-처럼 – “like X”

This lesson will be short and sweet. Adding -처럼 to a noun creates the meaning that something is like that noun.

For example: 나 = “me”. 나처럼 = “like me”. 새 = “bird”. 나 새처럼 = “I’m like a bird.”

It’s that simple. It just attaches right to the end of the noun.

It can also be used to mean “like” an entire clause by attaching it to the word 것 that comes at the end of the clause. The finer details of that involve some grammar that takes a bit to get your head around, but if you’re ready for it, read about it here. Sometimes this usage of 처럼 is better translated into English as “as if/as though”, but the meaning is the same, really.

This seems like a great time to teach you the word 마냑. 마냑, on its own, doesn’t really have a translatable meaning. But you will often see it at the beginning of a sentence that includes 처럼 or another grammatical principle that is similar: 듯 (as, as though) or perhaps 같다 (to be like). Basically, when the sentence starts with 마냑, the listener knows from the get-go that there will be a like/as in the sentence.

The word 마치 is similar to 마냑, but it used more for sentences that will involve some imagery.

Examples:

Make It Right
그때처럼 날 어루만져줘. ~ “Caress me like you did then.”
Original noun: 그때 – that time, back then

J’amais Vu
늘 처음인 것처럼 아파. ~ “It always hurts like it’s the first time.”
Original noun: 것 – “thing” – this is the complex grammar I mentioned above.

친구 (Friends):
네 작은 새끼손가락처럼 ~ “Like your little pinky finger”
Original noun: 새끼손가락 – pinky finger

Serendipity
기다렸던 것처럼 ~ “As if we’ve been waiting”
Original noun: 것

Awake
저기 저 꽃잎들처럼 ~ “Like those flower petals”
Original noun: 꽃잎 – a flower petal + -들 to make it plural

봄날 (Spring Day)
허공을 떠도는 작은 먼지처럼, 작은 먼지처럼 ~ “Like fine dust floating in the air, like fine dust”
Original noun: 먼지 – dust

Butterfly
마치 butterfly, bu butterfly 처럼 ~ “Like a butterfly

Home
마치 무슨 본때를 보여줄 것처럼 ~ “As if I were really going to show something great.”
Original noun: 것