〜となる  VS  〜になる ( = ~ to naru VS ~ ni naru)

「僕も日本語の先生になる!」
= Boku mo nihongo no sensei ni naru!
= I ‘m going to be a Japanese teacher,too!

「大変よ…」
= Taihen yo…
= It’s tough, you know..

This is a lesson for my dear Twitter follower, Carol.

She asked me what the difference between となる =  (~ to naru) and  になる = (~ ni naru) were.

The verb なる means to be or to become, to turn into.

Adding and in front it changes the meaning a bit.

The basic differences? While になる is a natural change, となる implies having reached a final stage.

noun + になる ( = ~ ni naru) : natural change

*になる

= asa ni naru

= the morning comes (natural change : from night to morning.)

*になる

= fuyu ni naru

= winter comes/ when we are in winter (natural change: from autumn to winter)

*明日になる

= ashita ni naru

= tomorrow comes / when we are in tomorrow (natural change : from today to tomorrow.)

*大人になる

= otona ni naru

= to be an adult (natural change : from a child to an adult.)

noun + となる ( = ~to naru) :  implies having reached to the final stage.

*となってはもう遅い

= Ima to natte wa mou osoi.

= It is too late now. (a set phrase : Having reached to the moment, “now”)

*社長となる

= shachou to naru

= to become the president of a company(to have reached to the status.)

*となる

= haha to naru.

= to become a mother (to have become a mother)

*雨は雪となった

= Ame wa yuki to natta

= the rain turned into snow. (having changed — the final form is snow)

!to right! Note :

となる ( =~tonaru) can be replaced with になる ( = ~ ninaru) but the nuance is a bit different.

*になる

= haha ni naru

= to be a mother

*となる

= haha to naru

to become a mother as a final stage (a bit dramatic)

**************
*先生になる

= sensei ni naru

= to be a teacher

*先生となる

= sensei to naru

= to become a teacher as a final stage

**************
*明日は荒れ模様になるでしょう。

= Ashita wa aremoyou ni naru deshou

= The weather tomorrow is going to be a stormy.

*明日は荒れ模様となるでしょう。

= Ashita wa aremoyou to naru deshou

= It is going to become stormy tomorrow.
(We hear this on the weather forecast)

**************

*心の支えになるものが欲しい。

= Kokoro no sasae ni naru mono ga hoshii.

I need something to lean on (to be my mental support).

*心の支えとなるものが欲しい。

= Kokoror no sasae to naru mono ga hoshii.

= I want something to become my mental support.

(It emphasizes more. It sounds deeper.)

**************

*生徒の模範になる先生

= Seito no mohan ni naru sensei

= A teacher to be a role model for students.

*生徒の模範となる先生

= Seito no mohan to naru sensei

= A teacher as a role model for students.

Note : となる is more serious and deeper.
**************

But the translation will be almost the same so it might be confusing for you.
In daily conversation, we use になる  ( = ~ ninaru ) more often than となる ( = ~ to naru0).
We hear/ see 〜となる = ~ tonaru more in written form or formal talk.

Ex. マギー先生になったの?

= Maggie, sensei ni nattano?

= You’ve become a teacher, Maggie?

:rrrr: X We rarely say 先生となったの? = sensei to nattano?

Ex. 明日は雪になるんだって。

= Ashita wa yuki ni narundatte.

= I heard it is going to snow tomorrow.

:rrrr: X We rarely say 明日は雪となるんだって。 ( = Ashita wa yuki to narundatte.) in daily conversation.

na-adjective になる ( = ~ ni naru)

元気な = genki na → 元気になる = genki ni naru =to recover, to be in good shape again

:rrrr: X 元気となる = genki to naru

Ex. もう元気になったの?

= Mou genki ni natta no?

= Are you OK now?

綺麗な = kirei na → 綺麗になる  ( = kirei ni naru ) = to be beautiful

:rrrr: X 綺麗となる = kirei to naru

Ex.あの子、綺麗になったね。

= Ano ko kirei ni nattane.

= She has become beautiful

上手な = jouzu na → 上手になる  ( = jouzu ni naru) = to improve

:rrrr: X 上手となる = jouzu to naru

Ex. ピアノが上手になりたい

= Piano ga jouzu ni naritai.

= I want to (learn how to) play the piano well.

素直な = sunao na → 素直になる  ( = sunao ni naru) = to be honest

:rrrr: X 素直となる = sunao to naru

Ex. もっと素直にならないと!

= Motto sunao ni naranaito!

= I (or you) have to be more honest.

下手な = heta na  → 下手になる ( =  heta ni naru ) = to get rusty

:rrrr: X 下手となる = heta to naru

Ex. 最近、英語が下手になった

= Saikin eigo ga heta ni natta.

