In this lesson, we are taking a look at the Korean expression, 어차피 [eo-cha-pi]. 어차피 can be translated to many things in English and sometimes doesn’t translate very well. In most cases it is used as part of a sentence, but it is used on its own very often as well.
Various translations of 어차피 [eo-cha-pi]
- one way or the other
- not even ____ to begin with
- in any case
- after all
The basic meaning of 어차피 is “whether you choose this or choose that” or “no matter what choice you make” and you use 어차피 when you are talking with an expected result in mind or to show your skepticism for someones worry or expectation.
The usages of 어차피 can be best explained through examples.
1. 다시 올 거예요.
[da-si ol geo-ye-yo.]
= I will come back.
= I will come again.
= They/he/she will come again.
→ 어차피 다시 올 거예요.
[eo-cha-pi da-si ol geo-ye-yo.]
= I will come back anyway. (So don’t worry if I forget something. I can take it when I come back.)
= They will come again one way or the other. (So don’t even bother asking them to come back.)
2. 제가 할 수 있는 일이 아니에요.
[je-ga hal su it-neun i-ri a-ni-e-yo.]
= It’s not something that I can do.
→ 어차피 제가 할 수 있는 일이 아니에요.
[eo-cha-pi je-ga hal su it-neun i-ri a-ni-e-yo.]
= Even if I try, it’s not something that I can do.
= Don’t bother asking me. It’s not something that I can do.
= It’s already obvious. I can’t do it.
3. 늦었으니까 빨리 와.
[neu-jeo-sseu-ni-kka ppal-li wa.]
= You’re late, so hurry up!
→ 어차피 늦었으니까 천천히 와.
[eo-cha-pi neu-jeo-sseu-ni-kka cheon-cheo-ni wa.]
= You’re late already, so take your time.
= Even if you hurry up now, you are already very late, so just take your time.
4. 어차피 해야 되는 거니까, 재미있게 해요.
[eo-cha-pi hae-ya doe-neun geo-ni-kka, jae-mi-it-ge hae-yo.]
= One way or the other, you have to do it anyway, so (you’d better) try to have fun while doing it.
5. 어차피 저도 지금 거기 가는 중이에요.
[eo-cha-pi jeo-do ji-geum geo-gi ga-neun jung-i-e-yo.]
= I am on my way there anyway.
= Even if you hadn’t asked me, I’m already in the middle of going there anyway, so don’t worry.