What would be a single word to mean: "to do something positive to someone because they have done or said something positive to you", when you want to return the favour with something equal or better.

I Googled it and I found some odd results like "forgive" and "sympathize".

  • @Boob: Your use of the word gratitude there is incorrect. Don't worry about repeating the word positive - that's perfectly ok in a sentence like yours where a "two-way" meaning is intended anyway. – FumbleFingers May 22 '11 at 18:22
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    @FumbleFingers: Thanks a lot, you can read my mind. – user8568 May 22 '11 at 18:25
  • @Boob: haha I really did think you probably agonised a bit over that one! I hope you don't mind that I just rephrased the last part for you myself - it would have gotten a bit complicated to suggest better wording in a comment. – FumbleFingers May 22 '11 at 19:52
  • @FumbleFingers: Oh no, now others don't notice that my English sucks.;) So kind of you, thanks. – user8568 May 22 '11 at 20:10
  • @Boob: We do like to offer a full service here at EL&U - ask for one way to improve your English, and we'll throw in a couple more for free! :-) – FumbleFingers May 22 '11 at 20:18

Reciprocate does it for me.

There is also requite. But this is much less common, and slightly archaic, and mainly only seen as a negative past participle in unrequited love. I wouldn't recommend it for general use.

  • "repay" (note: I disagree with you comment on MT_Head's answer that this is dominated by negative connotations. It is used both ways)

While it's not one word, I am fond of:

  • "return the favor"
  • I wouldn't say 'repay' is dominated by negativity, but I do think both it, and to an even greater extent 'pay back', lean more in that direction. +1 for return the favour though. Which I edited into OP's question where he'd originally written you're looking for a situation to do something equally or more. – FumbleFingers May 23 '11 at 16:12

"Reward", "recompense", "honor" (if you happen to be royalty!), "pay back" (although this can be used in both a positive and negative connotation.)

  • "Pay back" and "repay" are used more in negative connotation, as I found out. – user8568 May 22 '11 at 18:01
  • @Boob - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. link – MT_Head May 22 '11 at 20:45
  • @MT_Head: "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the LORD. [same link] I meant words with positive meanings, only. – user8568 May 22 '11 at 21:04
  • @Boob - I was agreeing with you that "repay" has negative connotations; that passage must be the most famous usage of the word, and nobody could call it a positive connotation! – MT_Head May 22 '11 at 21:25
  • @MT_Head:By the way, thanks for your suggestions, it helped. – user8568 May 22 '11 at 21:36

What about "make up"?

I am trying to make up for what he has done for me.

  • I think it's more common to 'make up' for something you did. – FumbleFingers May 23 '11 at 16:02

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