Tag Archives: result

Korean saying: Green Bean Seeds, Red Bean Seeds

Nationality: Korean
Primary Language: Korean
Age: 50
Occupation: Country Branch Manager
Residence: Seoul, South Korea
Performance Date: 16 February 2024

Tags: green beans, red beans, seeds, agriculture, South Korea, proverb, saying, result


“콩심은데 콩나고, 팥심은데 팥난다.”

Literal: “You get green beans where you plant green bean seeds and you get red beans where you plan red bean seeds.”

Meaning: ‘Every result has its own reason.’


R is a born and raised South Korean. This is one of the sayings R taught me when growing up in Korea, along with a plethora of other proverbs and lessons. Apparently he had heard it from his father before him and so on, and it’s a pretty common Korean saying. R once said this to me when I forgot to bring my coat out one chilly winter afternoon and came down with a cold a few days later.


The English saying “You reap what you sow” might be a variant of this saying, as both are about agriculture and acquiring the direct result of your actions. Perhaps the cultural differences influence the way the saying is said (with Koreans using beans in many dishes and Western cultures liking simple, easy-to-say proverbs), while the meaning behind the sayings are shared worldwide.