Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 6: 2/20

on the contrary

Phrase (A) + 逆に + Phrase (B)
Register Standard
使用域 一般
逆(ぎゃく)に is a grammar pattern that indicates that something is ‘contrary’ to what has previously been said. This is a structure made up of the noun 逆(ぎゃく) ‘reverse’, ‘opposite’, or ‘converse’, and に. Due to the inclusion of に, this phrase behaves adverbially, and will usually appear between two phrases, to indicate that ‘on the contrary to (A), (B)’, or ‘conversely to (A), (B)’.
  • 手袋(てぶくろ)をはめた方(ほう)が安全(あんぜん)だと思(おも)うかもしれないが、手袋(てぶくろ)が回転部(かいてんぶ)に巻(ま)き込(こ)まれると逆(ぎゃく)に危険(きけん)なので、手袋(てぶくろ)を外(はず)してから作業(さぎょう)をしてください。
    You may think it is safer to wear gloves, but on the contrary, it is dangerous because they could get caught in the rotating parts. So, please remove your gloves before working.
  • 近道(ちかみち)だと思(おも)っていたのに、地図(ちず)アプリで調(しら)べてみたら逆(ぎゃく)に回(まわ)り道(みち)だった事(こと)がわかった。
    I thought that it was a shortcut, but on the contrary, I found out that it was actually a detour when I checked on a map app.
  • 食(た)べやすいようにスパゲティを半分(はんぶん)にして茹(ゆ)でたけど、逆(ぎゃく)に食(た)べにくくなった。
    I broke the spaghetti in half to make it easier to eat, but on the contrary, it made it harder to eat.
In modern Japanese, 逆(ぎゃく)に is also frequently used at the beginning of a sentence, simply to indicate a rebuttal toward something that someone has just said, or as a slang version of 別(べつ)に when asked questions about preferences, or similar things.
  • 逆(ぎゃく)に、何歳(なんさい)に見(み)えますか?
    On the contrary, how old do I look?
  • 逆(ぎゃく)に、ラーメンは?
    I don’t care too much what we eat, how about ramen?
Slow Male
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I heard that that story is true but on the contrary, it is hard to believe.
I thought that I would be late and hurried, but on the contrary, I made it with plenty of time.
The disease was on the verge of being healed, but I didn't take my medicine and on the contrary it got worse.

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