Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 2: 9/22

in order to

Verb + のに
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Regarded as a conjunction particle by itself, のに is simply a fusion of the 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.
  • トラックは車(くるま)違(ちが)って、ブレーキかけてから止(と)まるのに時間(じかん)かかる。
    Unlike cars, trucks take longer to stop after stepping on the brakes.
  • 風(かぜ)強(つよ)すぎて、ピクニックシート広(ひろ)げるのに苦労(くろう)した。
    The wind was so strong that I struggled to spread out the picnic blanket.
Fun Fact
Although のに 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)'.
  • さっき食(た)べたばかりのにまたお腹(なか)空(す)いた。
    I just ate earlier, but I am hungry again.
  • 食(た)べるのに時間(じかん)かけすぎて寝(ね)る時間(じかん)遅(おそ)くなった。
    I took so long to eat, so I slept at a later time.
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It takes 3 hours in order to do homework.
It took too long in order for me to eat lunch, so my lunch break unfortunately came to an end.
I do not have the necessary cup in order to drink tea.
みんなの日本語 II
Page 108 [CH 42]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 335