Meaning and Use of -겠-

Yesterday,  my post is about making the future presumptive form.  Now it’s time to know its uses.   As mentioned before this is what is normally referred to as future in Korean but according to the authors of Elementary Korean, this may correspond to English expressions but does not exactly corresponds to the future tense in English (as i am still reading there are 3 ways to express future).

So how is then -겠- used? There are basically 2 meanings, one is inferential similar to ‘I’ll bet’ and the other one is intentional ‘I will’ .   Let me give example first on the inferential use. 

  • 내일은 덥겠어요. (Naeireun  deopkesseoyo) Tomorrow will likely be hot
  • 그 영화는 재미 있겠어요. (Ku yonghwaneun chaemi ittkesseoyo) I’ll bet that film is interesting (or fun). 
  • 아프겠어요. (Apeugesseoyo) That must hurt. [expression when you see someone trip off or fall)

The inferential -겠- carries the meaning I’ll bet that, I have reasons to infer that or From what I know, it is highly likely that.   As in the third example above, the inferential -겠- likewise occurs mostly on verbs in second or third person (like referring to you, her, she, he, it , they).

The second use as mentioned is the intentional -겠- which declares strong intent to do something (I will, I am going to etc.).  It usually occurs in first person or second-person question.  When used in second-person question, it actually becomes a polite way of asking someone to perform something. See examples below:

  • 집 앞에서 기다리겠어요.  (Chip apeso kidarigesseoyo) I will wait for you in front of the house.
  • 다음 주말 다시 오겠어요. (Daum chumal dashi ogesseoyo) I will come again next weekend.
  • 여기 앉으시겠어요? (Yogi anjeushigesseoyo?)  Why not sit here?
  • 이 카트를  제인씨께  드리겠어요? (I kadureul janeshike deurlgesseoyo?) Would you give this card to Jane?

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