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I read an example sentence with the word 検索

索引があるので検索するのに便利だ

I know のに can show disappointment. Here, however, I think it's being used in a positive sense?

Because index(es) exist(s), searching up (things) is convenient/easy.

But how is this のに used here?

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    No, のに here is different from what you are thinking. It is simply a nominalizer particle の + particle に.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Feb 5, 2022 at 7:47
  • @JimmyYang Actually the other のに is also "nominalizer particle の + particle に".
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 5, 2022 at 7:51
  • @EddieKal I don't get it?
    – Jimmy Yang
    Feb 5, 2022 at 7:54
  • @JimmyYang See my answer.
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 5, 2022 at 7:54
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    @JimmyYang What I'm saying is both are "nominalizer particle の + particle に", so it's not like that one isn't and this one is, which is what your first comment seems to suggest.
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 5, 2022 at 7:56

1 Answer 1

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This is not the particle のに meaning "even though", "despite", which is composed of 準体助詞「の」+接続助詞「に」(デジタル大辞泉(小学館))

This is 準体助詞「の」+格助詞「に」. (ibid.) The difference is significant, because with a 格助詞 (case particle) what this のに does is first turn the preceding phrase into a noun and semantically connect it with what follows. に being a 格助詞 signifies the semantic relation between the verb phrase(or adjective phrase)-turned-noun and the following phrase.

This happens to parallel how certain prepositions work in English.

*The tool is convenient for do searches (ungrammatical)

So turn the part after the preposition "for" into a gerund and we get

The tool is convenient for doing searches

voila!

[検索するの]に便利だ

This means: "convenient for doing searches"

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  • Thanks for the detailed explanation. Never knew things like 接続助詞 and 格助詞 existed!
    – firuvi
    Feb 5, 2022 at 8:29
  • Is it possible to say 検索に便利だ - convenient for searches - instead? Feb 6, 2022 at 12:19
  • @YaroslavFyodorov Syntactically it seems fine, but I don't think it's used very commonly. I can't pinpoint why. But some other similar constructs are very common: 通勤に便利だ
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 6, 2022 at 17:00

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