Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 4: 11/18


On the way to, As you go

Kanji is rarely used


Verb[ます+ がけに


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About がけに

Although not used much in modern Japanese, the suffix ()け 'support', or 'hanger' followed by に may occasionally appear after the ます-stem of verbs. When seen used this way, ()けに simply means 'on the way', 'as you go', or 'while doing (A)'. (B) may just be considered as something done while doing (A), or as being done specifically because (A) is a good opportunity to do it.
This structure may be used either with or without kanji, so it will be important to remember both.
  • (かえ)がけに駅前(えきまえ)のたこ()()でたこ()きを()った。
    On my way home, I bought some takoyaki from the takoyaki store in front of the station.
  • 今日(きょう)学校(がっこう)への()がけにコンビニで弁当(べんとう)()う。
    Today, on my way to school, I will buy lunch at the convenience store.
  • (とう)さん、(とお)がけにサービスエリアにでも()って()こ!
    Dad, let's stop by the service area on the way!
Fun-fact - ()ける is one of the more difficult verbs in Japanese, as it does not have an exact counterpart in English. However, in most cases it just means to lay, extend, or place something across either a physical or metaphorical surface or span. In this way, it may help to remember (A) as the span from which (B) will occur.



  • 友達(ともだち)との(はなし)、A:「彼女(かのじょ)病気(びょうき)になった。」

    Chat between friends, A: 'My girlfriend got sick.'
    B: 'If so, then you should visit her on your way home. She will be happy.'

    • 先生(せんせい)生徒(せいと)(はな)している:「タカスさんこのプリントを(かえ)()けにアイサカさん()って()ってください。」

      A teacher is talking with a student: 'Takasu, please bring this handout to Aisaka on the way home.'

      • 病気(びょうき)友達(ともだち)見舞(みま)いに()(とき)友達(ともだち)との(はなし):「病院(びょういん)への()がけに花屋(はなや)()って花束(はなたば)()おう。」

        Visiting a sick friend, chat between friends: 'Let's drop by the florist on the way to the hospital, and buy a bouquet.'

        • (おんな)()噂話(うわさばなし):「さっきあいつ()がけに(みょう)なことを()ってたね。」

          Girls gossiping: 'Just now, on the way here, that dude was saying weird things.'

          • (おや)子供(こども)(はなし):「子供(こども)(ころ)学校(がっこう)への()がけにこの駄菓子屋(だがしや)によく()()ったものだ。」

            Chat between parent and child: 'During my childhood, I often stopped by this small-time candy store on my way to school.'

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            がけに – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

            • Hadros232232


              What is the difference between がけに and ついでに?

            • Pushindawood


              It might be easier to think of けに as an old-fashioned 途中とちゅうで as they are almost always interchangeable. Now, what differs between 途中で and ついでに is the order in which actions are performed. Let’s look at some examples to see how they are both interpreted:

              This sentence can either mean “I went to the convenience store and the bookstore” or “I went to the bookstore and the convenience store.” This is why ついでに is often interpreted as “while you’re at it” with no clear way to tell which action was performed first (it is irrelevant).

              This sentence can only mean “I stopped by the bookstore on the way to the convenience store.” The speaker is expressing that they went to the bookstore first and then went to the convenience store. This is why the kanji in けに (掛) can be interpreted as “in the midst of.”

              I hope this helps! Cheers.

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