Use of Verb+도 to Ask and Give Permission

Yesterday I get to learn a sister of the verb+지만 construction which means but or although.  This is verb+도 which also means even though, despite or inspite.  They are the same in meaning but verb+도 means a little stronger than verb+지만.

One use of verb+도 is to ask and give permission.  In English we normally ask or give permission by using the word ‘may I’ or ‘you may’.  However in Korean its expressed literally as — even if I do this is it okay?  This is how verb+도 play arole, the final verb can be a choice among these three:

  • 돼요(dweyo – can)
  • 좋아요 (choayo – is good or right) and  
  • 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo – is okay)

Here are some examples:

  • 오늘 새 옷을 입어도 좋아요? (Oneul sae oseul ipeodo choayo?) Literally this means, is it okay for me to wear my new clothes today?  However this simply means may I wear my new clother today?
  • 오늘 새 옷을 입어도 괜찬아요? (Oneul sae oseul ipeodo gwaenchanayo?)  Is it okay for me to wear my new clothes?
  • 오늘 새  옷을 입어도 돼요? (Oneul sae oseul ipeodo dweyo?) Can i wear my new clothes today?
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