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Learn how to use "逆に (gyakuni)"! From Paraphrases to Business and Polite Expressions

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A smiling woman explains about "逆に".

Have you ever heard "逆に~" used often in Japan? 逆に (gyakuni)" is often used not only in business situations but also in everyday conversation, but many people may have trouble understanding how to use it.

In this article, we will discuss the Japanese expression 「逆に」. This expression, which adds nuances of surprise, emphasis, and reversal in dialogue and writing, is essential to a deeper understanding of the Japanese language. Now, how exactly is it used? Let's look at it together!

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Basic usage of "逆に (gyakuni)" and paraphrase / thesaurus

I'm on my computer, taking notes on what "逆に" means.

The expression 「逆に」 is more than simply inverting words; it is an effective means of adding an element of depth and the unexpected to a conversation. In this section, we will take a closer look at the use of 「逆に」 and other expressions similar to it. Understanding that a single choice of words can have a very different meaning and feel is very important to mastering the Japanese language.

"逆に (gyakuni)"Basic Usage

「逆に」 is generally used to mean "contrary to". For example, the sentence "I thought it would be cold today, but on the contrary, it is warm." indicates a situation that differs from what is expected or predicted.

The expression 「逆に」 also serves to provide an opportunity for the speaker to consider things from a different angle or perspective to the listener. For example, in the sentence "On the contrary, this problem may be an opportunity," it is used to reconsider a negative situation in a positive light.

The "逆に"putting in other wordsThesaurus

Analogues with similar meanings include "on the contrary," "on the contrary," and "kaeto," which can be paraphrased as "on the contrary. In addition, "on the contrary" is often used in more everyday situations.

Take a look at the following example sentences. Each expression is used to describe a situation or feeling that differs from expectations or general opinion.

Example sentence:This restaurant has a reputation for being expensive,converselyI think it's cost-effective."
Paraphrasing by analogy:"On the contrary."
This restaurant has a reputation for being expensive,converselyI think it's cost-effective."
▶︎ Contrary to the popular view (high restaurant prices), this actually indicates that the value for money (cost performance) is worth the price.

Example sentence:Everyone is calling that movie boring, though,converselyI was very impressed."
Paraphrasing by analogy:On the contrary.
Everyone is calling that movie boring, though,on the contraryI was very impressed."
▶︎ highlights my personal impression (I was impressed) as opposed to the general view (boring).

model sentence: "At first I thought this job would be difficult,converselyI'm learning so much."
Paraphrasing by analogy:Come back.
At first I thought this job would be difficult,ratherI'm learning so much."
▶︎ shows that, unlike the initial negative expectation (difficulty of the job), there was actually a positive outcome (more learning).

If you want to know more about ◆Business Japanese, check out the following articles!

逆に (gyakuni)" in business scene

I use the term "逆に" in business conversations.

When using 「逆に」 in a business setting, the word goes beyond its mere opposite meaning and helps present new perspectives and ideas. In this section, we will illustrate how to use 「逆に」 in a business environment with real-world examples.

How to use "逆に (gyakuni)" in business

In business settings, the word "on the contrary" is used to emphasize an unexpected benefit or point of view that differs from the first opinion or perspective that comes to mind. This expression is especially useful when presenting a new point of view in a discussion or proposal.

The following example sentences will show you how to use "conversely" in a business situation.

Example sentence:That method is often thought to be time consuming."converselyIt saves money in the long run." ▶︎ illustrates the point that contrary to the initial impression that it takes time, it saves money in the long run.

Example sentence:You may be thinking, "This product is expensive.converselyIt's actually a bargain when you consider the long-term quality and cost-effectiveness."
▶︎ Contrary to initial thoughts that the product is expensive, it shows that it is cost-effective in the long run.

Example sentence:This project seems risky to me,converselyIt could be a stepping stone to a new market."
▶︎ Contrary to the initial view that the risks associated with the project are high, he said it may bring opportunities to new markets.

Example sentence:Many of our competitors are going in the same direction, though."converselyOur unique approach, which only we undertake, may be the key to success."
▶︎ We are proposing the possibility that our unique approach may lead to success, unlike the general approach taken by other companies.

逆に (gyakuni)" in business documentsNotes on

When using "on the contrary" in business documents, it is effective in situations where you want to emphasize a point or special emphasis that is at first glance unexpected. However, excessive use of "on the contrary" should be avoided, as too frequent use may give the impression of overemphasizing the content of the document.