= My English has been getting rusty lately.

静かな = shizukana → 静かになる  ( = shizuka ni naru ) = to be quite

Ex. 先生が来たらみな静かになった

= Sensei ga kitara mina shizuka ni natta.

= When the teacher showed up, everybody got quiet.

ぺらぺらな = perapera na ペラペラになる ( = perapera ni naru ) = to be fluent

:rrrr: X ペラペラとなる  ( = perapera to naru)

Ex. 日本語ペラペラになったね。

= Nihongo perapera ni nattane.

= Your Japanese is getting fluent.

!to right! Note : i-adjective :

★ ( = you) + になる  ( =  ~ ni naru) = to be like

It never takes となる

Ex. マギー先生の様になりたい

= Maggie sensei no you ni naritai.

:rrrr: X マギー先生の様となりたい

= Maggie sensei no you to naritai.

Ex.マギー先生のサイトに来ると日本語がわかる様になる

= Maggie sensei no saito ni kuruto nihogo ga wakaru you ni naru.

= If you come to Maggie Sensei’s site, you will be able to understand Japanese.

:rrrr: 日本語がわかる様となる

= Nihongo wa wakaru you to naru.

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

来年は日本語が今よりずっと上手になるといいですね。

= Rainen wa  nihogo ga ima yori zutto jouzu ni naru to iidesune.

= I hope your Japanese improves much more next year!



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63 Comments

  1. Hi,Maggie!
    I have just read through your lessons but now I am a bit confused about the negative part…
    I have never heard of the conjugation でなくなる etc.
    I have alwazs learned にならない or くならない
    Is it that this version,explained in your lesson,is rare or am I wrong?

    Btw,I love your lessons you help me a lot :)

    1. Hello, Kitsunax26

      Oh, I see your confusion.
      I added the special negative form section later to answer some of the questions but the basic negative form part was missing. I will fix it later.
      Anyway you are right, the basic negative form is にならない/くならない
      Just give me a couple of days to add more information. :)

  2. Hi sensei!
    Tks for the lesson, but I haven’t found out things I need.
    At class, my teacher gave me a grammar be like:
    〜ことになりました・名詞になりました
    And she said that this structure means: the decision’s been made by the whole group, such as: where to party, school rule,… and not personal. If you wanna say the decision of personal, use にします.
    Would you mind explaining it in more detail?
    ありがとうございます

    1. Hi, Luhy

      Check my latest lesson. It may answer your question.
      ことになる・ことにする

      As for します I think you meant
      ~にします??
      If so, for example when you order something at a restaurant or buy something at a store, you say

      これにします。= I will have this one.
      ステーキにします。= I will have a steak
      この靴にします。= I will take these shoes.

  3. Hello Maggie!
    What’s the correct translation for
    “脚見せを意識して前側が短い仕様になってますよん”?
    I interpreted it as “Keeping in mind that the legs should show, she “short front”(of the dress) has been chosen” but I’m having doubts about how to properly translate “短い仕様になってますよん”. Maybe it’s “has been cut short”? Or “decided to go with the short front”? Please help!

    The sentence is from this tweet
    https://twitter.com/box_komiyaarisa/status/899961440110469120

    1. Hi Beginner
      仕様 means “way you do something or function/ specification”
      ~ 仕様になっている is to have a function/specification of ~ . You usually use it to describe a machine but in this case, it just means,
      The front part of the dress is short in order to show my legs.

  4. Thank you for adding the part about the negative. I had been searching online everywhere for the negative form but nobody has it but you!
    So since なります means to become (polite), can I also use なりません to mean the negative form?
    For example… 面白くなりません, will that mean to become not interesting?

  5. hello sensei,

    I’m still a beginner in learning Japanese so I can’t be too sure, but I read a sentence from the post above:
    “先生が来たらみな静かになった。”

    is it supposed to be ‘みんな’ instead of ‘みな’
    or is ‘みな’ acceptable too?

    1. @shsw

      Hello shsw!
      皆= みな= mina = everybody
      みんな is more conversational. They mean the same.

      Just one note for you.

      皆さん= minasan = when you address many people in a polite way
      Many people make a mistake but you don’t say みんなさん= minnasan

  6. Hi

    Thanks for this site. I truly goldmine for japanese.

    “Koto” and “naru” are very difficult concepts for westerners. Another example is this sentence I’ve read on News in Slow Japanese:
    この駅は、1947年に開業し、70年近く無人駅として 使われていましたが、3年前に廃駅となること が 決まりました。

    I do understand the sentence but the subtility of that part is a bit difficult to grasp: “廃駅となること が 決まりました”. It’s been decided to close the station but why using a noun “廃駅” instead of a verbe?

