There are already posted questions (and answers) for the meaning of となる as a similar pattern to になる, but with a sense of finality.

However, I've come across the following sentence


where なる as a meaning of "consist" or "be composed of".

My question is, how is the となる construction affected if なる does not have the usual meaning of "becoming", but one of "consisting"? Specifically, what is the meaning of the bold part?


For clarity, I already know that なる can mean "to be composed of". What I'm looking for is the nuance of に vs と when なる is used with this sense.

With the "become" meaning, と adds a sense of finality, like "has finally become". What is the corresponding nuance in with "composed of"? "Has finally become composed of" does not make sense in the example sentence...

  • I'm not sure that finality means it should be translated as "has finally become". I'd say finality just means that's the way it is and "it ain't gonna change no more."
    – A.Ellett
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


The verb is in the formとなっている which you could construe in this context as “has become”. But that would result in an awkward translation in English. So, “consists of” seems like a reasonable translation.

But what seems reasonable to me aside, check out Kenkyusha’s New Japanese English Dictionary. This dictionary (at least my print addition which is over 20 years old at this point) lists 14 subheadings under なる. Subheading 4 lists the following renderings for the verb: consist of, be composed of, be made up of, be formed of.

Keep in mind that very simple verbs like なる can have very broad and subtly nuanced meanings/uses. It’s best not to try to force one English translation, become, into another, to consist of. It’s better to read (or listen) to a wide range of genres to begin to get a sense of the subtle nuances of these words.

  • I already know that なる can mean "to be composed of". But normally, you'd use に, not と. I've found answers for the meaning of this と in the "become" sense, but not in the "be composed" one. That's what I want to know (I'll edit the question to stress this bit).
    – Jak
    Sep 17, 2020 at 15:07
  • @Jak I'd say if the dorms are set up in a certain way, that's pretty final and thus your understanding of how と works here is still quite correct.
    – A.Ellett
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:15
  • In that light, would になっている be incorrect?
    – Jak
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:41

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