Why is there not a nominalizing の after なる and before the particle で? Doesn't the で in では need a noun as an argument?

2 Answers 2


精選版日本国語大辞典 has the following on である:


So, it can drop の because it uses であろう.

Compare in case of である:

  • 長い旅路になるである is wrong
  • 長い旅路になるである is fine (as you thought)

The phrase in question can be understood as the above であろう + は inserted for kind of emphasis (or 取り立て).

  • If you read the entry from 精通版日本国語大辞典 carefully, you will notice it says 'attaches directly to declinable words', so there never was, nor will be, a の which is dropped. In this case であろう is providing the tentative for なる, equvalent to なるだろう, and with polite stylization, なるでしょう. As noted early, the useful property of the であろう form, is that it permits the verb itself to be highlighted by inserting は. the same process which yields 呼び[は・も]する, 大きく[は・も]ある, 本で[は・も]ある.
    – N. Hunt
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 21:48
  • 1
    @N.Hunt Logically speaking, the dictionary entry saying attaching directly to declinable words does not exclude the possibility that there was a dropping. I do not know the history of why であろう can directly attach to 活用語, but as it is, 'there never was, nor will be, a の which is dropped. ' is ungrounded.
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 2:41
  • Also, declinable word + のであろう is possible though acceptability may vary: もうすぐ戦争がおこるであろう / もうすぐ戦争がおこるのであろう are both possible.
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 2:47
  • Thanks for your answer. From the dictionary entry you provided, does the 現代語としては from 「活用語に直接するのは、現代語としては ...」 imply that the phenomenon of adding of である directly after declinable words (like verbs) is something that only applies to "modern language" (as opposed to classical Japanese)?
    – George
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:48
  • @George A natural reading is as far as modern words are concerned, which implies that there are non-current forms of である that directly attach to declinable words. But である itself is relatively new, so I'm not sure what the dictionary refers to. If there is any, it would be early modern (like Edo) Japanese. Searching here doesn't seem to give any such examples.
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 3:47

In this case ではあろう is being added to the plain form of the verb just as だろう or でしょう would to form a 'tentative': compare 呼ぶだろう 'I think [someone] calls, will call'; 大きいだろう 'it must/would be big (I think)'.

Hence なるではあろう is like なるだろう, plus it has focus on the predicate via は, which adds an emphasis, as in English 'it WILL be a long journey BUT...'


If you want to add polite stylization to a verb, you can just add です, so 呼ぶです is equivalent to 呼びます. I don't know how frequent this usage is now, but certainly in the negative, 呼ばないです, and the past tense of adjectives, 楽しかったです, it is common. Adding のだ・のです to a sentence is completely different. The basic meaning is 'the act of S, the fact that S, the one which S', but it adds other connotations or nuances, like indirectness or politeness or reservation (for the latter, compare 行きたいんですが, 'I would like to go but...[is that OK]?').

  • I see. It's strange how の must come before the copula in non-volitional cases (e.g. 食べるです). Yet when it comes to the volitional cases, の isn't required. I wonder if there's an etymological reason for this? I assume that all of the volitional copulas (e.g. でしょう or だろう) historically stem from particle で + <volitional verb form>, and で needs either a noun or something nominalized before it. So it's weird that we say 食べるです yet 食べるでしょう or 食べるだろう (where I assume だろう comes from + あろう).
    – George
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 20:44
  • The であろうadded to the plain (or past tense, for that matter) form of the verb is only indicating 'tentativeness', as described above. In some written styles you will find 読んだろう for what would be 読んだだろう in modern spoken Japanese. The の before the copula you mention functions as a nominalizer of the previous sentence, but we don't have that kind of structure here. Does this answer your question?
    – N. Hunt
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 20:59
  • んだだろう means "it seems like that it is the case that ...", so I get how that's different. But it still seems to me that that (...relative clause...)だろう is literally (...relative clause...)で + あろう, and で can only take nouns or nominalized phrases in every other context but this one?
    – George
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 21:16
  • I think you are misconstruing んだだろう in the phrase 読んだだろう. 読んだ is the past (perfective) of 読む, to which だろう, the 'semblative', or 'tentative', whatever you wish to call it, is simply appened to convey the notion I described above. If it had been 読んだんだろう, yes, this would be a case of sentence + no da. You are familiar with adding だろう・でしょう to the plain form of verbs aren't you? E.g., あそこにあるでしょう, 'it [should be/probably is] over there'. Your sentence in question なるではあろう is fundamentally the same structure. The writer could have written なるだろう, but some emphasis would be lost.
    – N. Hunt
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 22:14

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