What is the difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる?

I looked up くる in 大辞林 and found the following:

ある事態が出現し,またある現象が現れる意を表す。 「生まれてくる子供のために」 「なくした本が出てきた」

But this still doesn't help me understand the difference in usage.

Take the examples:



What is the difference between these lines? Based on guessing I'd think the first line is more personally involved and would be something like what a husband/wife might say about their baby and the second one would be what an outside might say to that husband/wife.

Can anyone explain the difference?

  • possible duplicate of Difference between -ていく and -てくる
    – naruto
    Sep 1, 2014 at 9:30
  • I've never heard it said in terms of "more personally involved" but basically it's a helping verb that changes it from "bear" to "come to bear." It's a way of showing something progresses rather than is momentary. (and thus, it's a dupe of the other question).
    – virmaior
    Sep 1, 2014 at 9:52
  • 1
    It does have a lot to do with personal interest if not necessarily personal "involvement". Without using the supplementary verb, you could sound a little indifferent depending on the context.
    – user4032
    Sep 1, 2014 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


The meaning of these two sentences are almost the same and are interchangeable.

However, there is another minor nuance difference, which is not based on grammatical things. By adding 「-くる」, it reminds the reader or the hearer that the subject of the sentence is a baby and makes put more focus on a baby than a mother. In other words, it adds a hidden nuance that a baby will "come" to this world. This nuance might partly explain what you pointed about the familiarity difference. An outside person who is not so familiar with husband/wife generally use the latter expression, unless the talk ongoing between them is directly relating to the baby.

(The above explanation seems to be different from the explanation of 「-てくる」 or 「-ていく」 in the previous thread and the dictionary. I mean that, in addition to those basical meaning in the dictionary, they comprehend the sentence as above-explained in this specific case of combination of 「生まれる」 and 「-てくる」.)

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