In this lesson, we are going to take a look at how to use the word 만큼 to say things like “He is as tall as I am.” and “You can take as much as you want.” in Korean.
만 큼 can be used both as a particle and as a noun. When it is used after other nouns, pronouns and prepositions, it works as a particle and you write it right after the previous word, without space. When it is used after a verb, it has to be modified by it and work as a noun. But either way, the basic meaning is the same.
만큼 represents the meaning of "as much as" or "to the point of" doing or being something.
1. 저만큼 [jeo-man-keum]
= 저 + 만큼
= as much as me
= as much as I
2. 이만큼 [i-man-keum]
= 이(것) + 만큼
= as much as this
= this much
3. 놀랄 만큼 [nol-lal man-keum]
= 놀라다 + 만큼
= to the point of one being surprised
4. 원하는 만큼 [won-ha-neun man-keum]
= 원하다 + 만큼
= as much as one wants
5. 한국에서만큼 [han-gu-ge-seo-man-keum]
= 한국에서 + 만큼
= as much as in Korea
As you can see from the examples above, 만큼 (or -만큼) can be used after various types of words to mean "as much as". But when 만큼 is used after 얼마 [eol-ma], which usually means "how much", 얼마만큼 [eol-ma-man-keum] still has the same meaning of "how much (of something)" or "how much in quantity". In this case, 얼마만큼 is interchangeable with 얼마나 [eol-ma-na].
1. 효진 씨는 경화 씨만큼 키가 커요.
[hyo-jin ssi-neun gyeong-hwa ssi-man-kkeum ki-ga keo-yo.]
= Hyojin is as tall as Kyung-hwa.
2. 얼마만큼 필요해요?
= How much (of it) do you need?
3. 원하는 만큼 다 가져가세요.
[won-ha-neun man-keum da ga-jyeo-ga-se-yo.]
= Take as much as you want.
4. 필요한 만큼 가져가세요.
[pi-ryo-han man-keum ga-jyeo-ga-se-yo.]
= Take as much as you need.
5. 필요한 만큼만 가져가세요.
[pi-ryo-han man-keum-man ga-jyeo-ga-se-yo.]
= Take just the amount you need.
6. 한국에서만큼 자주 안 만나요.
[han-gu-ge-seo-man-keum ja-ju an man-na-yo.]
= We don't meet as often as in Korea.
How to say "as much as I'd like to..." in Korean
In this case, you can't you 만큼 to say things like "As much as I want to go, I can't." Instead, you need to say "정말 -고 싶지만" which literally means "I really want to... but".