Learn Korean: Verb + 길 잘했다

Let’s take a look at the Korean sentence pattern Verb + 길 잘했다. We use this when an unfortunate episode in our life turns out to be a blessing in disguise. We also use this when action we chose (not) to do turns out be a good decision. For example, my friend Yohan joined a survival show and was doing well until the final episode. He didn’t make it to the cut and it made him really depressed. A few months after debut, the group was disbanded due to vote manipulation controversy. That time, Yohan was set to debut in another group. I told him That was so lucky of you to get eliminated after all. The main verb is 탈락되다 (to get eliminated). We take the verb stem (탈락되) and attach 길 잘했다. The actual sentence is 탈락되길 잘했어(). We are not necessarily happy about the misfortune of others. Here’s another example. My sister and her friends planned a trip to Okinawa, but in the end she decided not to go because she had been there with us before. Two days later, she got a message from them saying a typhoon was looming and that they had to stay indoors for the rest of their stay. The trip was doomed. I said You made good decision not to go there. The main verb is 안 가다 (to not go). We take the verb stem () and attach 길 잘했다. The actual sentence is 안 가길 잘했어(). We also use this when an existing fact (not necessarily negative) turns out to be favorable at the end of the day. For example, Face App was trending all over Facebook and my male friends had shared the female version of themselves. They suggested that I try. I uploaded a photo and waited for the result. But I looked ordinary and unattractive. My friend said that I look better as a man. He said Thank goodness you were born as a man. The main verb is 남자로 태어나다 (to be born as a man). We take the verb stem (태어나) and attach 길 잘했다. The actual sentence is 남자로 태어나길 잘했어().

헤어지길 잘했어().

You made a good decision of breaking up with her. (It turns out that she has billions of loan)

떠나길 잘했어.

You’re lucky to have left Wuhan before the corona virus outbreak.

그만두길 잘했네.

Thank goodness you decided to quit that job. (It went bankrupt)