Demands and Permissions: -지 않아도 되다

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To wrap things up on demands, permissions, obligations and prohibitions, I want to talk about that other negative of 어/아야 하다/되다. We have already discussed -(으)면 안 되다, but there is another one. That negative is -지 않아도 되다. This is another easy Korean grammar topic, so let’s not dawdle and take a look.

Do not have to -지 않아도 되다

The grammar expression -지 않아도 되다 is one of 2 negatives of the pattern 어/아야 하다/되다. As its negative, it tells the listener a certain action or behaviour is not necessary. As such when you translate a sentence that has this pattern, this part you will translate as “do not have to”. This is contrasted with its brother negative -(으)면 안 되다 which expresses a prohibition. Let’s take a look at a sentence with this new expression:

Example: 주말이니까 정장을 입지 않아도 돼요.

Translation: Because it’s weekend, I don’t have to wear a suit.

It is rather a straightforward expression, isn’t it?

How To Use

Using the pattern -지 않아도 되다 isn’t that hard. All you need to know for this Korean grammar pattern is two things. First you need to know you can use this pattern with both verbs and adjectives. Secondly, you just need to attach the ending -지 않아도 되다 to the verb stem and then conjugate 되다. That’s pretty easy isn’t?

However, -지 않아도 되다 can also be written in a different way. You can also write is as 안 -아/어도 되다. There is no meaningful difference, than the fact this is a bit easier to use in a conversation perhaps.  However, you will have to adhere to the rules you also learned from the regular -아/어도 되다  expression before so go look there how the conjugation works. It is, however, important to keep in mind the negation 안 comes in front of the verb using the expression, not 되다.

Demands and Permissions: -지 않아도 되다
Short overview on -지 않아도 되다.

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October 27, 2017

2 responses on "Demands and Permissions: -지 않아도 되다"

  1. Nice explanation!!! I enjoyed it a lot.
    I needed such a clear simple lesson.
    Well done^^

    It’s funny…I’m learning korean…and planning to move to Belgium 🙂

    • Hi, sorry for the late reply, but I have been swamped.

      I hope you have a lot of fun learning Korean. Did you know you can attend Korean language lessons in Brussels at the Korean cultural center in Brussels? Regardless pay them a visit if during one of their many events. It’ll satisfy your hunger for all things Korea.

      I hope you enjoy the crazy country that is called Belgium! Are you coming temporarily or is it more permanent?


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