I understand that しまう means unintended action, or the completion of an action. However, recently I came across this usage in the comment section on a website:


While I understand this sentence perfectly, one part of it puzzles me greatly. So far, I've only seen ています, or てます where the い is omitted. Nonetheless, I've never see a case where ます is omitted. Here's how I'd parse this sentence:


After some homework done, I believe てしまい/しまって+すみません/ごめんなさい/etc. is a common usage. However, I still can't figure out how ます is missing here. Could it be that some other entirely different grammar is at play here? Please enlighten me. Thank you. (*Am I allowed to say thank you here?)

1 Answer 1



is a perfectly grammatical and natural-sounding sentence. Nothing is omitted.

In fact, it is ungrammatical to say:


「しま」 is the 連用形{れんようけい} ("continuative form") of the subsidiary verb 「しま」.

So, why is the 連用形 used? That is because the sentence does not end there. It still continues on to say 「すみません」.

As you stated, there are a few ways to say "Excuse me for (verb phrase)."

1) 「Verb + Subsidiary Verb in 連用形 + すみません」

2)「Verb + Subsidiary Verb in te-form + すみません」

3) 「Verb in te-form + すみません」

There is no difference in meaning between those three, but 1) sounds the most formal, followed by 2) and 3) in that order. The actual sentences will be:

1) 「遅くなってしまいすみません。」

2) 「遅くなってしまってすみません。」

3) 「遅くなっすみません。」

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