How To Say 'Barely' Or 'Hardly' In Korean (는 둥 마는 둥 하다)
The Korean grammar structure V + 는 둥 마는 둥 하다 is employed to convey actions performed with lack of wholeheartedness, enthusiasm, or completeness.
This pattern hints at some dissatisfaction or disappointment concerning a particular situation.
Grammar rule: Use V + 는 둥 마는 둥 하다 to signify an action done barely, half-heartedly, or in an unsatisfactory manner.
Examples of incomplete actions
To grasp the essence of this structure, let’s delve into some examples:
Situations of incompletion
Because my neighbours were arguing loudly last night I barely slept.
This morning I only ate a few mouthfuls of breakfast before hurrying out of the house.
I only partially pay attention when my parents nag me.
I didn't really put much effort into studying for the test, so I'm not really bothered whether I pass or not.
The boss barely gave the application form a glance before throwing it in the bin.
I didn't know the lyrics well so I only sang parts of the song.
By integrating “는 둥 마는 둥 하다” into your Korean linguistic arsenal, you’re better equipped to express feelings of disappointment, incompletion, or half-hearted actions in various contexts.
This expression can prove to be invaluable when discussing situations that did not meet expectations.