The expression 〜に越したことはない (
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 〜に越したことない.
Let's have a look at how the structure 〜に越したことはない is formed and how it is used in the Japanese language through phrases and examples of common usage.
How 〜に越したことはない is formed
This structure consists of:
- the particle に
- 越した is the past tense of the verb 越す which means
- the noun こと meaning
- the particle は
- ない is the negative plain form of ある
⇨ There is nothing that can get over ⇨ it is the best
This structure is used with Verbs, Adjectives and Nouns.
- Example with a Verb:
There is nothing better than taking care of yourself.
- Using an Adjective in い: 高い
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 + 越したことはない
- Adjective in な (without な) + 越したこととはない
In the second form:
- Noun + である + 越したことはない
- Adjective in な (without な) +である + 越したことはない
It's better to have a high-performance computer.
〜に越したことはない 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 ...
- ～たほうが安全だ it is safer to do ...
The common sense 常識 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.
It's always better to be prepared.
〜に越したことはない 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 常識, 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 〜に越したことはない
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Examples of 〜に越したことはない
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.