More Use of (으)ㄹ 수 있어요/없어요

The expression plain base+ㄹ 수 있어요 or 없어요 which means can or cannot <verb> also corresponds to the meaning of plain verb expression whether positive or negative.  Only, the pattern conveys possiblity and or ability.

The expression ㄹ 수 없어요  (-l su opseoyo) also means the same as the negative expression 못 followed by verb as in the case of 갈 수 없어요 (kal su opseoyo) is the same as 못 가요 (mot kayo); the first expression meaning cannot go and the second one emphatically means cannot go (sure that the person cannot go).

Here are some applications of this verb ending:

1.  내일 후에 시험  집에 갈 수 있어요. (Naeil hue shiheom jipe kal su isseoyo).  I can go home tomorrow after the exam.

2.  오늘 아침 도서관에 올 수 있어요? (Oneul achim dosogwane ol su isseoyo?) Can you come to the library this morning?

3.  새 가방이 볼 수 있어요? ( Sae kabangi bol su isseoyo) Can i see the new bag?

4.  동생이  파티에 갈 수 없어요. (Dongsaengi pati.e kal su opseoyo) My younger brother cannot go to the party.

5.  내가  바뻐서, 이메일 답장을  보낼 수 없어요. (Naega papposo, email dapjangi bonael su opseoyo)  I cannot send my email reply because I am busy.


Expressing Can and Cannot Do

The expression can or cannot do in Korean is made using the pattern plain base+ (으)ㄹ 수 then 있어요 (isseoyo) or 없어요 (opseoyo).  This verb ending literally means ‘ a means exists’ or ‘a means do not exists’.   Here are examples:

  • 볼 수 있어요 (bol su isseoyo) can [I/we] see
  • 쓸 수 있어요 (seul su isseoyo) can write or can use
  • 걸을 수 없어요 (keoreul su opseoyo) can’t walk
  • 갈 수 없어요 (kal su opseoyo) can’t go

The behavior is the same as that of the verb ending for probable future (으)ㄹ 거에요 (eu0l koeyo) where l-extending verbs remains unextended when the attached as such:

살다 (to live) is transformed to 살 수 없어요 (sal su opseoyo) to mean can’t live.  살 in this form  is actually 사 (unextended form)+ ㄹ (the modifier in the verb ending).

No Post for 2 Days

I was out of town for two days and I missed posting during those times.  So I am trying to catch up with my readings and learnings.

내가 세부에 가기 때문에 포스트를 없었어요. 그리고 미안해요.