Lesson 111: ~(이)라도

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Adding ~(이)라도 to Nouns
Adding ~(이)라도 to Adverbs
Adding ~(이)라도 to Counters
Adding ~(이)라도 to a Location with ~에
Adding ~(이)라도 to Question Words





조카 = nephew/niece
마술 = magic
마술사 = magician
줄인 말 = abbreviation
대걸레 = mop
국제사회 = international community
열쇠고리 = keychain
산들바람 = breeze
수급 = supply and demand
기사 = article in a paper/magazine
기사 = somebody who handles equipment
해골 = skull/skeleton
항공권 = plane ticket
생신 = birthday (high respect)
위생 = hygiene/sanitation
이면지 = scrap paper

장을 보다 = to do groceries
외출하다 = to go out
관찰하다 = to watch to get some information
공개하다 = to release to the public
조언하다 = to give advice, to advise
사임하다 = to resign
여기다 = to regard, to consider
자살하다 = to commit suicide
충돌하다 = to collide, to crash
부딪치다 = to bump into

까다롭다 = to be picky
뛰어나다 = to be outstanding, to be excellent

Adverbs and Other Words:
금색 = gold (color)
은색 = silver (color)




In this lesson, you will learn how to add ~(이)라도 to nouns. Though this grammatical principle looks similar to (and sometimes even translates similarly to) ~더라도 (which you learned in Lesson 99), ~(이)라도 is in fact a separate grammatical principle with a separate usage and meaning. Let’s get started.



Adding ~(이)라도 to Nouns

~(이)라도 typically gets attached to nouns in a sentence. Let’s assume for simplicity sake that it can only attach to nouns while I describe it here. When you attach ~(이)라도 to a noun, the speaker is indicating that; even though that particular noun is not the most preferred option, it is a close second compared to the other possible options.

In its simplest form, you might see a sentence like this:

우리가 빵이라도 먹을래?

When translating a sentence like this, it is hard to translate the “~(이)라도” part naturally into English. A simple translation of the sentence about would be something like “Shall we eat some bread?”, but the use of ~(이)라도 makes the translation more complicated. In reality, it is more like “We should eat something, and bread isn’t really what either of us wants to eat, but it wouldn’t be that bad either.”

Again, the use of ~(이)라도 expresses that somebody is slightly dissatisfied with the fact that the most preferred option is not available – but at the same time – somewhat satisfied that there is at least a good option that can be taken.

Many more examples with my attempts at translating this nuance into English:

여기까지 오셨으니 제가 커피라도 사 드릴까요? = You came all the way here, so can I at least buy you a coffee? (You came all the way here, which was really nice of you. I feel like I need to thank you somehow. I know coffee isn’t much, but how about I buy you a coffee?)

네가 힘들게 운전하고 있어서 내가 기름값이라도 줄게 = You are driving (which is difficult), I will at least pay for the gas (You are the one who is doing all the effort of driving and everything, so let me at least pay for the gas, which I know is not much, but it’s better than nothing [or a lot of other things])

배가 고파서 라면이라도 먹어야 될 거예요 = I’m hungry, so I should eat something like ramen (I’m hungry, and I should eat something. Ramen isn’t my first choice, but it’s better than nothing [or a lot of other things])

너무 조용하니 노래라도 틀어줄까? = Because it is so quiet, should I turn on some music? (Because it is so quiet, we should do something do break this silence. I guess maybe the best thing would be to start talking or something, but turning on music would be better than nothing [or a lot of other things])

기다리면서 잡지라도 줄까요? = While you wait, can I offer you a magazine? (While you wait, I know you’re going to be bored and you’d probably rather not be here. However, a magazine might help you overcome this boredom and will be better than nothing).

미국에 가면 열쇠고리라도 기념품으로 갖고 싶어요 = When I go to the US, I want to get a keychain as a souvenir (When I go to the US, I want to buy a souvenir. A keychain wouldn’t be the best thing to buy, but it’s still better than nothing)





Adding ~(이)라도 to Adverbs

~(이)라도 can also be attached to some adverbs, but typically only adverbs that aren’t derivatives of some adjective. For example, “빨리” is just a derivative of “빠르다” and “많이” is just a derivative of “많다.” It would be awkward and unnatural to attach ~(이)라도 to most of these types of adverbs.
The only good example I can think of where this would be acceptable is attached to “늦게”. For example:
우리가 청구서를 늦게라도 낼 거예요 = We are going to pay the bill, even if it is a little late (we would have preferred if we paid the bill on time, but it’s too late now. Regardless, we are going to pay it, but just a little bit late, which is better than not paying it at all).
However, adverbs that are not derivatives of adjectives and are words on their own can often have ~(이)라도 attached to them. The most common of these adverbs can be seen in the examples immediately below:
우리가 지금이라도 가야겠어요 = We need to go right now (It would have been better if we left earlier, but that time has already passed so there is nothing we can do about it. But now, even though it is not the best option, we need to go right now)

