Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 1: 8/18

To come to, To become, To continue, To be starting to, Has been ~ing

Verb[て]+ くる
Verb[て]+ きます
Register Standard
使用域 一般
This grammar point is a combination of the conjunction particle , and the verb 来(く)る ‘to come’. To use this grammar point, you will need to attach to any verb, and then follow it with くる. This nuance is usually that ‘(A) happened, and then came’, or ‘will happen, and then come’. In other words, it will depend on whether くる is in present, or past tense.
  • 今日(きょう)宿題(しゅくだい)持(も)ってくる忘(わす)れ
    I forgot to bring my homework today too. (To ‘come with’ homework was forgotten)
  • パパ〜、じゃが芋(いも)買(か)ってきた
    Dad, I bought the potatoes. (Bought and ‘came with’)
てくる can be used when representing time, or when representing a physical place. When representing a physical place, it is more likely that the kanji structure, 来(く)る will be used. However, this is not a set rule, and depends on the writer.
When used in relation to time, the nuance is usually that something has already come to pass, or will start to happen from now.
  • 最近(さいきん)、日本語(にほんご)上手(うま)くなてきた感(かん)じする
    Recently I feel like I have come to be better at Japanese. (Very similar to ‘gotten’ in English)
This is the opposite of ていく, which indicates that something will change from the way that it is now, or will continue progressing in a certain way.
Fun Fact
When compared to English, てくる is very similar to the phrase ‘to have come to (A)’, in relation to time. This means that it focuses on the fact that the speaker will ‘become (A)’, should things continue in a specific way. In practice though, it is used like ‘gotten’ in most situations.
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Come back home soon!
Please bring a bento when you come.
I will go to the bathroom and come back.
みんなの日本語 II
Page 114 [CH 43]
Page 70
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
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Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 121
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
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