The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

A simple Korean clause “-면 -ㄹ수록” corresponds to the 1st part of the English structure above: “The more…, the more…”   Note that in Korean, the verb is often repeated twice to say the 1st part “The more…”    For many Korean verbs ending with -하다, the clause simply becomes “-하면 할수록.”  

  • 사랑하면 할수록 = The more I love, the more … 
  • 배우면 배울수록 = The more I learn, the more …  [ Verb 배우다 = to learn ]
  • 시간이 지나면 지날수록 = The more time passes by, the more … [ Verb 지나다 = to pass by ]

Koreans often omit “-면part in this clause, saying only “-ㄹ수록.” Furthermore, Koreans sometimes don’t say “the more” () in the 2nd part of the English structure above, which does not change the meaning of the sentence at all.  Colloquially, therefore, the Einstein quote above can be best translated as:

“배우 배울수록 제가 얼마나 모르는지 깨달아요.”

It makes perfect sense, as humility/modesty is a great virtue in Korean culture 😊

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