반듯이/반드시/절대로 – Korean Grammar vs Grammar #14

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With Explanation

We learned 이 and 히 yesterday and there was a 반듯이 in an example. Some of you might have remembered the word, 반드시, and thought two of them are same. Actually, they are not. We will talk about them, today.

Although the pronunciations of 반듯이 and 반드시 are same and they are both adverbs, they are different. 반듯이 came from the word, 반듯하다 and 반드시 is used as is. There is no conjugation of the word 반드시.

반듯이

반듯이 came from the verb, 반듯하다. The original meaning of 반듯하다 is being neat because everything is in a straight line or in a certain order. The meaning expanded from physical objects to the action, attitude, idea or mind. If your action or attitude is correct, it is 반듯한 것.

반듯이 나 있는 길을 따라 걷다 보니 도착했다.
I arrived as I walked along the straight road.

책상 위를 반듯이 정리하거라.
Clean your desk neatly.

구부리지 말고 반듯이 누워. 건강에 안 좋아.
Don't crouch and lie down straight. It's not good for your health.

반듯이 is interchangeable with 반듯하게, and they have no difference in meaning.

반드시

반드시 means surely, certainly, without fail, definitely. In etymology, it also came from 반듯하다, but it got different meaning from the original verb.

반드시 시간에 맞춰 오거라.
You must come on time.

진실은 반드시 밝혀진다. 잊지 마라.
The truth will be revealed without fail. Don't forget.

3월 3일에 반드시 네게로 돌아갈게.
I will come back to you on March 3rd.

절대로

In school, many native speakers learn that 반드시 is used for positive sense, and 절대로 is used for negative sense. Because of that, if you search 절대로 in dictionary, you can see the word, never.

절대로 is used in negative sense a lot, so it is natural to use 절대로 with 안, 못, ~할 수 없다, 마라, etc.

모르는 아저씨가 따라 오라 하면 절대로 따라 가면 안 돼.
Never follow the man who tells you to follow him.

그런 마음가짐으로는 절대로 성공할 수 없어.
You will never succeed with the mindset like that.

그런 이야기는 절대로 하지 마라. Never say something like that.

Until now, this was a school grammar. In reality, you can also use 절대로 in positive sense. The following example sentence is what I saw in Naver Dictionary whose contents are made by 국립 국어원.

당신의 협조가 절대로 필요합니다.
We desperately need your help.

There is nothing like negative or negation in this sentence, but there is 절대로. It shows that 반드시/절대로 and positive/negative context are not always true. It's just a recommendation. Although 절대로 is used in both positive and negative sense, 반드시 is rarely used in negative sense. I think it's worthwhile to mention this.