Best way to learn 으려고/려고 grammar 

으려고/려고 grammar

  으려고/려고 grammar 

  Today’s Korean grammar lesson is ‘V-(으)려고.’

   First, we’ll look at an example of how ‘V(으)려고’ is used in a sentence.

  jina is learning Korean and minjo is wondering why jina is learning Korean. So she asks: “지나 씨는 왜 한국어를 공부해요?” jina, why do you study Korean?

jina replies: “한국에 여행을 가려고 한국어를 공부해요.” I study Korean to travel to Korea.

jina is studying Korean to travel to Korea. In this conversation, we saw uses of today’s grammar in the form of ‘가려고.’

How to use 으려고/려고 grammar

‘(으)려고’ attaches after the verb stem and it is a linking ending that expresses the speaker’s intention or purpose. Let’s look at some examples.

‘저는 한국에 여행을 가려고 한국어를 공부해요.’ I study Korean to travel to Korea.

Here ‘가려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘가다 (to go)’ and ‘려고.’

I study Korean. Why do I study?

I study Korean to travel to Korea.

It indicates the purpose of studying Korean.

Let’s look at another example.

‘저는 책을 읽으려고 도서관에 갔어요.’ I went to the library to read some books.

Here ‘읽으려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘읽다 (to read )’ and ‘으려고.’

I went to the library. Why did I go to the library?

I went to the library to read some books.

It indicates the purpose of going to the library.

으려고/려고 grammar rule

When do we use ‘으려고/려고?’ Let’s find out together.

When the verb stem has the final consonant, ‘으려고’ is used.

For example, when you remove ‘다’ from the main verb ‘읽다 (to read), there is the final consonant. ㄱ.

Then ‘으려고’ is used. So, it becomes ‘읽으려고.’

when the verb stem does not have the final consonant, ‘려고’ is used.

For example, when you remove ‘다’ from the verb ‘가다 (to go),’ there is no final consonant.

So, ‘려고’ is used. It becomes ‘가려고.’

Also, when the verb stem ends in ‘ㄹ,’ ‘려고’ is used.

For example, remove ‘다’ from the verb ‘놀다 (to play).’

Then the final consonant in the verb stem is ‘ㄹ.’

‘려고’ is used. So, it becomes ‘놀려고.’

when you use ‘으려고’ there are four things you need to pay attention to. Let’s look at them.

First, when you connect two sentences using ‘(으)려고,’

the subject of the first and the subject of the second sentence must be the same.

In this case, the subject of the second sentence is omitted.

For example, ‘저는 한국 여행을 가려고 엄마는 한국어를 공부해요.’ (For (I) my travel to Korea, my mother studies Korean.)

The subject of the first sentence is ‘저 (=I).’ And the subject of the second sentence is ‘엄마 (mother).’

The subjects are different. So this sentence is wrong.

Let’s look at the sentence which has the same subject.

‘저는 한국 여행을 가려고 저는 한국어를 공부해요.’ (I study Korean to travel to Korean.)

The subject of the first sentence is ‘저 (=I).’

And the subject of the second sentence is ‘저 (=I).’

The subjects of the first and the second sentences are the same.

In this case, the subject of the second sentence is omitted.

This is the correct sentence.

‘저는 한국 여행을 가려고 한국어를 공부해요.’ I study Korean to travel to Korea.

Second, when connecting two sentences, the tense markers go only to the second sentence. Let’s look at some examples.

‘저는 책을 읽었어요.’ I read some books.

‘도서관에 갔어요.’ I went to the library.

Both sentences are used the past tense markers ‘었’ and ‘았.’

Let’s connect two sentences using ‘(으)려고.’

Then ‘저는 책을 읽었으려고 도서관에 갔어요.’ ( I went to the library to have read some books.)

If you use the tense marker ‘었’ in the first sentence, it is a wrong sentence.

The correct sentence is ‘저는 책을 읽으려고 도서관에 갔어요. (=I went to the library to read some books.)’

The past tense marker should go to the second sentence only. This is the correct sentence.

‘저는 책을 읽으려고 도서관에 갔어요.’ I went to the library to read some books.

Third, ‘(으)려고’ can be used only in declarative and question sentences. It cannot be used in imperative and requesting sentences. Let’s look at some examples.

‘한국 여행을 가려고 한국어를 배워요./?’ I learn Korean to travel to Korea/?

‘으려고’ is used in a declarative and question sentence.

But ‘한국 여행을 가려고 한국어를 배우세요.’ (You should learn Korean to travel to Korea.)

