I want to ask about the use of (으)로 in the baduk (Go) book I'm reading now (이창호 타이틀 명국집2). The numbers (e.g. 백50) refer to the moves as they are labeled on the diagrams in the book.

I'm used to the following kind of (으)로 which can easily be translated as 'with':

(1) 백50 이하는 56으로 공격하기 위한 대담한 작전인데 부분적으로는 손해다. (p.39)
'[The moves] after White 50 are a bold strategy in order to attack with White 56, but are a loss locally.'

What I'm not sure about is the use of (으)로 in the following examples which comes up when the book suggests alternative moves. The translations are my current best guess.

(2) 흑37은 느슨한 수 A의 곳이 컸다. (p.42)
'Black 37 is a loose move and [a move at] A would have been bigger'

(3) 흑73이 敗着으로 4도 흑1이 대세의 급소였다. (p.39)
'Black 73 is the losing move and Black 1 in Diagram 4 was the critical point.'

Are these the same usage of (으)로 as in example (1)? They don't seem easily interpretable with 'with', though. Translating them as 'and' as I did above makes sense semantically and fits with what the book is doing (commenting on the bad move and then suggesting an alternative), but is this a usage of (으)로? I haven't seen this before.

In short, how should we interpret the (으)로 in examples (2) and (3)? Thanks.

  • Sorry about the title btw! I think I can edit it to something more useful for future searchers once I get an answer.
    – Robin
    Aug 31, 2018 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


(1) 으로 = 로 : direction or way

대전으로 가자 Go to Daejeon

돈으로 해결되지 않는다 We can not solve a problem with money (1)

백50 이하는 56으로 공격하다. We will attack with 56, and white 52 and 54 are supporting it.

(2) 흑37은 느슨한 수로 A의 곳이 컸다

= 흑37은 느슨한 수였기 때문에 A의 곳에 두었어야 했다.

Black 37 is a loose move so that (=and thus) we should have done A

= A is best choice at that time so that as a result, black 37 is loose.

(흑73이 敗着으로 4도 흑1이 대세의 급소였다.

Black 73 is the losing move so that we should have done black 1 in figure 4)

@ Here 로, 으로 mean 'because'.

(3) In fact I can not find an usage of (2) in dictionary.

But we can use following sentence

그는 나쁘기로 소문났다. He is known as a bad man

Here 로 means a state and this usage is similar to that in (2).

  • Thank you! That makes sense. Yeah, I couldn't find it in the dictionary either so I was confused. I asked another (Korean) friend who agreed with your answer, btw. I asked her why its not in the dictionary and she said because it sounds a little strange, kinda 바둑 용어 the way its used in those sentences. I wonder if you agree with that? Thanks!
    – Robin
    Sep 1, 2018 at 17:03
  • 1
    I agree : (1) Examples in Op is frequently used by Go experts. These expression is very intuitive to me (It is a terminology in some specific area). (2) I do not know how you know about Go, but I have one guess : Before (maybe) 20 years ago, almost Korean Go player studied Japan Go book so that almost Go expression may be a translation of Japanese. Hence (I believe) such sentences are born (I do not know Japanese)
    – HK Lee
    Sep 1, 2018 at 17:19
  • Oooh interesting; thanks! I do know Japanese and one 조사 で /de/ can mean 에서 (place), 로 (tool/method) and also 이고, 라서 (connecting after noun, reason) so I like your (mis?)translation from Japanese theory!
    – Robin
    Sep 1, 2018 at 17:43

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