The meaning of hajime mashita (始めました) in Japanese and how to use it

Not to be confused with hajimemashite, hajime mashita means started or has started.

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese term hajime mashita, including its Japanese definition and translation, usage, example sentences, alternative expressions, and more!

What does hajime mashita mean?

The Japanese term hajime mashita or hajimemashita (始めました、はじめました) means started or has started. This is the past form of the polite “masu” conjugation of the verb hajimeru (始める), which means to start something. As this is a polite expression, you can use it with coworkers or strangers.

If you are searching for this term, then I’m guessing that some of you could be confusing it with hajimemashite (初めまして), which means nice to meet you.

If you’re just starting out in Japanese then the two terms might sound a little bit similar. Just remember that nice to meet you ends with -shite whereas the word for started ends with -shita. They are also written with different characters (始めました vs. 初めまして).

Below, we take a look at some examples of how to use hajime mashita in Japanese.

To make it easier for you, I have written each sentence in full Japanese kanji on the first line, followed by roman letters (romaji), and hiragana, with the English meaning coming last. I have also highlighted the new word in bold.

Example sentences using hajime mashita

Watashi wa nihongo no benkyou wo hajime mashita.
I started studying Japanese.

Kare wa atarashii jigyou wo hajime mashita.
He started a new business.

Saikin sutorecchi wo hajime mashita.
I have recently started stretching.

What is the more casual version of hajime mashita?

Hajimeta (始めた) is the casual form of hajime mashita. The meaning is the same, but you would normally use hajimeta with friends and family.

We can therefore write the previous examples with hajimeta instead if we want to drop the politeness.

Watashi wa nihongo no benkyou wo hajimeta.
I started studying Japanese.

Kare wa atarashii jigyou wo hajimeta.
He started a new business.

Saikin sutorecchi wo hajimeta.
I have recently started stretching.