    Thank you!

    1. @Graz71

      Hi Graz71!

      This is the pattern
      Noun + と/に+なる= To become ~ / end up ~
      (と is more literal.)

      Ex. 彼は来月、父になります。= He will become a father next month.
      →(more formal/ literal) 彼は、来月、父となります。

      1. Thanks for your reply.
        I had to read again the whole lesson to understand. I get now it’s a fix set and I think the “koto” in the middle didn’t help.
        One last thing though.What would be the most accurate translation:
        It’s been decided to close the station (transitive)
        or
        The closure of the station has been decided (intransitive)
        I would choose the first one but Japanese is soo tricky… :-D :-D

        1. @Graz71

          I know it is tricky. :roll:

          Sorry. I didn’t explain こと part but did you understand the usage now??
          It’s been decided to close the station (transitive)
          →廃駅にすることが決まった。

          1. Thanks again for your answer.
            I understand the usage but I think it is going to take me some times to use it or feel confortable with it.
            As for the koto part, I know it’s used to make verbs into nouns but as why now it is needed in the sentence, I am not too sure it would come naturally to me when speaking but I’ll get used to it:

            [noun + to naru] + koto + GA + intransitive verb
            been decided the thing of to become the closure

            とっても変ですね (笑)

          2. Sorry I didn’t finish the previous sentence.

            I will give you some examples.

            1) 彼がリーダになることが決まった。
            = It has been decided that he will be a leader.

            (The subject is “彼がリーダーになること” Becoming a leader” So the literal translation is
            “His becoming a leader” has been decided” )

            The speaker is just telling the fact.

            2) 彼をリーダーにすることが決まった。
            = It has been decided to make him a leader.

            From this sentence, we can tell the speaker (or someone) was trying to make him a leader.

            3) 彼はリーダになることに( or を) 決めた。
            = He has decided to be a leader.

            It was his decision.

            Now you can say the same thing.

            * 廃駅となることが決まった。
            The subject is “the station will be closed” so the most accurate translation is
            The closure of the station has been decided.

            The speaker is just telling the fact of closure of the station.

            6) 廃駅とすることに決まった。

            Someone decided to close the station.

  7. 愛弟子になりたかったんだけどなんとなく校正係となっちゃったね。しゃーない、日本語が得意になりさえすればよろこんで力になるよ。

    Feel free to correct me anytime too!

    “Boku mo nihongo no sensei ni nau!” !damedame!  !damedame!  !damedame!  :rrrr: “naru” (now we know why he never became sensei :) )
    “Kokokor” :rrrr: “Kokoro” (2 times!)
    “perapeara” :rrrr: “perapera”

    1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

      ありがとう!!!
      OK, will help your Japanese as well. In this case 「校正係になっちゃったね」is more natural.
      そして今日からZetsuboumanadeshiを私の「愛弟子」に任命します!

      1. 与えた名誉学位を重んじてなおいっそう頑張る! !DANCING! (褒められて育つタイプになったみたいです。 :oops: )

  8. Hi, Maggie-sensei!

    I’ve been chatting with a friend that I met while studying abroad in Japan, and he recently sent me a message with a verb that I cannot seem to figure out. I haven’t had any luck looking it up either. He said, “レイチェルと新宿で会った時のことを思い出すと、早くそっちに行きたくなるよ”
    The part I am having trouble understanding is 行きたくなる, but if you don’t mind, a full translation would be helpful just to make sure I read it correctly. Thanks for your help! Your lessons are so helpful!

    1. @Rachel

      Hi Rachel,
      Basically he is saying “I want to go there soon (to see you) when I remember the time I met you in Shinjuku.”
      So 行きたい= I want to go/ I would like to go →行きたくなる shows the changes of his feelings. →He wants to see you sooner.

  9. I’m embarrassed to ask this question because I’ve been studying Japanese for a
    3 years. But how can なる be used with a verb?

    For example “It has become sunny.” :pika:

    Must I change the verb to a noun 晴れることになった。? or 晴れるようになった。

    I love your lessons and website design!

    1. @Eric

      Hi Eric,
      “It has become sunny.” in Japanese is “晴れてきた・晴れてきました” We don’t use なる
      But you can say
      いい天気になってきた・きました

      I will show you other examples with なる
      Ex. 寒くなってきました。
      = Samuku natte kimashita.
      = I is getting colder.

      Ex. 彼は医者になった。
      = He became/has become a doctor.

