This phrase and other variations of it can be found in hundreds and hundreds of K-pop songs; it’s unavoidable. Because I haven’t spent an extended period of time in South Korea nor been integrated into the culture, I can’t vouch for how often this phrase is used in day to day life, but I’m sure it has been said by someone at some point!

 

미치겠다

(mi-chi-get-da)

 

The verb 미치다 means ‘to be crazy’ and here it is conjugated into the future conditional tense… All that means is that this is something you WOULD do if X was to happen. For example, if somebody said that your favourite group were coming to visit the UK, you might reply with something like, “I would love that. That would be so good.” Here, the translation sounds awkward because we would never say, “I would go crazy,” in the sense that it is being used here. But it does work; if you would be crazy in the future, you’re slowly going crazy at the moment in order to end up crazy. Though perhaps we shouldn’t dig into it that much!

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Another variation of this is…

미칠같아

(mi-chil geot gata)

This phrase is already conjugated into a future construction that means, “It’s like I’m going crazy. I feel like I’m going crazy.” It is perhaps the more common of the two phrases and they can be used interchangeably but we must understand what makes them different from each other.

The second phrase has a definite nuance of ‘It’s like,’ or ‘It’s as if,’ and very roughly translated it can mean, “I feel like…” but this is just to make the translation sound more English, as there is no verb in the phrase that means ‘to feel’. The meaning is technically the same between the two phrases if you were to use them in conversation but it is better to understand the grammar before you use them.

 

What drives you crazy? Maybe it’s your little brother, maybe it’s Korean grammar(!). Let us know in the comments below in English and follow it up with one of these new phrases.

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