Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 3: 16/23

There is nothing better than, it is the best, would be the best

Verb + に越したことはない
[い]Adjective + に越したことはない
[な]Adjective + に越したことはない
Noun + に越したことはない
Verb + に越したことはありません
[い]Adjective + に越したことはありません
[な]Adjective + に越したことはありません
Noun + に越したことはありません
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Used to convey the meanings of ‘there is nothing better than (A)’, or ‘(A) would be the best’, に越(こ)したことはない is a phrase that combines に, the past-tense form of 越(こ)す, an う-Verb meaning ‘to cross over’, or ‘to surpass’, こと, は, and ない. Literally, it means ‘there is nothing beyond (A)’, or ‘nothing surpasses (A)’.
This structure will be seen with verbs, adjectives, and nouns in their standard forms.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)と待(ま)ち合(あ)わせているなら、待(ま)ち合(あ)わせ時間(じかん)の10分(ぷん)前(まえ)に着(つ)くに越(こ)したことはない
    If you are meeting a senpai, it is best to arrive 10 minutes before the meeting time.
  • 家(いえ)は広(ひろ)いに越(こ)した事(こと)はないが、値段(ねだん)と場所(ばしょ)も大切(たいせつ)だ。
    There is nothing better than a spacious house, but the price and the location is also important.
  • 部屋(へや)は綺麗(きれい)であるに越(こ)した事(こと)はないので、毎日(まいにち)掃除(そうじ)をしています。
    I clean the room every day because there is nothing better than a clean room.
  • 億万長者(おくまんちょうじゃ)であるに越(こ)した事(こと)はない
    There is nothing better than being a billionaire.
に越(こ)したことはない sentences generally present something positive, or some idea outcome that is wished for.
Caution - It is also quite common to see に越(こ)したことはない following words that use ない. In these cases, rather than ‘(A) would be the best’, the meaning simply changes to ‘it would be best is not (A)’.
  • 災害(さいがい)は起(お)きないに越(こ)した事(こと)はない
    There is nothing better than a disaster not happening.
  • 映画(えいが)はつまらなくないに越(こ)した事(こと)はない
    There is nothing better than a movie not being boring.
  • テストは複雑(ふくざつ)ではないに越(こ)した事(こと)はない
    There is nothing better than a test that is not complicated.
  • こう言(い)う時(とき)には一人(ひとり)っ子(こ)ではないに越(こ)した事(こと)はない
    At times like this, there is nothing better than not being an only child.
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There is nothing better than being able to leave the hospital after a long hospitalization.
If you are aiming at learning a language, there is nothing better than starting as a child, however, there are also people who became fluent after getting older.
In order to pass an exam, it would be best to memorize the whole textbook, but no one has that kind of time.
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 229
A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns
A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar