Lesson 65: I am worried about: ㄹ/을까 봐

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Vocabulary
Introduction

I am worried about/that…: ~ㄹ/을까 봐
I am worried that/about, so…: ~ㄹ/을까 봐

 

Vocabulary

Nouns:
호랑이 = tiger

Idiom:
호랑이도 제 말 하면 온다 = Speak of the devil

Examples:
호랑이가 들어올까 봐 벽을 만들었어요
= We made a wall because we were worried about the tiger coming in

아프리카 사막에서 호랑이랑 기린을 볼 수 있어요
= You can see tigers and giraffes in African deserts

역사가 = historian

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “역싸가”

Examples:
그 박물관에 가면 전시물을 역사가가 직접 설명해줘서 더 많이 배울 수 있어요
= If you go to that museum, a historian will explain them to you in person, so you can learn a lot

제가 수업 시간 동안 가르칠 내용이 틀릴까 봐 역사가에게 맞는지 안 맞는지 물어봤어요
= I was worried that the contents that I will teach during class would be wrong, so I asked a historian if it is correct or not

집주인 = landlord

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “집쭈인”

Examples:
우리 집주인은 집 세 개를 가지고 있어요 = Our landlord owns three houses

집주인이 부서진 거울을 찾아낼까 봐 걱정돼요
= I’m worried that the landlord will find the shattered mirror

다음 달부터 우리 집주인이 관리비를 올릴 거예요
= The landlord will raise the management fee starting next month

집주인이 물이 흘러나올까 봐 지붕을 수리했어요
= The landlord was worried that water would flow out, so he fixed up (repaired) the roof

다과 = refreshments

다과상 = a table of refreshments

Examples:
다과가 부족할까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that there won’t be enough refreshments
오늘 파티에 간단한 다과를 준비할 거예요 = I am going to prepare some simple refreshments for today’s party

작업 = job, work, operations

Notes: This word usually refers to a business that a person owns. Many words in Korean translate to “business” in English and are often confused with the word 사업. Some examples:

작업: usually used to refer to physical work/labor that one does, usually with his or her hands
업무: usually used to refer to administrative work that one does
영업: usually used to refer to business as it relates to buying and selling things
기업: usually used to refer to a company, often with other words placed before 기업 (대기업)

Common Usages:
작업을 걸다 = to hit on, to flirt with

Examples:
작업을 완료할 수 없을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that we won’t be able to finish the job
오늘은 작업이 많아서 밤 늦게까지 일해야 돼요 = There is a lot of work to do today, so I will have to work until late at night

예산 = budget

Examples:
새로운 예산이 사장한테 거절되었어요
= The new budget was rejected by the CEO

정부가 외국인 선생님 예산을 왜 줄이는지 모르겠어요
= I don’t know why the government is decreasing the budget for foreign teachers

정부가 예산을 줄여서 우리가 회사원 한 명을 거의 해고해야 할 뻔 했어요
= I almost had to fire an employee because the government cut the budget

저는 원래 계약을 연장하기로 했는데 회사가 예산이 없다고 해서 연장을 못 했어요
= I originally wanted to renew my contract, but my company said that there is not budget, so I wasn’t able to renew it

소독약 = disinfectant

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “소동냑”

Examples:
소독약을 바르기 전에 우선 손을 깨끗이 씻어 주세요
= Before you rub disinfectant on your hands, you should wash them cleanly

애기를 만지기 전에 손이 더러울까 봐 손을 소독약으로 씻었어요
Before touching the baby, I was worried that my hands were dirty, so I washed them with disinfectant

기구 = apparatus, appliance, utensils

Common Usages:
운동기구 = exercise machines
놀이기구 = rides at an amusement park

Examples:
최초로 하늘을 나는 비행기구를 만든 사람들은 라이트형제예요
= The first people that made an airplane that flies in the sky were the Wright Brothers

이 놀이기구를 타고 싶은데 키 제한이 있어서 저는 못 탔어요
= I wanted to go on that ride, but because there was a height restriction, I couldn’t ride it

주방 기구가 주방에 들어갈 수 없을까 봐 그 기구의 가로와 세로를 측정했어요
= I was worried that the kitchen appliance couldn’t fit into the kitchen, so I measured (its) width and length

지붕 = roof

Examples:
집주인이 물이 흘러나올까 봐 지붕을 수리했어요
= The landlord was worried that water would flow out, so he fixed up (repaired) the roof

지붕 색깔이 너무 어두워서 엷은 하늘색깔로 칠했어요
= The color of the ceiling was too dark so I painted it a bright sky color

한구석 = corner, nook

Examples:
어머니를 생각할 때마다 마음 한구석이 아파요
= Every time I think of my mother, there is a corner of my heart that hurts

