오히려 is an adverb that Koreans often use in conversation and in writing.
1. unexpectedly(different from a general expectation, assumption)’ or ‘instead‘. A synonym of this meaning is 도리어.
잘못한 사람이 오히려 화를 낸다. The person who made a mistake (unexpectedly) gets angry.
미안한 사람은 오히려 저예요. I am the one who should apologize. (instead of you)
가장 친한 친구가 오히려 나를 배신하고 내 돈을 훔쳐갔다. My best friend (unexpectedly) betrayed me and stole my money.
사장님이 웃고 있지만 그게 오히려 나를 더 불안하게 한다. The boss is smiling, but that makes me more nervous.(instead of being comfortable)
병원에 가면 오히려 병에 더 걸릴 것 같아. When I go to the hospital, I feel like I will get sick more.
지나친 운동은 오히려 더 안 좋을 수도 있어요. If you do exercise too much, it wouldn’t be good for you.
화장을 너무 많이 해서 예쁘기는커녕 오히려 더 못생겨 보인다.
She puts on too much make-up on her face, she looks more ugly.
2. ‘rather’ which means ‘compare two things’, so it is often used with ‘-느니(rather)’ or ‘-는 것보다(rather)’. A synonym of this meaning is ‘차라리‘.
이렇게 기다리느니 오히려 걸어가는 게 낫겠어요. I would rather walk than wait like this.
거짓말을 하는 것보다 오히려 사실대로 말하고 사과하는 게 좋지 않을까요? Don’t you think you’d rather tell the truth and apologize than lie about it?
2 thoughts on “[Vocabulary] 오히려 rather, instead”
Thank you for the lesson! Was looking for something to explain 오히려 and this is the best page I’ve found!
Thanks! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.