‘배우세요’ is the expression that you politely order someone. This is the imperative sentence.

‘(으)려고’ cannot be used in imperative sentences.

Let’s look at a requesting sentence.

‘한국 여행을 가려고 한국어를 배웁시다.’ Let’s learn Korean to travel to Korea.

‘배웁시다’ is the expression that you politely request something to someone. This is the requesting sentence.

‘(으)려고’ cannot be used in requesting sentences.

Fourth, ‘으려고’ can be used to end a sentence.

We’ve looked at the short conversation between minjo and jina at the beginning of this lesson. Let’s see them again as an example.

minjo asks: “왜 한국어를 공부해요?” “Why do you study Korean?”

jina replies: “한국에 여행을 가려고 한국어를 공부해요.” I study Korea to travel to Korea.

   When she answers here, do you know why she studies Korean without saying ‘한국어를 공부해요 (=I study Korean) again?

So you could say:

“한국에 여행을 가려고요.” ( to travel to Korea.)

‘가려고요’ is a combination of ‘가다’ and ‘려고.’ And add ‘요’ after that.

This is also a correct expression.

(으)려고 grammar practice

Try practising these words. The answers are below. To see answer scroll down

먹다 → 먹
주다 → 주
입다 → 입
웃다 → 웃
알다 → 알
가다 → 가
오다 → 오
살다 → 살
마시다 → 마시
배우다 → 배우
읽다 → 읽으
먹다 → 먹
듣다 → 들
만들다 → 만들

Let’s practice more by looking at some more examples.

친구와 밥을, 먹다, 식당에 갔어요. With my friend, to eat, I went to the restaurant.

How would you say it?

‘친구와 밥을

먹으려고 식당에 갔어요.’ I went to a restaurant to eat with my friend.

‘먹으려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘먹다 (to eat)’ and ‘으려고.’

‘친구와 밥을 먹으려고 식당에 갔어요.’ I went to a restaurant to eat with my friend.

의사가, 되다, 열심히 공부해요. To become a doctor, I study hard

How would you say it?

‘의사가 되려고 열심히 공부해요.’ I study hard to become a doctor.

‘되려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘되다 (to become)’ and ‘려고.

‘의사가 되려고 열심히 공부해요.’ I study hard to become a doctor.

저녁에, 놀다, 지금 숙제 해요 to play in the evening, I do my homework now

How would you say it?

‘저녁에 놀려고 지금 숙제해요.’ I do my homework now to play in the evening.

‘놀려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘놀다 (to play)’ and ‘려고.’

‘저녁에 놀려고 지금 숙제해요.’ I do my homework now to play in the evening.

먹다 → 먹으려고
주다 → 주려고
입다 → 입으려고
웃다 → 웃으려고
알다 → 알려고
가다 → 가려고
오다 → 오려고
살다 → 살려고
마시다 → 마시려고
배우다 → 배우려고
읽다 → 읽으려고
먹다 → 먹으려고
듣다 → 들으려고
만들다 → 만들려고

으려고/려고 grammar

Korean conversations

Now let’s look at short conversations.

minjo asks jina: “지나씨 꽃은 왜 샀어요?” jina, why did you buy flowers?

jina replies: “친구에게 주려고 샀어요. 오늘이 친구 생일이에요.” I bought them to give my friend. Today is the birthday of my friend.

‘주려고’ is a combination of the verb ‘주다 (to give)’ and ‘려고.’

Let’s look at another conversation.

This time, jina asks minjo:

“민조 씨, 어디 가요?” minjo, where are you going?

minjo replies: “공원에 가요.” I’m going to the park.

jina asks again: “공원에는 왜요?” Why are you going to the park?

minjo replies:

“점심을 많이 먹어서 좀 걸으려고요.” Because I had lunch a lot, I intend to walk.

minjo had lunch a lot so she goes to the park to walk.

‘걸으려고요’ is a combination of the verb ‘걷다 (to walk)’ and ‘으려고’ and ‘요.’

‘으려고’ is used to end the sentence.

The meaning of the phrase is ‘she goes to the part to walk’

(으)려고 grammar summary

    In summary, when the verb stem has the final consonant, ‘으려고’ is used. So ‘읽다’ becomes ‘읽으려고.’

   On the other hand, when the verb stem does not have the final consonant, or when the final consonant is ‘ㄹ’ ‘려고’ is used.

 So ‘가다’ becomes ‘가려고,’

‘놀다’ becomes ‘놀려고.