I understand that they both present two opposite sides of a situation or of something. However, even if in some cases they can be interchangeable, there are other where they cannot. Can somebody provide me some example to underatand the difference?


反面 is literally "the other side (of a coin, etc)", so it's used to describe the two different sides of the same subject. 一方 is just like "on the other hand"; it is widely used to compare or contrast two different things which may or may not belong to the same subject.

  • 彼は普段は優しい一方(で)、怒ると非常に怖い。: OK
  • 彼は普段は優しい反面(で)、怒ると非常に怖い。: OK
  • 東京は晴れている。その一方(で)、大阪では大雨が降っている。: OK
  • 東京は晴れている。その反面(で)、大阪では大雨が降っている。: Wrong

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