好きにはなれなかった。

English Translation

I didn’t like it.

What is the grammatical breakdown of this sentence?

@ericaw

  • 私はそれが好きだ = I am fond of it.

  • 私はそれを好きになった = I became to be fond of it.

  • 私はそれを好きになれなかった = I couldn’t become to be fond of it.

  • ==> (Shoten) 好きになれなかった。

  • ==> (Emphasized) 好きにはなれなかった。

Particle は implicitly compares two things and emphasizes the difference. 好きに「は」なれなかった suggests that I tried my best but I couldn’t change my feeling from the negative to the positive one. Maybe I improved a bit, but couldn’t pass the sub zero zone.

I don’t think the English sentence fully capture the nuance of the Japanese sentence.

I wish I could been fond of it. (But I’m not, actually.)

is probably the closer meaning.
The effort was made and failed in the past, but the negative feeling remains now. That’s the tense of this Japanese sentence.
“I didn’t like it” in English can be interpreted as “but now I like it”.

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