everyone. I am new here, so I hope that you will not mind if I ask you a question.

I am currently reading a Korean comic titled “문신”. If you wish to read the original version, please see the following link. Please be warned that it is not safe for work.


It has also been translated into English. If you wish to read that version, please see the following link. Please be warned that it is also not safe for work.


I am trying to translate the original Korean sentences into English because it seems to me that a number of parts got lost in translation and I want to find out what.

Right now, I am stuck on the following sentence.

부모님은 나에게 무슨 일이 일어났는지 전혀 모르고 계실겁니다.

The official English translation is “My parents probably never found out what had happened to me....”

I have tried to divide the sentence into parts and translate them. Here is what I have got.

부모님 – “Parents”. The context strongly implies that the narrator means “My parents”.

은 – Topic particle.

나 – “I”. If it is used as the object of a sentence or clause, it can be translated as “me”.

에게 – Dative particle. It can be translated as “to”.

무슨 일이 – “What”. It seems to appear in “What happens?” questions.

일어났는지 – “Happened”. This is 일어나다 in the past tense, with the indirect question marker 는지 attached to it.

전혀 모르고 - “Have no idea”.

계실겁니다 - ?

The part that I am stuck on is 계실겁니다. I have tried to look it up in one Korean-English dictionary, but I have had little luck. The closest I got was that it is apparently an honorific form for 있다 (“There is”, “Have”).

I think the sentence could be translated as “My parents had no idea what had happened to me.” But that last part must have some meaning that I am missing.

Does 계실겁니다 mean “probably”? If anyone can tell me what it means, I will be delighted.

  • Does "The closest I got was that it is apparently an honorific form for 있다" mean you understand that this is a contraction of "계시(다) + ㄹ 것 + 입니다"?
    – sbkgs4686
    Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 2:29
  • look for root verb 계시다
    – user17915
    Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 3:30

3 Answers 3


This is a version of a more familiar ending: ~고 있다. Often this ending is translated as "is doing" - like the present continuous in English - but of course it isn't exactly equivalent; it means something that is ongoing, and can be used for verbs like 알다 / 모르다 (know / not know) where in English we wouldn't use it.

So 부모님이 ~ 모르고 있다 will mean "my parents don't know ~" or "my parent's aren't aware of ~"; I think the second, "aren't aware of" captures it better, as it implies an ongoing state.

However, if we wish to use honorifics for our parents, then instead of ~고 있다, we will use the honorific ~고 계시다 - so that is why we see 부모님이 ~ 모르고 계시(다) here.

Finally, attached to the ending we have ~ㄹ 겁니다 - (contraction of ~ㄹ 것입니다) - which can carry a future meaning, but here I think it is inferential (perhaps it's also future - I didn't read for context) - so "my parents will (probably) be unaware of it" - just as in English the future "will" can be used inferentially instead of to indicate an actual future event, the Korean phrase here does the same.

Thus the ending 전혀 모르고 계실겁니다 will mean "my parents will be completely unaware of it".

  • 1
    I found this link: en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/…. Apparently, the suffix can express the speaker's desire or a reasonably confident hypothesis. It is often translated as “will” or “going to”, but some sentences use “probably” as a translation. So I guess context plays a part in translation. Thank you very much! Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 16:23

Try to read it backwards then it might make sense:

  1. 계실 겁니다 = they would probably

  2. 전혀 모르고 / 계실 겁니다 = they would probably have no idea

  3. 나에게 무슨 일이 일어났는지 / 전혀 모르고 / 계실 겁니다 = they would probably have no idea what happened to me

  4. 부모님은 / 나에게 무슨 일이 일어났는지 / 전혀 모르고 / 계실 겁니다 = My parents would probably have no idea what happened to me

This may not be the best answer but you get the idea...

  • Oh. I guess I'm so used to English that I keep forgetting that Korean sentences almost go from right to left, as opposed to English sentences going from left to right. Thank you so much! Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 15:26
  • Surely you must mean "Korean sentences go from left to right, as opposed to English sentences going from right to left." :D
    – jick
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 2:50
  • Both languages read from left to right. They just tend to put words in different order..
    – Coconut
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 8:22

“... 모르고 계실겁니다” literally means “they don’t know”, “they probably won’t know”. Whether you translate it into “probably” or not it just slightly has different meaning. The main meaning is “the action is happening in the current situation”

“계실겁니다” actually comes from “있을 겁나다”. According to you sentence above, it contains “고 계실겁니다” and this phrase is actually derived from “고 있을 겁니다”.

So what’s different here? Actually “고 계실겁니다” is just a “존댓말” which means the advance phrase from “고 있을 겁니다”. Because Korean has a culture that you have to address those who have higher position with advance phrase, that’s why from the sentence you want to ask contain “계실겁니다”. Why? Because “parents” are people with higher position, you should address them with “존댓말”.

Bonus grammar: verb고 있다 = verb고 계시다. If you research more about this grammar, it would give your some more light about why Korean use “고 계실겁니다” and “전댓말”

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