While I have seen なる being used a lot, that is not so for なす。 What is the usage of なす? The two have similar meaning which in its most simplest form means "to become" i.e change in state of something.

Now here is a line, that I am having trouble dissecting:


It uses なる、then なす then it uses は twice. It appear to be rather strange from grammatical perspective.

  • 3
    It says 大{おお}いなる not 大きくなる. The adjective in this case is おおいなる. It's not two separate words here as you would have had with 大きくなる, in other words.
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 17, 2017 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


なす(成す) is a verb and it has several meanings, as you can see in デジタル大辞泉.
This なす means "to achieve (a great thing)". No 2 in the dictionary.

大いなる is an adnominal adjective which means "great" but a little old‐fashioned word, so 大いなることをなす means "To achieve a great thing".

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