How To Say 'As If' Or 'As Though' In Korean (듯(이))
The Korean grammar pattern ‘듯(이)’ serves as a bridge between what’s observed and the comparisons we draw from those observations. It allows speakers to convey that something appears or behaves in a particular manner, akin to the English phrases ‘as if’ and ‘as though’. In this article, we’ll navigate its varied applications and gain insight through illustrative examples.
Grammar rule: 듯(이) = As if / As though / Like
Basic expressions with 듯(이)
듯(이) helps to create vivid descriptions, comparing one situation to another or describing an appearance or behavior:
When the teacher came into the classroom, the students were running around like crazy.
He stared out of the window as if lost in thought.
The man lay on the floor as though he were dead.
He acted as though he didn't understand anything.
He looked at me as if he had never met me before.
We continued walking as if nothing had happened.
Expanding usage and metaphorical expressions
Going beyond the basic usage, 듯(이) can also be harnessed for metaphorical expressions or to communicate assumptions:
It seems as though it will rain any minute now.
My wife looked at me as if to say 'it's okay'.
My rich Saudi students spend money like it's water.
His name is on the tip of my tongue.
Grasping the concept of ‘듯(이)’ is essential for painting pictures with your words in Korean.
Offering comparisons like ‘as if’ and ‘as though’ opens up avenues for more nuanced and relatable expressions. With these examples and a bit of practice, you can seamlessly incorporate this pattern into your daily conversations, making them more vivid and impactful.