Lately, this has been coming up quite a bit in my Korean studies. In the case of meaning something like "in order to" are these fundamentally the same? I have been getting mixed (seemingly context-dependent) answers from natives about this..

Here are two example cases, for a starting point:

긴장을 풀기(를) 위해 뭘 해요?

긴장을 풀도록 뭘 해요?


지리산을 올라가도록 적어도 2일이 필요하다.

지리산을 올라가기 위해 적어도 2일이 필요하다.

thanks for any help.

  • I get the feeling that some of you are confusing two distinct grammar forms here. 도록 and 도록 하다 are not the same thing at all..only slightly related. I could show you thousands of examples (and grammar reference books and sources) in which 도록 is used to mean "in order to" with no forcing or commanding involved whatsoever. By the way, my first two sentences mean "What do you do in order to relax?" ...a simple question, and 뭘 is just a standard contraction of 무엇을... If anyone wants my sources I will provide them.
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 5:12
  • I suggest anyone who wants further information and examples (i.e. proof of what I am saying...) to look at: howtostudykorean.com/upper-intermediate-korean-grammar/…
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


Although both ~도록 and ~하기 위해 have the meaning of "in order to", there are some differences in nuance; I guess when 도록 indicates purpose, it can only be used in situations where some type of forcing comes into place. Note that ~도록 하다 has the meaning of "to command". For example:

내일까지는 일을 마치도록 하세요.
Make sure that you finish the task by tomorrow.

In this sense,

긴장을 풀도록 뭐해요? (X)

is awkward since one doesn't command oneself to loosen up. However you could say in this way:

(나는) 학생들이 긴장을 풀도록 농담을 했지만 결과가 시원찮았다.
I told a joke to make the students loosen up, but the result was not as expected.

In this case I am trying to make the students loosen up, so it does make sense. Similarly

지리산을 올라가도록 적어도 2일이 필요하다.

is awkward since there is no special context that someone is commanding another person to climb 지리산.

In the case of another sentences in your link:

길이 미끄러우니까 넘어지지 않도록 조심하렴.
→ The slippery road is making you slip.

네. 선생님께 도움이 될 수 있도록 최선을 다하겠습니다.
→ I am trying to make myself be a help to the teacher.

나는 코미디 영화를 보고 허리가 아프도록 웃었다.
→ This does not indicate the meaning of 'in order to'; rather, it has the meaning of 'until'.
(I watched a comedy movie and laughed until my back hurt.)

On the other hand, ~하기 위해 can be used whenever you want to say "in order to ~". Therefore

긴장을 풀기 위해 뭘 해요?

지리산을 올라가기 위해 적어도 2일이 필요하다.

are acceptable. But ~하기 위해(서) is often used in formal situations, so in the first sentence, to be used with (←뭐를) and 해요, other forms such as ~려면 makes more sense:

긴장을 풀려면 뭘 해요? (뭘 하는 게 좋을까요?)


근육 풀기 위해 뭐해요 ?

근육이 굳어지지 않도록 뭐해요 ?

근육이 굳어지지 않게 하기 위해 뭐해요 ?

How do I do in order to relax my body ?

도록-expression contains will of subject. First and third means that I must do something but I hate.

Second means that even though I hate to do something for relax, I will accept affirmatively.

  • I'm not asking about any of those three meanings, and my question makes that clear. I'm asking about "in order to"
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 8:57
  • 1
    see #1 here: krdict.korean.go.kr/eng/dicSearch/…
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 8:58
  • I see. I edited.
    – HK Lee
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 9:38

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