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Lesson 92: ~도록: To an extent, In order to, To make

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Translation 1
Translation 2
Translation 3
Translation 4
Translation 5




= one’s residence/home
뇌물 = bribe
상금 = prize money
학과 = a department in school
소득세 = income tax
피로감 = fatigue
피해자 = victim
금메달 = gold medal
삼각형 = triangle
직사각형 = rectangle
정사각형 = square
동그라미 = circle
미세먼지 = microdust

따다 = to get, to obtain, to win
닳다 = to be worn down
갖추다 = to prepare, make preparations for
비기다 = to tie in a match, game
부과하다 = to impose, to levy
강요하다 = to force, to impose
이주하다 = to immigrate
저지르다 = to commit a crime
양치질하다 = to brush one’s teeth

피로하다 = to be tired, to be fatigued
삭막하다 = to be dreary, desolate
미세하다 = to be minute

Adverbs and Other Words:
깨끗이 = cleanly

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




In this lesson, you will learn about the Korean grammatical principle ~도록, which has confused foreign learners of Korean for ages. I think the confusion with this grammatical principal stems from the fact that there are so many translations for the same Korean usage. I will break it all down for you step by step, so you have no reason to worry. Let’s get started.



~도록: To cause a situation to occur

There are many ways that ~도록 can be translated to English. As is typical with Korean, knowing what translation to use in English depends on the situation in which ~도록 is used. Although the English translation might differ, the Korean usage of ~도록 is actually the same in all cases. You might be tempted to separate the uses of ~도록 based on their English translations, but one of the goals of this lesson is to show that all of the sentences with ~도록 have a common theme: ~도록 causes some situation to occur.

Depending on who is causing what, or what is causing whom, or who is causing whom, or what is causing what, the translation to English might be different. Here we go.

Translation 1: So that, in order to…
~도록 can be attached to adjectives or verbs to have the meaning of “so that” or “in order to.” For example:

아침에 일찍 일어나도록 어젯밤에 일찍 잤어요
= I went to bed early last night in order to get up early in the morning

One way to look at this is to think that the clause before ~도록 (getting up early) “occurs” because of the main action in the sentence (going to bed early). This fits with my description above where I state that ~도록 causes some situation to occur. This is also true for the sentences below:

버스를 놓치지 않도록 정류장으로 뛰어 갔어요
= I ran to the bus stop so that I would not miss the bus

학생들이 알아들을 수 있도록 천천히 말했어요
= I spoke slowly so that the students could understand me

입 냄새가 나지 않도록 매일 양치질을 열심히 해요
= I brush my teeth well everyday so that my mouth/breath doesn’t smell

내일 할머니 댁에 일찍 갈 수 있도록 짐을 미리 다 쌌어요
= I packed all of my bags so that I can go to grandma’s house early tomorrow

엄마 아빠에게 칭찬을 받을 수 있도록 방을 깨끗이 청소했어요
= I cleaned my room (cleanly) so that I could receive praise from mom and dad

미세먼지가 심한 날에 목이 아프지 않도록 꼭 마스크를 써야 돼요
= On days that the micro-dust is severe, you should definitely wear a mask so that your throat doesn’t get sore

그 범죄자는 범죄를 저지를 때 피해자가 자기를 알아볼 수 없도록 마스크를 써요
= The criminal wears a mask so that the victims can’t recognize him when he commits a  crime

This meaning of ~도록 is very commonly seen in signs around Korea. For example, you may see signs that say:

다른 승객들이 불편하지 않도록 신문을 읽지 마세요
= Please don’t read a newspaper on the train so that other passengers are not uncomfortable

There is a sign at the gym that I work out at that has the following message:

모든 회원님들이 사용할 수 있도록 긴 시간 동안 기구를 사용하지 마세요
= Don’t use a machine for a long time so that all members can use them


Recall that one of the usages of ~게 (from Lesson 56) is to create this same meaning. ~도록 can be replaced with ~게 in all of the above sentences. For example:

버스를 놓치지 않게 정류장으로 뛰어 갔어요
학생들이 알아들을 수 있게 천천히 말했어요
입 냄새가 나지 않게 매일 양치질을 열심히 해요
내일 할머니 댁에 일찍 갈 수 있게 짐을 미리 다 쌌어요
미세먼지가 심한 날에 목이 아프지 않게 꼭 마스크를 써야 돼요
그 범죄자는 범죄를 저지를 때 피해자가 자기를 알아볼 수 없게 마스크를 써요

Although ~도록 and ~게 can be used interchangeably in these types of sentences, you are more likely to see ~도록 on signs and in formal writing. I would much rather say “~게” in my sentences over “~도록.” If you plan on taking a TOPIK test, you’ll find that there are commonly questions asking you to replace ~도록 with a grammatical principle that has the same meaning. For example, the question might ask what can replace the underlined section below to have the same meaning:

버스를 놓치지 않도록 정류장으로 뛰어 갔어요

Possible choices might be:

a) 는데
b) 고
c) 게
d) 아도

Easy peasy.


Translation 2: I will, I will be sure to…
In the sentences above, some situation “causes” the clause before ~도록 to occur. That same idea allows ~도록 to be attached to verbs and then followed by a verb (usually 하다) in the future tense. For example:

내일까지 하도록 하겠습니다 = I will do it by tomorrow

Despite the differences in translation, try to notice the similarities with the sentences introduced in Translation 1 in the way that ~도록 is used. Again, the clause before ~도록 is being made to occur. How will it occur? Well, we don’t know that specifically, but we know that the speaker of the sentence will be taking care of it.

