I've come across this sentence with ~すまいて after a verb. I've never seen it like that before, but I'm assuming it is a form of ~済まい:


I can't make any progress. It probably won't end during my lifetime.

If it is ~済まい, what does the て do here...?

2 Answers 2


まい is a somewhat old word with an approximate meaning similar to ~ないだろう (here). You may or may not have heard the phrase ~じゃあるまいし. It attaches straight after the dictionary form of godan verbs, and replaces ~る for ichidan verbs; like with godan verbs, it goes straight after ~ます in polite speech.

This ~て is a sentence ending particle that acts for emphasis, like よ or ぞ. It's stereotypically associated with older speakers, which, judging by the use of 儂 and おりませぬ, the speaker is.

And speaking of おりませぬ, it's an old form of おりません, the polite negative of おる, which is a humble or dialectal form of いる - here used out of an association with older speakers. It is not potential. The excerpt given says:

I have made no progress/I am making no progress. Most likely it shall never end within my lifetime.

Oh, and in more normal Japanese:


  • 1
    Many thanks for that detailed (and quick) answer! Thanks also for the おりませぬ - totally missed that I'd mis-identified it as the potential form :)
    – NobleGuy
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 10:49

Angelos explained well. I just wanted to add some references for て (kindly provided by reddit).



新選国語辞典 第十版


大辞林 第四版


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