350 - くなる

JLPT N5 Grammar: くなる

Today we are looking at one of the many ways you can express a change in the state of a person or the environment. Technically speaking, it's not just about ~くなる but also about ~になる. So it's also all about 'becoming' something (なる translates to 'become').

(Note: This lesson is closely related to a previous N5 lesson, which you may want to review, [NDL #322] - JLPT N5: くする.)


First of all, we look at how we form it:

I-Adj.(stem) + くなる;
e.g.: 楽しい ⇒ 楽しくなる
たのしい ⇒ たのしくなる
enjoyable ⇒ to become enjoyable
Note: For the stem form you just drop the last い and then add くなる

Na-Adj + になる;
e.g.: 上手 ⇒ 上手になる
じょうず ⇒ じょうず に なる
skillful ⇒ to become skillful

Noun + になる;
e.g.: 医者 ⇒ 医者になる
いしゃ ⇒ いしゃ に なる
doctor ⇒ to become a doctor


This also works with verbs, but only in specific scenarios. For example, we can use it with ない and たい, which mean not (to do) and want (to do) respectively.

More examples:
ない: 笑わない ⇒ 笑わなくなる
わらわない ⇒ わらわなくなる
not to laugh ⇒ to not laugh anymore
Note: This means that you gradually stopped laughing over a longer period, e.g. because you grew older.

たい: 話したい ⇒ 話したくなる
はなしたい ⇒ はなしたくなる
to want to talk ⇒ to want to talk now
Note: In contrast, this can also happen momentarily, like within a few minutes.


As you see, with なる we always describe a change of state, whether that be preferences, habits or attributes. Therefore it is also used very frequently and you have to take a close look at what these なる's mean: Do they express negation or development of a state?

Have a try deciphering these sentences:


わたしはお酒を飲むと、眠くなります
わたし は おさけ を のむ と、 ねむくなります。
Whenever I drink alcohol, I become sleepy.
Literally: "I + は + alcohol (sake) + を + to drink + と + to become sleepy"


キッチンをおしゃれにしたら、料理が楽しくなりました
キッチン を おしゃれ に したら、 りょうり が たのしくなりました。
Since I upgraded my kitchen, it's become fun to cook.
Literally: "Kitchen + を + stylish + に + since I did (here: made) + cooking + が + became fun"


10月に入って、それほど暑くなくなった
じゅうがつ に はいって、それほど あつくなくなった。
It became October, and with that it is not as hot anymore.
Literally: "October + に + to enter (and) + to that extent + to not become hot anymore"


洗剤を使って洗えば、綺麗になると思います。
せんざい を つかって あらえば、 きれい に なる と おもいます。
If you use detergent when you wash it, I think it'll become nice and clean.
Literally: "Detergent + を + to use (and) + if you wash + pretty (here: clean) + に + become + と + I think"


痛み止めを飲んだら、だいぶ楽になりました
いたみどめ を のんだら、 だいぶ らく に なりました。
When I took some painkillers, it became much easier to endure.
Literally: "Painkillers + を + if you drink + great deal + pleasant + に + become"


大きくなったら、お花屋さんになりたいです。
おおきくなったら、 おはなやさん に なりたい です。
When I get older, I want to become a florist!
Literally: "When I become big + florist + に + want to become + です"
Note: The さん after お花屋 seems to be a little strange at first because typically ~さん is a suffix for people. But it can also be a suffix for certain types of shops. For example, an お寿司屋さん (おすしやさん // sushi shop).


Bonus Sentences:

車の運転、上手になったね。
くるま の うんてん、 じょうず に なった ね。
You got good at driving.
Literally: "car + の + driving, + skilled + に + became + ね."

大人になったら、お医者さんになりたいです。
おとな に なったら、 おいしゃさん に なりたい です。
I want to become a doctor when I grow up.
Literally: "adult + に + if/when I become, + doctor + に + want to become + です."

彼は奥さんを亡くしてから、笑わなくなってしまった。
かれ は おくさん を なくして から、 わらわなく なって しまった。
He stopped laughing [smiling] after he lost his wife.
Literally: "he + は + (someone else's) wife + を + lose (and) + from, + not laugh + (unfortunately) became."

みんなに話したくなるドーナツの雑学を知った。
みんな に はなしたくなる ドーナツ の ざつがく を しった。
I learned some trivia about donuts that I want to share with everyone.
Literally: "everyone + に + want to talk + become + donuts + の + trivia / miscellaneous knowledge + を + learned / heard about."

駅前のお寿司屋さん行ったことある?
えきまえ の おすしやさん いった こと ある?
Have you ever been to the sushi place in front of the station?
Literally: "in front of the station + の + sushi shop + have gone (=went + こと + have / there is)?"


This lesson was written by Dennis, a guest contributor:





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