In that sentence, what is the form of the verb?


What's the difference with できないです?

Thanks in advance.

  • 'have become unable to go', literally
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


Think of ない on its own first. The adverbial form is なく. Add the auxiliary なる and you get なくなる (become not). This can be used to modify any verbal negative ない.

できる - できない - できなくなる (become not able to)

Now you can add ~ている which describes an ongoing action or a state (in this case, a state).

できなくなっている have become (and are now) unable to

学校に行くことができなくなっています have become unable to go to school


I suppose if you were to take it apart:

First of all, that part is a mixture of different grammatical forms.


You first have a short negative potential verb できる -> できない Then you have the te-form for that verb できなくて

And since verbs can be connected with the te-form なる is added at the end to make できなくっています。

All in all, this would mean: to have become unable to do...

The reason why they don't use できない here is that they are talking about a process.


This means over time these students became unable to go to school and are also currently not able to go to school.

If it was できない instead of できなっています。it would rather mean that a certain amount of students have always been unable to go to school.

  • できなくっています できなっています。 -- Hmm?? You sure these are what you meant to type...? OP's sentence is できなくっています
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 1:47
  • Ok, I see. It's to show an ongoing process. Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 2:44

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