Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 6: 20/24

extremely, especially, to my ...

ことに only carries this meaning with words that describe 'feelings'

Verb + ことに
[い]Adjective + ことに
[な]Adjective + + ことに
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Not to be confused with 事(こと) ‘thing’, 殊(こと) is a 副詞(ふくし) (adverb) with the same reading that often appears in hiragana, specifically to highlight that something is to a ‘great extent’. Due to being used adverbially, 殊(こと) will be followed by に. The kanji 殊(こと) itself has the meaning of ‘particularly’.
This expression is regularly seen after verbs, い or な-Adjectives. When 殊(こと) has the meaning of ‘particularly’, ‘especially’, or ‘to my (A)’, it is almost always describing some kind of feeling or emotion.
  • ビックリすることに、久(ひさ)しぶり小学生(しょうがくせい)時代(じだい)友達(ともだち)から電話(でんわ)かかってきた
    I am especially surprised that I got a phone call from a friend from elementary school after such a long time.
  • 珍(めずら)しいことに、彼(かれ)がいいレストラン連(つ)れていってくれた。
    It is particularly rare to be taken to a nice restaurant by him.
  • 残念(ざんねん)なことにその商品(しょうひん)はもう販売(はんばい)中止(ちゅうし)なりました。
    Unfortunately, that product is no longer being sold.
In most situations, ‘(A) ことに (B)’ can be translated quite literally as ‘to a particularly (A) extent, (B)’.
Fun Fact
A very common expression 幸(さいわ)いなことに uses this particular grammar structure as a set phrase, and is often translated simply as ‘fortunately’, or ‘luckily’.
  • 幸(さいわ)いなことに、近所(きんじょ)人(ひと)私(わたし)猫(ねこ)見(み)つけて家(いえ)まで届(とど)けてくれた。
    Fortunately, my neighbor found our cat for us, and brought her home.
Fun Fact
Although it is quite uncommon, こと may also be seen as 異(こと), a kanji meaning ‘irregular’.
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I am extremely happy about getting married next year.
I am especially happy about passing the JLPT.
To our extreme surprise, the six month old baby took its first steps.
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