V+ 지 않고서는

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V+ 지 않고서는

It is attached to the stem of an action verb to emphasize that the behavior of the preceding clause is necessary to make the following clause possible. Negative expressions such as ‘힘들다’, ‘어렵다’, and ‘-을 수 없다’ come in the following clause.

직접 그 상황을 보지 않고서는 이해하기가 어려우실 겁니다.
You’ll find it hard to understand it without seeing it in person.

개개인이 사회 규범을 지키지 않고서는 사회질서를 유지할 수가 없습니다.
Individuals cannot maintain social order without abiding by social norms.

자녀를 편하게 기를 수 있는 환경을 조성하지 않고서는 저출산 문제를 해결하기 힘듭니다.
Without creating an environment where children can be raised comfortably, it is hard to solve the problem of low birth rates.

Conversation:

어제 한국 고궁 관람을 다녀왔는데 고궁이 정말 화려해 보이더라.
I went to see the Korean traditional palace yesterday and it looked really splendid.
아마 화려한 단청 때문일 거야. 단청을 말하지 않고서는 한국 건축물의 아름다움을 논하기 힘들어.
Maybe it’s because of the splendid dancheong. It’s hard to discuss the beauty of Korean architecture without speaking dancheong.
그럼 단청은 건물을 꾸미기 위해서 일부러 칠하는 거야?
So dancheong is painted purposely to decorate the building?
원래는 나무가 비바람에 잘 견디고 벌레가 먹지 말라고 칠하는 거였어.
Originally it was painted to make the trees well withstand the rain and wind and not be eaten by insects.
아, 그런데 여러 가지 색깔로 무늬를 넣은 거구나. 무늬에 특별한 의미는 없어?
Oh, and they put in the patterns in various colors. Is there any special meaning to the pattern?
무늬에는 화재와 귀신을 막아 주는 상징적인 의미가 있대.
The pattern has a symbolic meaning to protect against fire and ghosts.

See also  V+ 는 한

Related words
고궁 traditional palace
단청 traditional multicolored paintwork on wooden buildings
It refers to paintings or patterns or drawings of old-style houses such as walls, pillars, ceilings, and so on, in various colors. In the case of temples and palaces, the colors blue, red, yellow, white, and black, which are traditional Korean colors, are colored brilliantly, to show different sacredness than usual.
논하다 to discuss
벌레가 먹다 to be eaten by a bug
무늬 pattern
상징적 symbolic

Source: Yonsei University. Korean Language Institute

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