In essence, this is simply a way for a speaker to indicate that he will do something in the future. It is typically used in formal settings (like in a work environment) as it contains the feeling that the speaker will “be sure to” to do the action. Below are more examples:

제가 지금부터 열심히 일하도록 할게요
= I will (be sure to) work hard from now on

서류를 준비해서 오후에 주도록 하겠습니다
= I will (be sure to) prepare the documents and give them to you in the afternoon

지난 경기를 안타깝게 비겨서 이번에 꼭 이기도록 할 거예요
= We unfortunately tied the previous match, so this time I will (be sure to) win

이 대회의 상금이 크기 때문에 대회를 이길 수 있도록 열심히 노력할 거에요
= The prize money for this contest is big, so I will (be sure to) try hard to win

이 삭막한 공간을 리모델링해서 새로운 공간으로 만들어 내도록 하겠습니다
= We will renovate this dreary space and turn it into a new one

In these sentences, the speaker is indicating that he will be sure to do the action attached to ~도록. It is also possible to apply this same idea to a command.


Translation 3: Be sure to…

This is the same idea that I’ve been referring to since the beginning of the lesson. A speaker can use ~도록 attached to an action that he would like to be done. This could be directed at a listener, or directed at a general audience (like the general public). Again, the clause before ~도록 is being made to occur. For example:

쿠키를 사각형 모양이 되도록 만들어 주세요
= Be sure to make the cookies into a triangle shape

기한 내에 서류를 갖춰서 학과에 내도록 하세요
= Be sure to prepare the documents within the timeframe and submit them to the department

중요한 선거가 곧 있으니 뇌물을 받지 않도록 주의하세요
= There is an important election soon, so be careful to not accept any bribes

소득세를 기한 안에 내지 않으면 벌금이 부과되기 때문에 꼭 3월 31일까지 내도록 하세요
= If you don’t pay your taxes in the timeframe, a fine will be imposed, so be sure to pay by March 31st

Those commands are directed at somebody. However, it is also possible to refer to the fact that someone gave a command to someone else. This could be seen as another translation.


Translation 4: To make, to force
It is possible to use ~도록 to refer to a command that was given. For example:

부장님은 모든 직원들이 회의에 참석하도록 했어요
= The boss made all of the workers come to the meeting

부모님은 제가 대학교에 진학하도록 강요하셨어요
= My parents forced me to go to University

선생님이 학생들을 동그라미 모양으로 서도록 했어요
= The teacher made the students stand in a circle

As I’ve been saying this whole lesson – all of these different uses of ~도록 are the same. We just give them different translations in English, which makes us think that they should be different in Korean. Because we’re technically always talking about the same usage, it is sometimes possible for there to be more than one translation for ~도록 in a sentence. For example, the following two sentences (from “Translation 1”) would also be appropriate using the current translation:

엄마 아빠에게 칭찬을 받을 수 있도록 방을 깨끗이 청소했어요
= I cleaned my room (cleanly) to make mom and dad praise me

그 범죄자는 범죄를 저지를 때 피해자가 자기를 알아볼 수 없도록 마스크를 써요
= The criminal wears a mask to make his victims not recognize him when he commits a crime

Although there are no commands in these two sentences, you could see how the translation of “make” would work. Again, it doesn’t matter how we translate it to English. The clause attached to ~도록 is being made to happen.



Translation 5: To the point of, to the extent of…
~도록 can be used to indicate that one does an action to a certain extent. For example:

선수는 숨을 못 쉬도록 빨리 뛰었어요 = The athlete ran fast to the extent that he couldn’t breathe

By looking at this sentence, we can see immediately how this usage fits the general usage of ~도록 that we have been referring to the entire lesson. The athlete made the action of “not being able to breathe” occur because he ran so much. Again, this action was made to occur.

Below are more examples:

제가 김치를 질리도록 먹었어요  = I ate kimchi to the extent that I was sick of it
우리는 발이 아프도록 걸어 다녔어요 = We walked around to the point that our feet hurt
자전거를 피로감이 느껴지도록 빨리 탔어요 = I rode my bike to the point that I felt fatigued
군인들은 눈을 감고 총을 쏠 수 있도록 훈련을 받았다 = The soldiers trained to the extent that they could shoot guns with their eyes closed.

This style of sentence is often used as a metaphor (most commonly with 죽다) to indicate that one does something to some metaphoric extreme. For example:

제가 죽도록 당신을 사랑할 거예요 = I will love to the point that I will die
금메달을 따기 위해 맨날 죽도록 운동했어요 = In order to win the gold medal, I exercised every day to the point that I would die


This usage is used in the Korean national anthem. The first verse of the anthem is:

동해 물과 백두산이 마르고 닳도록…

“동해 물” refers to the water in the East Sea, and “백두산” is a mountain in Korea (it’s actually on the border of North Korea and China, but has cultural significance for all Korean people). I don’t want to write the next line, because it gets confusing. However, it refers to Korea living “long and forever.”

The line above provides the metaphor that Korea will live forever, until “the East Sea is dry, and 백두산 is completely worn down” – both of which would never really happen.


A common word that ~도록 is used with is “지나다.” By using “지나도록,” you can indicate that a certain amount of time has passed since something happened. For example:

우리는 3년이 지나도록 못 만났어요 = We haven’t met in three years
이틀이 지나도록 밥을 안 먹었어요 = I haven’t eaten in two days

My brain likes to compartmentalize things. I feel these types of sentences fit mostly with the “extent” translation above. Although you probably wouldn’t normally say it like this, you could write those sentences as:

우리는 3년이 지나도록 못 만났어요
= We haven’t met in so long (to the extent that) three years have passed since we last met!

이틀이 지나도록 밥을 안 먹었어요
= I haven’t eaten in so long (to the extent that) two days have past


That’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.
Click here for Korean Short Stories specifically tailored to learners at this level.

Okay, got it! Take me to the next lesson!