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I stumbled on this grammar formula in the 日本語総まとめN3 book: "[文]のに対して", but I'm not sure what [文] stands for. Does it mean a sentence? If it is a sentence, it should end in either N/A/Na/V in 普通形 form, so according to the formula, this should be legit:

田中先生は生徒だのに対して厳しい。

but is it really grammatically correct? The book also writes "Nに対して" and its example is:

田中先生は生徒に対して厳しい.

This [文] part really confuses me, and the book doesn't explain what it stands for, even though it appears a lot in the book. Please help me!

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~のに対して basically means whereas which connects two "sentences". Here are some examples:

  • 田中先生は優しいのに対して、木村先生は厳しい。
  • 田中先生は高齢であるのに対して、木村先生は若い。
  • 田中先生は英語ができるのに対して、木村先生はできない。

So the phrases before のに look like legitimate 文, don't they?

「田中先生は生徒だのに対して厳しい」 makes little sense because it doesn't connect two sentences. (Actually this sentence may make sense because だの happens to mean "things like ~", but let's forget about this for now)

This の in のに対して is actually a nominalizer, and the general grammatical rule for the nominalizers is applied. That means you cannot put everything that looks like a sentence. For example, 「田中先生は高齢だのに対して、木村先生は若い。」 is ungrammatical.


EDIT: As you can see in this N3 sample question, [文] does not always look like a legit 文 (短気な is the dictionary form of a na-adjective, but you have to say 父は短気だ in a real 文, of course). So you should understand this [文] as "a nominalize-able phrase which sometimes (but not always) looks like a sentence."

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  • Thanks naruto-san and @choco san! I think I understand what the book means by the formula: "Nに対して"&"[文]のに対して" now. It means their should be a noun or a nominalized phrase preceding に対して, thus there are such cases: >verb(普通形) + の + に対して >i adj (普通形) + の +に対して >na adj (stem) + な + の + に対して >Noun (stem) + に対して. By 普通形, I mean their dictionary form, negative form, and past form. By stem, I mean it isn't succeeded by anything. Am I correct? – Phước Phạm Feb 29 '16 at 9:05
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[sentence] のに対して has two meanings: One is "whereas" as naruto-san explained.

The other is "for". For example, 先生は生徒が喫煙するのに対して厳しい. This の means こと and it nominalizes a sentence 生徒が喫煙する. 先生は生徒が喫煙するのに対して厳しい means the same as 先生は生徒の喫煙に対して厳しい.

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Thanks @naruto san and @choco san! I think I understand what the book means by the formula: "Nに対して"&"[文]のに対して" now. It means their should be a noun or a nominalized phrase preceding に対して, thus there are such cases:

verb(普通形) + の + に対して
i adj (普通形) + の +に対して
na adj (stem) + な + の + に対して
Noun (stem) + に対して

By 普通形, I mean their dictionary form, negative form, and past form. By stem, I mean it isn't succeeded by anything.
Am I correct?

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