I'm confused by the use of かける in the sentence :


I thought かける was used to express an activity on going, which gets interrupted by something else. eg 話してかけて、雨がふりました。(it started raining whilst I was talking).

But here it seems like that second clause is saying: an conversation with a foreign friend came up with, which had already been ongoing. To me that doesn't make sense, because how can the conversation have already been in progress if it just 'came up' (ie because of the きた conjugation). Is that really the intended meaning here?


かける has a lot of meanings, and masu-stem + かける (not te-form + かける!) has two meanings, which are explained in the 23rd and 24th (!) definitions in the link.

  1. to be partway doing ...; to begin (but not complete) ...; to be about to ... Usually written using kana alone, See also 話し掛ける, after -masu stem of verb
  2. indicates (verb) is being directed to (someone) Usually written using kana alone, See also 話し掛ける, after -masu stem of verb

You seem to know the former definition, but the latter is equally important. Luckily, かける in the latter sense is used only with a limited number of verbs, including:

  • 話しかける to start to talk (to someone), to address
  • 笑いかける: to smile (at someone)
  • 呼びかける: to address, to appeal (to someone)
  • 押しかける: to crowd into
  • 問いかける: to ask (someone)

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