I know that both of them means "on the contrary".
But I have seen that それどころか can also mean "as if it's not enough already", " In fact/ actually, and "not to speak of ".
Does 逆に have all these other meanings too?

2 Answers 2


逆 literally means "contrary" or "reverse", so it never means "in addition". But 逆に has a broader sense than "on the contrary", and it may be translated as "rather", "in reverse", "adversely", or "in reverse order" depending on the situation.

Translating 逆に as "actually" is fine when it implies "contrary to what you may expect" or "contrary to what has been asked". For example, when someone asked "Are you busy recently?", a possible reply would be:

  • 逆に暇で困っています。
    Actually, I have too much spare time.
  • はい、本当に忙しいです。
    Yes, actually I am very busy. (逆/それどころか cannot be used)

Xどころか is used to strongly negate what has been said and tell something more "extreme". The following "extreme" statement can be either something quite contrary to X or simply more extreme than just X. For example, if someone said "Hmm, this car looks expensive." at an auto show, a possible reply would be:

  • 高いどころか、たった80万円ですよ。
  • 高いどころか、1億円ですよ。
  • 80万円なので、逆に安いですよ。

TL;DR: When something is a severe understatement, you can use それどころか but not 逆に.


No, 逆に doesn't mean "as if it's not enough already" or "not to speak of." Quite a few young people these days, however, use 逆に as "unpredictably" in conversation though. So yes when it comes to youth slang, 逆に could mean "in fact" or "actually" in conversation.

  • Every site I visit say something different about 逆に and "on the contrary", it's driving me nuts. You said that 逆に could mean "in fact" or "actually", but many dictionaries says that both "in fact" and "actually" can be used to "introduce more detailed information or to make things clearer or more precise". Does that mean that 逆に can be used like that too?
    – aksk971
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 18:22
  • @aksk971, these days 逆に is one of the most misconstrued and overused words in Japanese. Relatively young and uneducated people tend to use 逆に just to emphasize everything they talk about. They do even when they really should use "in fact" or "actually." I don't think that any dictionary mentions that slang and informal usage.
    – user28024
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 0:48

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