〜に越したことはない (ni koshita koto wa nai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - It Is Better

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article '〜に越したことはない (ni koshita koto wa nai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - It Is Better'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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〜に越したことはない (ni koshita koto wa nai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - It Is Better

The expression 〜に()したことはない (ni koshita koto wa nai) commonly means it is better, there is nothing better than, it is the best to, it is safiest to.

The particle は wa is often omitted colloquially and the form becomes 〜に()したことない.

Let's have a look at how the structure 〜に()したことはない is formed and how it is used in the Japanese language through phrases and examples of common usage.

How 〜に()したことはない is formed

This structure consists of:

  • the particle に
  • ()した is the past tense of the verb ()す which means get over, surpass
  • the noun こと meaning thing, matter, event
  • the particle は wa
  • ない is the negative plain form of ある be, exist

⇨ There is nothing that can get over ⇨ it is the best

This structure is used with Verbs, Adjectives and Nouns.

  • Example with a Verb:
Dictionary form+〜に越したことはない


There is nothing better than taking care of yourself.


High wages are better.


It's better to get along with your roommate.

  • With Nouns and Adjectives in な we have 2 forms.

In the first form we find:

  • Noun + ()したことはない
  • Adjective in な (without な) + ()したこととはない

In the second form:

  • Noun + である + ()したことはない
  • Adjective in な (without な) +である + ()したことはない
It's better to have a high-performance computer.
(こう)(せい)(のう)な is the Adjective referring to high performance


It's better to have a high-performance computer.

〜に()したことはない to express the best thing to do

The structure 〜に越したことはない is commonly used with the meaning of

  • ~たほうがいい: it is better to do ...
  • ~たほうが(あん)(ぜん)だ it is safer to do ...

The common sense (じょう)(しき) joshiki suggests to perform that particular action among the various choices and options and suggests us that action is the best to do in that circumstance.

We can explain the form using different expressions such as: 出来れば ... 方がいい: if possible, it is better ... and 一般的に ... 方がいいと思われている: it is generally considered better to ...

It's better not strain yourself too much.
()()する verb meaning: work too hard, try too hard, strain oneself


It's better not strain yourself too much.


It's always better to be prepared.

In the previous sentence we find a use of the て form combined with the verb おく: ておく expressing an action performed in advance in order to benefit from it later.

〜に()したことはない to express the ideal thing to do

A common use of this structure concerns the thing that is considered ideal, appropriate and useful in some circumstances.

It is also used when recommending or suggesting something to other people, always according to the common sense (じょう)(しき), evaluating the circumstances.


It's best to arrive a little bit earlier than the scheduled time.


It's okay if you don't have any experience, but it's always better to have one.

Words and expressions used with 〜に()したことはない

We often find certain adverbs or expressions joined to the structure 〜に越したことはない, such as:

  • できれば if possible
  • なら if, in case
  • ()(のう)なら if possible
  • もちろん certainly
  • せっかくなら the meaning of this expression is if you have to do that thing, then it's better ...


If you're going to get married, it's better for your partner to be rich.


Anywhere you can get into a hot spring is fine, but if you're going to go there, there's nothing better than a place with a beautiful scenery.


You don't need to have knowledge to do this, but it is better to have it if possible.

Particle の joined to に()したことはない

It is possible to find in all forms the particle の before the structure に越したことはない. With Verbs:

  • 行くのに()したことはない
  • 行かないのに()したことはない With Nouns:
  • 男なのに()したことはない
  • 男であるのに()したことはない With Adkectives in い:
  • 多いのに()したことはない With Adjectives in な:
  • 好きなのに()したことはない
  • 好きであるのに()したことはない

Examples of 〜に()したことはない


It seems like there is a strong possibility that a typhoon is coming. Well, it's better not to go out.


Exercise is good for health, but it is difficult to make it a habit.

⇨ There is nothing better for health than physical activity, but making a habit of it is difficult.


Schools should be close by.


When you are tired, there is nothing better than a good rest.