We met the adverbial noun よう previously when we looked at ways to express similarity in Japanese. Its other grammatical usage is to express a change of state from A to B.

【Verb: Present】ようになる
テニスに興味きょうみようになりました
To become to have an interest in tennis.

Essentially all we are doing is modifying the adverbial noun よう to describe the “state” or “condition” and then appending the verb “to become” to express the change.

While not grammatically incorrect this structure is rarely ever used with the negative. Instead, the negative verb is treated as as an i-adjective, turned into an adverb, and appended with the verb “to become”.

~ないようになる ~なくなる
ほら、おもちゃをあげるとかなくなるよね。
You see, he stops crying if you give him a toy.

よう very often used with the potential form of the verb to express that someone has “become able to do” something.

できるようになる。
To become to be able to do.
日本にほんてから、おはしをうまく使つかえるようになりました
After I came to Japan I’ve been able to use chopsticks well.

The literal translation “to become to be able to” does not always sound natural in English; whereas the Japanese grammar makes clear that there has been a change of state.

スマホが普及ふきゅうしてきたらアップだけでおかねめるようになった
As smartphones have become prevalent we’re able to transfer money through just an app.
政治史せいじしまなぶと時事問題じじもんだい背景はいけい理解りかいできるようになる
If you study political history you will understand the background to current issues.

And remember that よう is an adverbial noun so we can modify other nouns with the な particle as we would with a na-adjective.

もうおさけんだので、運転うんてんできるような状況じょうきょうじゃないね。
I’ve already had a drink and so I’m not in a condition to drive.
かれ信頼しんらいできるようなおとこじゃないよね。
He’s not a guy you can trust, right?

However, this structure cannot be used with the negative. As we have seen before, the final い of the standard negative form of the verb is treated as an i-adjective, turned into an adverb, and appended with the verb “to become”.

できなくなる。
To become to be not able to do.
としると、なが距離きょりはしなくなる
You won’t be able to run long distances once you get older, you know.
大雪おおゆきのため、いえられなくなった
I’m not able to leave my house due to heavy snow.
最近さいきんすこふとってきて、大好だいすきなドレスをられなくなったのよ。
Recently I’m put on a little weight and I can no longer wear one of my favourite dresses.

よう can also be used with verbs other than なる. This way we can show that a change was instigated by someone (as opposed to it being a natural consequence of an event).

翌日よくじつ午前ごぜん出勤しゅっきんするように指示しじする。
Instruct someone to arrive at work for 8am the following day.

With the negative we must use the structure with よう.

ひとはいらなかぎめておいてください。()
ひとはいないようにかぎめておいてください。
Please lock the door so that people will not enter.
貴重品きちょうひんってかえるのをわすないようにしてください。
Please do not forget to take home any valuables.
インフルエンザにかからないように、予防注射よぼうちゅうしゃけます。
Get an immunization shot to prevent catching influenza.

Note how we can change the ending verb to make more complex sentences.

今日きょうはやかえれるようにする。
Today I’ll make it so that I can go home early.
今日きょうはやかえれるように頑張がんばる。
Today I’ll try hard so that I can go home early.
今日きょうはやかえれるように仕事しごとしながらランチをべる。
Today I’ll work while eating lunch so I can go home early.

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