I'm translating a letter and came across this sentence:


I'm having problems understanding the grammar used here. I know this means "When I get bigger" or "When I grow up" after reading English translations.

Why is より being used? When I look for おおきく on the dictionary it translates to "on a grand scale​" and I'm not sure this is correct.


より is a comparative term. So 今+より = compared to now/~than now, inferring "further along in time", or in this case "when I/you get older/bigger" as modified by "大きくなって"

As for "大きくなって", this is the い-adj. 大きい (meaning "big, large") that when used to modify a verb, the final い is changed to く (becoming the adverbial form) and added to the verb.

The confusion may lie in that we're taught that 大き is a な-adjective, so you would never see 大きく. But the reality is that 大きい also exists and is used that way. The only thing that keeps me sane is the ”すずめの兄弟” song that has a repeating phrase of "...大きくなったら何になる?” It was very popular in Japan when I was a beginning 日本語 student in Tokyo. It was hard to escape as it flooded the airwaves for nearly a year. So I suppose that I was just beaten into submission... Once you hear the song you'll never be able to unhear it. Try it. It will fix your dilemma.

  • That's working! Just now, seared it on my memory forever! Oct 14 '18 at 20:52
  • 2
    おおきな is not na adjcective since it doesn't change to おおきだ.
    – user4092
    Oct 15 '18 at 3:59
  • "おおきな" IS an adjective, which is used when modifying a noun. japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/16160/… Oct 15 '18 at 14:50
  • 1
    ^ @user4092 said おおきな is not a な-adjective. I think he meant to say おおき is a [連体詞]{れんたいし}, not a 形容動詞(na-adjective) or 形容詞(i-adjective). (おおき is a 形容詞(i-adjective).)
    – Chocolate
    Dec 16 '18 at 12:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.