I know that "逆に" means "on the contrary", but in english "on the contrary" can be used either for contrast, or for saying "in addition" (or similar terms).
Can the japanese "逆に" be used to say "in addition" (or something similar) too?

I have seen a few people that said "逆に" can be used to say "moreover" or "in fact", but I would like a confirmation.

  • 4
    I don't think on the contrary can be used that way in English, either.
    – user1478
    Mar 2, 2018 at 17:43
  • 2
    It's possible OP is thinking of a situation like this: "Schools don't really teach you that much. In fact (逆に) they make you dumber."
    – Axe
    Mar 2, 2018 at 17:58
  • 1
    Sure, although that example is simply showing contrast, so it's not clear to me how it's supposed to differ from how it's normally used.
    – user1478
    Mar 2, 2018 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


Can “逆に” be used to say “in addition”?

  • No.

... in [E]nglish "on the contrary" can be used ... for saying "in addition" (or similar terms).

  • Not in any variety of English that I'm familiar with (grew up in the US, familiar with mass-media Canadian and British usage).

I have seen a few people that said "逆に" can be used to say "moreover" or "in fact"

  • 逆【ぎゃく】に literally means "in reverse, backwards", and also idiomatically includes the sense of "on the contrary". When starting a sentence with 逆【ぎゃく】に, the speaker is explicitly contrasting with, or refuting, the previous statement: they are not adding to the previous statement. In English, "contrary" means "opposing or opposite; unfavorable or disagreeable". If I say one thing, and then start another sentence with "on the contrary", I do not mean "in addition", and I am explicitly introducing a dissimilar statement, not continuing the previous one.


  • But a lot of sites says that it can also mean "In addition" or even "in fact, indeed". (even sites like Thesaurus.com, Word Hippo and the site of the UK Warwick university agree with it.) There's also this sentence from a book I'm reading: If that much money would be paid in a period of year, the orphanage management would also stabilize. On the contrary, he would be able to reconstruct it or add more buildings as much as he pleased. (context: The manager of a poor orphanage is about to receive a lot of money) This sentence clearly use "on the contrary" to say "in addition".
    – aksk971
    Mar 2, 2018 at 23:24
  • 1
    @aksk971 I'm afraid that's just you misunderstanding how to use a thesaurus, and that isn't an example of competently written English. Your source is full of bad English like "While it was an extremely rude thing to do, Homura didn't show signs to remove his serious attitude."
    – user1478
    Mar 2, 2018 at 23:34
  • @aksk971, ditto snailplane's comment. I suspect that that text is the result of someone writing in a language they did not grow up speaking. Another grotty example: "To roughly say about "Environmental Control Tower", it's close to your guess." I grew up with American English, and I struggle to understand this sentence: it simply isn't written in fluent English. Mar 3, 2018 at 1:09
  • The reason it isn't written in fluent english is because that text is a translation of the original japanese text. Still, if he translated it that way, it means that in the original japanese text "on the contrary" is used to say "moreover" in that context. Also, how can I misunderstand how to use thesaurus? there are simply written the 4 possible usages of "on the contrary", and "in addition" is one of them, followed by all it's synonyms (like moreover, also, besides etc..). It's not even the only site that say it.
    – aksk971
    Mar 3, 2018 at 15:56
  • 1
    @aksk971 You misunderstand what 逆に really means. The translation is clearly botched, first of all. Second, just because a Japanese word or phrase can be roughly translated in a certain way does not mean that the English translation is the true meaning. The translation is merely an English instantian of the Japanese word. The true meaning of the word is always best defined, written, and interpreted in Japanese. Translations are merely approximations. Mar 6, 2018 at 8:10

Quite a few young people these days use 逆に as "unpredictably" in conversation. So when it comes to youth slang, 逆に could mean "in fact" or "actually" to make you flabbergasted. Mentally mature people do not like the usage though.

  • Yes, it's somewhat similar to the use of "Literally". Drives some people nuts, myself included, but the people who use it habitually seem to have no problem understanding. Mar 6, 2018 at 7:48
  • @HalfwayDillitante, thanks for your comment! I couldn't agree with you more. Seems like "literally" is one of the most misconstrued and overused words on this planet. I conceive that "literally" and "逆に" have quite a lot in common just to emphasize everything they talk about.
    – user28024
    Mar 7, 2018 at 8:15

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