"Something came up" in Japanese


I always use this in English to excuse myself from a planned meeting/meet up (professional or personal). Basically, I don't want to bother the interlocutor with the details and notify them I am busy.

I am not happy with what I can currently produce:

  • 新しい予定があります
  • いけなくなりました

Could you suggest more natural ways and idiomatic ways to express the same idea?


Posted 2015-04-22T00:25:19.603

Reputation: 955

急事ができました also works. – oldergod – 2015-04-22T02:36:41.583

@oldergod You mean [急用]{きゅうよう}, not [急事]{きゅうじ}, right? – user5185 – 2015-04-22T04:54:49.220

@user5185 http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/54991/m0u/

– oldergod – 2015-04-22T05:19:19.540

@oldergod I know it's in a dictionary. Are you saying 急事 is more common than 急用? Do you think きゅうじができました would be understood as 急(な用)事ができました in daily conversation? – user5185 – 2015-04-22T05:32:03.983

I don't really know about this. 急事 is something someone taught me when I asked the question the OP is asking to a coworker few years ago. To tell you the truth, because the kanji do not come up right away when typing, I think it's rather rarely used. I also used it in an email so I don't know if it is really used in speaking. For daily conversation, Electeur's answer is good. – oldergod – 2015-04-22T05:47:08.357



More natural expressions would include:

「ちょっと[用事]{ようじ}(or 用)ができてしまって。」


It would be nice to say 「すみません(が)」 or 「ごめんなさい」 at the beginning.

Informally, one could replace 「てしまって」 with 「ちゃって」. In business settings, I recommend the former.

The ambiguous 「って/て」 ending is very common with these little expressions.


Posted 2015-04-22T00:25:19.603

Reputation: 156 430

Or even a 「申し訳ございません」 if the meeting is with a client / boss. – The Wandering Coder – 2015-04-22T01:44:02.390

2(I'm aware I'm nitpicking, but...) wouldn't 「てしまいまして」 be more appropriate for most business situations? – Darius Jahandarie – 2015-04-22T02:07:36.290


You can also be a bit more vague with the


and add the appropriate amount of apologies.

いろいろ tends to imply something that you don't really want to talk about so you almost certainly won't be asked.


Posted 2015-04-22T00:25:19.603

Reputation: 4 043

2This should be あって, not 合って. – dinogeist – 2015-04-23T07:45:45.113

@dinogeist Quite right. Sorry about that. – paullb – 2015-04-27T07:13:35.720