[Korean grammar] -고도 Expressing Contrasts and Opposites

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가: 어제 모임에 여양 씨가 또 늦게 온 거 있죠?
Yeoyang was late getting to yesterday’s meeting again.
나: 그렇게 안 늦겠다고 다짐을 하고도 또 안 지켰단 말이에요?
Do you mean that he didn’t keep his word even after resolving not to be late?
가: 더군다나 늦게 오고도 사과 한 마디 없는 거 예요. 같이 기다리던 사람들한테 오히려 제가 미안하더라고요.
Moreover, even after arriving late, he didn’t offer an apology. I ended up feeling sorry for all of the others who had to wait.
나: 여양 씨는 늦게 오는 버릇만 고치면 참 괜찮은 사람인데 왜 그러는지 모르겠네요.
Apart from the fact that he has a habit of arriving late, Yeoyang is a great person, so I don’t know why he behaves that way.

This expression is used to indicate that some unexpected action or situation occurs in the following clause after the completion of the action in the preceding clause. It only attaches to verbs.


• 직접 눈으로 확인하고도 아직도 못 믿겠단 말이에요?
Are you saying that you still don’t believe it to be true even after directly confirming it with your own eyes?

• 돈이 있으면 뭐든지 살 수 있다고들 하지만 돈을 주고도 살 수 없는 것이 있다.
People say that you can buy anything if you have enough money, but even if you have money, there are some things you can’t buy.

• 화상 회의를 통해 각지에 흩어져 있는 지사장들이 한 자리에 모이지 않고도 긴급한 안건을 논의 할수 있게 되었다.
It is now possible for the branch managers scattered across all areas to discuss urgent issues via virtual chatting even if they aren’t gathered in the same room.

1. The subjects of the preceding and following clauses must be the same when using this expression.
동생이 도자기를 깨고도 제가 깼다고 했어요. (X)
->동생이 도자기를 깨고도 (동생이) 깨지 않았다고 했어요. (〇)
->동생이 도자기를 깼지만 제가 깼다고 했어요. (〇)

2. This expression cannot be used with endings that express tense, such as -았/었 and -겠-.
• 그 친구는 늦게 왔고도 사과하지 않았다. (X)
ᅳ> 그 친구는 늦게 오고도 사과하지 않았다. (〇)

3. This expression can attach to some adjectives to refer to the fact that something simultaneously has two opposing characteristics.
• 가깝고도 먼 나라 a near, but far, country
• 길고도 짧은 인생 a long, but short, life
• 넓고도 좁은 세상 a big, but small, world
• 슬프고도 아름다운 이야기 a sad, but beautiful, story

>> You can click on the title of each grammar below to see other grammars which also express ‘Contrasts and Opposites’

1. -건만
2. -고도
3. -(으)ㅁ에도 불구하고

>> Full of ‘Korean grammar in use – Advanced’: Click here
>> Full of ‘Korean grammar in use – Intermediate’: Click here

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