This might be a stupid question, but here goes.

I was just wondering how to say something like, "it was (placed) there, unfortunately," in Japanese without using 残念ながら。

And I thought, 「そこであってしまった」

So, is using てしまう with ある correct? If not, what are the other ways to say it without using 残念ながら?

  • I feel そこであってしまった is correct, though you can use そこにあってしまった depending on the situation. If you add some situations, I may tell when you can use them and have to use other sayings.
    – Chance
    Feb 2, 2023 at 16:50
  • @Chance I know that てしまう is perfectly fine with normal verbs. I'm just curious as to whether it's okay or not to use the てしまう form with existence verbs like ある/いる. For example, is 「十円だけあってしまう」 correct for "unfortunately, I only have 10 yen."?
    – kammy
    Feb 2, 2023 at 16:59
  • 1
    As for 十円だけあってしまう is wrong; it feels like you hate to have any money but you can't help having 10 yens. You should say 十円しかない instead.
    – Chance
    Feb 2, 2023 at 19:58
  • 1
    It doesn't seem to be a good example because what you regret is not 10 yen existing or being in some place but you having only 10 yen. Is that what you really wanted to ask?
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 3, 2023 at 1:04
  • @aguijonazo I know might've given a bad example sentence, but all I'm confused about is whether it is grammatically correct (and natural-sounding) to use the teshimau with aru.
    – kammy
    Feb 3, 2023 at 4:58

2 Answers 2


At the very least, you must say そこ when you use ある or いる. I'm sure you learned this rule along with the verbs ある and いる themselves. If you say そこ by mistake, no one expects the verb ある will follow.

そこあってしまった is a correct sentence, at least grammatically speaking. In a stilted literary work, it can mean something like "Alas, [it] was unfortunately there!", but we seldom say this in reality. 10円だけあってしまう would mean something strange like "(I want to be penniless but) I end up having 10 yen".


As is hinted in your question, you'd be better saying そこに置かれてしまった

If you said そこであってしまった in conversation it would be 99.99% of the time understood as そこで会って(遭って/逢って)しまった

  • Aah, I can certainly see your point. But still, is it grammatically correct though (using teshimau with aru, I mean)?
    – kammy
    Feb 4, 2023 at 13:22

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