Could someone help me by explaining how this is formed?

The question here refers to an answer to my question (second comment on answer), but I don't understand it: Could someone help with the gramatical construction of this phrase?

Answer (3-㋒): https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/120514/meaning/m0u/

It looks like someone transformed a masu-form verb to a "masu-te"-form, which I never heared of:


If I am not mistaken, the referenced answer also talks about the potential form. How does this relate? Furthermore, is this construction in any way related to はじめまして?


As you have no doubt realized, the base-て conjugation of verbs is used for more than just imperative commands. I'm sure you've seen many cases where you have a grammar structured as with the ~て + _____ structure.

What you are seeing is something that is not uncommon. What is happening is that the speaker/writer is using the masu form of a verb to maintain (or increase) politeness, but they are also using some other grammar as well. Sometimes, it is laid on a little thick or overdone.

You typically won't find this in Japanese text books, but it is still something that is done commonly by native speakers. (See this source.)

Beginning Japanese speakers should not need to worry about using masu in this manner, as it is sufficient to have the final verb of the sentence in the masu form.

Most often, you will see this used in sentence conjunctions, or in situations that leave the sentence open-ended. That being said, it is not very common, but I've also heard ~ましても (i.e. ~て + も), and other grammatical structures as well.

Be aware that not all structures using the base-て conjugation will work seamlessly with masu. Some grammars won't work with this structure at all, as you can see in this answer. It's something that you will likely have to get a feel for over time.

Is this construction in any way related to はじめまして?

This is something that has become a set phrase with a specific meaning. I did some digging on this site, and found an excellent post by @chocolate that answers your question quite succinctly. I'll quote part of it below, but I recommend reading the full post.

To break it down, はじめまして is the て form of はじめます, and はじめます is the polite form of はじめる.

はじめまして is a fixed expression.

  • So you are saying "食べましていて" is correct Japanese? Do you have a source for that? When searching for "食べましていて" in google (with those quotes), google responds with: No results found for "食べましていて". I accepted the answer, but it seems to me after doing more googling that masu+te might be used by some Japanese native speaker, but isn't necessarily "correct Japanese"... more of a common mistake among natives... please proof me wrong on this, if I am. – Wolf Sep 5 at 18:55
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    @wolf, I wouldn't suggest accepting the answer until I figure out what was incorrect enough to warrant a downvote – ajsmart Sep 5 at 19:28
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    食べていまして is fine but 食べましていて is not used – Darius Jahandarie Sep 5 at 19:56
  • @DariusJahandarie Thank you, I owe you a lot for the help. – ajsmart Sep 5 at 19:57

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