Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 6: 5/24


All the more, On the contrary, Conversely


Phrase (A) + かえって + Phrase (B)


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About 却って

In order to revoke, or take a step back from a statement that has already been made, (かえ)って will often be used. (かえ)って can translate as 'rather', or 'all the more'. If a sentence consists of '(A) (かえ)って, (B)', what it means is 'putting aside (A), (B)'. (かえ)って is an adverb.
  • 手伝(てつだ)ってくれてるはありがたいけど(かえ)って邪魔(じゃま)になってるからあっち()てくれる?ごめんね。
    I am grateful that you are helping me, but putting that aside, since you are in the way, can you go over there please? I'm sorry.
  • (かあ)さん元気(げんき)させるつもりだったけど(かえ)って(おこ)らせてしまった。
    I was supposed to make my mom happy, but rather than that I actually made her angry.
(かえ)って itself translates most closely to 'instead'. However, this is not the 'instead' used for phrases like '(B) was chosen over (A)', but the 'instead' used for phrases like '(A) couldn't be achieved, so (B)'. This shows that (A) is usually the intention or aim of the speaker, but (B) was the result instead.
Fun Fact
Another reading of the kanji used in (かえ)って is (しりぞ)く, which means 'to retreat'. This further highlights (かえ)って's nuance of 'stepping away' from the (A) statement, to show the real result of (B).
  • 宿題(しゅくだい)やれ!」って()われる(かえ)ってやりくなくなる。
    When someone tells me to do my homework, taking a step back from that, it makes me not want to do it even more.
  • (おそ)(はし)(ほう)安全(あんぜん)(おも)かもしれないけど(かえ)って(あぶ)ないから高速(こうそく)道路(どうろ)はスピード()とさないで
    You might think that it is safer to drive slower on a highway, but taking a step back from that, it is actually dangerous.


  • (わら)わせるつもりだったけど、(かえ)って()かせてしまった。

    I intended to make her laugh, but on the contrary I unfortuantely made her cry.

  • 手伝(てつだ)いのつもりでしょうが、かえって迷惑(めいわく)です。

    I realize that you are trying to help, on the contrary you are getting in the way.

  • 近道(ちかみち)のつもりが、かえって遠回(とおまわ)りしてしまった。

    What was supposed to be a shortcut, on the contrary turned out to be the long way around.

  • 手術(しゅじゅつ)をしたら(かえ)って悪化(あっか)する場合(ばあい)もあります。

    On the contrary, if you have an operation your condition could worsen.

  • ()(わけ)するかえって(わる)印象(いんしょう)(あた)える。

    You'll make all the more of a bad impression if you make excuses.

    印象を与える means 'to give an impression'.

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却って – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • eefara


    Is there any way to know other than context when かえって means “all the more” rather than “on the contrary”?

  • mattbacon


    It’s when you would expect whatever the topic is to be less based on the first clause, and you negate that in the second clause. Example: “She told me not to, but I just wanted to do it all the more.”

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