가로 = width

Examples:
부피 대신에 가로만 재 보세요
= Instead of the volume, just measure the width

정사각형의 면적을 구하려면 가로와 세로를 곱하면 돼요
= In order to find the area of a square, you can multiply its length by its width

주방 기구가 주방에 들어갈 수 없을까 봐 그 가구의 가로와 세로를 측정했어요
= I was worried that the kitchen appliance couldn’t fit into the kitchen, so I measured (its) width and length

세로 = length

Examples:
정사각형의 면적을 구하려면 가로와 세로를 곱하면 돼요
= In order to find the area of a square, you can multiply its length by its width

주방 기구가 주방에 들어갈 수 없을까 봐 그 가구의 가로와 세로를 측정했어요
= I was worried that the kitchen appliance couldn’t fit into the kitchen, so I measured (its) width and length

논문 = thesis

Common Usages:
연구논문 = a research paper

Examples:
논문의 주제를 정하는 것이 제일 어려워요
= It is most difficult to choose the topic of your thesis

논문을 여름까지 끝낼 수 없을까 봐 걱정돼요
= I’m worried that I won’t finish my thesis by summer

논문을 쓰는 게 재미있지만 일이 너무 많아요
= Writing my thesis is fun, but there is a lot of work

파도 = waves

Examples:
파도가 쳐서 배가 출렁거리기 시작했어요
= The boat started to rock because the waves were smashing

파도가 너무 높을까 봐 바다에 안 들어갔어요
= I was worried that the waves would be too big, so I didn’t go into the water

= gun

Common Usages:
총을 쏘다 = to fire a gun

Examples:
미국에서는 총을 가지고 있는 것은 합법이다 = It is legal to have a gun in America
경찰관이 저에게 총을 쏠까 봐 걱정됐어요 = I was worried that the police officer would shoot me
군인들은 눈을 감고 총을 쏠 수 있도록 훈련을 받았다 = The soldiers trained to the extent that they could shoot guns with their eyes closed

Verbs:
찾아내다 = to find out, to discover

Notes: The meaning of 찾아내다 is very similar to simply using 찾다, but 찾아내다 is more likely to be used when looking for something that is difficult to find. Through this difficult search, the thing ends up being “revealed,” much like the meaning “to find out” would have in English.

Examples:
집주인이 부서진 거울을 찾아낼까 봐 걱정돼요
= I’m worried that the landlord will find the shattered mirror

오늘 밤까지 이 문제에 해결방안을 찾아내세요
= Find a solution to this problem by tonight

일주일 내내 찾아 다녀서 결국 친구를 찾아냈어요
= We finally found our friend after looking for a week straight

쏘다 = to shoot, to sting

Common Usages:
총을 쏘다 = to shoot a gun

Examples:
벌이 사람을 쏘면 바로 죽어요
= If a bee stings a person, it dies immediately

군인들은 눈을 감고 총을 쏠 수 있도록 훈련을 받았다
= The soldiers trained to the extent that they could shoot guns with their eyes closed

방해하다 = to distract

The noun form of this word (“방해”) translates to “a disturbance.”

Examples:
친구가 일부로 제가 숙제를 못하게 방해했어요
= My friend deliberately distracted me from doing my homework

밖에서 공사하는 것이 시험을 보는 학생들을 방해하고 있어요
= The construction outside is disturbing the students taking the exam

소독하다 = to disinfect

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “소도카다”
The noun form of this word (“소독”) translates to “disinfection.”

Common Usages:
소독약 = disinfectant

Examples:
손을 더러울까 봐 소독했어요
= I was worried that my hands were dirty, so I disinfected them

소독약으로 이 부위를 천천히 소독해 주세요
= Please slowly disinfect this area

Adjectives:
대단하다 = to be great, huge, tremendous

Notes: This word is very commonly said by itself when somebody sees something spectacular. For example, saying “대단하다!” would be similar to saying “wow!” in English.

Examples:
이 문제를 한번에 풀다니 정말 대단하다!
= You solving this problem on this first try is really amazing!

