Wrap up Types of Future

Its very interesting to note that there are several ways to express future in Korean.  Unlike in English where the word will and shall are your key to the future, the choice of marker for the verb indicates more than the future but the urgency and intention as well. 

Probable Future distinguished by -(으)ㄹ 거에요 / -(eu)l koeyo is the most common way to to refer future events in Korean.  It can be used in all persons (1st, 2nd or 3rd person point of view).  It can also be attached to all types of verbs, descriptive or processive.

Future Presumptive is the more popular marker.  Most refers -겠-  (-kket-) as the marker that indicates future.  While this true, the future presumptive is a matter of fact statement of personal intention.  It can only be used for first person statements and second person questions.

Immediate Future on the other hand can be distinguished by -(으)ㄹ 께요/ -(eu)l kkeyo.  It is always first person and the action is usually beneficial to the hearer.  This marker can only be used in a processive verb or verb that takes a direct object.

Here are example to show you how the meaning differs using the 3 types of future:

  • 읽껬어요 (ilkkesseoyo) means I will read, am going to read.  This is a strong statement of the speaker’s intention to read.
  • 읽을거에요 (ilkeulkeoeyo) will read, am/is going to read.  Statement in this form is less certain than the first.
  • 읽을께요 (ilkeulkkeyo) I’ll read it/ I promise to read it.  This makes the statement more immediate and gives a hint of promise or even assurance that the speaker is actually going to read.