TTMIK Level 5 Lesson 8 - -(으)려고 하다
In this lesson, we are going to look at another way of talking about a future action or state. In Level 2 Lesson 1, we introduced how to make the most standard future tense using -(으)ㄹ 거예요 and in Level 3 Lesson 6, we introduced how to use -(으)ㄹ게요 to look for or ask for the other person’s reaction or feedback on what you are thinking of doing, and in Level 4 Lesson 2, we looked at how to express your strong intention for doing something or ask someone else’s intention using -(으)래요.
** 하다 = to do
1. 할 거예요 = I’m going to do / I will do (plain future tense)
2. 할게요 = I’m going to do … what do you think? (looking for the other person’s reaction)
3. 할래요 = I want to do / I’m going to do (showing determined intention)
** Important **
It might seem like there are just way more types of future tenses in Korean than necessary, but they all serve their specific purpose, so they will all come in handy when you need to say certain things in some specific situations. English also has a variety of future tense forms, such as “I am going to”, “I will”, “I am about to”, “I am thinking of”, “I am planning to”...etc.
Today’s Key Structure:
-(으)려고 하다 [-(eu)ryeo-go ha-da]
Conjugation is simple
가 + -려고 하다 = 가려고 하다
먹 + -으려고 하다 = 먹으려고 하다
잡 + -으려고 하다 = 잡으려고 하다
하 + -려고 하다 = 하려고 하다
-(으)려고 하다 is used when:
1) someone is about to do something or wants/tries to do something
2) something looks like it is about to happen
Usage 1) - showing intention for action
사다 [sa-da] = to buy
사려고 하다 = to be about to buy, to be intending on buying, to be planning to buy
사려고 했어요 = I was going to buy it.
사려고 하는 사람 = someone who is planning to buy it
[present tense + -는데]
사려고 하는데 = I am thinking of buying it and/but....
For showing intentions for doing something, -려고 하다 is not very commonly used for the plain present tense (-려고 해요) in spoken Korean. So if you say “사려고 해요.” it might sound very textbook-like and formal. You can use it, though, in very formal situations.
Usage 2) - talking about a state of the near future
떨어지다 [tteo-reo-ji-da] = to drop, to fall
떨어지려고 하다 = to be about to drop, to be going to drop
비가 오려고 해요. [bi-ga o-ryeo-go hae-yo.] = It looks like it’s going to rain.
How is it compared to the plain future tense?
비가 올 거예요. = It is going to rain. (You know this for a fact.)
비가 오려고 해요. = It is about to rain, judging from what I see.
1. 어제 친구 만나려고 했는데, 못 만났어요.
[eo-je chin-gu man-na-ryeo-go haet-neun-de, mot man-na-sseo-yo.]
= I wanted to meet a friend yesterday, but I couldn’t meet her.
= I was going to meet a friend ysterday, but I couldn’t meet her.
= I was planning to meet a friend yesterday, but I couldn’t meet her.
2. 외국에서 공부하려고 하는 학생들이 많아요.
[oe-gu-ge-seo gong-bu-ha-ryeo-go ha-neun hak-saeng-deu-ri ma-na-yo.]
= There are many students who want to study abroad.
= There are many students who are planning to study abroad.
** “-려고 하다" is easier for making noun groups like this than “-(으)ㄹ 것이다"
3. 카메라 사려고 하는데, 뭐가 좋아요?
[ka-me-ra sa-ryeo-go ha-neun-de, mwo-ga jo-a-yo?]
= I’m planning to buy a camera. Which one is good?
4. 친구가 울려고 해요.
[chin-gu-ga ul-lyeo-go hae-yo.]
= My friend is going to cry.
= My friend is about to cry.
5. 친구가 이사하려고 해요.
[chin-gu-ga i-sa-ha-ryeo-go hae-yo.]
= My friend is planning to move.
= My friend is going to move.
= My friend want to move.
6. 아이스크림이 녹으려고 해요.
[a-i-seu-keu-ri-mi no-geu-ryeo-go hae-yo.]
= The ice cream is about to melt.