In Level 6 Lesson 16, we introduced the various usages of the suffix -겠-. The usages include showing your assumptions about something, your intention to do something, as well as asking the other person whether they would like to do something. In the form -(으)면 좋겠어요, you will find two grammatical structures: one is -(으)면, and the other is -겠-. The usage of -겠- in -(으)면 좋겠어요 is for expressing your assumption or expectation about something.
1) -(으)면 = if
2) -겠- = that would be …, I would …, they would … (assuming)
3) 좋다 + -겠- = 좋겠어요 = it would be nice, I would like it
So together, -(으)면 좋겠어요 takes the meaning of “it would be nice if...” or “I would like it if …” and can be also used when you want to say “I hope …” or “I wish …”.
You can use two different structures: one is Verb + -(으)면 좋겠어요 and the other is -(았/었/였)으면 좋겠어요. While one is in the present tense and the other is in the past tense, the meanings are very similar and identical in many cases. The past tense version (-(았/었/였)으면 좋겠어요) is similar to using the past tense after “I wish”, as in “I wish it would snow tomorrow.”
빨리 끝나다 = to finish quickly
빨리 끝나면 좋겠어요. = I hope this finishes quickly.
= 빨리 끝났으면 좋겠어요. = I hope this finishes quickly.
In English, there is a difference in meaning between “I hope” and “I wish”, but that difference can’t be expressed through the structure -((았/었/었)으)면 좋겠어요. In order to express the nuance “I wish... but I know it’s not”, you can use the structure, -(았/었/였)으면 좋았을 텐데(요) (it would have been nice if...) or -아/어/여서 아쉽네요 (too bad it’s …).
What is 바라다?
When you look up in the dictionary, the first word for the verb “to hope” will be 바라다 or 희망하다. While they are correct “translations”, it’s more natural to use -(으)면 좋겠어요. If you want to use 바라다 or 희망하다 you can use the structure -기를 바라다 or -기를 희망하다, but the sentence can often sound like written language.
1. 내일 사람들이 많이 왔으면 좋겠어요.
= I hope many people will come tomorrow.
= 내일 사람들이 많이 오면 좋겠어요.
2. 비가 그쳤으면 좋겠어요.
= I hope it stops raining.
= 비가 그치면 좋겠어요.
3. 제 선물, 마음에 들면 좋겠어요.
= I hope you like my present.
= 제 선물, 마음에 들었으면 좋겠어요.
4. 효진 씨가 지각 안 했으면 좋겠어요.
= I would like it if Hyojin wouldn’t be late for work.
= I hope Hyojin isn’t late for work.
= 효진 씨가 지각 안 하면 좋겠어요.
5. 제가 20살이었으면 좋겠어요.
= I wish I were 20 years old.