I have read this to learn about ように: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/surunaru

Part - 1 Going by the definition of よう which is more like "appearance/manner", I don't quite get how the constructions are made in which ように has more of an interpretation of "so that". I have read its similar counterpart, ために and the difference between them (Difference between ために and ように), but I still can't arrive how from the literal meaning of appearance or like, we can reach a meaning like "so that"

Ex 1: 速く泳げるように、毎日練習しています。

Part - 2 As per my understanding, we need to use ように to allow us to modify a verb with another verb. But when we use the negative form of the verb in plain form (ない form), it is more like an adjective. So why do we use "ーないように some other verb".

Ex 1: 忘れないようにつけてあるんです(丸をつける)- I have marked the circles so that I don't forget.

Ex 2: 工場ができてから、この近くの海では泳げなくなりました。 Since the completion of the factory, I was not able to swim in the nearby sea.

As example 2 shows ーなくなります is also used. What difference to the meaning will ーないようになる add?

Thanks for any help.

1 Answer 1


You may be letting the "translated" English words get in the way of your understanding a little too much. Hard as you may stare at the words "appearance/manner", they will not magically turn into a "so that" in your English-speaking mind. Point is that will not happen even in my Japanese-speaking mind, either.

Japanese is all about context. 「よう」 could mean "appearance/manner" all by itself without any context but it takes the right context, namely at least two mini-sentences, for 「よう」 or 「ように」 to mean "so that".

「(A desired state/result) + ように + do A.」 means "Do A so that (a desired state/result) occurs."

In the sentence 「速く泳げるように、毎日練習しています」, 「速く泳げる」 is the desired state and 「毎日練習しています」 is the "do A" part in my explanation above.

Moving on to the negative, please remember that the structure is exactly the same as the affirmative.

In the sentence 「忘れないように丸をつけてあります。」, 「忘れない」 is the desired state and 「丸をつける」 is what you do so that the desired state of 「忘れない」 could be obtained.

Finally, the sentence 「工場ができてから、この近くの海では泳げなくなりました。」 is another story because it does not contain 「ように」. 「なる」 is a magic verb in Japanese and we use it many times everyday or I would even say "many times every hour". It expresses a change of state.

Former state: 「この近くの海では泳げた」

Present state: 「この近くの海では泳げない」

What brought about the change? It is the building of the factory. And what is the magic verb to describe a change of state? Yes, なる. So let's add it here.

泳げない + なる = 泳げなくなる

To change it to the past tense, it is 泳げなくなった and to make it sound polite, you get 泳げなくなりました. Voila.

To answer your last question, it expresses a change of state/situation either as a result (as with the case of the "swimming" sentence) or as a desired improvement (as with the "marking/circling" sentence).

  • Just to clarify, in the last sentence if you exchanged ーなくなりました with ーないようになりました, the resulting sentence would mean that I wanted the factory to be built so that we could not swim in the sea?
    – Steel
    Jan 19, 2014 at 15:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .