になる (ninaru) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

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になる (ninaru) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

になる (ninaru) is a Japanese expression used to indicate something that becomes, has become or will become.

This expression is made up of:

  • Particle に: Used to indicate a direction, which in this case refers to the "direction" in which it becomes
  • なる: Godan verb which means to become

In this way we can see how the expression になる literally means to go in the direction of becoming, which translated simply becomes to become.

In this post we are going to learn the use of になる through real examples.

The verb なる is always preceded by the particle に since "to become" is an intransitive verb, that is a verb that does not "acts" towards something (object with the particle を)

になる with na adjectives and nouns

To use になる with adjectives in na and nouns you don't need any conjugation: just add になる after the adjective o noun.

Noun++なる
Adjective[な]++なる
Adjectives in na and nouns behave grammatically the same way

In this case になる indicates that it became what is indicated by the adjective or noun.

(わたし)
()(しゃ)
になった。

I became a doctor.

In this example we have a noun (()(しゃ) doctor) followed by になる in its past tense (になった), which translates become a doctor.

(かれ)
日本語(にほんご)
(じょう)()
になった。

His Japanese just got better.

In this second example we have instead the use of になる with an adjective in na. Since adjectives in na behave like nouns, also here just add になる after the adjective.

になる with adjectives in i

An adjective in Japanese i already indicates to be something. For this reason, the particle に cannot follow an adjective in i in its plain form, but it requires it adverbial form (く):

Adjective[く]+なる

We need to convert the adjective into an adverb. To do this, just replace the final い with く:

(つよ)
(つよ)
(つよ)

Once converted into adverb we just need to add the verb become なる:

(うん)(どう)している
から、
(つよ)くなる。

As I am training, I will get stronger.

An exception in this case is the adjective good いい, which becomes よくなる (instead of いくなる)

になる with verbs

In Japanese it is not possible to change a verb directly through another verb. In our case, we want to be able to apply the verb become なる to another verb.

The solution in this case is to add a generic noun between the two verbs:

  • こと (koto) or (こと): what
  • よう (you) or (よう): seem / appear / method
Verb+こと++なる
Verb+よう++なる

These nouns refer to nothing specific and are therefore used to describe something else. In this case they allow us to describe a verb as if it were a noun ("convert" a verb into a noun).

(かい)(がい)
()
ことになった。

It has been decided that I will go abroad.

In this example we notice the addition of こと between the verb ()く (go) and the verb なる (become). In this way you can apply the expression になる:

  • ()く means to go
  • ()くこと means the fact of going: using こと makes it possible to use ()く as a noun
  • ()くことになる means to become the fact of going

In this way the literal translation of the sentence becomes becoming the fact of going abroad (this sentence uses the expression ことになる).

(まい)(にち)
(にく)
()べる
ようになった。

It seems that I started eating meat every day.

In this second example we see how よう follows the verb ()べる (eat) to make it become the noun seem to eat. Also in this case just add になる to complete the expression.

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