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This question is in my JLPT practise book:

オリンピックの日本{にほん}代表{だいひょう}選手{せんしゅ}は、みんなの期待{きたい}____金{きん}メダルをとった。

A にこたえて  B に応{おう}じて  C に沿って  D によると

I chose B, because it seems to me that it's saying "in accordance with everyone's expectations." Or, put another way, "as everyone expected."

However, according to the book, the answer is A. But that seems weird to me, because I think of にこたえて as "in response to." Maybe it's just me, but I don't think of expectations as being something that gets answered. Instead, expectations get met.

Where am I going wrong here?

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"In accordance with their expectations" vs. "In response to their expectation". Maybe because みんなの期待 does not have enough information to have something be in accordance with it. It just means "everyone's expectation" but does not show what specifically is being expected. I don't think it is possible to be in accord with something not specific. –  Flaw Nov 28 '11 at 6:11
    
Also the 'in accordance' part of に応じて is more like a 'depending on’ as in 'i'll pay you (in accordance with/depending on) the quality' It's a bit more like によって to me. –  jlptn1 Nov 28 '11 at 6:18
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

に応じて has a totally different meaning than what you're thinking of, and can be thought of as a separate grammar point or expression. If I had to translate it, I'd say it sort of means "correspond to" or "dependent upon."

Source (Weblio) --> に応じて ある物事を指し、それと連動して状況が変化するさまなどを指す表現。それ次第で。 「車の速さに応じてガソリンの消費量が変わる」>> Fuel use will change dependent upon the cars speed.

こたえる actually uses the same Kanji 「応」, and means to live up to expectations or requests.

Source (Yahoo) --> 応える (1)働きかけに対して、それに添うような反応を示す。応じる。報いる。 「期待に―・える」 「要求に―・える」

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Wait... こたえて isn't 答えて? –  Dave M G Nov 28 '11 at 6:17
    
This にこたえて should be に応えて. –  jlptn1 Nov 28 '11 at 6:23
    
Not in this case, no. That particular 答える has a very narrow, literal meaning. It means to respond to words or questions. 応える is a big, broad word. It means to respond to expectations or stimuli, greet someone, give someone notice, resonate (figuratively and literally)... Lots of stuff. –  Scooter GG Nov 28 '11 at 6:26
    
Huh. That changes everything. The book only gives hiragana for こたえて, so I assumed it was a variant of 答える. –  Dave M G Nov 28 '11 at 6:29
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