As far as I know, 아무래도 is used to emphasize the grammar 는 것 같다.

어쩌면 is used to emphasize the grammar ㄹ지 모른다.

But the point is, I have seen these words being used also in other situations. That makes me confused on the usage of 아무래도 and 어쩌면. Anyone who could explain the usage is much appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Knowing where they came from might help you understand them better.

아무래도 came from 아무리 해도, which literally means "no matter how (hard) (I) try". This explains the familiarity with 인 것 같다. For example,

아무래도 아빠가 유령인 것 같아. The more I think about it, the more it seems like the dad is the ghost.

정말 아무래도 안 되겠다. I really can't do it, how hard I try.

어쩌면 came from 어찌 하면, which literally means "if (you) try it somehow". For example,

그래도 한번 해봐. 어쩌면 열릴 지도 모르잖아. Just give it a shot anyway. It may open somehow.

어쩌면 그래? How is it that way?

  • 어쩌면 comes from the word 어찌 하면. I am acknowledged of this one. But isn't 어찌 meaning "how come", which is similar to 어떻게? And I heard 어쩌다 is a verb to denote sthing not controlled by the agent. Am I correct?
    – user237
    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:42
  • 어찌 has two usages. First is to indicate undecided adverb(부정칭), and second to indicate yet-to-be-known adverb(미지칭). The second usage, like you said "how come", is mostly in questions, like 어찌 해야 하겠니? "how should i do it?". The first is what I used in the example in the post.
    – MujjinGun
    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:53

'아무래도' means

  1. '아무리 생각해 보아도' as the link indicates. It is used when you make a conclusion or prediction after thinking about possibility or likelihood for some time. For example:

아무래도 느낌이 안 좋다. I have been thinking about this, but I don't feel good about this.

그 계획은 아무래도 실패할 것 같다. I have been thinking about this, but the plan is likely to fail.

  1. '어떻게 되든 간에 no matter what happens, no matter which you choose' as in

지금 먹든 나중에 먹든 아무래도 상관없다. It doesn't matter whether we eat now or later. More literal translation is whether you choose to eat now or later doesn't matter to me.


  1. It is very close to 'maybe', 'perhaps' or 'possibly'. For example:

어쩌면 그가 한 말이 모두 거짓일지도 모른다. Maybe everything he said was a lie.
어쩌면 더 잘된 일일지도 모른다. Perhaps it's better that way.

  1. It is used when showing your surprise or making complaint.

어쩌면 나한테 이럴 수가 있니? How come you can do this to me? More literally, how come you can treat me like this?

  1. It is used as a contraction form for '어찌하면 (what/how to do)'

이일을 어쩌면 좋을지 모르겠다. I don't know what to do about this issue.

[네이버 국어사전]

  • For connotation 2, can I write 어찌 나한테 이럴 수가 있니?
    – user237
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:46
  • @SuperCoolHandsomeGelBoy 어찌 means why, how come or how dare you, etc. Yes.
    – user7
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:46
  • So I only see people use 어찌 in ancient drama, but 어쩌면 used now. Am I right?
    – user237
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:48
  • @SuperCoolHandsomeGelBoy I think you are confused between its interrogative adverb usage as in "어찌 or 어쩌면 나한테 이럴 수가 있니?" and "어찌 하오리까?" which is an honorific question for "어떻게 할까요?". "어찌 하오리까?" "어찌하면 좋겠사옵니까?" are outdated and not broadly used nowadays.
    – user7
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:52
  • So are there any difference between 어찌/어쩌면 나한테 이럴 수가 있니?
    – user237
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:54

아무래도, 어쩌면 : way, conjecture(=guess). Here 아무래도 is "after we consider almost possible cases" so that it has conclusive component. Oppositely, for the conclusion, 어쩌면 is related to "one possible case"

1) A : 어쩌면, 토끼는 생선일지도 몰라 Rabbit may be a fish

B : 아냐, 어쩌면 토끼는 곤충일지도 몰라 Rabbit may be an insect

C : 아무래도, 토끼는 생선이야 Conclusively, (it is no doubt that) rabbit may be a fish.

2) 아무래도 차를 훔쳐야 될 것 같아 Stealing a car is only solution for me.

어쩌면, 차를 훔칠지도 몰라 Stealing a car is my last way.

3) 어쩌면 그럴수 있니 ? = How can you do it ? = If I consider some reason, then I can understand you, but difficulty stays.

4) A : 어쩌면, 아빠가 내 빵을 먹었을 수도 있어. Father might eat my bread

B: 아무래도, 아빠가 먹은게 확실하지 ? Do you agree that father ate a bread ?

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