Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why use (으)로서, (으)로써, & (으)로 이하여?

The markers (으)로서, (으)로써, and (으)로 이하여 can all be replaced with (으)로 without any difference in meaning, so why not just use (으)로?

(으)로서 is an adverb marker used to establish status or authority:
  • 학생으로서 = 학생으로
    As a student....
  • 자식으로서 할 일= 자식으로 할 일
    Something one does as a child
  • 학자로서 = 학자로
    As a scholar....

(으)로써 is an adverb marker used to show the purpose, method, or tool used for doing something:

  • 으로써 낫게 할 수 없는 병 = 약으로....
    A disease that cannot be cured with medicine
  • 생각만으로써 되는 일이 아니다 = 생각만으로....
    This is not something that can be solved by just thinking about it.
  • 석유로써 재산을 모으다 = 석유로....
    make one's fortune in oil

(으)로 인하여 is used to show cause or reason:

  • 불결로 인하여 병이 생기는 경우도 있다 = 불결로....
    Some diseases are attributable to lack of cleanliness.
  • 그 사건으로 인해서 우리 회사가 유명해졌다. = 그 사건으로
    Our company because famous from that incident.
  • 올해 지진으로 인한 피해가 컸다. = 올해 지진으로 생긴....
    The damage from this years earthquake was enormous.

Also, do not use the -으로해서 and -므로해서 makers.

Simplify your life by just using (으)로. Why make Korean more difficult than it already is?


  1. What do Koreans tend to use? In what context does it make sense to use the different forms? Would it be a more specific form that would benefit a scientific or academic article?

  2. Ed, the different endings add little or nothing to the meaning of 으로, so my point was to suggest that you ignore them since they are superfluous, which is why they are put in parentheses in grammar books. For example, I think 인해서 is just a holdover from the old Chinese writing of the past, but with 으로, it becomes unnecessary. The only use for them that I can see is as "fillers," when you are speaking and are stalling for time as you try to think of what you want to say next. I do not think they make you seem smarter, so I would not use them in a scientific or academic article unless someone are paying you for the article by the word, in which case you could make a few extra won by using them.

  3. Hi Garry, you mentioned that one shouldn't use 으로해서 and 므로해서, but didn't really mention why, or what the respective markers mean. Could you please elaborate?

  4. Good question, Faraz. I forgot to mention the reason. Both "으로해서" and "므로해서" mean the same thing as "해서," so instead of saying "공부함으로해서," simply say "공부해서." Likewise, instead of saying "배우므로해서" or "배움으로해서," simply say "배워서." In other words, why change verbs to noun forms and add 해서 when it is easier to add "어서" to the verbs themselves? It is not only unnecessary, it seems somewhat pretentious.