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Master how to use “on the contrary”! Explanations from paraphrasing to business and honorific expressions

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Explaining reverse paraphrases and business/honorific expressions

Have you ever heard "On the contrary" often used in Japan?

"On the contrary" is often used not only in business situations but also in everyday conversation, but many people may have trouble knowing how to use it.

So this time, I will explain the Japanese expression ``on the contrary''.

This expression, which adds surprise, emphasis, and reversal nuances in dialogue and writing, is essential for deepening your understanding of Japanese. Now, how exactly do you use it?

Let's take a look together!

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Basic usage and paraphrasing of “on the contrary”

Basic usage

"On the contrary" is generally used to mean "on the contrary."

For example, the sentence ``I thought it would be cold today, but it's actually warm'' expresses a situation that is different from what you expected or predicted.

The expression "on the contrary" also serves as a way for the speaker to give the listener an opportunity to think about something from a different angle or perspective.

For example, the sentence ``On the other hand, this problem may be an opportunity'' is used to reframe a negative situation in a positive light.


Words with similar meanings include "on the contrary," "on the contrary," and "on the contrary," which can be translated into "on the contrary." Also, ``on the contrary'' is characterized by being often used in more everyday situations.

Let's look at the example sentences below.

Each expression is used to describe a situation or feeling that differs from expectations or common opinion.

Example sentence:``This restaurant has a reputation for being expensive, but...vice versaI think it has good cost performance. ”
Paraphrase:``This restaurant has a reputation for being expensive, but...ConverselyI think it has good cost performance. ”
▶︎ Contrary to the common perception (high restaurant prices), this shows that there is actually value for money (cost performance).

Example sentence:``Everyone says the movie is boring, but...vice versaI was very impressed. ”
Paraphrase:``Everyone says the movie is boring, but...on the contraryI was very impressed. ”
▶︎ Emphasizes personal impressions (I was impressed) as opposed to the general view (boring).

Example sentence: “At first I thought this job would be difficult, butvice versaI learned a lot. ”
Paraphrase:``At first I thought this job would be difficult, butOn the contraryI learned a lot. ”
▶︎ This shows that, contrary to the initial negative prediction (difficulty of the job), there was actually a positive outcome (more learning).

◆If you want to learn more about business Japanese, check out the articles below!

“On the contrary” in business situations

How to use "on the contrary" in business

In business, when we use the word "on the contrary," we use it to emphasize an unexpected benefit or point that is different from the opinion or point of view that first comes to mind. This expression is especially useful for presenting new perspectives during discussions and proposals.

The following example sentences will show you how to use ``on the contrary'' in a business situation.

Example sentence:“People tend to think that method is time-consuming, butvice versaThis will lead to cost savings in the long run. ” ▶︎ Contrary to the initial impression that it is time-consuming, it shows that it can save money in the long run.

Example sentence:"This product may seem expensive, butvice versaIt's actually a good deal when you consider long-term quality and cost efficiency. ”
▶︎ Contrary to the initial belief that the product is expensive, it shows that it offers good value for money in the long run.

Example sentence:“This project seems risky, butvice versaIt could be a stepping stone to a new market. ”
▶︎ Contrary to earlier views that the risks associated with the project were high, he said it could open up opportunities into new markets.

Example sentence:“While many competitors are moving in the same direction,vice versaOur unique approach may be the key to success. ”
▶︎ Unlike the general approach taken by other companies, we are proposing the possibility that our unique method may lead to success.

"Conversely" in business documentsPoints to note

When using "contra" in business documents, it is effective when you want to make a point that is unexpected at first glance, or when you want to make a special emphasis. However, avoid using it too often, as it can give the impression that you are putting too much emphasis on the content of your document.

Example sentence:“This strategy may seem inefficient at first glance.vice versaIf you think about it, it's a good opportunity to target areas that don't yet have much attention in the market. ”
▶︎ The initial perceived inefficiency actually indicates a good opportunity to seize a gap in the market.

Honorific expressions using “on the contrary”

You need to be a little careful when using the expression "on the contrary" in honorific language.

This expression is used to politely convey that your actions or circumstances may have had an unexpected impact, or to express gratitude or appreciation for someone else's actions. The important thing is to be respectful and include polite nuances.

Example sentence:``Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit.vice versaThis may have caused you some trouble. ”
▶︎ Expresses concern that your visit may be a nuisance to the other person.

Example sentence:“We apologize for the inconvenience caused the other day,vice versaThank you for your valuable feedback. ”
▶︎ We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and at the same time express our gratitude for the valuable opinions we received.

Example sentence:``The plan you proposed is different from the original plan, butvice versaThat might be more effective. Thank you for your consideration. ”
▶︎ Carefully communicate that the proposed plan is different from what was originally planned, but that it may actually bring about better results.

Example sentence:“We apologize for the inconvenience this incident has caused, butvice versaThank you very much for your understanding and support. ”
▶︎ This expresses gratitude for the understanding and support received from the other person despite the inconvenience caused.

