What is the difference between 기왕이면 and 이왕이면? And can you give the examples?

  • 1
    I'd say they are rather synonyms. In all examples given in the answer, the two terms seems to be interchangable to me.
    – Ignatius
    Mar 6, 2019 at 7:37

4 Answers 4


There is only a slight difference between 이왕이면 and 기왕이면. Aside from the definitions that may be described in dictionaries, those two basically are completely interchangeable with each other (at least in general conversations).

I believe these two vocabularies are originated from Chinese: written as 이왕(已往) and 기왕(旣往).

Here's how Chinese-English dictionary explains the difference:

이왕(已往) Noun

  1. (often attributive) past

기왕(旣往) Noun

  1. the past
  2. that which happened in the past; mistakes in the past

In a nutshell:

  • 이왕 is used more generally than 기왕 to refer to what have happened in the past.

  • 기왕 is more closer to the meaning that you regret mistakes you've committed (or someone else have done) in the past.


  • 이왕이면 이렇게 우리 만난 거 사이 좋게 잘 지내 보자.

  • 기왕이면 잘 좀 하지. (한숨)


이왕이면 focuses on his choice for better life and 기왕이면 on his choice in already determined things :

1) 너는 학생이니까 이왕이면 공부를 열심이 해.

=너는 학생이니까 공부를 해야해. 이왕이면 공부를 열심이 해.

= Because you are a student, you should study. So it is desirable that you would study hard.

이왕 하는거 열심히 해라.

If you are supposed to study, then do your best.

이왕이면 서울대 갔었어야지. You should have enter the university.

2) 기왕이면 라면 먹자.

Noodle is better than rice.


never really heard someone actually saying 기왕이면 in a conversation in my entire life, I always use 이왕이면, don't worry about the other one.


1.이왕이면-은 과거,현재,미래 다 쓰고 기왕이면-은 과거느낌만 강한, 아쉬움을 나타내는 듯합니다

'이왕이면~' is use in the past, present and future '기왕이면~' is use in the past only and feel not enough because you don't cease some chance or thing etc.

2.이것의 용례는 다음과 같습니다 thiese are example

이왕이면 잘하자 if you should do this, do it hard will be good

이왕이면 잘하지 if you should did this, did it hard would be good (but you are not)

이왕이면 이게 낫다 it's good when you should have some thing

기왕이면 잘하지 if you should did this, did it hard would be good (but you are not)

(잘하자x) (기왕이면 이게났다: 구어로는 쓰는데 문법으론 틀린듯)

have a good day!

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