How and when to use のに(=noni) *Request Lesson

June 20, 2012 in Grammar

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= Inu nanoni Viton ga hoshii no?

= Even though you are a dog, you want a Louis Vuitton (bag)?


=Onaji joshi nanoni watashi no kimochi ga wakaranai no?

= How can you — as a woman — not understand how I feel?

Today’s lesson is for Katy who recently requested a lesson on  のに(=noni).

I have a long list of requests, and I’m slowly and randomly going through it.  If you’ve requested  earlier please wait patiently.

Let’s get started!

:: のに(=noni) although, despite the fact, even though

It is used to combine two sentences.

!to right! (Sentence A) のに(Sentence B)

Despite the fact (Sentence A)(Sentence B)

For example, if you


= ippai benkyou shita

= studied a lot

The expected result should be



= shiken ni ukatta

= passed the exams

However, if you failed the exam, you would say



= Ippai benkyou shita noni shiken ni ochita.

= Although I studied a lot, I failed the exam.


Another example. As you know I am adorable.


= Maggie sensei wa kawaii

= Maggie sensei is cute

Everybody expects me to be sweet, right? :)

But I am, in fact, very


= kibishii
= strict, severe

So you can say,



= Maggie sensei wa kawaii noni kibishii

= Although Maggie Sensei is cute, she is strict.

So you say something in Sentence A and then you say something that contradicts conditions or consequences in Sentence B.

!star! Formation

:s: Adjectives

(=i)-adjecive : basic form + のに(=noni)

*高い(=takai) high, expensive, tall + のに(=noni)

:rrrr: 高いのに(=takai noni)

Ex. 父は背が高いのに僕は低い。

= Chichi wa se ga takai noni boku wa hikui.

= Although my father is tall, I am short.

*美味しい(=oishii) = delicious + のに(=noni)

:rrrr: 美味しいのに(=oishiii noni)

Ex. 美味しいのにお腹が一杯で食べられない。

= Oishii noni onakaga ippai de taberarenai.

= Although it’s delicious, I can’t eat it because I’m full.

(=i)-adjectivepast tense

*早い(=hayai) quick, early, fast (past tense) 早かった(=hayakatta) + のに(=noni)

:rrrr: 早かったのに(=hayakatta noni)

Ex. 昨日は帰りが早かったのに夜遅くまでテレビを観ていたので 眠い。

= Kinou wa kaeri ga hayakatta noni yoru osoku made terebi wo miteita node nemui

= I got home early but since I stayed up late watching TV, I am sleepy.

(=na)- adjective ~(=na) + のに(=noni)

*きれい(=kirei) = beautiful, pretty(=na) form きれい(=kireina) +(=noni)


Ex. この部屋はいつもはきれいのに今日はちらかっている。

= Kono heya wa itumo kireinanoni kyou wa  chirakatte iru.

= Although this room is usually  clean, it’s messy today.

*元気 (=genki) healthy, cheerful, energetic(=na) form 元気(=genkina) + のに(=noni)

:rrrr:元気なのに(=genki nanoni)

Ex. マギー、いつも元気のにどうしたの?

= Maggie, itsumo genki nanoni doushitano?

= What is wrong with you? (It’s unlike you not to be energetic/cheerful.)

(=na)- adjective past tense

*静か(=shizuka) →past tense 静かだった(=shizukadatta) +のに(=noni)

:rrrr:静かだったのに(=shizukadatta noni)

:s: Verbs:

(present tense/ past tense ) basic form+ のに (=noni)

*する (=suru) = to do + のに(=noni) →するのに (=suru noni)

Ex. いつも彼が料理をするのに今日はやってくれなかった。

= Itsumo kare ga ryouri wo suru noni kyou wa yatte kurenakatta.

= He always cooks, but he didn’t do that for us today.

*書く(=kaku) = to write → (past tense) 書いた(=kaita) + のに(=noni)

:rrrr: 書いたのに (=kaita noni)

Ex. せっかく手紙を書いたのになくしてしまった。

= Sekkaku tegami wo kaitta noni nakushite shimatta.

= Although I wrote a letter, I lost it.

Note : せっかく (=sekkaku) is often used with のに(=noni) to emphasize one’s disappointment after all the work or trouble they had.

せっかくのに (= sekkaku ~ noni) : after all the trouble you made, the consequence was disappointing.

Ex. せっかく料理したのに誰も食べてくれない。

= Sekkaku ryouri shita noni daremo tabete kurenai.

= After I went to all the trouble of cooking, nobody is eating.

Ex. お金がないのに旅行に行くの?

= Okane ga nai noni ryokou ni ikuno?

= You don’t have any money, but you’re going on a trip?

:s: noun

noun + (=na)  + のに(=noni)

Ex. (=inu)=a dog (=inu na)  + のに (=noni) : even though, despite being a dog

:rrrr: のに(=inu nanoni)

Ex. のに日本語を教えている。

= Inu nanoni nihongo wo oshieteiru.

=Despite being a dog, (she) teaches Japanese.

!to right! From the picture above :


= Inu nanoni Viton ga hoshii no?

