Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 2: 9/22


In order to


Verb + のに


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About のに

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(くるま)(ちが)って、ブレーキかけてから()まるのに時間(じかん)かかる。
    Unlike cars, trucks take longer to stop after stepping on the brakes.
  • (かぜ)(つよ)すぎて、ピクニックシート(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()たばかりのにまた(なか)()いた。
    I just ate earlier, but I am hungry again.
  • ()べるのに時間(じかん)かけすぎて()時間(じかん)(おそ)くなった。
    I took so long to eat, so I slept at a later time.




    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.


    I bought glasses in order to read books.


    I forgot to bring the earphones I use in order to listen to music on the train.

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のに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (17 in total)

  • FredKore


    All the sentences are correct. (But they might be more common in British English.)

    This is a correct sentence.
    Would it sound better if it was “for the purpose of drinking tea…”? The speaker is talking about a cup that is specifically used for tea, as opposed to a cup for any other beverage.

    I think they chose to translate it this way to keep “to” in front of the verb in translation and keep the verb un-conjugated (without “ing”). Also, using “to” instead of “in order to” doesn’t convey the sense of purpose in the grammar poin...

  • mrnoone


    Hey @chella1788 and welcome on the community forums!

    The sentences are natural, maybe a bit formal. The idea is, like @FredKore says:
    ・to keep verb in infinitive form
    ・to clearly express the intended meaning, because “to” by itself might be unclear
    to keep translation consistent between sentences

    I hope it helps,

  • Elibean


    Oh, I missed this. Thank you!

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