I was recently listening to the Hunter x Hunter anime, and during a conversation, a passing character that the protagonist meets states,


This struck me as a bit odd, as I expected to hear:


When I checked the unofficial captions I'm using, it reads, "Do your best to become a good Hunter."

I asked another Japanese learner his thoughts, and he theorized maybe it was a short form of "[stem] + に + [verb]". This would make sense given the caption being "to become" rather than "and you will become", but neither of us were really sure.

What is this usage of the verb stem, and when should/can I use it?

1 Answer 1


なりな is an imperative form, with 〜な derived from 〜なさい.

From 大辞泉:

2 《補助動詞「なさる」の命令形「なさい」の省略形》動詞・動詞型助動詞の連用形に付く。命令の意を表す。「早く行き―」「好きなようにやり―」

Be careful not to mix this up with なるな, which can itself have multiple meanings.

  • And here I thought that な was a sentence-final particle. Thank you!
    – Cat
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 22:29
  • @Eric That 大辞泉 entry does still categorize it as a 終助詞 syntactically it seems. Though I'm not sure I agree with that -- I think it acts more like a 助動詞. For example, you can't use it with 形容詞の連用形, which is a typical behavior for a 助動詞. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 22:46

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