2

I hear them a lot in anime, are they the same?

I think the formal form should be 行ってしまいました/行ってしまった. Is it?

5

As far as the basic meaning, there is no difference between the two.

The differences that do exist are three-fold.

1) Regionality:

「行っちまった」 is dialectal. It is mainly used around Tokyo, which is why you hear it often in anime.

「行っちゃった」 is used all over the country.

(Of course, Kansai users might come in to comment that they say 「行ってもうた」.)

2) Nuance:

「行っちまった」 sounds more slangy and "desparate" than 「行っちゃった」. It just sounds more "street".

「行っちゃった」 sounds fairly neutral even though it is a colloquial expression.

3) Gender:

「行っちまった」 is mainly used by male speakers.

「行っちゃった」 is used by just about "everyone".

"I think the formal form should be 行ってしまいました/行ってしまった. Is it?"

Yes, precisely.

1
  • I've always wondered this, and I doubt there's a known answer, but I'll ask anyway: why is ~ちまった considered more "rough" than ~ちゃった, considering it's longer? – Kurausukun Apr 23 '17 at 12:20

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