653 - に従って（にしたがって）
JLPT N3: に従って（にしたがって // as...）
We can use に従って (にしたがって) when we want to say "as [one thing happens], [another thing happens as a result]."
でんしゃ が まち の ちゅうしんぶ に ちかづく にしたがって、 じょうきゃく の かず が ふえて きた。
As the train has gotten closer to the center of town, the number of passengers has increased.
Literally: “train + が + town + の + central part + に + get closer + にしたがって, + passenger + の + number + が + increased (=increase [and] + came).”
In isolation, the verb 従う (したがう) means something like "to abide by (rules or instructions)," "to obey," etc.
When 従う is used to connect two clauses, it means "in accordance with," "consequently," "therefore," etc. This usage is what we're looking at in this lesson.
Specifically, we're looking at how putting に従って (にしたがって) or に従い (にしたがい) between two clauses means "as [blah blah blah], (consequently)[blah blah blah]).
This is rather stiff-sounding Japanese, so I would avoid using it in spoken language. You will come across it quite a bit in writing, though.
👷 Construction 👷
Directly before に従って or に従い, we will have a VERB in plain present form (=Vる) or a する-NOUN (=a noun that is capable of attaching to する [i.e. a NOUN that expresses an action]):
V る ＋ に従って
する-NOUN ＋ に従って
You'll find that the clause coming after に従って often ends in ～てくる.
This makes sense because ～てくる is often used when expressing that something is changing.
We already saw this in our first example sentence. Here are two more where this occurs:
にほんご の じょうたつ にしたがって、 ほか の アジア の げんご に も きょうみ が わいて きた。
As my Japanese improves, I've started to become more interested in other Asian languages.
Literally: “Japanese (language) + の + improvement + にしたがって, + other + の + Asia + の + language + に + も + interest + が + welled up / gushed out (=well up [and] + came).”
こども たち が おおきく なる にしたがい、 つま と ふたりっきり で すごす じかん が おおく なって きた。
As our children get bigger, my wife and I have started to have more time to be alone together.
Literally: “children + が + big + become + にしたがい, + wife + と + just the two of us + で + spend + time + が + many / a lot + became (=become [and] + came).”
Using ～てくる is not a rule, though.
The only thing that really matters is that both clauses before and after に従ってexpress a change of some kind:
たいじゅう の げんしょう にしたがい、 つかれ にくく なる でしょう。
As your weight decreases, you won't get tired as easily.
Literally: “body weight + の + decrease / reduction + にしたがい, + hard to become tired + become + でしょう.”
One more grammar point down. Just a few hundred more to go. *_*
(↑ Don't worry. I would argue that picking up N3, N2, and N1 grammar is less difficult than picking up N5 and N4 grammar... there's just a lot of it to learn.)