Lesson 94: To end up: ~게 되다

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To end up: ~게 되다



찌개 = stew
에어컨 = air conditioning
인구 = population
인간 = human/human being
대중교통 = public transportation
막차 = last bus/last train
독립 = independence
장 = chapter (of book)
사투리 = dialect
대회 = big meeting/conference
우울증 = depression
장르 = genre
장학금 = scholarship
양초 = candle

간호하다 = to nurse/to care for
증가(하다) = increase
이르다 = arrive/reach
다다르다 = arrive/reach
바치다 = devote/dedicate (목숨을 바치다)
유지하다 = to keep/maintain

튼튼하다 = robust/strong

Adverbs and Other words:
중앙 = middle/center
종종 = often
서서히 = gradually/slowly
순전히 = purely
요일 = day of week
밤새 = overnight

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



In this lesson, you will learn about adding ~게 되다 to verbs or adjectives. In Lesson 14 you learned about 되다 and how it is used in passive sentences. Using 되다 in the ~게 되다 has a different meaning that needs to be discussed in this lesson. Let’s get started.


To end up: ~되다

By attaching ~게 되다 to the end of a verb, you can create the meaning of “to end up…”. Using this form indicates that the events that occurred happened out of one’s control, almost by chance or fate. For example:

저는 그 여자랑 사랑에 빠지게 되었어요 = I ended up falling in love with her
야구 경기에서 두산은 LG를 이기게 되었어요 = Doosan ended up beating LG in the baseball game
직장에서 더 멀리 이사하게 되었어요 = I ended up moving farther away from work
저는 그 여자를 일요일에 만나게 되었어요 = I ended up meeting her on Sunday

I first came across this grammatical form while reading a book, where the main character said something like:

저는 그 회사에 취직하게 되었어요 = I ended up getting a job at that company

When I first saw that sentence, I asked a friend how it differed from this sentence:
저는 그 회사에 취직했어요 = I got a job at that company.

His answer was similar to what I described earlier – that the result of the sentence happens without the subject having much influence on the outcome. What is also interesting is that my friend also mentioned that using ‘게 되다’ is a very humble way of saying something. He said that if one were to say:

저는 그 회사에 취직했어요 = I got a job at that company
– it is almost as if that person is boasting about the fact that he/she got a job, maybe because of how awesome he/she is. However, if one were to say:

저는 그 회사에 취직하게 되었어요 = I ended up getting a job at that company
– the feeling is more humble because the speaker had no influence on the outcome, thus not flaunting his/her awesomeness.

Make sure that you can distinguish between ~게 되다 and the passive voice. Attaching ~게 되다 does not change an active sentence into a passive sentence. It merely indicates that something was done out of one’s control. I will provide a good example below:

그 회사는 저를 고용했어요 = That company hired me
(Active sentence)

제가 그 회사에 고용되었어요 = I got hired by that company
(Passive sentence)

그 회사는 저를 고용하게 되었어요 = That company ended up hiring me
(Active ~게 되다 sentence)

제가 그 회사에 고용되게 되었어요 = I ended up getting hired by that company
(Passive ~게 되다 sentence (not very natural))

~게 되다 can also be used with adjectives as well, but I would advise against doing this. You may come across people doing, or you may see it from time to time in books, but using ~아/어지다 (which you learned in Lesson 18) has essentially the same meaning, and is much more natural than using ~게 되다 with adjectives. For example:

날씨가 춥게 되었어요 = The weather ended up getting cold (unnatural)
날씨가 추워졌어요 = The weather got cold (natural)

그 여자가 뚱뚱하게 되었어요 = That girl ended up getting fat (unnatural)
그 여자가 뚱뚱해졌어요 = That girl got fat (natural)

In previous lessons, you have learned about words like 만약 (Lesson 43) and 어쩌면 (Lesson 59). You learned that these words have very little meaning and are placed in sentences specifically for feeling.

The word 어쩌다 is another one of these words, and it is used in sentences that end in ~게 되다 (or other situations where something happens by chance and one has little impact on the outcome). Look-up “어쩌다” in the dictionary and you will see something like “accidentally” or “by chance.” However, just like 만약 and 어쩌면 – 어쩌다 has very little (if any) meaning unless used in these sentences.

Anyways, you will often see 어쩌다 in sentences that end in ~게 되다. For example:

어쩌다 그녀를 버스에서 보게 되었어요 = I ended up seeing her on the bus
어쩌다 시험을 합격하게 되었어요 = I ended up passing the exam

That’s it for this lesson!

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