우리 부모님은 힘든 상황에서도 저를 잘 키워주셔서 대단해요
= It’s amazing that our parents raised me so well despite their difficult situation

화려하다 = to be colorful, fancy, splendid

Examples:
저는 화려한 화장을 하는 것을 좋아해요
= I like putting on bright/colorful makeup

결혼식에서 이 셔츠가 너무 이상해 보일까 봐 화려한 것을 입었어요
= I was worried that this shirt would look too weird at the wedding, so I put on a more colorful/fancy one

엷다 = to be light (in shade)

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “열따”

Examples:
이 색이 저 색보다 색깔이 더 엷어요
= This color is lighter than that color

지붕 색깔이 너무 어두워서 엷은 하늘색깔로 칠했어요
= The color of the ceiling was too dark so I painted it a bright sky color

무례하다 = to be rude

Examples:
처음 본 사람에게 인사를 건네지 않는 것은 무례해요
= It is rude to not greet somebody that you see (meet) for the first time

그 사람이 내가 무례하다고 생각할까 봐 그에게 사과했어요
= I was worried that that person would think I am rude, so I apologized to him

Adverbs and Other Words:
오래 전 = a long time before

Common Usages:
오래 전부터 = from a long time ago

Examples:
오래 전부터 저는 커피를 좋아했어요
= I’ve liked coffee from/since a long time ago

오랜만에 오래 전에 만난 친구를 만나서 술 한잔 했어요
= I had a glass of alcohol for a friend that I hadn’t met for a long time

글쎄 = well…/let me see…

Notes: Often used when one wants to respond, but does not know exactly how to respond.

Examples:
Person 1: 우리는 이 문제를 어떻게 해결할 거예요? = How are we going to solve this problem?
Person 2: 글쎄… = Well… (I don’t know)

Person 1: 우리가 마지막으로 언제 만났지? = When was the last time that we met?
Person 2: 글쎄. 정확히 기억 안 나지만 두 달 전인가? = Well… I don’t remember exactly, but was it two months ago?

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In the previous two lessons, you learned about a variety of situations where you can use “~ㄹ/을까(요).” In this lesson, you will learn another way that you can use this grammatical form. In this lesson, you will learn about adding ~ㄹ/을까 봐 to sentence to indicate that the speaker is worried about something. Let’s get started.

 

I am worried about/that…: ~ㄹ/을까 봐

Before we get into anything, let’s talk about the word “걱정하다.” This is actually a weird verb because there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful difference between ‘걱정하다’ and ‘걱정되다.’ Because ‘걱정하다’ ends in ‘하다,’ you would think that it would have the active meaning of “to worry” (as in, I am worrying my brother). Conversely, because ‘걱정되다’ ends in ‘되다,’ you would think that it would have the meaning of “to be worried” (as in, I am worried about my brother). The weird thing about this word, is that it appears that both 하다 and 되다 forms have the passive meaning of “to be worried” and not “to (make) worry.”

Though it appears you can use ‘걱정되다’ and ‘걱정하다’ to mean essentially the same thing, personally, whenever I talk about myself being worried, or somebody else being worried, I always say “걱정되다.”

The most common time you will see 걱정하다 being used is when telling somebody not to be worried.

For example:

걱정하지 마! = Don’t worry!

Using 되다 in this case is awkward:

걱정되지 마!

Anyways, now that we know that, let’s talk about the grammatical form ~ㄹ/을까 봐. When putting this at the end of a sentence, the speaker is indicating that he or she is worried about the clause before ~ㄹ/을까 봐 occurring.

걱정되다 is usually placed after ~ㄹ/을까 봐 in this usage. For example:

시험을 잘 못 볼까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that I won’t do well on the exam
비가 올까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that it will rain
그녀가 나를 좋아하지 않을까 봐 걱정돼 = I’m worried that she won’t like me
논문을 여름까지 끝낼 수 없을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that I won’t finish my thesis by summer

If you want to say that you are worried about something in the past, you can conjugate the verb/adjective before  “~ㄹ/을까 봐.” For example:

시험을 잘 못 봤을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I am worried that I didn’t do well on the exam
비가 왔을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I am worried that it rained

You can also conjugate 걱정되다 into the past tense to indicate that you were worried:

시험을 잘 못 봤을까 봐 걱정되었어요 = I was worried that I didn’t do well on the exam
비가 왔을까 봐 걱정되었어요 = I was worried that it rained
그녀가 나를 좋아하지 않을까 봐 걱정되었어 = I was worried that she didn’t like me

Often you will see 걱정되다 omitted in these types of sentences, and the sentence just ends with ~ㄹ/을까 봐. Usually when 걱정되다 is omitted, the meaning of it being there is implied in the sentence. For example:

시험을 잘 못 볼까 봐 = I’m worried that I won’t do well on the exam
비가 올까 봐 = I’m worried that it will rain
그녀가 나를 좋아하지 않을까 봐 = I’m worried that she won’t like me
논문을 여름까지 끝낼 수 없을까 봐 = I’m worried that I won’t finish my thesis by summer

In the previous lesson, you saw how ~ㄹ/을까 봐 can be added to the end of a sentence to indicate intention. You can see how one might be confused between these meanings because the grammar within these sentences is identical. For example:

그 영화를 볼까 봐 = I intend to watch that movie
시험을 잘 못 볼까 봐 = I’m worried that I won’t do well on the exam

Just like many other things in Korean, the context can clarify the specific meaning. For example, what would happen if you heard the sentences above and confused their meanings

그 영화를 볼까 봐 = I am worried that I will watch that movie
시험을 잘 못 볼까 봐 = I am thinking about doing bad on the exam

As you can see, the sentences above (with their meanings changed) are illogical when used like that. Of course, you could find a context where they might be appropriate, but I’d be hard pressed to find a situation where you would want to say “I am thinking about doing bad on the exam.” By paying attention to the context and the information within the sentence, it is usually clear what meaning is being implied.

