August 25, 2009 by tailieutienghan
그렇지 않아도 (geureochi anado) literally means “even if it's not like that” or “even if you don't do it like that,” and it is a shortened version of the longer phrase, “그렇게 하지 않아도” or “그러하지 않아도.” Literally, 그렇게 하다 means “to do like that” and 그러하다 means “to be that way” or “to be like that.” Therefore, this refers to whatever has happened or has been mentioned previously. Koreans use this phrase often when they were going to do something and someone mentions it or something happens so that now it's expected of them to do it.
그렇지 않아도 is almost always used as a set phrase, and often used along with the grammatical structure -(으)려고 하다, which was means “to plan to do” or “to be about to do” something. But when “그러하다” or “그렇게 하다” needs to be replaced with a different verb to express a more specific situation, you can take the verb and add -지 않아도.
Ex) 니가 말하지 않아도 도와주려고 했어.
= I was going to help you even if you didn't ask me to.
= 그렇지 않아도 도와주려고 했어.
♣ More Examples ♣
1. 안 그래도 오늘 전화하려고 했어! (an geuraedo oneul jeonhwaharyeogo haesseo!)
– I was going to call you anyway.
2. 그렇지 않아도 내가 물어보려고 했어. (geureochi anado nae-ga mureoboryeogo hasseo.)
– Even before you mentioned it, I was going to ask you.
3. 그렇지 않아도 나는 갈 시간이 없었어. (geureochi anado na-neun sigan-i eopseo.)
– Even before that happened, I didn't have time to go anyway.
4. 안 그래도 조금 이상하다고 생각했어. (an geuraedo na-neun isanghadago saenggakhaesseo.)
– Even before you mentioned that, I thought it was strange.
As there are usually two ways to negate a verb in Korean, 그렇지 않다 is also interchangeable with 안 그렇다. So you can say 안 그래도 instead of 그렇지 않아도, but 안 그래도 is slightly more casual while 그렇지 않아도 can be used in all kind of polite situations.
그렇지 않아도 is often translated in English as 'anyway' at the end of a sentence, and the Korean word has the same meaning is 어차피, but just like 안 그래도, the word 어차피 is also more casual than 그렇지 않아도, so it's advsiable to say '그렇지 않아도' in polite situations.
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