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What´s the difference between なってきています and なっています?

For example: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなってきているよ。

Would it´s meaning change significantly if it´s changed into: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなっているよ。

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なってきています = it is starting to become ... / it has started to become ... なっています = it is becoming ... – virmaior Feb 15 '14 at 16:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It would be helpful if gave specific examples because what seems like a simple question touches some quite complicated grammar, which I will try to cover briefly:

First you need to understand the nature of ~ている. There are several questions covering this quite well so I won't repeat them but will try to summarise:

なる is a "punctual verb", that is to say that when using the ~ている form, the resultative state precludes the continuative state. In other words if we say:


This usually means:

In this region the public transport has become convenient. (i.e. "is convenient")

It can also mean "is becoming convenient" but to convey that sense (ie it is in a transition state) additional words, typically adverbs are often used to create the context. eg:


In this region the public transport is gradually becoming [more and more]convenient.

Second: 〜てくる/〜ていくis used to convey change in position or time. Often these communicate the movement/action of the speaker (「いってきます!」)or movement of something/action with respect to the speaker (「電話がかかってきた」)but they can also be used to convey continuation of a state or "process of change". eg:


In this region public transport gradually became convenient. Going forwards, I think the number of tourists will be very large.

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I´ve added an example. Reading your explanation, would I be correct in concluding ~てきています can always be translated into ~ing and with ~ています it depends on the specific verb/context? – user4693 Feb 16 '14 at 12:43
If you want to convey something is "in progress", or in the "continuative state" with a verb like なっている then context is all important: Not entirely sure about your example but I would say やばくなっている implies they are in trouble, ヤバくなってきている indicates they were not in trouble before but they have got into and are still in trouble (which is only a small difference). ている and てくる are separate subjects. Have a look at the answers other questions on these areas and this website, recently recommended by Snailplan: – Tim Feb 16 '14 at 15:59
Thanks for answering(and everyone else too of course). The link looks especially promising. – user4693 Feb 16 '14 at 16:57

For example, 暖かくなってきています is "it's getting warm" while 暖かくなっています is "it has become warm" = "it is warm".

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