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はい、先生。家はあらかた壊されっちまってたですが、マグルたちが群れ寄ってくる前に、無事に連れ出しました。
No sir. The house was almost completely destroyed but I took him out safely before the muggles started to crowd around.

I'm assuming that 壊されっちまってた is simply colloquial for 壊されてしまっていた, but I'm puzzled by the です part. It was always my understanding that you could not add です onto a verb to make it polite. I would have expected to see 壊されてしまっていましたが.

What is implied by this use of です? Is it someone realising that they used the wrong verb ending to add politeness and then compensating by adding です? Is it a regional variation? Something else?

If it helps, the character speaking is Hagrid from Harry Potter. He uses pretty colloquial speech in the original book.

  • Some food for thought, especially the comments. – BJCUAI Dec 18 '19 at 20:06
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    Even in English, Hagrid doesn't exactly speak in the standard dialect. – Aeon Akechi Dec 18 '19 at 20:20
  • I think it might be a transcription error and they forgot an ん before です. This seems to be the んですが used to introduce context for what you're about to say. If this is something Hagrid consistently does then you could consider it a speech quirk. It's not correct Japanese. – Jerry Fielder Dec 18 '19 at 21:39
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In the standard grammar, verb + です is clearly wrong. It should have been either 壊されっちまってたんですが or 壊されっちまってましたが.

However, in fiction, you can see broken, peculiar or dialectal Japanese spoken by various types of character. This sentence is indeed a little broken, and that's where we can notice this person is trying to be polite but not very good at speaking in a sophisticated manner.

This type of misused です is also characteristic of stereotypical gaijin speech, and it's also common as a キャラ語尾 for fictional girls (see this).

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