I'm trying to translate 駅から歩けなくなっちゃって. I don't really speak Japanese but this is what I got so far:

  • なっちゃって apparently means having done something against one's intention
  • 駅から is "from the station"
  • 歩けなく has ~something~ to do with walking but I couldn't figure out what grammatical case this is.

Maybe it's actually 駅 から 歩け 泣く なっちゃって? "I ended up crying on my way from the station" or something like that. But that would make 歩け imperative which doesn't make sense to me.

1 Answer 1


Here's where 歩けなく comes from:

  1. Start with the verb 歩く, "to walk".
  2. Turn it into its potential form: 歩ける, "able to walk".
  3. Make it negative: 歩けない, "unable to walk".
  4. Turn the newly formed i-adjective into an adverb: 歩けなく.

Now, なっちゃう is a shorter form of なって + しまう.

なって, of course, is the -て form of なる, which means "to become". なる requires that the adjective you are becoming is in an adverbial form, which is why we needed step 4 above.

しまう, as it seems you already know, indicates that the action occurred unintentionally or had a regrettable result.

Putting these together, 「歩けなくなっちゃう」 roughly means "to unfortunately become unable to walk".

「駅から歩けなくなっちゃう」 = "(I) unfortunately won't be able to walk from the station".

  • I misquoted and wrote なっちゃう instead of なっちゃって. How does that change the sentence? In examples I've found, -te is always used with "iru" or "kudasai" or other words following it. The sentence " 駅から歩けなくなっちゃって" actually ends with an ellipsis so it could be that there is supposed to be another word.
    – NounVerber
    Nov 25, 2015 at 17:01
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    The て form of a verb can also add the meaning of "and" after the verb. In this case, it's being used to soften the sentence my making it trail off. It makes excuses sound more hesitant and regretful. "Unfortunately I won't be able to walk from the station..."
    – Darcinon
    Nov 25, 2015 at 17:36
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    Heating up some old coffee: Is it possible to make an adverb for the potential "positive" form (instead of the negative one)? Like 歩けなくなる but just for positive? Or do you have to use ように instead?
    – thz
    Nov 30, 2015 at 11:46
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    +1 for the reason that you explain ~ちゃう and ~ちゃって in a single sentence. For a while it was a foreign construct that Google Translate just couldn't educate me on, but now I understand it -- thank you!
    – user22337
    Jan 29, 2018 at 4:47

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