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I would like to know when do you use the word 回答{かいとう} versus the word 応答{おうとう}. Based on my understanding they 回答 is reply while 応答 is response. Although to reply would also mean to response, in English though.

I usually misused 回答 when naming on describing the response on programming request and response specification. It should be 応答 instead. Can you use 応答 as a verb like 応答する? While when referring to email or telephone you use 回答.

Is there a general rule on using this two?

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Related: what's the difference between 返事 and 答え? –  Flaw Jul 28 '12 at 3:50

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up vote 9 down vote accepted
  • 回答 is a response to a question in the form of an answer and is done by a person.
  • 応答 is a response in the form of a signal or a short chat and may be done by an animate or inanimate thing.

They are both suru-nouns, and can be used as 回答する, 応答する.

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I always see 応答 at the bottom of my browser. –  Chris Harris Jul 26 '12 at 2:14

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