Level 5 Lesson 28 / to have no other choice but to … / -(으)ㄹ 수 밖에 없다

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안녕하세요. ^^ In this lesson, we are looking at the structure -(으)ㄹ 수 밖에 없다 [-(eu)l su ba-kke eop-da]. This is a combination of the two grammar points that were already introduced in our previous lessons. In Level 2 Lesson 17, we introduced how to use -(으)ㄹ 수 없다 to say that you can’t do something, and in Level 3 Lesson 18, we looked at how 밖에 is used in negative sentences to express the meaning of “only”. Have fun!

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.

  • FIRST! lol i will comment again after actually listening to the lesson 🙂

    • OK so now i’ve listened to the lesson.

      this is my sentence:
      TTMIK으로 배우면, 한국어를 배우는 거 재미있을 수 밖에 없습니다.

      I hope my sentence made sense.
      Please correct me if i am wrong

  • SECOND !
    ?? Now can not listen to the lesson straight away any more? have to download MP3 then can listen? ㅠㅠ… Last time got a click on top so that can listen to the lesson without download MP3.

    • Hello, Caddie!

      Apparently, there is a system error. We are working on it now so please wait^_^!

      Thank you for the comment! 🙂

  • Samier


    1. 그 사람이 짜증나게 할 수 밖에 없어요…


  • Mindy Ke

    감사합니다. Thanks for saying that you are not worry about us because you are doing your best. ttmik랑 함께 한국어를 배우면 한국어 넝력이 놀수밖에 없어요~ ^^ ( Is this sentence correct? )

    • Nate Merz

      Maybe someone else can jump in to correct my correction if it’s incorrect haha but I think it would be, “ttmk랑 함께 한국어를 배우(I might say 공부하면) 한국어 능력이 (maybe 실력이 is better in this case as well…I never know the difference myself either ㅎㅎ) 늘 수 밖에 없어요. “ttmk랑 함께 공부하면 한국어 실력이 늘 수 밖에 없어요.”

      That’s my take on it but I’m curious what the experts have to say haha as I myself am never certain about these sorts of things either.

  • Nate Merz

    Another nice lesson. Always a nice surprise to see what grammar point these lessons will bring every week, whether it’s something new or even just a much needed review. This website really is great.

  • Samuel

    I haven’t listened to this lesson, I am still at listening at level 3, I just want to contribute a comment as the teachers always requested. 🙂

  • Leska

    2PM’s Wooyoung posted this on me2day..밖에 비내려요……힝 Does this mean Rain go away? Lol.

    • 김너트

      밖에 in here = outside

      밖에 비(rain) 내려요 = it’s raining outside ^^

  • Nathalie

    TTMIK 선생님 안녕하세요 !

    Great lesson !

    Here are four sample sentences I made to practice for this lesson :
    – 여름이니까 날씨가 더울 수 밖에 없어요.
    – 한국어를 열심히 공부해서 언젠가 잘 말할 수 밖에 없어요.
    – 그 강아지 너무 기워서 좋아할 수 밖에 없어요.
    – 너무 피곤해서 잠 잘 수 밖에 없어요.

    맞아요, 안 맞아요 ?

    감사합니다 !

    • KyungHwa Sun

      기워서 –> 귀여워서

      Well done! =)

  • 수봉 in 구미

    장마가 왔어서 비가 올 수 밖에 업습니다.

    • KyungHwa Sun

      왔어서 –> 와서
      업습니다 –> 없습니다

  • wintergreen

    선생님들, 안녕하세요!

    티티믹은 너무 훌륭해서 좋아할 수 밖에 없어요. ^^

    좋은 레슨을 만들어 주셔서 고맙습니다! 즐거운 하루 보내세요. ^^

  • Anon


    I was wondering, how would “I have no choice but to live” be conjugated as opposed to “I have no choice but to buy?”


    • Nate

      Unfortunately they both loOk the same after conjugation (살 수 밖에 없다). However this is never a problem in reality as it is always clear based on context. Also, although it doesn’t work all the time, it helps to remember that 사다 normally has an object to buy that will be marked with 을/를 whereas 사다 doesn’t pair with object and is instead paired with place marker 에 in many situations.

    • 여기 살 수 밖에 없어요. (I have no choice but to live here) this “살” actually wasnt conjugated because to live is originally “살” you just added “수 밖에 없어요” to it.

      Versus 이거 살 수 밖에 없어요. (I have no choice but to buy this) where “살” is conjugated because to buy is originally “사” so “~ㄹ 수 밖에 없어요” was added.

