As i read this question Can なっている represent an ongoing change as well as a resultant (completed) change?, i don't quite understand why a verb like なる that normally take the sense of "to become", "to turn", "to reach", and for this reason to me sounds like a "progressive verb", in the -te form なっている, can assume the "resultative" type of verb. I know that the -ている form can take the meaning of a "resultative action", but i don't understand why it's used with なる. It's like "result of a progressive action" or something like that? And なる? When it can be used? Is なっている always a "result" or can be "progession" too?

Sorry for the bad explanation, I hope my question is clear.

  • 1
    "Become" and associated meanings are all about a change of form, or the arrival at some result. In that sense, is it surprising they are "resultative" rather than progressive?
    – Leebo
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 21:07
  • What verbs do you think naturally express a resultant state when used in the 〜ている form?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 22:27
  • @Leebo In the end i think it's only a matter of translation and the meaning of words between language is not one to one. Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


-ている describes either a resultant state or a progressive action, but it does not describe both at once. In other words, it does not describe "the result of a progressive action". For basics, see: When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

In most cases, you can judge the type of a verb intuitively, but for some verbs, its type may differ from your intuition as an English speaker. You probably know 知る is one of such tricky verbs.

As for なる, it has a strong tendency to work as an instant state-change verb. In other words, なっている usually means "has become" rather than "is becoming". This is a fact you have to get used to by seeing various usages of なる.

For example, when you hear 大きくなっている, it usually describes a resultant state, "has become big" or "has turned big". However, a progressive reading is possible when it's used with an expression for a gradual change. だんだん大きくなっている means "is becoming big gradually", and 大きくなってきている has a similar meaning. Likewise, 暗くなっている without any context normally means "It has (already) become dark" (you looked out of window and noticed it), but you can say だんだん暗くなっている or 暗くなってきている to mean "It's getting darker".

  • As for the past, 暗くなっていた? I think it's like you said, without an expressions for gradual change, it's a resultant state in a "certain moment in the past", while the present expresses that the resultive action is "now", or in a close moment for the speaker. Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 9:46
  • 2
    @JacopoZiroli Yes. 暗くなっていた means "(When I arrived here yesterday) it had (already) gotten dark" or "It was (already) dark (at that time)". See this answer.
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 3:14

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