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牛からミルクが出なくなって

I'm having trouble working out the conjugation of the bold characters. I assume that なって is the -te/connective form of なる... but what the heck is 出なく?

Logic tells me it should be some form of 出る... but I don't know which.

So... can anyone tell me where that 出なく came from? Is it just a typo of 出なくて? Or am I completely misreading this and it's actually a different word altogether?

2 Answers 2

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At first, I was just going to comment on your comment on the other answer, but maybe a different approach is better.

We can look at this two ways. If we build it up, it goes like this:

  1. 出る - to come out
  2. 出ない - to not come out
  3. 出なく - a "stem" form conjugation of 出ない (Japanese verbs and adjectives share some conjugation rules) such that it can be put in front of another verb. [not really sure how it would translate it English maybe "not coming out" ?]
  4. 出なくなる - to start to not come out. (possibly in the future). Here we are adding the helping verb なる (= to become)
  5. 出なくなって - it is starting to not come out or it has started to not come out [continuative form of naru to express a state of not coming out]

So 出なくなって is the て-form of the helping verb なる when it's helping 出ない [the negative form of 出る]

出なくて means something slightly different. It means "it's not coming out." and is the て-form of 出ない

The difference being that 出なくなって indicates a change has occurred where it was coming out and now is not coming out whereas 出なくて indicates merely that it is not coming out.

So if tried to milk a cow and nothing ever came out, 出なくて but if you milked a cow and it stopped providing milk, then 出なくなって.

In other words, 出なくなって is not a verb sequence. It's a verb plus a helping verb. If you're looking for it in Tae Kim, then it's here.

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  • Thanks for that excellent answer. I think I get it now. Negative verbs can be conjugated in the same way that i-adjective adverbs can ( --> ) when they're being linked to なる or する. The meaning is then roughly "to become X" or "to decide to do X", where X is the 1st verb. e.g. 見えなくなった = "[it] became NOT visible". And if you want to do the same thing with positive verbs, you use ことに or ように, e.g. 見えるようになった = "[it] became visible". In contrast, 見えなくてなった = "[it] is not visible and became...". Am I correct?
    – Hyperglyph
    Feb 10, 2018 at 5:28
  • Yep. That sounds right to me.
    – virmaior
    Feb 10, 2018 at 6:04
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    You are confusing te-form and 連用形. The 連用形 of なる is なり and not なって.
    – user4032
    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:09
  • 勉強になりました。 is it fixed now?
    – virmaior
    Mar 3, 2018 at 13:14
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    @Hyperglyph three comments: First, for affirmative verbals, the こと and よう constructions are different. Second, direct-style negative verbals and adjectivals are equivalent grammatical forms (i.e. they don't just conjugate the same - they are actually the exact same thing). Third, this adjectival construction has a parallel with nominals as you demonstrated with こと・よう (i.e. that's actually a nominal pattern: nominal + に + なる). Mar 4, 2018 at 9:18
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なって is indeed the te form of なる.

出なく is the morphing of 出ない (the negative form of 出る) to allow it to be connected to another verb. so 出ない + なる becomes 出なくなる (to start not coming out) Adding the te form to the end is just a way of connecting it to another sentence.

This can be done to connect any verbs, for example 食べない (negative of 食べる) could become 食べなくなる (to start not eating / stop eating)

So in your example, 牛からミルクが出なくなって would be "The milk stopped coming out (started to not come out) of the cow, and..."

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  • Thank you for the answer. A follow-up question, if I may... your description of 出なく sounds (to my un-educated ears) like a description of the negative -te form, which I learned as 出なくて. Is 出なく a completely different connective form (and if so, does that form have a name)? Or does Japanese have a rule for dropping the ending -て?
    – Hyperglyph
    Feb 9, 2018 at 19:36
  • guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete/verb_sequences <- Link to Tae Kim's guide on conjugating negative te- form (where I learned it)
    – Hyperglyph
    Feb 9, 2018 at 19:45

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