I read the other two questions on なう on this site, and I want to know what the most common way to add なう after a verb is.

I've seen なう most frequently with nouns. This is supported by http://nanapi.jp/258/ which was linked in one of the previous なう threads. Some examples of なう after a noun from that site:




I did a quick search on Twitter for なう and found a few examples with verbs, but they were in different conjugations. I've (slightly simplified and) listed some of these below:

楽屋【がくや】にいるなう (dictionary form + なう)

終【お】わったなう (past tense + なう)

寝【ね】てるなう (ている form + なう)

There are probably more, but those are the few I found quickly. I'm not sure if the fact that there were no long/polite conjugations of the verb is due to people being casual on Twitter or if it's part of the "grammar" here.

Since it's slang, I doubt that there is any actual, grammatical rule that comes into play here, so I just want to know what the most common way to conjugate a verb when placing it before なう is.

  • 1
    At first, I thought it was just a silly question, but it seems that it has some depth.
    – user458
    Dec 22, 2011 at 19:16
  • You probably already know this, but that word is basically the english "now". So it can be used just like you use 今, as an adverb, without any specific grammatical constraints.
    – Lake
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


I would assume that with verbs, the form would be identical to ところ:




where いる、〜ている forms indicate a present continuous state (I'm X-ing at the moment, I'm X-ing right now), past 〜た indicates recent completion (I've just X-ed), while the non-past indicates imminent action (I'm just about to X).

(I don't know whether or not なう is in evidence with non-past, but ところ at least works this way.)


I'm in the green room at the moment.

I've just finished.

I'm sleeping at the moment.
  • I have been struggling as to what I should do with this question because comparing なう to ところ seems a lot more logical than comparing it to らしい. But the other answer includes more explanation. But in the end (and the beginning too I suppose), I did only want help with the verb form, so I'm accepting this answer since it fully answers my original question in an understandable way.
    – atlantiza
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:30

I claim against Amadan's answer. I think it is rather identical to the form that attaches to らしい. The difference from ところ appears when you have a noun or a na-adjective. The latter takes the attributive form.

  • verb


  • i-adjective


  • na-adjective

    静かところ [Different form]

  • noun

    (今は)年末らしい [Don't confuse with らしい as in 年末らしい飾り]
    年末であるところ [Different form]

So the answer will be that なう seems to attach to a non-polite indicative form and the tense does not matter. But as with らしい, has to be omitted for morpho-phonological reason.

  • I did say "with verbs" though. I was trying to explain not really the form, but the fact that the tenses are not random. As for purely the form that is being attached to, I will agree with you.
    – Amadan
    Dec 23, 2011 at 4:53
  • @Amadan But the question has examples with nouns, so it is expected to explain those as well.
    – user458
    Dec 23, 2011 at 4:55
  • 1
    Nouns don't have tenses, and thus aren't as confusing. OP: "I want to know what the most common way to add なう after a verb is." - I don't think we have contradictory answers, just complementary: you explain the form 〜なう attaches to, while I explain what each of the verbal tenses means when it attaches to a verb, as per direct inquiry from the OP (also, the question's title), since by the lower part of the question it is clearly the differing tenses that are confusing the OP.
    – Amadan
    Dec 23, 2011 at 5:00
  • @Amadan When the predicate is a noun or a na-adjective, you need the copula or である or some other form of it. But is omitted. So, when you see なう directly attached to a noun, you can say that it is non-past form.
    – user458
    Dec 23, 2011 at 5:04
  • Again, we are not in disagreement about the form itself. However, the most natural way to explain the meaning of verb tenses when used with 〜なう is to compare with 〜ところ. As for "non-past", I use it to contrast with "past", because I hate the term "present" in Japanese with a passion (Japanese does not have a present tense), along with many linguists. It's "(non-past) form", not "non-(past form)". So when I say non-past form, it's to signify たべる、たべます as opposed to たべた which is past. Sorry I didn't use the proper Japanese grammatical term for it, but I don't know it.
    – Amadan
    Dec 23, 2011 at 5:14

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