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What word to use to mean "respond" in the sentence below:

"You should respond to her confession" ー彼女の告白にお返事してください

Most accurate I can think of is 返事 but it still feels wrong

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You can use 返事 and 返答. 答える is another possibility but it sometimes has a nuance of accepting, which you may not want. You can say 彼女の告白に返事をするべきです for example. Note that ~してください means "please do ~", which is different from "should ~".

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"Respond" is a little vague here. You can respond to a confession of murder by calling the cops. If the situation is that a woman has confessed her love, and the receiver of said confession is being exhorted to give a spoken answer, then in reality, of course, Japanese people would probably say something like 彼女が告白したんだからなんか言えよ。

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