Most things I've seen claim that 気になる is an intransitive verb and that one major difference from 気にする is the transitivity. This includes examples from this site.

However, a native speaker recently mentioned to me that 彼を気になる is fine. Upon further questioning, said native speaker felt that わんこを気になる, パンを気になる, and アメリカを気になる were wrong though. It seems hard to see a pattern here.

I searched shonagon and although there is an overwhelming number of times that が気にな was found (1946), there are still some cases where を気にな was found (16).

Maybe someone can shed some light into when are the kinds of cases that one might use 気になる as a transitive verb.

1 Answer 1


I checked those 16 cases of を気にな, and found that 12 of them were false-positives such as 美肌成分を気になる目もとに注ぐ (気になる is a relative clause that modifies the following noun) and 人目を気になさいます (なさいます is an honorific of します).

As for the remaining four:

  1. ある異性が自分の事を好きという事を知ったら自分もその異性の事を気になったり好きになったりしてしまうものですか
  2. 自分の気になる人が、逆に。“自分を気になる存在”になってもらえるようになれればとても幸せなんですが
  3. 怖いのは、その環境になれてしまってやがて家族みんなが、ゴミ屋敷を気にならなくなることです。
  4. 相手は、お客様を気になってたかどうか、わかりませんが

I notice these ~を気になる are in a subordinate clause or used (at least indirectly) with another ~になる (bold). So according to my intuition, something similar to this is happening. 私は猫を好きです is unnatural, but 猫を好きになる and 猫が好きになる are both fine for some reason. Likewise, I feel 私は彼を気になりません is unnatural, but 彼を気にならなくなる and 彼が気にならなくなる are both fine for some reason.

Especially in Sentence 2:

自分の気になる人が、逆に “自分を気になる存在” になってもらえるようになれればとても幸せなんですが。

It would be ideal if someone you care for becomes someone who cares for you.

If you used 自分気になる存在 in the double quotes, it would look ambiguous just as 自分が好きな人 is ambiguous. So this use of を is desirable. (You can avoid the ambiguity by saying 自分のことが気になる存在, too.)

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