While reading a text in Japanese, I came across the phrase "何も言わなくなったから".

I don't understand what the ~くない stands for. As far as I know it is used as the negative of an adjective... but 言う is a verb! It's like 言わない (the negative form of 言う) was used as an i-adjective. Any thoughts?

  • by " I came up with the phrase " do you mean " I came across the phrase "? please give more context for the quote, ie, the surrounding dialogue. thanks.
    – yadokari
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


Theoretical adding of ない:

  • 言う (plain)

  • 言わない (negative)

  • 言わなく・ない (negative+negative)

  • 言わなく・なった (negative+negative+past)

Therefore 言わなくなった does not come from another ない.

  • 言わない→言わなく→言わなく・なる→言わなく・なった

The adverb 言わなく modifies the verb なる in past tense.

  • my goodness!! it was in front of me all the time.. Thank you so much!!!
    – Macarena
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 3:41
  • so does "何も言わなくなったから" mean " because (subject) didn't say anything" --({subject} came to the state where {subject} did not say anything) ?
    – yadokari
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 3:59
  • 4
    Stopped talking. Fell silent. Said nothing further. Something like that... Don't lose the nuance of なる, which is that previously he was in some other state than 何も言わない and then なる'd to that state.
    – Hyperworm
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 4:14
  • kudos on that なる'd coinage (¬‿¬)
    – yadokari
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 4:35
  • @Macarena: Could you share the context? I am curious to know how this was used. It sounds like "after a while he stopped objecting everytime [something happend] and said nothing so [something carried on regardless]".
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 23:42

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