In this lesson, let us take a look at how to say “no matter whether” someone does something or not. The verb ending you can use to say this in Korean is -(으)나마나 [-(eu)na-ma-da]. This is very similar to -아/어/여 봤자 (Level 7 Lesson 7), but the difference is that -아/어/여 봤자 has a stronger nuance of “even if you go ahead and do it, you won’t achieve what you want”, whereas -(으)나마나 is closer to “no matter whether you do it or not, the result is fixed”.
Verb stem + -(으)나마나
Ex) 먹다 → 먹 + -으나마나 = 먹으나마나
Ex) 보다 → 보 + -나마나 = 보나마나
보나마나, 이상할 거예요.
[bo-na-ma-na, i-sang-hal geo-ye-yo.]
= No matter whether you see it or not, (I’m sure) it will be strange.
= You don’t even have to see it. It will be strange.
Sometimes, -(으)나마나 is followed just by the -이다 verb in the form -(으)나마나예요.
= You don’t even have to look at it. What you will see is fixed. I know what yoi will see.
= I don’t even have to bother to look at it. I know what I will see.
1. 물어보나마나 안 된다고 할 거예요.
[mu-reo-bo-na-ma-na an doen-da-go hal geo-ye-yo.]
= Whether you ask them or not, they will certainly say no.
2. 하나마나 똑같아요.
= No matter whether you do it or not, the result is the same.
3. 이야기를 하나마나 하나도 달라지는 게 없어요.
[i-ya-gi-reul ha-na-ma-da ha-na-do dal-la-ji-neun ge eop-seo-yo.]
= No matter whether you talk to him or not, nothing changes.
4. 보나마나 제가 일등이에요.
[bo-na-ma-na je-ga il-deung-i-e-yo.]
= No need to see. I’m the 1st place winner.
5. 이 책은 읽으나마나예요.
[i cha-geun il-geu-na-ma-na-ye-yo.]
= This book is worthless to read.