Even though you are a dog, you want a Louis Vuitton (bag)?


= Onaji joshi nanoni watashi no kimochi ga wakaranai no?

[Literal translation: Even though you are a woman, don’t you understand my feelings?]

= You are a woman as well and you still don’t know how I feel?

Note : There is a trend to use 女子(=joshi) more than 女性(=josei) in colloquial Japanese.

past tense noun + だった (=datta) + のに (=noni)

* (=hana) flowers +だった(=datta) = 花だった(=hanadatta) + のに(=noni)

:rrrr: 花だったのに (=hanadatta noni)

Ex. きれいな花だったのに枯れてしまった。

= Kireina hanadatta noni karete shimatta.

= The flowers were beautiful, but they wilted.

:s: Others

ばかりな/ばかりだった + のに(=noni)

:mm: present tense:

ばかり (=bakari) + (=na) + のに (=noni)

Ex. 食べたばかりのにもうお腹がすいた。

= Tabeta bakari nanoni mou onaka ga suita.

= I just ate, but  I am already hungry.

:n: past tense :

ばかりだった (=bakaridatta) + のに (=noni)

Ex. あの二人はこの間、結婚したばかりだったのにもう別れたらしい。

= Ano futari wa konoaida kekkon shita bakari datta noni mou wakareta rashii.

= I heard even though they (those two) just got married, they already got divorced.

:l: We often drop the main clause and finish the sentence with のに(=noni).

You can show your feelings of disappointment, regrets and discontent to the listener.

!star! Conditional :would have/ could have

!candy! (もし)〜たらのに = (moshi) ~ tara ~ noni =(If 〜 , ) subject would have/could have do something.

You tell people that you could have done something,


= (Moshi itte kuretara) Tetsudatte agetanoni…

= (If you had told me) I would have helped you…

Ex. もし彼が来るとしっていたらそのパーティーに行ったのに

= Moshi kare ga kuru to shitteitara sono paatii ni itta noni…

= If I had known he would have come to the party, I would have gone…

:i: Note : Now can you tell the difference between the following sentences?

A ) 誕生パーティーに行けたらいいのに

= Tanjou paatii ni iketara iinoni.

B) 誕生パーティーに行っいいのに

= Tanjou paatii ni ittara iinoni.

(*誕生パーティー= tanjou paatii = birthday party)


A) I wish I could go to the party.

B) I wish someone would go to the birthday party You should go to the party. (suggestion to other people.)

:rrrr: Please go check my たら(=tara) lesson for the details.

!star! to  express one’s  feeling of disappointment.

Ex. せっかく宿題をしたのに

= Sekkaku shukudai wo shita noni…

= After all the trouble of doing my homework…

!star! to complain  to someone  or give someone a suggestion:

Ex. あれだけ勉強しなさいって言ったのに….

= Aredake benkyou shinasaitte itta noni!

= (Why didn’t you study even though) I told you to study million of times.


= Motto nihongo no benkyou wo sureba ii noni.

= You should study Japanese more.


= Motto nihongo no benkyou wo sureba yokatta noni.

= You should have studied Japanese more.

Ex. だから言ったのに

= Dakara itta noni!

= (That’s why) I told you so.


Finally there is one more way to use のに(=noni)

!star! in order to, for , to do something, for the purpose of doing something

Formation :

:rrrr: verb (basic form ) + のに(=noni)

*買う(=kau) + のに (=noni) = 買うのに (=kau noni) in order to buy

Ex. そのコンサートのチケットを買うのに1時間も並ばなければいけなかった。

= Sono konsaato no chiketto wo kau noni ichijikan mo narabanakaereba ikenakatta.

= I had to stand in line over one hour to get a ticket for the concert.

*行く(=iku) + のに(=noni) = 行くのに(=ikunoni) in order to go

Ex. 旅行に行くのに5万円必要だ。

= Ryokou ni iku noni gomanen hitsuyouda.

= I need 50,000 yen to go traveling.

Ex. タクシーで駅まで行くのにいくら位かかりますか?

= Takushii de ekimade ikunoni ikura gurai kakarimasu ka?

= How much will it cost to the station?


Ex. ここに来るのにどの位の時間がかかりましたか?

= Kokoni kuru noni donogurai no jikan ga kakarimashitaka?

= How long did it take to get here?

Ex. 上級のレベルにたどりつくのにどれだけ勉強をしなければいけないことか….

= Joukyuu no reberu ni tadoritsuku noni doredake bennkyou wo shinakereba ikenai kotoka…

= I wonder how much I should study in order to reach advanced level….


= Kono keiki wo tsukuru noni tamago ga ikutsu irimasu ka?

= How many eggs do we need to make this cake?

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Aah okyuuryou wo zenbu tsukawanakatta ano Ruiviton no baggu ga kaetanonina.

= Ahh…If I hadn’t spent all my salary, I could have bought that Louis Vuitton bag.


Special note: If you speak French, Marianne translated this lesson in French. Go check my FB page.

Comment et quand utiliser のに(=noni)

Merci! Marianne! !heart3!