So I kept searching on the net about 会える conjugation but nothing comes up. Why is its past negative conjugated as なくなった? I heard this on an anime by the way and wondered why it wasn't written as 会えなかった?

  • 3
    You wrote 会えなくなった in the title, but then 会えなくなかった in the body. 会えなくなった is not one word, it's 会えない in く form, 会えなく + なった (なる in past tense). Just making sure you are clear on what you're asking about.
    – Leebo
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 12:13
  • Is 会え an adjective perhaps? @Leebo Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 3:25
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    ない is an adjective-like auxiliary if that's what you mean. 会える is just a normal potential-form verb. ない attaches to verbs to form a negative even though it acts like an adjective.
    – Leebo
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 5:04
  • Ohhh i see thanks @Leebo san Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 5:30

2 Answers 2


会えなくなった -> 会えなく + なった

会えなく is the adverb form of 会えない

なった is なる in past tense

(It) becomes not being able to meet. -> (We) stop being able to meet

  • Is 会え and i-adjective perhaps? Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 3:30
  • @RommelBagasina 会える is Potential form of verb 会う, and negative form of 会える is 会えない. See also japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/potential-form
    – Arfrever
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 3:48
  • Then why does 会える have an adverb form? I was thinking it's an i-adjective because it works as an adverb in its く form. @Arfrever Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 4:43
  • Any negative verb ending in ない can be turned into an adverb by replacing the い by く. This is the same process to turn い adjectives into adverbs, but it does not mean that negative verbs are adjectives.
    – jarmanso7
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 8:33
  • As a matter of fact, the so called "い adjectives" come from contracting an adverb ending in く + the verb ある (which is ない in the negative form). For this reason, if you speak very formally you can say things like さむくあります or さむくありません instead of さむい or さむくない. See In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective? But it's better if you focus first on learning adjectives and (negative) verbs as separated things.
    – jarmanso7
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 8:38

Both 会えなかった and 会えなくなった work as negative conjugation of 会える. Difference between the two is the moment when the meeting proved not to take place:

会えなかった -> (before, on or) after the scheduled time

会えなくなった -> before the scheduled time

You can say 会えなかった for any unfulfilled meeting in the past, and ofen implies you tried but failed. When you say 会えなくなった, it often implies that the meeting is now less prioritized for some reason.

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