혹시 소스를 조금이라도 주면 안 돼요? = Would you be able to give me just a little bit of sauce? (I would prefer if you were able to give me a lot of sauce, but even if you give me a little it would also be okay)

그 일을 혼자라도 해야 될 것 같아요 = I’ll probably have to do that job by myself (I would prefer if I didn’t have to do it by myself, but I’ll still be able to do it by myself)

우리가 오늘이라도 가는 게 어때요? = What do you think about going today? (I would have preferred if we went yesterday [or some other day – depending on the situation], but today would also be okay. What do you think about going today?)

숙제를 다 하고 내일이라도 주세요 = Please do all of your homework and then give it to me tomorrow (I would prefer if you gave it to me today [or some other time – depending on the situation], but tomorrow would be okay as well)



Adding ~(이)라도 to Counters

It is also common to add ~(이)라도 to counters. For example:

그 기사를 한번만이라도 보여주면 안 돼요? = Can you show me that article just once? (I would prefer it if you showed it to me many times (or for a longer amount of time), but even if you show it to me once I’ll be happy)

조카가 하나라도 있었으면 좋겠어요 = I wish I had a nephew, even if I only had one (I wish I had many nieces/nephews… but even one would be better than nothing)

오늘 우리 가게에 손님이 한 명이라도 왔으면 좋겠어요 = I wish at least one customer would come into our store today (I would prefer it if many people came into the store today, but even if one person came into the store I would be happy)


Adding ~(이)라도 to a Location with ~에

It is also possible to add this to a location (with ~에 attached) to have the same meaning as described above. For example:

우리가 할 것이 없어서 공원에라도 같이 가는 게 어때요? = We have nothing to do, so how about going to a park or something (We have nothing to do, and I’d rather do (go) somewhere else, but going to the park wouldn’t be so bad, would it)?

비가 내리고 있으니 영화관에라도 갈래요? = Now that it is raining, do you want to go to the movies or something? (I’d rather go somewhere else, but it’s raining so what else can we do? How about going to the movies?)

Though this can be done, I feel that while the previous examples of adding ~(이)라도 directly to nouns is much more common than adding it to a location as you can see directly above.




Adding ~(이)라도 to Question Words

Finally, it is also possible to add ~(이)라도 to some of the common question words that you are familiar with. Adding ~(이)라도 to these words doesn’t quite make the same meaning that is made when adding it to a regular noun as we have seen so far in this lesson, and I am tempted to say that this is actually a separate usage. Instead of having the “I would prefer something else, but this is a good second option” meaning, a more accurate translation of (question word)+라도 would be:

어디라도 = anywhere (it doesn’t matter where)
언제라도 = any time (it doesn’t matter when)
누구라도 = anybody (it doesn’t matter who)
뭐라도 = anything (it doesn’t matter what)
무엇이라도 = anything (it doesn’t matter what)

For example:
저의 여자 친구가 어디라도 간다면 저는 같이 가고 싶어요 = It doesn’t matter where my girlfriend goes, I want to go with her
언제라도 우리 집에 항상 와도 돼요 = It doesn’t matter when it is, you can always come to our house
누구라도 그 문제를 풀 수 있어요 = It doesn’t matter who it is, anybody could solve that problem
가기 전에 뭐라도 (무엇이라도) 같이 먹자! = Before you go, I don’t care what it is, but let’s eat something!

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, these words (well, not really words – “words plus grammatical principles”) are very similar to 아무데나, 아무 때나, 아무나 and 아무거나.
The following three sentences essentially have the same meaning as their respective examples yesterday:

아무 때나 우리 집에 항상 와도 돼요 = You can always come to our house anytime
아무나 그 문제를 풀 수 있어요 = Anybody could solve that problem
가기 전에 아무거나 같이 먹자! = Let’s eat anything!

Just by the nature of the sentence, the following doesn’t make sense, but there could be some examples where they can be switched. For example:

네가 어디라도 가도 돼 = It doesn’t matter where you go, you can go
네가 아무 데나 가도 돼 = You can go anywhere

Although both sentences above are correct, and (as you can see) essentially have the same meaning, 슬기 says that the first sentence is more likely to be found in a poem. I have no idea what that means – and neither does she. She just says “feels like a poem to me.” If anything, you can take that as a lesson that it might be more common to use “아무 데나” and other similar words in most conversation situations.

That’s it for this lesson!

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