

  • 昨日、買い物にいって、たこ焼きを食べて、[阪神]{はん・しん}タイガースの試合をみました。 → Yesterday I went shopping, (and) ate takoyaki, and watched the Tigers game.
  • おそくなってすみません。 → I was late (and) I'm sorry.
  • So then て form can be used as another type of and? similar to the と particle but used with verbs and it can connect other things besides just two verbs together?
    – Nate
    Apr 22, 2015 at 18:41
  • Refer to this post: The many ways to say “and” in Japanese.
    – istrasci
    Apr 22, 2015 at 18:56

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