Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 6: 5/24

All the more, on the contrary

Phrase (A) + かえって + Phrase (B)
Register Formal
使用域 硬い
In order to revoke, or take a step back from a statement that has already been made, 却(かえ)って will often be used. 却(かえ)って can translate as ‘rather’, or ‘all the more’. If a sentence consists of ‘(A) 却(かえ)って, (B)’, what it means is ‘putting aside (A), (B)’. 却(かえ)って is a 副詞(ふくし) (adverb).
  • 手伝(てつだ)ってくれてるはありがたいけど却(かえ)って邪魔(じゃま)になってるからあっちに行(い)ってくれる?ごめんね。
    I am grateful that you are helping me, but you are in the way rather than being helpful, so can you stay over there please? I'm sorry.
  • お母(かあ)さん元気(げんき)させるつもりだったけど却(かえ)って怒(おこ)らせてしまった。
    I was supposed to make my mom happy, but putting that aside, I actually made her angry
却(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 却(かえ)って is 却(しりぞ)く, which means ‘to retreat’. This further highlights 却(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!」って言(い)われる却(かえ)ってやりくなくなる。
    When someone tells me to do my homework, it makes me not want to do it even more.
  • 遅(おそ)く走(はし)った方(ほう)が安全(あんぜん)だと思(おも)うかもしれないけど却(かえ)って危(あぶ)ないから、高速(こうそく)道路(どうろ)はスピード落(お)とさないで
    You might think that it is safer to drive slower on a highway, but stepping back from it, it is actually dangerous.
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
I intended to make her laugh, but on the contrary I unfortuantely made her cry.
I realize that you are trying to help, on the contrary you are getting in the way.
What was supposed to be a shortcut, on the contrary turned out to be the long way around.
Reddit Learn Japanese
Page 358
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 250