      Glad to hear you like my lessons. ❤

  10. I am currently studying Japanese and supplementing my study with breaking down lines from popular anime. Maggie, I have a question for you. I have extracted this line from an anime:

    “持っているなるそう言えばいいでしょう?”

    The context is there are two women who are trapped in a room and one girl finds out the other has water. The girl says “If you had water, you could have just said so.”

    I understand 持っている means “having,” なる ”become,” そう言えば “if said so,” いいでしょう “good would be.”

    Does the なる following 持っている mean “become having”? I was wondering if perhaps in informal speech the に is removed from になる. So instead of 持っているになる, it becomes 持っているなる.

    It’s also possible I am not hearing the dialogue correctly. Thank you for your help!

    1. @Ken Myers

      Hi Ken,
      “持っているなるそう言えばいいでしょう?”
      →It should be 持っているならそう言えばいいでしょう。
      And this なら is for conditional “If”

  11. Hi.
    Thanks for this lesson. I heard the pattern “となる” in one of KAMIJO’s songs and felt the need to know about it and now I understand what it means when it should be used thanks to your lesson.

    Now, I am curious about this. I know three と particles:

    1. と used to express company or an action performed together with someone.
    ex: 友達と話した。

    2. と equivalent to English “and”.
    ex: 紙と鉛筆が必要です。

    3. と used for quotation.
    ex: 彼はドラゴンボールが好きだと言った。

    Unless there is another meaning conveyed by と that I have not yet read about I don’t see how any of the three meanings above can be similar to the meaning conveyed by particle に as it happens in になる. I guess this has to do with etimology (not good with these concepts >.< ). If you could explain I will be deeply thankful.

    Sorry for the long post.
    Thanks.

    1. @Ryuusa

      Hello Ryuusa.
      Actually と has a lot of different functions besides 1,2,3.
      The common function that と and に have is “result of an action”
      〜となる/〜になる = to turn out to be ~

  12. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    I’ve been trying to understand the differences in nuance between ~になる and ~になっている. I know that なる is technically an intransitive verb, and when intransitive verbs are in ている form, the meaning is more like an intransitive state of being, like “The door is open” would be ドアが開いている. Does the same apply to なる as well?

    Specifically I’m trying to dissect this sentence from NHK News Web Easy: マラソンのコースになっている銀座では Is it something like “In Ginza, which will be the marathon course,” …what would the change be if it were マラソンのコースになる銀座では? Maybe something like, “In Ginza, which will become the marathon course,” Thank you for your help!

    Max

    1. @Max
      Hello Max.
      Since it is talking about future Olympics
      Both マラソンコースになっている銀座 and マラソンコースになる銀座 can be translated Ginza which will be the marathon course.
      But there is a slight nuance difference.

      OK, let’s rephrase those sentences and compare them.

      A: 銀座はマラソンコースになっている 1) Ginza has been the marathon course (current situation) or 2) Ginza is supposed/planned to be the marathon course (You are talking about the future but the plan has already decided. But when you translate this sentence, it could be the same as B (Ginza will be/become the marathon course) )

      B : 銀座はマラソンコースになる Ginza will be/become the marathon course. (talking about future)

  13. Maggie-sensei help me with this sentence please (T_T) 日本時間で朝の6時、正午、夕方の6時になるらしい。

    I only can understand this part 日本時間で朝の6時 (T_T)

    1. @just a novel lover’s

      It will be
      *朝の6時 = at 6:00 in the morning (6:00 AM)
      *正午= shougo = at noon (12:00)
      *夕方の6時= at 6:00 in the evening (6:00PM)
      Japan Time.

    2. then the sentence become like this sensei?

      “It seems that by Japan standard time it will be 6 o’clock in the morning, noon, 6 o’clock in the evening.”

  14. マギー先生

    こんにちは。

    只一つの簡単な質問です。上に「静かでなくなる」と書いてありますが、「静かじゃなくなる」も「静かではなくなる」も大丈夫でしょうか?

    よろしくお願いします。

    ジェレミー

    1. @ジェレミー

      こんにちは、ジェレミー。はい、二つとも同じ意味です。
      静かで(は)なくなる

      (casual contraction)
      静かじゃなくなる

  15. Thank you for the explanation.
    I have a question though.It’s about the negative of ni naru.
    we say おいしくなる for ex.But can we say おいしくなくなる。
    I just read a sentence in a book which is:
    面白くない もの に なってしまた。
    Can we say something like:
    面白くなく なってしまた。
    Thank you.

    1. @Lancaster

      Hello Lancaster.
      I added the information for you in the lesson.
      Yes, you can say おいしくなくなる、おいしくなくなってしまった。
      and 面白くなくなる・面白くなくなってしまった。

  16. お久しぶりです、マギー先生!
    Thank you for the short and simple explanation!

