Regarded as a 接続助詞（せつぞくじょし） (conjunction particle) by itself, のに
is simply a fusion of the 格助詞（かくじょし） (case marking particles) の and に. のに
has two primary functions in Japanese. It can be used to show that something is the opposite of what is expected for (A) (translated as ‘despite’), or it can be used to show that something is required for (A) to be realized (translated as ‘in order to’). We will focus on the ‘in order to’ meaning in this lesson.
To use のに
, simply attach it to the base (non-past) form of a verb that you would like to express as being the ‘goal’, before following it with the conditions required to meet that goal.
Unlike cars, trucks take longer to stop after stepping on the breaks.
The wind was so strong that I struggled to spread out the picnic blanket.
can be translated as ‘despite’, or ‘in order to’, it actually has the same meaning in each of these situations. の nominalizes what comes before it (turning it into a noun-phrase), while に converts that new noun-phrase into a ‘location’, or ‘goal’. In this way, のに
always means ‘to that which is (A), (B)’.
I just ate earlier, but I am hungry again.
I took so long to eat, so I slept at a later time.