768 - のに (even though)

JLPT N4: のに (even though)

のに can be used when saying something like "even though" or "in spite of the fact."

We often see this in example sentences in other lessons. Since it's listed as an N4 grammar point, though, we should give のに its own lesson, too.

Here's an example:


せっかく日本に来たのに、日本語を使う機会がありません。
せっかく にほん に きた のに、 にほんご を つかう きかい が ありません。
I came all the way to Japan, but I don’t have any chances to speak Japanese.
Literally: “going to the trouble of / expressly + Japan + に + came + のに, + Japanese (language) + を + use + chance / opportunity + が + don’t have / there isn’t.”


Generally speaking, のに is used when the speaker is saying negative things — expressing doubts, dissatisfaction, regret, etc.

Accordingly, it sounds strange when used with volitional expressions, hopes, commands, etc.

For example, you shouldn't say this:


めんどくさいのに、歯を磨きなさい。
✕ めんどくさい のに、 は を みがきなさい。
✕ Brush your teeth, even though it’s a pain.
✕ Literally: “being a hassle / a pain + のに, + teeth + を + brush / polish (=[command form]).”


In this case, it would be better to use ~ても


〇 めんどくさくても、歯を磨きなさい。
〇 めんどくさくても、 は を みがきなさい。
〇 Brush your teeth, even if it is a pain.
〇 Literally: “even if it’s a hassle / a pain, + teeth + を + brush / polish (=[command form]).”


For more on ~ても, go back to this lesson: [NDL #526] - JLPT N4: ~ても (even if).


Here's another example:


こんなに寒いのに、夫は半袖のシャツを着ています。
こんなに さむい のに、 おっと は はんそで の シャツ を きています。
Even though it’s this cold, my husband is still wearing a short-sleeved shirt.
Literally: “this much / to this extent + cold + のに, + (my) husband + は + short-sleeved + の shirt + を + is wearing.”


👷 Construction 👷

Just put a word in plain-form before のに

Plain-Form Wordのに


Be careful, though. When the word before のに is a NOUN or a na-adjective, we'll also slip a in there:

NOUN / na-adjectiveなのに


Here are a couple of examples with なのに


甘いものが嫌いなのに、なんでパティシエになったんですか。
あまい もの が きらい なのに、 なんで パティシエ に なった んです か。
Why did you become a pastry chef even though you hate sweet foods?
Literally: “sweet + thing + が + disliked / hated + なのに, + why + pâtissier / pastry chef + に + became + んです + か.”


もう5月なのに、寒いですね。
もう ごがつ なのに、 さむい です ね。
It’s (still) cold, even though it’s already May.
Literally: “already + May + なのに, + cold + です + ね.”


Sometimes you'll put のに at the end of your sentence.

This shows that you are disappointed or unhappy with the situation in question:


バーベキュー、中止になったんですか。楽しみにしていたのに...。
バーベキュー、 ちゅうし に なった んです か。 たのしみ に していた のに...。
The barbecue was canceled? Oh, I was looking forward to it…
Literally: “barbecue, + cancellation + に + became + んです + か. + had been looking forward to it (=looking forward to it + に + was doing) + のに...”
Note: I was tempted to make that second sentence be "But I was looking forward to it..." But I was worried that would sound too whiny for this Japanese sentence.


That's all for this one.

I use のに pretty much every day, so this lesson is quite important.

You also may wish to go back and review this other usage of のに[NDL #630] - JLPT N4: のに (for).




Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.