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!

1 Answer 1


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]?"

  • 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! Commented May 18, 2017 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. Commented May 18, 2017 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
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 20:30

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