Level 6 Lesson 27 / can, to be able to, to know how to / -(으)ㄹ 수 있다, -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다

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In our previous lesson, we learned how to use -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다 to say “to think/know that something will happen”. This sentence ending, however, can be also used to express “can”, “to be able to”, or “to know how to”. The same meanings can also be expressed through -(으)ㄹ 수 있다, so through this lesson, let’s find out how these two verb endings are used similarly or differently to express “can” or “to be able to”.

You can view a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dyah-Isthi-Puspitasari/1479072787 Dyah Isthi Puspitasari

    (으)ㄹ 줄 알다

    finally i know what it is…i heard that form ….(으)ㄹ 줄 알아요 in Khuntoria We got married and i wondered what it means…thanks for this lesson , 선생님 ^^

  • http://mykoreandiary.wordpress.com Syita

    thank you teachers! i confused before how to distinguish between this “able to/not able to” and “i thought”. so we only need to see the context!

  • Samier

    안녕하세요 TTMIK!!

    Great lesson! I’ll be sure to use -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다 ^^

    감사합니다
    사미르

  • MAUREEN

    nure hal jul arrayo?can you sing?2.suyong hal jul arrayo?can you swim?im right?tnx for this wonderful lesson,ilove korean saranghe nomu kamsahamnida

  • nicky

    (으)ㄹ 줄 알다/모르다 = know/not know how to
    (으)ㄹ 수 있다=can or possibility, ability

    내일 생일 파티에 갈 수 있어요.
    테니스는 칠 줄 알지만 시간이 없어서 오늘은 칠 수 없어요.

    나는 2년 동안 한국어를 공부하고 있는데 아무리 연습해도 발음이 좋아지지 않아요.
    지난 달에 한국어 중급2 수업이 드디어 끝냈어요.

  • 영완

    지금 이 레슨은 이해할 줄 알았어요. 많이 즐겼어요. ^_^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hee-Lee/100002453367433 Hee Lee

    I know how to make kimbap and I can make kimbap very well

    김밥은 만들 줄 알아서 잘 만들어요

    I don’t know how to swim yet but I can swim

    수영 아직 할 줄 모르는데 홀 수 있엉요

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iru-Santos/1502053010 Iru Santos

    What’s the difference between these two forms

    너는 한국어로 말 되?

    그리고

    너는 한국어로 말할 줄 알아?

    그걸 반말인데요 선생님들 감사합니다

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Altynay-Mambetova/1696440928 Altynay Mambetova

    비빔밥을 요리할 줄 알아요? 아니면 식당에 가자.
    영어를 할 줄 몰라서 영국에서 살기 어려웠어.

  • janina

    Your lessons are so helpful! Thanks so much for this website ^^

  • Megha

    I’m a little confused about this sentence. If someone says:

    영어 할 줄 알아요?

    How do I know if they are asking if I know how to speak English OR if I think they know how to speak English?

    Even if the difference lies in context, sometimes there are situations where both of these meanings could be possible…

    Thank you~

    • 학생

      I know – emphasis on 알아요 with tone from high to low – ARayo~
      I thought – emhphasis is also on 할 – HAl jul arayo~
      Can you? – emphasis on 알아요 with tone from low to high – araYO?

      Damn thanks god it’s not like Chinese… it’s probably a nightmare learning it T_T
      There the meaing of every word competely changes like that I heard…

  • HExCIA

    “한국말 가르쳐 줄 수 있어요? ” ” can you teach me korean?”
    am i right? please correct me..

    • http://yoobumsoo.blogspot.com 유범수

      If you use the -ㄹ 수 있다 form, then it would be 한국말 가르칠 수 있어요? The 줄 part is only for -ㄹ 줄 알다. Also, since -ㄹ 수 있다 means “to have the ability to do something,” I think the true sentence for asking someone to teach you Korean would be 한국말 가르쳐 도 돼요? Or also, 한국말 가르치면 안돼요? I’m also learning Korean, so you may want to double check the last two sentences.