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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





생신 = high respect way to refer to a birthday
위생 = hygiene, sanitation
조카 = nephew, niece
기사 = article in a paper/magazine
기사 = somebody who handles equipment
해골 = skull/skeleton
금색 = gold (color)
은색 = silver (color)
마술 = magic
마술사 = magician
이면지 = scrap paper
대걸레 = mop
항공권 = plane ticket
열쇠고리 = key chain

적다 = to write down
여기다 = to regard, to consider
장을 보다 = to do groceries
조언하다 = to give advice, to advise
사임하다 = to resign
자살하다 = to commit suicide
충돌하다 = to collide, to crash
부딪치다 = to bump into
부딪히다 = to be bumped into

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

Adverbs and Other Words:
마디 = counter for words, spoken things

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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’s 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 better than the other possible options. In its simplest form, you might see a sentence like this:

우리가 빵이라도 먹을래?

It is hard to translate the ~(이)라도 in these types of sentences naturally to English. A simple translation of the sentence above would be something like “Shall we eat some bread?” However, the use of ~(이)라도 makes the translation more complicated. A better translation might be:

“We should eat something, and bread isn’t really what either of us wants to eat, but it wouldn’t be that bad either.”

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.

Below are 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 to 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)

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)

Below are many examples without the extra nuance given:

나랑 부딪쳤는데 사과라도 한 마디 안 하니?
= You bumped into me, you’re not even going to give me one word of an apology?

내일 시간이 없어서 지금 장이라도 볼 까요?
= We won’t have any time tomorrow, would you want to at least do the groceries today?

조금 있다가 청소하게 대걸레라도 준비해 줘
= We’re going to clean in a little bit, please get at least the mop ready

중요한 것을 적어야 되는데 이면지라도 주세요
= I need to jot something important down, please give me some scrap paper or something

저를 안 도와줄 거면 조언이라도 해 줄 수 있어요?
= If you’re not going to help me, can you at least give me some advice?

너무 말라서 해골 같이 보이는데 뭐라도 조금 먹어요
= You’re all skin and bones, you’ve got to eat something, even if it is a little bit

그 뛰어난 학생들에게 칭찬이라도 해 줘야 되지 않겠어요?
= Don’t you think we at least need to praise the outstanding students?

버스 기사님이 하루 종일 일하셔서 커피라도 사 드리고 싶어요
= The bus driver has been working all day, I want to at least get him a coffee or something

뒤에 있는 차가 우리 차와 충돌했는 미안하다는 말이라도 없었어요?
= The car behind us crashed into us, they didn’t even give us an apology?

10대의 자살을 사회 문제로 여기고 학교라도 나서서 도울 수 있으면 도와야 해요
= We should consider teenage suicide a societal problem, and if schools can help to tackle the problem, they should help

그림이 조금 어두워 보여서 은색이나 금색처럼 밝은 색이라도 써서 수정하는 게 어때요?
= The painting is a bit dark, so how about fixing it by using some light colors like silver and gold?

그 회사 대표가 곧 사임한다고 들어서 미리 사임 전에 이메일로라도 알려 줬으면 좋겠어요
= That company’s representative is going to resign soon, it would have been nice to at least received an email saying he would resign




Adding ~(이)라도 to Adverbs

~(이)라도 can also be attached to some adverbs. This allows the speaker to indicate that an action will happen in a way/form that is not the most preferred option, but is better than other possible options. For example:

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)

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)

Below are examples without the nuance given:

천천히라도 걷는 것보다 뛰는 것은 나아요
= It’s better to run slowly than to walk

사무실 위생을 위해 손을 잠깐이라도 씻어 주세요
= For the sanitation of our office, please wash your hands, even for a little bit

It can also be attached to adjectives that have been transformed to an adverb by attaching ~게. For example:

이렇게라도 만날 수 있어서 좋아요
= It’s nice to meet you, even if it is like this

우리가 청구서를 늦게라도 낼 거예요
= We are going to pay the bill, even if it is a little late

할아버지 생신 선물로 돈을 적게라도 모아서 드리자
= Let’s gather money, even if it is a little, and give it to grandpa on his birthday

영화를 볼 때 영화관에서 조용히라도 말을 하지 말아 주세요
= Please don’t speak in the movie theater while watching a movie, even if it is quietly



Adding ~(이)라도 to Counters

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

그 기사를 한번이라도 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)

이런 행사를 열면 마술사 한 명이라도 불러야 되지 않겠어요?
= If we’re going to run an event like this, don’t we at least bring in a magician? (It would be better if we brought in something else, or maybe even more than one magician, but at the very least we better call a magician)

애기가 까다로운 것을 알고 있지만 과일 한 개라도 줘 보는 게 어떨까요?
= I know the baby is picky, but how about just trying to give him just one fruit?


Adding ~(이)라도 to a Location with ~에

It is also possible to add this to a location (with ~에 attached). This allows the speaker to indicate that he/she goes to a location that is not the most preferred option, but is better than other possible options. 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?)



Adding ~(이)라도 to Question Words

Finally, it is also possible to add ~(이)라도 to some of the common question words that you learned back in Lesson 21 and Lesson 22. Because of the nature of these question words, the following translations are often used when combined with ~(이)라도:

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)
어떻게라도 =  any way (it doesn’t matter how)

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!

이 일을 어떻게라도 오늘밤까지 끝내야 돼요
= It doesn’t matter how, but we need to finish this work by tonight

These words are similar to the words you learned in Lesson 25, 아무 데나, 아무 때나, 아무나, 아무 거나 and 아무렇게나. I would argue that there is a slight difference between them, and the nuance comes directly from the meaning of ~(이)라도. When using ~(이)라도, you are indicating that you are unsatisfied slightly with the option. Therefore, for example, when looking at these two options:

가기 전에 아무 거나 같이 먹자!
가기 전에 뭐라도 같이 먹자!

The first sentence implies that anything food would be satisfactory. However, the second example implies that there would be a better option, but something is better than nothing. I hope my detailed lesson and explanation of the nuance of ~(이)라도 helps you understand why this would be implied in this sentence.

That’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.

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