    School work is more than what I would expect, so I find myself visiting sensei’s class less often… D:

    先生に困りませんでしたら、日本語に翻訳してもらいませんか。
    Sensei, if it doesn’t trouble you, could you please translate my English to Japanese? 私も日本語を上手になりたい!

    いつも様にありがとうございます! merci!

    1. I’m very sorry sensei. I used the wrong account to post a comment, but ‘Wong’ ってやつもわたしです!

      そしてマギー先生、明けましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくお願いします! Happy New Year!

    2. @Wong& Bearz314熊314

      明けましておめでとうございます!!今年もよろしくお願いします。
      School work is more than what I would expect, so I find myself visiting sensei’s class less often… D:
      の翻訳ですか?
      How about
      学校の勉強が思ったより大変なので先生のレッスン(このサイトに)になかなか来れません。

  17. I love your site!
    I have a question about this article though.

    You explained using になる with な adjectives, but not with い adjectives.
    Does that mean we can’t use になる with them?
    If so, how do we use?
    Substitute い for になる、 for example 珍しになる?

    Thanks
    I’ve learnt so much already from you :)

    1. @John

      Hi John! I am glad to hear you like my site!

      〜なる with i-adjective : くなる

      おもしろい →おもしろくなる
      めずらしい→めずらしくなる
      かわいい→かわいくなる
      こわい→こわくなる

  18. マギー先生、thank you very much about the explanation. ^^
    Now I understand the differences. Well, I get it when I read these comments, though. :)
    Anyway, I’m looking forward for your another lesson! :DDD

    1. @izu
      Hi, izu! Thank you for visiting the site. 日本語がペラペラ”になる”様(よう)に私もお手伝(てつだ)いしますね。(= I will help you be fluent in Japanese!) いっしょにがんばりましょう!! :l:

  19. When you say final stage you mean it leaves no more room for improvement? So if I say 先生になる I am simply stating the fact that I am becoming a teacher. After that who knows, I might get a better job if I find it or I might keep this one. Just saying I am gonna be a teacher. 先生となる implies that a teacher is what I want to be. I aim to no further improvement for my job and I am gonna stay in this position because I like it?

    1. @Giaunluigi

      There could be more room for improvement, but if the speaker feels that person (including themselves) has achieved something we use となる。
      As I wrote in the other comment, it is a bit dramatic expression and used mainly in a written form. (When we talk about weather, we do hear that on the weather report, Ex. 明日は雨となるでしょう。But still not for a daily conversation.)
      So if you become a teacher and tell your friend, you will say 先生になりました。
      It would sound strange if you say 先生となりました。
      But if someone has been working so hard to become a teacher and many things happened in their life, and when finally they have become a teacher,you would write his life saying Ex. “~年**は遂に先生となりました。”

      Sorry if my explanation isn’t still clear and makes you more confused. :-P

  20. へえ、そうだったんですか。ありがとうございました。たいへん勉強になりました。
    By any chance, Maggie-sensei, have you ever explained about the difference between 空が暗い and 空は暗い? Thanking you in advance.

    1. @Andini

      Thank you for checking the lesson.
      No I haven’t made a lesson about the difference between が and は. Will work on it sometime. Please wait.

  21. I didn’t quite get the difference between 母になる and 母となる. Is it that the former is just a plain and simple “I will become a mother” as in she may be pregnant and is expecting a baby. And the second is more like “I will become a mother” as in she’s decided on that’s what she wants to become and that’s what she’s working toward that goal?

    Sorry if that was a bit gibberish:p

    1. @ゾモチ
      Your interpretation is right.
      The translations are the same but if you compare the two sentences,
      母になる = natural change.
      母となる = ”finally”, We can assume there have been some hardships or she has waited to be a mother for a long time and finally becomes a mother.
      So 母となる sounds more dramatic and has feelings that someone has achieved something finally.
      In daily conversation we use に more often.
      マギー、お母さんになったんだ。
      Not X お母さんとなったんだ。(Unless you want it sound very dramatic.)
      But if you read my biography, you will see
      2010年、マギーは母となった。 :wink:

  22. すげぇ レッソン Maggie先生! The strange thing is that about a day ago I had visited a thread on a forum I frequent, and the thread maker asked the same exact thing: When to use 〜になる over 〜となる. He got answers but they weren’t definitive and I wondered the same thing. Then I found this. Looks like I got my answer:)

    このブログ、そう愛してるぜ

    1. @寝ちゃま

      Really? Then there are other people who have been wondering the difference between になる and となる, huh?

      We love you,too!

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