With -(으)면 we saw a simple way to put conditions to whatever we wants to say. Today, let’s expand upon that with a more specific kind of condition with the Korean grammar topic -(으)려면. If you want to say what needs to be true before someone’s plans or intention can be realized than -(으)려면 is the way to go. Let’s take a look.

If want -(으)려면

The conditional pattern -(으)면 is a very factual expression. However, sometimes you want that a certain condition needs to be fulfilled before one’s plans or intention can come true. That is something you could do with -(으)면. There is, however, a better way. That way is the -(으)려면. This expression specifically says what needs to be fulfilled in order for something to be realized. Let’s take a look:

Example: 수업 전에 선생님을 만나려면 여섯 시에 학교에 가야 해요.

Translation: If you want to meet the teacher before class, you will have to go to school at six O’clock.

How To Use

The conjugation of -(으)려면, differs little from the conjugation we’ve seen for -(으)면. You can use this pattern both with adjectives and verbs. The basic rule here is the “Batchim/No batchim” with adding the “으” syllable as well. The rule goes as follows for -(으)려면:

  1. If the verb stem ends in a vowel or ㄹ, you simply attach the ending -려면 to the verb stem.
  2. If not, however, you use the ending -으려면.

As always when conjugating, keep the Korean irregular verbs in mind. The difference in conjugation between the ㄹ irregular verbs and the ㄷ irregular verbs tends to confuse people.

Remember when I said, you can do everything -(으)려면 does with just -(으)면? Well the thing is this, technically the first expression is a shortened form of a longer expression using -(으)면. It is the shortened form of the combination of -려고 하다 and -(으)면: -려고 하면. Sometimes, in written texts most likely, you’ll come across the long form rather than this shortened form.

Lastly, because of what is intended to be said with -(으)려면, certain Korean grammar topics are used more often with it than others. The Korean grammar expressions you’ll likely see and use with this patterns such as -아/어야 하다/되다 and -(으)세요. Some verbs are also more likely to be used such as 되다 (to become) and 필요하다 (to require, to need).

Condition And Supposition: -(으)려면
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A short overview on the topic -(으)려면.