Example sentence:``The comments you made this time were harsh, butvice versaWe feel that this will be extremely beneficial for our growth. ”
▶︎ I respectfully convey that the harsh points I received were actually helpful to myself and the team's growth.

Application examples and various expressions of “on the contrary”

The expression "on the contrary" is useful in a variety of situations, not only in everyday conversation and business as explained above, but also in news and entertainment. This expression is particularly useful for expressing a personal point of view that differs from popular opinion or expectations.

There are also forms such as ``to put it the other way around'' and ``to put it the other way around'', which are used to convey the main point or core of a story in a concise manner.

“Conversely” in a variety of situations

in the entertainment scene

Example sentence:``This artist's new song has received mixed reviews, butvice versaThat's what makes him unique."
▶︎ This shows that the difference in evaluation of an artist's new song is actually an element that emphasizes its uniqueness.

Example sentence:``This TV show is made on a low budget, but...vice versaThe constraints seem to stimulate creativity. ”
▶︎ This shows that the seemingly negative aspect of a low budget is actually a contributing factor to the show's creativity.

in news analysis

Example sentence:``Many people think that the economy is in a slump,vice versaThis could be an opportunity to explore new markets. ”
▶︎ It shows the perspective that economic downturn can become an opportunity for new markets.

Example sentence:``Recent political movements have become increasingly unstable,vice versaThis could be an opportunity to foster reform. ”
▶︎ This suggests that political instability may provide an opportunity to push for reform.

Wide use of “on the contrary”

"On the contrary"

Example sentence:“People tend to think that this product is complicated to operate, butConversely,, multi-functional and can meet many needs. ”
▶︎ The seemingly negative aspect of the product being complicated to operate has been translated into a positive aspect of its multifunctionality.

Example sentence:"Our team is small, butConversely,, can move quickly and flexibly. ”
▶︎ The small size of the team offers the advantage of being able to respond quickly and flexibly.


Example sentence:``My current job pays low, butConversely, it's easy to balance work and private life. ”
▶︎ The negative side of low salary is replaced by the positive side of good work-life balance.

Example sentence:“People tend to think of this area as quiet and empty, butConversely, a place rich in nature and relaxing. ”
▶︎ We are reviewing the quietness and lack of activity in the area from the perspective of creating a relaxing environment rich in nature.

Tips for learning Japanese

Finally, for those of you who are working hard on learning Japanese, I would like to share some tips for learning Japanese.
There are many ways to learn Japanese efficiently, but this time we will specifically introduce methods that use audiobooks, books, dramas, and movies.

Learning method using audiobooks

  • How to chooseBeginners should choose audiobooks for learning Japanese. For intermediate and above learners, choose an audiobook with a story that interests you and have fun while learning.
  • overheardYou can train your listening skills by playing audiobooks in the background and listening to them repeatedly in your daily life.
  • listen repeatedlyListen to the parts you don't understand over and over again. This will help your ears get used to the Japanese rhythm and intonation.
  • sentence shadowingLearn pronunciation and rhythm by listening and reading out loud at the same time.
  • Recommended audiobooks:You can learn Japanese ``anytime, anywhere'' and ``efficiently'' while traveling or working.

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Learning method using books

  • How to chooseBeginners should choose picture books for children or Japanese teaching materials for beginners, and intermediate and above students should choose easy-to-read books such as light novels and essays. Manga is also recommended.
  • underlineUnderline words and phrases you don't know and look up their meanings later to understand the content of the book.
  • summaryWe also recommend summarizing what you read in your own words to deepen your understanding.
  • rereadingIf you read a book once, you can often make new discoveries and deepen your understanding by reading it again after some time has passed.
  • Recommended sites:

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Learning method using dramas and movies

  • Learning daily conversationDramas and movies are suitable for learning natural Japanese expressions and culture because they often contain scenes of everyday conversation.
  • Utilization of Japanese subtitlesWatch with Japanese subtitles on for the first time, take notes of words and expressions you don't understand, and look them up later.
  • reenactment of the sceneIt is also effective to choose your favorite scene or line and imitate it out loud. This will improve not only your listening but also your speaking skills.
  • Cultural understanding:You can learn about Japanese culture, customs, and values ​​through dramas and movies. Understanding the background of the story and the emotions of the characters will enable deeper learning.
  • Recommended drama/movie distribution services:

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In this article, we have introduced a wide range of ways to use the expression ``on the contrary'', from its basic usage in business situations and honorific language, to its various usage examples in everyday conversation. This expression symbolizes the richness of Japanese communication and is useful for expressing surprise and emphasis in various contexts.

If you can use ``Gyakugai'' well, your understanding of Japanese will deepen. It is important to actively use ``on the contrary'' in actual conversations and documents and experience its charm. Please try using ``Gyakukon'' to expand your range of Japanese expressions.

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