You know the verb かける? It has so many meanings my mind can't comprehend them all. Sometimes I feel unsure, so i'll look it up in the dictonary, however when doing so I can't help but feel overhelmed by all the different meanings. By the same word. Used for food when sparkling over salt or even recording music. I feel like it could be anything. I got particularly interested in this text where かける is being used quite a bit to explain word 乾坤一擲.

「乾」は「天」、「坤」は「地」、「乾坤」で「天地」の意味。 天地をかけて一回さいころを投げるという意味から、自分の運命をかけて、のるかそるかの勝負に出ることをいう。 韓愈の詩「鴻溝を過ぐ」の「竜疲れ虎困じて川原に割ち、億万の蒼生、性命を存す。 誰か君王に馬首を回らすを勧めて、真に一擲を成して乾坤を賭せん」から。(source)

  • Do you want to know what かける means in this dictionary entry then? – sazarando Jul 1 '16 at 2:53
  • Yes. Sorry if I was unclear, that is my question. 天地をかけて一回さいころを投げる. This part. And as well, 自分の運命をかけて. – ヨハンソン Jul 1 '16 at 3:20
  • Do you mean "playing music?" (音楽をかける, CDをかける…) – naruto Jul 1 '16 at 10:10
  • 天地をかけて一回さいころを投げる
  • 自分の運命をかけて

Both of these are using かける in the same way. I would say they both fit with the meaning of 賭ける or possibly 懸ける.

賭ける and 懸ける both involve risking the loss of something. In the case of this definition, risking the loss of 天地 (everything) and risking the loss of 運命 (one's fortunes).

There are basically 3 kinds of かける:

  1. To be lacking something「欠ける」

    お金が欠けている - (We are) lacking money

  2. To run quickly「駆ける・翔ける」

    駆け込み禁止 - Don't rush (into the train)

  3. To lay something across/over something else (and by extension , to risk loosing something)「掛ける・架ける(抽象的な意味では、賭ける・懸ける)」

    • 壁に掛ける - Hang (something) on the wall
    • 橋を架ける - Make a bridge
    • 命を賭ける - Bet (your) life
    • 命を懸ける - Risk (your) life
| improve this answer | |
  • It is highly misleading to state "There are basically 3 kinds of かける" because, for one thing 「欠ける」 is not even pronounced the same way as 「駆ける」 or 「掛ける」. – l'électeur Jul 1 '16 at 8:41
  • Is the origin of 欠ける different from the others spelled かける? – sazarando Jul 1 '16 at 8:50
  • It looks like in 文語 there are two conjugation patterns for 「かく」, {か/き/く/く/け/け}and {け/け/く/くる/くれ/けよ}kobun.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%8B%E3%81%8F - But this difference only appears to affect whether the verb is transitive or not... – sazarando Jul 1 '16 at 8:54
  • @l'électeur I'm curious as to what you mean by saying that they are pronounced differently. Do you mean the pitch-accent? – sazarando Jul 1 '16 at 9:09
  • 1
    "over the weekend" 週末にかけて also exists. what is the meaning here, is it "run quickly"? @sazarando – ヨハンソン Aug 26 '19 at 9:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.