Made/compelled to - ~되면 ~게 돼요

This phrase has two parts. The first part is ~게 되면, and the second part is ~게 돼요.

The meaning of "~게 되면" is equivalent to "when(ever) or if," and that of "~게 돼요" is equivalent to "am made/compelled to" or "habitually(usually)."

For example,

  • 음식점에 가게 되면, 비빔밥을 주문하게 돼요 = When(ever) I go to a restaurant, I am made/compelled to order a bibimbap. (I habitually/usually order a bibimbap.)

음식점 = a restaurant
가다 = go
가게 되면 = When(if) I go
비빔밥 = a Korean dish (The dish consists of rice with various kinds of vegetables, beef(usually mince), fried egg, Korean red chili paste and sesame oil.)
주문 = order (n.)
주문하다 = order (v.)
주문하게 돼요 = I habitually order

Note: The plain form of 되면 and 돼요 is '되다' which means 'to become.' Therefore, the literal translation of the sentence above is:

  • 음식점에 가게 되면, 비빔밥을 주문하게 돼요 = When(ever) it becomes that I go to a restaurant, it becomes that I order bibimbap

Also, in the first part when a noun is used instead of a verb, 이/가 되면 is used instead.
For example,

  • 아침이 되면, 신문을 보게 된다 = When it is morning, I habitually(usually) read a newspaper

The literal translation of the sentence above is, "When it 'becomes' morning, I 'become' reading a newspaper."

The sentence doesn't make sense grammatically in English but I hope the literal translation will help you get the nuance of the phrase.

Conjugation rule

Take 다 off a plain form of verbs and attach 게 되면/게 돼요 to it.

하다(do) → 하게 되면 = When(ever) I do
하다(do) → 하게 돼요 = I habitually/usually do (or I am made/compelled to do)
  • 하게 돼요 = I habitually do
  • 가게 돼요 = I habitually go
  • 오게 돼요 = I habitually come
  • 먹게 돼요 = I habitually eat
  • 자게 돼요 = I habitually sleep
  • 말하게 돼요 = I habitually speak
  • 듣게 돼요 = I habitually listen
  • 보게 돼요 = I habitually watch

Example Sentences
  • 늦은 밤이 되면, 아이스크림을 먹게 돼요 = When(ever) it is late at night, I habitually eat an icecream
  • 정오가 되면 졸려서 낮잠을 자게 돼요 = When(ever) it is noon, because I'm tired(sleepy), I habitually have a nap (Lit. sleep a nap).
  • 컴퓨터만 키게 되면, 음악을 듣게 돼요 = When(ever) I turn on the computer, I habitually listen to music.
  • 시내만 나가게 되면, 영화를 보게 돼요 = When(ever) I go to town, I habitually go to movies (Lit. watch movies).
  • 운동만 하게 되면, 물을 많이 마시게 돼요 = When(ever) I exercise, I habitually drink a lot of water.


As a side note, when you would like express something that you "usually" do and not what you are "made/compelled to" do, "주로" is often used.

For example,

  • 음식점에 가면, "주로" 비빔밥을 주문해요 = When I go to a restaurant, I usually order a bibimbap. (There is no nuance of being "made/compelled to" order a bibimbap.)
  • 운동하고 나서는 "주로" 물을 많이 마셔요 = After exercise, I usually drink a lot of water. (Some people may not drink a lot of water and other people may not drink water at all but as for me, I "usually"(whether "I'm made/compelled to" or not, we do not know) drink a lot of water.)
  • 시내에 나가면 주로 영화를 봐요 = When I go to town, I usually go to movies. (Lit. watch movies)
  • 학교에는 주로 걸어가요 = I usually walk to school.
  • 회사에는 주로 차로 가요 = I usually go to work by car.


    1. Thank you so much.. this page really helped me a lot in addition to my normal korean lessons.. :)

    2. Hey I just wanted to say thanks a lot for this website, it's really helping me with "casual" everyday Korean. Fighting!

    3. Thank you for continuing! Your work means a lot to me. Hopefully through this blog more people will gain an interest in learning Korean language.

    4. Hey Luke Im half black and hallf Korean from dallas texas... Instead of titling this... In the habit of... In America we sau Usually.

      When i got to a resturant... i usually order bibandbap.

      Usually.. in the habit of means the same thing.... It will make sense to a lot more foreigners if you say usually instead of in the habit of... Oh and by the way i love your website... i was looking at this site for my Dongsaeng since he is having a hard time with the grammar and he needs to learn everything looks pretty good except this concept of In the habit of... You can usually say Usually do. Instead...



    5. Hi, Maljin

      Thank you for your comment.
      I've reread my post and found that "in the habit of" might have been not very clear to readers.

      So I considered changing the phrase to "usually" as you've said.

      However, I found that the expression doesn't quite mean "usually" after all, although it is very close to its meaning. (I think you'd get away with traslating the phrase to "usually")

      For example, if I wanted to say,
      "When I go to a Korean restaurant, I usually order Bibimbap."
      It would be, "한국 음식점에 가게 되면, 주로 비빔밥을 주문해요."

      주로 = usually

      However, 주문하게 돼요 literally means "I'm made to order" or "I order bibimbap habitually" (Or, spontaneously/impulsively/unthinkingly)

      I thought "habitually" is probably closer to the original meaning of the phrase. Also, I thought "habitually" helped the English sentences to flow more.

      What do you think?

      Thanks and happy new year!


    6. Hey luke,
      i've been following most of your blog postings and using them as study notes.

      in regards to "usually" and "habitually", i see what you mean by the feeling that is implied when you use "habitually". instead of implying that it is something that simply happens commonly (which is the feeling we have from "usually"), your use of "habitually" connotes that there is some kind of internal force that makes us to it.

      however, in english, and in the situations that you have given, we are more likely to use the word usually.

      even when you say "when i exercise i habitually drink a lot of water", there is a need for your body to drink water and you are compelled to drink it ... but in the english language, we are still more likely to use "usually".

      with that said, it's great that you give us an idea of the feeling behind the korean words and expressions. i think it really helps us understand the language better.

    7. Hey, "Anonymous"
      Thanks for your comment.

      You have well described the nuance of 게 돼요 as you've written above.

      게 돼요 has this nuance of "being compelled to" and "being made to" do something.

      I agree that the use of "usually" would make the English sentences sound more natural and colloquial.

      In using, "habitually" I wanted to make a distinction that if I wanted to say something that I do "usually" then I wouldn't use "게 돼요" instead I'd use:

      주로 해요. = I usually do

      For example,

      음식점에 가면, 주로 비빔밥을 주문해요 = When(ever) I go to a restaurant, I usually order bibimbap.

      There's quite a difference in meaning to the sentence below which used "게 돼요"

      음식점에 가게 되면, 비빔밥을 주문하게 돼요 = When(ever) it becomes that I go to a restaurant, I am made/compelled to order bibimbap.

      Maybe I should've included the "usually" expression alongside this article, and I'll just a bit more explanation.

      Thanks for bringing that up!


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