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I'm currently using Genki (Intermediate), and I've seen a couple of times now sentences ending with -て, while I've learned to view this sort of as a conjunction, like "and".

  1. ジョンが来ることは、けんじに聞いて知ってたけど、いつ来るか分からなくて。
  2. 日本語の宿題がたくさんあったし、それに難しくて、なかなか終わらなくて。

Can anyone explain this usage? I understand the meaning of these sentences, but why this form is used is unclear. Perhaps there is nuance here that I'm missing.

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In English you would probably consider these fragments or incomplete sentences. In either of these examples, the usage is not really different from other usages of て. It deliberately leaves off the rest of the thought in such a way that you might expect a follow up explanation. Sentences are usually ended like this when that underlying thought either doesn't need to be said explicitly or the speaker simply doesn't want to make it explicit.

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