More Tips on Use of Future Marker

Still on use of future,  verbs of knowing is usually expressed uisng -겠- or the future presumptive.  Like when you say  I know or I don’t know one may expect this in Korean as 알아요 (arayo) 몰라요 (mollayo) respectively.  They are both in present form but you will hear people use 알겠어요 (algesseoyo) to say I know.  The -겠- marker gives a hint of tentativeness.  You will often hear 알겠어요 when asking do you know? or do you understand?  Again this is because the marker makes it tentative and it sound more polite when used for second person question.

For future statement expressing willingness to or wants to, the future presumptive verb is preferred.  When making questions or suggestions that is indicative of the future, never ever use the probable future or immedaite future style.  The future presumptive style -겠- is often used.  Check this example:

  • 신보하시겠어요? (shinbohashikesseoyo?) Would you like to walk?
  • 신보하실거에요? (shinboshilkeoeyo?) Are you going to take a walk

Note the difference in meaning the second one which is the one in probable future form is a question that is not meant to be answered but rather just a matter-of-fact question. 

Also when speaking about intention of other people, never ever use the immediate future -(으)ㄹ께요 as Koreans don’t allow others to speak about their intention with certainty.  In such cases use the presumptive or probable future 🙂



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.

Immediate Future in -(으)ㄹ께요

I have learned 2 ways to express future and learned another way.  This one  is called immediate future, performed by attaching -(으)ㄹ 께요 (eu/lkkeyo) to plain base of a processive verbs only (one that can take direct objects).  The verb ending ㄹ께요 (lkkeyo)  is added to vowel ending verb while for consonant ending verb 을께요 (eulkeyo) is added:

  • 쓸께요 (Sseulkkeyo) – will write
  • 할께요 (halkkeyo) – will do
  • 읽을께요 (ilkeulkkeyo) – will read
  • 앉을께요 (anjeulkkeyo) – will sit

Immediate future when used is always on a first person basis , the speaker is doing the action.   Below are some examples of its use:

  • 에레베이터 앞에서 기다리고 있을께요 (Elevetor apeso kidarigo isseulkkeyo) I will be waiting for you in fron tof the elevator.
  • 내일 갈께요 (Naeil kalkkeyo) I will go tomorrow.

Statements in this style gives assurance or certainty that the action will be performed.  Using this style normally denotes a promise-like future that is within the control of the speaker.

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?

Future Presumptive with -겠

Few weeks ago, i made this post on expressing probable future in the form of verb ending  – (으)ㄹ 거에요  -(ue)l koeyo.  This time its about future presumptive -겠 form.  This is what is commonly known as future form in Korean. 

Unlike the past form where the marker -ㅆ is added on the infinitive form of the verb, the future form is made by adding -겠 in the plain base form or to the honorific based forme of the verb like the samples belows:

  • plain base + future marker 가겠- (kagett-)
  • honorific base + future marker 가시겠- (kashigett-)

As any other base word, it is not complete without the ending. To make polite style just add 어요 (eoyo) or for formal style 습니다 (sumnida) as such it would be:

  • polite / formal  – 가겠어요 (kagesseoyo) /가겠습니다 (kagessumnida)
  • honorific polite/formal- 가시겠어요 (kashigesseoyo)  /가시겠습나다 (kashigessumnida)

In both styles it simply means will go.  You will note the change in the pronounciation when the ending is attached ㅆ sounded ‘t’ as final consonant but when ending is attached the ㅆ became ‘ss’ as it transfers its sound to the next character block.

For long negatives in future form, 지 is attached to the base form of the verb.  Then the the -겠 marker is added on the auxillary verb 않- (an-) to finally form  가지 않겠어요 (kaji ankesseoyo)  or 가지 않습니다 (kaji ankessumnida). Although you can also encounter honorific stated this way:

  • 가시지 않겠어요 (kashiji ankesseoyo)
  • 가시지 않으시겠어요 ( kashiji aneushigesseoyo) 

Well according to the book, the 3 cases works fine when talking to someone esteemed and for me the last one seems to be overly honorific 🙂

I am currently reading the difference of this future form with the other one (probable future).  Will post about it  when I’m done.

Probable Future with (으)ㄹ 거에요

Done with the present and past expression now its time to learn how to say things or events which you intend to do in the future or will probably do in the future.

The verb ending  -(으)ㄹ 거에요 [-(eu)l keoeyo can be added to plain base or honorific base to mean will probably <verb>.  Let’s take the word 바쁘다 (pappeuda – to be busy ) as an example.  The base word is  바쁘 (pappeu) so 바쁠 거에요 (pappeul koeyo) means ‘will probably be busy’ or ‘is going to be busy’.   So if you say 내일 내가 바쁠 거에요 (Naeil naega pappeul keoeyo), it means I will (probably) be busy tomorrow.

In earlier post, creating honorific base for of verb has been discussed.  This is done by adding -시 on the plain base form of the verb.  As such 바쁘 becomes 바쁘시 (pappeushi) in honorific form.  Remember you don’t use honorific verb in pertaining to your own actions, it is used when speaking to an esteemed person (someone older or of higher status than you — to show respect).  Therefore, you wouldn’t say 내일 내가 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil neaga pappeushil koeyo).  The first form discussed is more appropriate.   내일 당신이 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil dangsini pappeushil keoeyo) is saying ‘you will (probably) be busy tomorrow’ to an esteemed person.

This verb ending can also be added to past base form of verb.  It’s a bit weird that a verb in past form is added with a verb ending that is indicative of something that you will do in the future.  Anyway, in my previous post, changing verb in to past form is done by adding  -ㅆ어 (-sseo) to the infinitive form of the verb.  I know it’s a bit complex so i suggest you read the post on base and  infinitive forms of verb.   So let’s use the word 가 (ka)which means go, as an example.  This verb is base and at the same time infinitive in form, 갔어 (kasseo) is the past base form.  To use this verb in probably future form, simply add the verb ending to get this form 갔얼 거에요 (kasseol keoeyo).

For the plain base, verb ending in consonant should take the -을 거에요 (eul keoeyo).  This applies to verbs like 읽 (ik) which is base of the word 읽다 (iktta) which means to read.  To say ‘i will read this book’ you can say 이 책이 읽 거에요 (I chaeki ikeul keoeyo).  Same transformation can be performed for base verbs like 먹 (meok –  means eat) and 앉 (anj- sit).  Their probable future form  would be 먹을 거에요 (meokeul keo eyo) and 앉을 거에요 (anjeul keoeyo) to mean  ‘will eat’  and ‘will sit’  respectively.

Note:  을 거에요 will not happen for honorific form and past base form of verb as verbs will always end in 시 and -ㅆ어 which are both vowel.