Below are many more examples:

예산이 없을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that there isn’t enough budget
다과가 부족할까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that there won’t be enough refreshments
작업을 완료할 수 없을까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that we won’t be able to finish the job
그 소리가 학생들을 방해할까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that the sound will distract the students
경찰관이 저에게 총을 쏠까 봐 걱정됐어요 = I was worried that the police officer would shoot me
집주인이 부서진 거울을 찾아낼까 봐 걱정돼요 = I’m worried that the landlord will find the shattered mirror

In each of the examples above, the word 걱정되다 can be removed with no real difference in meaning. These types of constructions are more likely to be used in the middle of a conversation. For example, if somebody asks you “Why are you worried?” you can eliminate 걱정되다 from the sentence because it can be assumed. However, when walking into a room and starting a conversation, you will be more likely to hear “걱정되다” used in these sentences.

예산이 없을까 봐
다과가 부족할까 봐
작업을 완료할 수 없을까 봐
그 소리가 학생들을 방해할까 봐
경찰관이 저에게 총을 쏠까 봐
집주인이 부서진 거울을 찾아낼까 봐

So far, you have only ~ㄹ/을까 봐 can also be used as a connector between two clauses. We will talk about how to do this in the next section.

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I am worried that/about, so…: ~ㄹ/을까 봐

In the previous section, you learned about adding ~ㄹ/을까 봐 to the end of sentences. You learned that these sentences can end with the word 걱정되다 or simply end with ~ㄹ/을까 봐. By placing another clause after ~ㄹ/을까 봐, you can create the meaning of “I am worried about/that, so….” For example:

비가 올까 봐 우산을 가져왔어요
= I was worried that it would rain, so I brought an umbrella

비가 올까 봐 우산을 가져올 거예요
= I am worried that it will rain, so I will bring an umbrella

Notice that the tense of the sentence is determined by the final verb and not the verb that ~ㄹ/을까 봐 is added to. Below are many more examples:

저의 여자 친구가 슬플까 봐 그녀를 위해 꽃을 샀어요
= I am worried that my girlfriend will be sad so I bought her flowers

그것이 너무 비쌀까 봐 돈을 많이 가져왔어요
= I’m worried that it will be too expensive, so I brought more money

집주인이 물이 흘러나올까 봐 지붕을 수리했어요
= The landlord was worried that water would flow out, so he fixed up (repaired) the roof

손이 더러울까 봐 소독했어요
= I was worried that my hands were dirty, so I disinfected them

그 사람이 내가 무례하다고 생각할까 봐 그에게 사과했어요
= I was worried that that person would think I am rude, so I apologized to him

파도가 너무 높을까 봐 바다에 안 들어갔어요
= I was worried that the waves would be too big, so I didn’t go into the water

누가 저를 찾아낼까 봐 저는 방 한구석에 몸을 숨겼어요
= I was worried that somebody would find me, so I hid in the/a corner of the room

애기를 만지기 전에 손이 더러울까 봐 손을 소독약으로 씻었어요
= Before touching the baby, I was worried that my hands were dirty, so I washed them with disinfectant

나이가 많을 때 돈이 없을까 봐 오래전부터 돈을 모으기 시작했어요
= I’m worried that I won’t have a lot of money when I’m older, so I started saving money from a long time ago

결혼식에서 이 셔츠가 너무 이상해 보일까 봐 화려한 것을 입었어요
= I was worried that this shirt would look too weird at the wedding, so I put on a more colorful/fancy one

주방 기구가 주방에 들어갈 수 없을까 봐 가로와 세로를 측정했어요
= I was worried that the kitchen appliance couldn’t go (fit) into the kitchen, so I measured (its) width and length

제가 수업 시간 동안 가르칠 내용이 틀릴까 봐 역사가에게 맞는지 안 맞는지 물어봤어요
= I was worried that the contents that I will teach during class would be wrong, so I asked a historian if it is correct or not

Hopefully by now you are comfortable with the various usages of  ~ㄹ/을까(요) in Korean. If you are confused about anything, feel free to review or ask us questions!

That’s it for this lesson!

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