Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 2: 17/17


Despite, Although, Even though


Verb + のに
[い]Adjective + のに
[な]Adjective + + のに
Noun + + のに


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About のに

Although のに is often thought of as a simple combination of the particles and , it is actually its own particle, with the meaning of 'despite', or 'in order to'. In this lesson, we will focus primarily on the 'despite' nuance.
Due to のに being a conjunction particle, it can be linked to almost any word type, to show that 'despite (A), (B)'. As with many conjunction particles, な will be required after a noun/な-Adjective, but before のに.
  • 明日(あした)テストがあるのに(かれ)勉強(べんきょう)しないでゲームている
    Despite having a test tomorrow, he is playing games without studying.
  • (なん)納豆(なっとう)(くさ)のに美味(おい)の?
    Why does natto taste good, despite smelling bad?
  • (かれ)イケメンなのにいつも汗臭(あせくさ)
    Even though he is a good looking guy, he always smells like sweat.
  • この(くるま)スポーツカーなのに(おそ)
    Despite being a sports car, this car is slow.
It is also possible to see のに, instead of なのに, but this is something that is only seen in certain dialects, and would be considered incorrect by the vast majority of native speakers.
  • 虫歯(むしば)のに、チョコレート()べたから()(いた)い。
    My tooth hurts because I ate chocolate, despite having a cavity.
Fun Fact
Regardless of having two quite different translations ('despite', and 'in order to'), のに always functions in the same way.
In the situation of '(A) のに, (B)', (B) is/will be the result.
The only difference between how the nuance will be read, is whether the (B) statement is a logical conclusion, or an illogical one. When logical, the meaning is usually 'in order to', when 'illogical', the meaning is usually 'despite'.


  • (かれ)(いそが)しいのにゲームている

    Despite being busy, he is playing video games.

  • 天気予報(てんきよほう)(わる)かったのに()れた

    Despite the weather forecast being bad, it was sunny.

  • あの(おんな)(ひと)綺麗(きれい)のに彼氏(かれし)いない。

    Despite being pretty, that woman doesn't have a boyfriend.

  • 無理(むり)って()ったのにまだやるの?

    Even though I said it was impossible, you're still going to do it?

  • あまり牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)がないのにスーパー()った(とき)()わなかったの?

    Even though we are running low on milk, you didn't buy any when you went to the store?

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のに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

  • gyroninja


    About 2 years ago

    It can mean either depending on the context. In the first case we are referring to an action that happened over a period of time (someone was not writing, then they were writing then there were not writing). In the second case we are referring to a change in state (the words were not written and now they are written).

  • CrisH


    About 2 years ago

    So if, for example, someone dropped a bunch of those children’s cubes with the letters on them such that they landed saying “HELP”, you wouldn’t use it?

    I note from the grammar point on change of state that it “is used with a verb that expresses a change that happens within a moment”, so presumably in this case it’s the moment of writing that’s being considered?

    I also see that there’s some ambiguity with the interpretation of ている with certain verbs anyway, so I guess this is probably jus...

  • Howl_UK


    About 2 years ago

    Would と書かれている have the nuance of “It is (generally) written (and accepted by everyone) that you need a pencil (in these situations)” ?
    It follows the same syntax as と考えられている と言われている と思われている.

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