Polite expressions using "逆に (gyakuni)

I use the term "逆に" in business conversations.

When using the expression "on the contrary," rephrasing it in a more polite way can help convey the speaker's politeness and respect to others. This kind of rephrasing is especially effective in business and formal situations.

Example sentence:I am sorry to hear about your busy schedule,converselyWe may have caused you some inconvenience."
Paraphrasing:We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you, despite your busy schedule."
▶︎ expresses concern that the visit may be a nuisance to the other party.

Example sentence:I apologize for the trouble I caused you the other day,converselyWe appreciate your valuable input."
Paraphrasing:I sincerely appreciate the trouble you took the other day and the valuable input it provided."
▶︎ We apologize for any inconvenience caused and at the same time show our appreciation for the valuable input we received.

Example sentence:The plan you proposed is different from what we originally planned,converselyThat may be more effective. Thank you for your consideration."
Paraphrasing:The plan you have proposed is different from our original plan, but we believe that these changes will lead to a better result. Thank you for your suggestions.
▶︎ We politely inform them that the proposed plan is different from what they originally planned, but that it may instead be a better outcome.

Example sentence:I apologize for the great inconvenience caused by this incident,converselyYour understanding and support is deeply appreciated."
Paraphrasing:We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but we sincerely appreciate your understanding and support nonetheless."
▶︎ expresses gratitude for the understanding and support they have received from others despite the inconvenience they have caused.

Example sentence:I am sorry to hear that your comments were so harsh,converselyWe feel it will be very beneficial to our growth."
Paraphrasing:Your remarks were harsh, but I feel deeply that they will be of great help to our growth."
▶︎ We respectfully convey that the harsh remarks were actually helpful to our own and our team's growth.

逆に (gyakuni)" applications and various expressions

People working in an office full of mirrors

The expression 「逆に」 is useful in a variety of situations, not only in everyday conversation and business as we have described, but also in news and entertainment. This expression is especially useful for indicating a personal viewpoint that differs from popular opinion or expectations. It also has the forms "on the contrary" and "conversely," and is used to convey the main point or core of a story in a straightforward manner.

逆に (gyakuni)" in a variety of situations

Let's look at 「逆に」 expressions by situation.

In entertainment situations

Example sentence:The artist's new songs have received mixed reviews, though,converselyThat's what makes him unique."
▶︎ shows that the dividing line in an artist's evaluation of a new song is actually a factor that underscores its uniqueness.

Example sentence:This TV show is made on a low budget, though,converselyThat constraint seems to stimulate creativity."
▶︎ shows that the apparent downside of a low budget is actually a factor in the creativity of the program.

In Analysis of the News

Example sentence:Many believe that the economy is in the doldrums,converselyIt could be an opportunity to open up new markets."
▶︎ illustrates the perspective that an economic downturn can be a new market opportunity.

Example sentence:The recent political developments have been increasingly volatile," he said,converselyThis could be an opportunity to spur reform."
▶︎ suggests that political instability may be an opportunity to push for reform.

Wide range of "逆に (gyakuni)" applications

Furthermore, 「逆に」 is also used to convey the main points of a story in a straightforward manner.

"Put another way.

Example sentence:The product is often thought to be complicated to operate,on the contraryIt's multifunctional and can meet a lot of needs."
▶︎ The apparent negative aspect of the product's complexity of operation is rephrased as the positive aspect of its multifunctionality.

Example sentence:Our team is small,on the contraryWe can move quickly and flexibly."
▶︎ demonstrates the advantage of having a small team that can respond quickly and flexibly.


Example sentence:My current job doesn't pay very well," he said,converselyIt's easy to find a balance between work and personal life."
▶︎ The negative aspect of low pay is rephrased as the positive aspect of good work-life balance.

Example sentence:People tend to think of this area as quiet and empty."converselyIt's a very relaxing place, with a lot of natural beauty."
▶︎ The quietness and lack of activity in the area is being reviewed in terms of a natural and relaxing environment.

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    In this article, we have introduced a wide range of expressions ranging from the basic usage of the expression "on the contrary" to its application in business situations and keigo (honorific expressions), as well as diverse examples of its use in daily conversation. This expression symbolizes the richness of Japanese communication and helps to express surprise and emphasis in a variety of contexts.

    As you become more proficient in using "conversely," your understanding of the Japanese language will deepen. It is important to actively use "conversely" in actual conversations and documents and experience its charm. By all means, try using "conversely" to broaden your range of Japanese expressions.

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