Expressing ‘How wonderful it would be…’

Another use of the verb in conditional form is for English expression ‘how wonderful it would be if…’   The conditional form of verb followed by phrase 얼마나 좋겠어요 (olmana chokesseoyo) does it.  The pattern would look like this – (었)으면 얼마나 좋겠어요.   Note that the verb formed with -으면 can be in past or present form.

Here are some of its applications:

  • 시간이 더 있었으면 얼마나 좋겠어요 (Shicani deo isseoseumyeon olmana chokesseoyo) – How wonderful it would be if we had more time.
  • 하얀 색이 아니었으면 얼마나 좋겠어요 (Hayan saeki anieosseumyeon olmana chokesseoyo) – How wonderful it would be if it wasn’t white.
  • 가수 휘성씨 만나면 얼마나 좋겠어요 (Kasu Wheesungshi mannamyeon olmana chokesseoyo) – How wonderful it would be to meet Wheesung the singer.

Uses of Conditional Verb form -(으) 면

There are a handful of practical uses of verb  in conditional form.  One of which is in combination with 좋겠어요 (-chokesseoyo).   I have learned that 좋다 (choda) can either mean to like or is good.  However, when it is used with verb in conditional form and the future form  of 좋다  which is 좋겠어 (chokesseo) it then corresponds to English sentence expressing hope or wish.

To simplify, first sentence clause ending in (으)면 plus final verb 좋겠어요  (chokesseyo) or 좋겠습니다 (chokessumnida) creates the expression ‘It would be good if….’ or ‘I hope or … ‘

We know that in English to say something like ‘It would be good if we have a wine’ is an expression that expresses wish to have wine.   Here are examples of verb in conditional form used side by side 좋겠어요.

  • 여름이 가지 않으면 좋겠어요. (Yeoreumi kagi aneumyeon chokesseoyo) – Literally this means, if summer did not go, it would be good.  [= If summer did not go it would be good.]
  • 한국말을 잘 하면 좋겠어요. (Hangukmareul  jal hamyeon chokesseoyo) – I wish I speak Korean well or I hope speak Korean well.
  • 지금 김치를 사면 좋겠어요. (Chigeum kimchireul samyeon chokesseoyo) – It would be good if we buy kimchi now.

Conditional Verb

I really spend little time now learning and reviewing my Korean.  Now is just high time to learn another type of verb in conditional form.   The conditional form is a two-shape ending;  -으면 (eumyeon)  attached to consonant ending base verbs and plain -면 (myeon) attached to vowel ending base verb.

When this ending is attached to verb its meaning becomes when/if <verb>.   This is how the verb is formed, see how base verb transform into its conditional form:

  • 가 (ka) –> 가면 (kamyeon) – when one goes or if one goes
  • 이쁘 (ippeu) –>  이쁘면 (ippeumyeon) – if something is cute or when its cute
  • 쓰 (sseu) –> 쓰면 (sseumyeon) – if one write or when someone writes
  • 먹 (meok) –> 먹으면 (meokeumyeon) – if one eats or when one eats
  • 받 (pad) –> 받으면 (padeumyeon) – if one gets or when one gets
  • 들 (deul) –>  들으면 (deureumyeon) – if one hears or when one hears

To an -ㄹ extending verb such as 사-ㄹ (sal, means live) the verb ending is attached on the extended form of the verb using 면 — as such 살면 (salmyeon) means if one lives or when one lives.   It’s a bit tricky, supposedly the extended form ends in consonant but the verb ending used if for vowel ending verbs which is 면.