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The following sentence is from the book コンビニ人間:

家族はだんだん不安になったようだ。

My question is: what is the role of here? How would the meaning change if this were omitted? I can't seem to find any grammar point on this usage.

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2 Answers 2

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「だんだんと不安になった」

and

「だんだん不安になった」

have the exact same meaning. と can be stuck to the end of certain adverbs (ゆっくりと、黙々と、次々と、のんびりと etc). Depending on the usage it can make the sentence sound slightly more formal / higher register or place slightly more emphasis on the adverb in question, but ultimately has no real effect on the actual meaning of the sentence.

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Hi and welcome to JPStackexchange!

According to https://www.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%A0%E3%82%93%E3%81%A0%E3%82%93%E3%81%A8

だんだんと is "an expression that means that the degree of something changes or progresses gradually, little by little, in order. An adverb that modifies a verb."

CollinsDictionary translates だんだんと as "slowly" and だんだん as "gradually, increasingly", so I think だんだんと is not as strong in the gradual increase.

(Nice book recommendation by the way!)

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    Thank you for your answer. My understanding is that だんだん is also an adverb meaning gradually, little by little, etc. But I don't know why the と is included here. The book is indeed very interesting.
    – Lee
    Jan 7 at 21:17

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