Teach Us, Teacher
How to change verbs into nouns (Lesson 47)To change verbs into nouns, you add NO or KOTO to the plain forms of verbs, such as the dictionary form or the TA-form.
Let me explain this, using the sentence in the skit that means "To be a Japanese language teacher is my dream." To change the verb, NARIMASU (to be, to become) into a noun, you add NO to the dictionary form of NARIMASU, which is NARU. Doing this, you get NARU NO a noun. So, "To be a Japanese language teacher is my dream" is NIHONGO-KYÔSHI NI NARU NO GA YUME DESU.
You can also use KOTO, instead of NO. So, NARU NO (to become, the thing of becoming) can also be NARU KOTO. If you use NARU KOTO, the sentence will go like this, NIHONGO-KYÔSHI NI NARU KOTO GA YUME DESU.
But you can use only KOTO, if you change a verb into a noun just before DESU at the end of a sentence. Then, how do we say "my dream is to become a Japanese language teacher"? My dream is WATASHI NO YUME. So, in Japanese, we say WATASHI NO YUME WA NIHONGO-KYÔSHI NI NARU KOTO DESU.
On the other hand, you can use only NO to change verbs into nouns, if the verbs of perception such as "to hear" or "to see" come after them. Let’s examine how this goes with this sentence, "I can hear the birds singing (I can hear the singing of birds)."
"Birds" is TORI. "To sing" is NAKIMASU. Its dictionary form is NAKU. So, "the birds singing or the singing of birds" is TORI GA NAKU NO GA. Then, "can hear" is KIKOEMASU. So, altogether, "I can hear the birds singing or the singing of birds" is TORI GA NAKU NO GA KIKOEMASU.