I was having some doubts about the usage of のに with verb of motion. The book I'm using, "a dictionary of basic japanese grammar", says that in case of verb of motion the のに form contrasts with the form verb in 連用形 plus a verb of motion. Thus, the book states that both these two sentences are fine, but the second one implies that the speaker made a lot out of the entire process or that it was not worth it.

1)映画を見に銀座へ行った。 2)映画を見るのに銀座へ行った。

However, to me the second sentence does not make much sense and it seems rather unnatural. I would have made it: 映画を見るには銀座へ行った。

1 Answer 1





Sentence 1) is the most neutral and thus most versatile; It is stress-free all by itself. It requires no particular context or situation to be used in. "Someone went to Ginza to see a movie."

Sentence 2) lacks that neutrality almost completely. It requires a particular context/situation for it to sound completely natural. More specifically, one would need to make an "extra effort" to get to Ginza such as having to take three trains and a bus (and in heavy rain on top of that) just to see the movie. For that reason, one would tend to expect qualifying words added into the sentence as in:

「映画を見るのにわざわざ銀座まで行った。」 "took the trouble to go all the way to Ginza"

「映画を見るのに3時間もかけて銀座まで行った。」 "by taking three long hours"

Sentence 3) is not grammatical so it does not make much sense. To use 「Verb + には」 corrrectly, it must be followed by a phrase describing some kind of necessity or prerequisite for performing the action.  The plain verb phrase 「銀座へ行った」 is not one of those phrases, but by altering it to 「銀座へ行かなければならなかった」, it quickly becomes a natural-sounding sentence.


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