Another Way to Express Hopes and Wishes

One of the first expressions I learned in Korean is the verb+고 싶어요 (-go shipeoyo).   This expresses wish to ‘verb’  just like how 보고 싶어요  (bogo shipeoyo) would mean I wish to see you or in most cases would mean I miss you.

This lesson I just read reminds me of the first days I tried having a Language Exchange Partner (LEP).  He told me how 좋겠어 (chokesseo) in the end of the sentence would also mean expressing hopes and wishes.  I didn’t understand back then.  He must have had a hard time explaining it to me because i don’t really understand Korean grammar then (well at least now  I have better idea).

The format I have learned now is 으면 좋겠어요 (eumyeon chokesseo).   좋겠어요 corresponds to would/will be good or nice while the 으면 refers to if something is blank blank so this expression means it would be good or nice if something exists or happens.

여름이 가지 않으면 좋겠어요 (Yeoreumi kaji aneumyeon chokesseoyo)-  I wish summer would stay.  It literally mean if summer didn’t go, it would be good.

새 옷 많이 하면 좋겠습니다 (Sae ot manhi hamyeon chokessumnida) – I wish i have many new clothes.

Lastly, this is something I really wish for my self.  한국말을 잘 하면 좋겠어요. (Hangukmareul jal hamyeon chokesseoyo).  It would really be good if I speak Korean well.

Having this post, I suddenly missed 진명.  I wonder where he is right now.  He was my first LEP.  진명이 서울에 만나면 좋겠어요!

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.

Verb called 샆어 (shipo)

I skipped some lessons from my book and jumped over this very special word 싶어 which is used to express wishes.  This is of course the infinitive form as the base word is (싶-). This however cannot stand on is own.   I am interested in this word as I always hear this in most Korean songs that I am listening.  I also noticed that this verb is always preceeded by 고 (ko) which is actually an ending required after a processive base, as such the usual pattern is    -고 싶어 (intimate) or -고 싶어요 (polite).

The use of this word was explained by my language partner before that 싶어 is used to express owns wishes and desire (cannot be used on other persons wishes but with exemption).  He mentioned this is one of the nuances of Hangul and I guess what he is pertaining to is when it can be used for second party.  The book mentioned it can be used in second-person question like ‘Do you wish or Do you want“.  This can be an example of its use:

  • 할머니가 보고 싶어요 (Halmonika bogo shipoyo)  – I want/wish to see grandmother.
  • 새 식다은 가고 싶어요 (Sae siktangun kago shipoyo) – I want to go to the new restaurant.