I'm hoping you can help out with this sentence 僕がかわりに殴ってやろう, which I am not sure if I translate properly because of the が particle and also the imperative (is that right?) of the verb やる.

If the sentence had been written like this 僕かわりに殴ってやろう I think it would have translated like: "Hit (them) in my place". Breaking it down in the literal sense, it should be
"Do the action of hitting for me". Is that it? I have encountered the かわりに construction more with the の particle and because this time it is with the subject marker が, should the sentence be translated as: "Hit me instead" ? Also, by having that imperative form, for example, if I would say to someone "Hit me!" I feel that in Japanese it would sound like "僕を殴ってやれ!" (would やろう work as well?)
As a command/order towards someone, in a context when you want to sound harsh, just having the verb in て form would count as an imperative? I think I heard it in anime sometimes.
I hope I explained right and that you can help me out with a proper translation.
Thank you!


やろう is the volitional ("let's..." or "shall we/I?")form of やる. So it's not an imperative, but the speaker is proposing an action.

Additionally, -てやる is a less polite form of -てあげる (do an action to the benefit of someone inferior). See meaning of ~てやる

And emphasizes .

So, to summarize, the correct translation would be: "Shall I beat [him] instead [of you]?"

| improve this answer | |
  • Indeed you are right, it was the volitional form, which slipped my mind. Given the way you had translated, which sounds like a proposal, it sound good because it also has a question mark, but the character in the manga I'm reading, just states this very determined, which I feel it could be like "I will do it [beat him] for you instead". Since everything is written, sometimes I imagine how the characters would talk and the intonation they would use, so if it was written like やろう I would have went with "Shall I"? as well. Thank you so much once again, it really helped! – Alice B. Rabbit May 18 '17 at 8:48
  • yes, sometimes the volitional is used as a declaration of future action, not a mere "suggestion/proposal", though I don't have concrete examples at hand. See also でしょう used in weather forecasts. – Igor Skochinsky May 18 '17 at 8:51
  • I would agree with Alice's translation ("I will do it [beat him] for you instead". ) Because it is clearly the volitional form of やろう, "shall" is not necessary. In other words, it can't be both volitional and suggestive. – TFlo83 May 18 '17 at 20:30

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.