Korean Grammar: Expressing Contrasting Events with "(으)면서도"

In the realm of Korean grammar, there are numerous structures that convey nuance and depth. One such structure is A/V + (으)면서도, which is adept at portraying situations where two seemingly contradictory events transpire concurrently.

It echoes the sentiment of “yet” or “in spite of” in English, and helps in depicting unexpected contrasts.

Contrasting Events with “(으)면서도”

This grammar pattern enables the speaker to highlight the unexpected or contradictory nature of an event or action, given a certain premise or expectation:

건강에 나쁜 줄 알면서도 보통 과식을 해요.
I know it's bad for my health but I regularly overeat.
비가 올 줄 알면서도 우산 없이 집을 나갔어요.
I knew it was raining yet I went out without an umbrella.
어머니께서 오시는 줄 알면서도 집에 청소하지 않았어요.
I knew my mother was coming yet I didn't clean the house.
어젯밤에 부징님을 봤으면서도 인사를 하지 않았어요.
I saw my supervisor yesterday night but I didn't greet him.
그가 술을 마시는 것이 싫다고 말하면서도 회식에서 취했어요.
He said he dislikes drinking alcohol yet he was drunk at the staff dinner.

In conclusion, the grammar pattern A/V + (으)면서도 plays a pivotal role in narrating contrasting scenarios in the Korean language.

It paints a vivid picture of situations where certain actions might not align with prior knowledge or expectations, thereby enriching the communicative depth of the language.

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