원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다 – Even Monkeys Fall off Trees 🐵

Even monkeys can fall off trees
원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다

원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다

[won’sung’i’do na’mu’e’seo tteol’eo’jin’da]


What does this proverb mean?

Literally, 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다 means “even a monkey can fall off a tree”.

아무리 익숙하고 잘하는 일도 가다가 실수할 때가 있다는 뜻.​1​

Figuratively, this expression is used to comfort those who have made a mistake. Just like a monkey who spends their whole life climbing trees can fall off trees once in a while, even someone who is skilled in their profession or very good at something can make a mistake. Because everyone makes mistakes.


Grammar and Vocabulary

원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다 consists of the following words:

원숭이

(noun) monkey, ape

Noun + ~도

(particle) even, also, too

The particle (~도) is attached to the ends of nouns to mean also, even, or too in some contexts. In this saying, “원숭이도” means “even monkeys”.

나무

(noun) tree, wood

~에서

(particle) in, at

Location Noun + ~에서 is a particle that denotes the place or location where an action takes place. In this saying, monkeys are falling off trees. Trees are where the action is taking place. Therefore, ~에서 is attached to 나무.

떨어지다

(regular verb) to fall or tumble

How to conjugate 떨어지다​2​:

TensePolitenessDeferenceConjugation
Declarative PresentInformalLow떨어져
High떨어져요
FormalLow떨어진다
High떨어집니다
Past Base떨어졌
Declarative PastInformalLow떨어졌어
High떨어졌어요
FormalLow떨어졌다
High떨어졌습니다
Future Base떨어질
Declarative FutureInformalLow떨어질 거야
High떨어질 거예요
FormalLow떨어질 거다
High떨어질 겁니다
Declarative Future Conditional InformalLow떨어지겠어
High떨어지겠어요
FormalLow떨어지겠다
High떨어지겠습니다
Inquisitive PresentInformalLow떨어지?
High떨어지요?
FormalLow떨어지니?
High떨어집니까?
Inquisitive PastInformalLow떨어졌어?
High떨어졌어요?
FormalLow떨어졌니?
High떨어졌습니까?
Imperative PresentInformalLow떨어져
High떨어지세요
FormalLow떨어져라
High떨어지십시오
Propositive PresentInformalLow떨어져
High떨어져요
FormalLow떨어지자
High떨어집시다
Connective “if”떨어지면
Connective “and”떨어지고
Nominal 떨어짐

Examples

  1. 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다고 하니까 이번 실수 때문에 너무 걱정하지 마세요.
    They say even monkeys fall off trees, so don’t worry too much about this mistake.
  2. 울지 마~ 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어져. 이런 실수했다고 회사에서 잘리진 않을 거야.
    Don’t cry. Even monkeys fall off trees. You’re not going to get fired from your job because of this mistake.

원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다

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References

  1. 1.
    이영희, ed. 한손애 잡히는 우리속담. 초록세상; 2006.
  2. 2.