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Lesson 121: ~다 보면

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If one does something for a while, the next action will occur: ~다 보면




백신 = vaccine
항체 = antibody
상사 = one’s superior/boss
체계 = system
지혜 = wisdom
교재 = teaching materials
체구 = build/frame
차도 = street/road
댓글 = comment
취향 = taste, preference
밀림 = jungle
고아 = orphan
고아원 = orphanage
미용사 = hairdresser
매력적 = charming

맞다 = to receive an injection
굶다 = to starve
굶기다 = to make one starve
집필하다 = to write
항의하다 = to protest
트림하다 = to burp
세뇌하다 = to brainwash
뒷담화하다 = to talk behind one’s back

지혜롭다 = to be wise
쓸데없다 = to be useless, to be purposeless

Adverbs and Other Words:
저절로 = automatically, by oneself, by itself
쓸데없이 = without use, without purpose




In this lesson, you will learn how to connect two clauses by using the grammatical principle ~다 보면. The grammar within this principle is actually the addition of a few different grammar concepts piled together, but its meaning is simple enough to describe in a short lesson.

Over the next few lesson I am going to be focusing on grammatical principles that connect two clauses with the use of 보다. Each of these lessons will introduce a grammatical principle that is easy to explain and understand.

Now, let’s get started.


If one does something for a while, the next action will occur: ~다(가) 보면

Just to quickly go into the mechanics of what we are looking at here; the ~다(가) 보면 is actually made up by combining:

  • ~다(가) – to indicate that one does an action and then stops (Lesson 88)
  •  보면 – if one looks/reflects on it

By putting these two together, the speaker can indicate that some event occurs because an action occurred for a while, and then stops and thinks/reflects on it. For example:

네가 그렇게 열심히 일하다 보면 승진하게 될 거야

Here, the speaker is indicating that if the first clause happens for a while – either continuously or repeatedly over some time period, the second clause is likely or will be sure to occur. The sentence above would translate to:

네가 그렇게 열심히 일하다 보면 승진하게 될 거야
= If you continue to work hard like that (for some period), you will (likely be) promoted

One way I often translate these types of sentences is to use the word “bound to.” For example:

네가 그렇게 열심히 일하다 보면 승진하게 될 거야
= If you continue to work hard like that (for some period), you are bound to get promoted

However… I want to be careful about specifically using the word “bound” because that is a word that is usually reserved for the translation of another grammatical principle that you will learn in a later lesson.

Nonetheless, the specific translation doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand what the speaker is trying to express; that is, if one does something for a period of time, the second action will occur.

Here are many more examples:

이 길을 계속 따라가다 보면 찾고 있는 시장이 나타날 거예요
= If you keep following this road, the market you are looking for will appear/come into view

고아원에서 봉사를 하다 보면 감사하는 태도로 살아야겠다는 생각이 들어요
= After volunteering (repeatedly) at an orphanage, I thought/realized that I must live my life with a thankful attitude

혼자서 살다 보면 부모님을 보고 싶은 것은 당연한 게 아니에요?
= If you (continue to) live alone, isn’t it obvious that you will want to see (miss) your parents?

바쁘게 살다 보면 가끔 중요한 일을 잊어버려요
= If you (continue to) live a busy life, sometimes you will forget important things/tasks/jobs

새로운 단어를 계속 외우다 보면 점점 헷갈려요
= If I keep memorizing new words, I gradually get confused

밥을 계속 굶다 보면 건강이 나빠져요
= If you starve yourself (don’t eat enough) your health goes bad (will go bad)

슬기가 10년 동안 연습하다 보면 올림픽 금메달을 딸 수 있을 것 같아요
= If 슬기 (continually) practiced for 10 years, she will probably be able to win an Olympic gold medal

그 어려운 일을 계속해서 하다 보면 나중에는 아주 쉽게 할 수 있어요
= If you continue to do that difficult work/job, you will be able to do it very easily later

우리 딸이 학원에서 영어 공부를 하다 보면 영어를 미래에는 미국사람만큼 할 수 있을 거예요
= If our daughter studies English in a hagwon (private academy) (for a continuous amount of time), in the future she will be able to speak English as much/well as an American

In all situations, the first clause is only a hypothetical situation. It didn’t happen in the past. It could happen in the future, or currently in the present. Therefore, the result in the second clause can’t be conjugated to the past and the following sentence would be incorrect:

김연아가 10년 동안 연습하다 보면 올림픽 금메달을 땄어요

Instead, you could finish the sentence by doing something like this:

김연아가 10년 동안 연습하다 보면 올림픽 금메달을 딸 수 있을 것 같아요

Now here are many, many more examples:

백신을 매년 맞다 보면 항체가 생겨요
= After getting a vaccine every year, antibodies have formed

콜라를 많이 마시다 보면 갑자기 트림을 많이 해요
= After drinking a lot of Cola, all of a sudden I’m burping a lot

체계가 잡힌 회사에서 근무하다 보면 일이 쉬워져요
= After now working at a company that has a system in place, work has gotten easier

취향에 맞춰 쇼핑을 하다 보면 비슷한 물건만 사게 돼요
= If you shop for a specific taste, you end up buying a lot of the same things

미용사로 오래 일하다 보면 오래 서 있어서 몸이 안 좋아져요
= After working as a hairdresser for a long time, I was standing for so long that my body got bad

밀림에서 오래 생활하다 보면 깨끗한 물의 소중함을 깨닫게 돼요
= After living in the jungle for a long time, I ended up realizing the preciousness of water

같은 상사와 오래 일하다 보면 일하는 방식을 더 잘 배울 수 있어요
= If you work under the same boss/superior for a while, you can learn the way to work better

지혜로운 부모님 밑에서 크다 보면 아이들도 저절로 지혜로워져요
= If kids are raised by wise parents, there kids get wise by themselves

어렸을 때부터 부모님이 하는 말을 계속 듣다 보면 세뇌당하게 해요
= After having listened to my parents from a young age I ended up getting brainwashed

매년 같은 교재를 집필하다 보면 점점 더 내용을 설명하는 게 쉬워져요
= After writing the same teaching materials every year, it has gotten easier to explain the material

쓸데없이 차도를 다시 만드는 공사를 매년 하다보면 시민들이 항의해요
= If you do construction on the road again without purpose the citizens will protest

체구가 큰 친구랑 같이 다니다 보면 사람들이 제가 키가 작다고 오해해요
= After walking around with my friends that have big frames, people misunderstand that I am short

SNS의 댓글을 계속 확인하다 보면 저도 모르게 사람들의 말에 신경을 쓰게 돼요
= After constantly checking the comments on social networking sites, I unconsciously end up caring about what people are saying

외국에서 계속 생활하다 보면 같은 문화를 가진 사람들이 더 매력적으로 느껴져요
= After having continually lived in a foriegn country, I feel that people who have culture have a lot of charm

뒷담화하는 친구를 계속 만나다 보면 다른 친구랑 만났을 때도 제 이야기를 할 것 같아서 걱정돼요
= If I keep meeting this friend who is always talking behind people’s backs, I’m worried that she will talk about me when she meets other friends

Alright, that’s enough for this lesson!

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