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旅行の出発日は八月三十日になった。
部屋は綺麗になった

宿題をしなかったので留年することになりました

Can someone explain the difference between になる and ことになる? as per the above examples?

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  • 2
    What do you think these sentences are saying?
    – A.Ellett
    Dec 7 '21 at 14:29
  • @A.Ellett Well they all mean something happened by itself right? why what is the difference between them if they mean the same thing, something magically happened by itself?
    – fynxgloire
    Dec 8 '21 at 6:53
  • "something happened by itself"? Like the room just magically prettied itself up? Something (or someone) did something and the room got pretty as a consequence. But the speaker is perhaps less interested in who was the direct cause and 綺麗になった nicely avoids mentioning the agent (just like when we use the passive in English we are de-emphasizing the agent).
    – A.Ellett
    Dec 9 '21 at 3:44
  • On its own, 部屋は綺麗になった there's no telling who (or what) caused the room to become pretty. It could be because you cleaned it; it could be because you put some flowers in a vase; it could be the way the morning sunlight lit up the room.
    – A.Ellett
    Dec 9 '21 at 3:46
  • The last sentence seems to be clearly about someone else making a decision on account of "my" not doing my homework. These three sentences you provided are really rather different points of grammar and would be better suited by you actually providing a translation so we can see why there's any confusing on your part.
    – A.Ellett
    Dec 9 '21 at 3:49
1

Of the three sentences you posted only the last one's meaning is unquestionably clear.

旅行の出発日は八月三十日になった。
部屋は綺麗になった
宿題をしなかったので留年することになりました

That's because of missing context.

Let's start with the last one.

The grammar here is

...することになりました

This is a fixed form whose mean is that someone decided some action. There is a related form

...することにしました

which means I (or the natural subject of the sentence) decided on some action.

The first two sentences don't fall into this category. Nothing is being said explicitly in them about decision made by someone else.

But without context it's hard to say what's going on.

旅行の出発日は八月三十日になった。

simply says

The day for setting out on the trip was set to August 30th.

Why this was the case or who really had a say in the day is not clear without more context. Note, it could be a situation, let's say, where your boss set the date for the trip. But as I mentioned above, this is not explicitly expressed there in the sentence. Context would be necessarily to read it that way.

Similarly, with

部屋は綺麗になった
The room became pretty.

There could be any number of reasons for this. It could be something natural, like how the morning sunlight lit up the room on a particular day. It could be incidental, someone put flowers in the room and brightened the mood of the room. It could just be that someone cleaned the room. But regardless of context, the room somehow was made beautiful.

-1

になる means to become/change of state; ことになる means it is decided that (the decision being made by someone other than the speaker).

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  • I thought になる could also mean 決まる ( In addition to change of state) - Result in, be settled (without human agent being explicitly stated). For example 旅行の出発日は八月三十日になった。and 今度の冬のオリンピックはどこになりましたか。
    – fynxgloire
    Dec 8 '21 at 9:19
  • It is still can be understood as a change of state (unfixed -> some specific date or place). (に)なる/ことになる are not that different in meaning. The basic difference is the part of speech of preceding word - noun vs verb.
    – sundowner
    Dec 8 '21 at 11:12

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