Today’s Grammar Point: ~かえす

~をかえす is a transitive verb meaning “to return,” “to put back,” or “to reverse” but かえす can be used with a verb stem and add the meaning of “in return,” “back,” “again,” or “over.”


  • [verb stem] + かえす


  1. やりかえす = to do (it) back, to retaliate
    • 計算けいさんをやりかえした。
      I recalculated it.
    • やられたらやりかえしなさい。
      If someone hurts you, hurt him back. (Give tit for tat.)
  2. かえす = to talk back, to say back
    • 目上めうえひとかえすものではない。
      Do not talk back to your elders.
    • ジョンさんはおなじことを何度なんどかえしていた。
      John was repeating the same thing over and over.
  3. かえす = to hit back
    • ジョンさんのサーブをかえせるものはいなかった。
      Nobody was able to return John’s serve.
  4. 微笑ほほえかえす = to smile back (at the person)
    • エイミーさんに微笑ほほえんだら、微笑ほほえかえしてくれた。
      I smiled at Amy and she smiled back.
  5. なぐかえす = to punch back, to give a blow in return
    • なぐられたらなぐかえせ.
      Hit back if you are hit. (If somebody hits you, you hit back.)
  6. かえす = to read (it) again
    • この本は何度なんどかえ価値かちがあります。
      This book is worth reading over and over again.

Answer to Today’s question: a. よみ

かえす is used after a verb stem. “I read my father’s letter over and over again.”

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