Kanji in this term
Grade: 2


*/kamukapu//kamugapu/ → → /kangafu//kangaferu/ (regular change for lower bigrade verbs) → /kangaheru//kangaeru/

Uncertain. Theories include:

  • Given the ancient kamugapu spelling, may be ka + mukau, where the ka is an unidentified prefixing element, or possibly ‎(ka), cognate with the ‎(ko) in location determiners like ここ ‎(koko, here), どこ ‎(doko, where), and the mukau is 向かう ‎(mukau, to face something, to face a direction, pronounced as mukapu in ancient times), from the sense of facing a thing or issue to thoroughly inspect it and think it over.[1] The shift from mukapu to mugapu may be an example of metathesis, where the preceding /m/ softens the following /k/.
  • Alternatively, may be derived from the on'yomi of kan for the character ‎(kan, intuition, perception, prior to the development of the kana , this would have been spelled as kamu),[1] plus some unknown element that was probably originally kapu, changing to gapu due to rendaku. The semantically relevant verbs with ancient readings of kapu all have to do with ideas of changing or turning, suggesting a possible original meaning of to change one's perception.


Alternative formsEdit


考える ‎(transitive, ichidan conjugation, hiragana かんがえる, romaji kangaeru, historical hiragana かんがへる)

  1. think
    これについて (かんが)える必要 (ひつよう)があるんだ。
    Kore ni tsuite kangaeru hitsuyō ga aru n da.
    I need to think about this.
  2. meditate
  3. consider
    ここに () (ひと)のことも (かんが)えて、 () ()しの (とき)綺麗 (きれい)掃除 (そうじ)をする。
    Koko ni sumu hito no koto mo kangaete, hikkoshi no toki wa kirei ni sōji o suru.
    Out of consideration for the people who will live here next, I will clean thoroughly when I move.
  4. reflect
     (わたし)がしたことについて (かんが)えなければならない。
    Watashi ga shita koto ni tsuite kangaenakereba naranai.
    I must reflect on what I have done.
  5. prepare
    停電 (ていでん) (とき)のことも (かんが)えてある。
    Teiden no toki no koto mo kangaete aru.
    I am prepared for electric power failures.
  6. make up one's mind
  7. expect
     (かんが)えられないような失敗 (しっぱい) ()きた。
    Kangaerarenai yō na shippai ga okita.
    A failure that I had not expected has happened.
  8. imagine
     ()んだ (あと)のことは (だれ)にも (かんが)えられない。
    Shinda ato no koto wa dare ni mo kangaerarenai.
    No one can imagine what will happen after death.
  9. contrive


Derived termsEdit


Usage notesEdit

While both 考える (kangaeru) and 思う ‎(omou) can be used to mean to think, kangaeru implies more analytic and objective thought, whereas omou may include more emotional and subjective overtones.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  3. 3.0 3.1 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3
  4. 4.0 4.1 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13143-0
  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakukan, ISBN 4095102535.