  • Nate

    Sorry, second one is 살다 not 사다

  • 안녕하세요

    Super Junior , I have no other choice but love them / i’m bound to love them
    슈주는 , 사랑할 수 밖에 없어요

    This is from Mario & Nesty ‘ Never say good bye (My girl ost)

    you never say good bye
    한동안 멍하니 우두커니 앉아
    다시 생각했지만
    멈출 순 없겠어 온통 그대 생각
    할 수밖에 없는 내 자신이 미워

    You never say good bye,
    For a while I sat absent mindedly and emptily
    And I thought over again, but I couldn’t stop
    I despise myself for having no choice but to think about you all the time

    Seokjin ssi , hope You like this cheese song 😀

  • fb

    During sample sentence 3, 현우씨 talked about saying: 그럴 수 밖에 없어요. without 없어요 and by just adding 요 after 밖에.
    I know that it would be a fragment sentence; however, I’ve heard them say this before. Although it wouldn’t be a full sentence, when you skip out the verb, could you just add 요 to make it 존댓말.
    For example, saying: 뭐요 instead of 뭐예요? or something similar to that..

    • KyungHwa Sun

      You can make nouns or phrases into 존댓말 by adding -요 at the end. (Ex. 뭐요? = What?, 어떤 거요? = Which one?)

  • Nahid

    It was really helpful thanks. But the 안 – (으)ㄹ 수가 없다. seems difficult. 안 어려울 수가 없어요!

  • 바라 볼 수 밖에 없다.

  • 나는 TTMIK을 좋아할 수 밖에 없다… 초콜릿도!^^

  • 후안

    TTMIK에서 공부하다 보면 한국어 실력이 좋아질 수 밖에 없지요

  • Creamie

    그렇게 계속 빨리 뛰어서 넘어칠 수 밖에 없잖아요

    As she keeps funning that fast, there’s no way she won’t fall off

  • 불고기 샀어요?

    아니요, 저거 너무 비싸요. 그래서 저거 대신 이거 살 수 밖에 없어요.

    맞을 수 밖에 없어요.

  • Claira

    언녕하세요! 🙂

    공부를 잘 못 하면 수업료를 할 수 밖에 없어요. (If I don’t do well in my studies, I have no choice but to take tuition.)

    지금 비가 오고 있는데 아무거나 못 하고 집에서 있을 수 밖에 없어요. (It’s raining now, I can’t do anything and have no choice but to stay at home.)

    그 경쟁이 어려울 수 밖에 없는데 안 포기할래요. (The competition is bound to be difficult, but I’m not giving up.)

    다 친구들이 바빠서 여행을 혼자 할 수 밖에 없어요. (All my friends are busy so I have no choice but to travel myself.)

    돈 조금 밖에 앖는데 이거 먹을 수 밖에 없어요. (I only have a little money, so I can only eat this.)

    너한테 안 말할 거는데 그 사람이 혼자 찾을 수 밖에 없어요. (They won’t tell me, so I have to find that person myself.)

    감사합니다! 🙂

    • KyungHwa Sun

      수업료를 할 수 –> 수업료를 낼 수

      집에서 있을 수 –> 집에 있을 수

      안 포기할래요 –> 포기 안 할래요

      다 친구들이 –> 친구들이 다

      조금 밖에 앖는데 –> 조금밖에 없어서

      너한테 안 말할 거는데 그 사람이 –> 나한테 말 안할 거예요. 그래서 그 사람은 저

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  • Jo A

    이 회사와 계약서에 서명했어 , 그래서 계속 일해야 될 수 밖에 없어요.

    • KyungHwa Sun

      서명했어 –> 서명했어요.

  • Francesco Colléter

    비행이가 만 놓치에요 그리고 내일 친구를 와슬 밖에 없어요

    We just lost our plane so there’s no way we’ll see our friends tomorrow

    • KyungHwa Sun

      비행기를 막 놓쳤어요. 그래서 내일 친구들을 못 볼 수밖에 없어요.

  • Paula Cho

    Is this same as “i have nothing but”?
    I think i read this before

  • Cat

    이거 너무 맛있서 또 먹을 수 밖에 없어요

  • Eman

    이 가수는 좋아할 수 밖에 없어요. 잘생긴잖아요?

  • Benjamin

    한국어를 조금 할 수 있어요.

    한국어를 조금밖에 할 수 없어요.

    Which sentence is more natural?

    • samah

      i think more natural use this >>

      (한국어 조금밖에 못해요).

  • samah


    -설명 잘 해서 ,이 레슨을 이해할 수 밖에 없어요 ( because u explain well , i have no other choice but understand it ) is it right ??

    -can we replace -(으)ㄹ 수 밖에 없어요 with 안 -(으)ㄹ 리가없어요

    please answer me .. thank you^^

  • Asha

    거기로 안 갈수 밖에 없어요
    i cant but not to go there

    And I have a Q 🙂 well how can I say .. i cant but to help u ? i know that the verb is 돕다 but how can I conjugate it !? :))

    • metal_samurai

      도울 수 밖에 없어요 or 도와 줄 수 밖에 없어요

    • Asha

      아 감사합니다 🙂

  • Sanjeeda Masroor

    1) I don’t have other choice but to leave.
    – 더날수 밖에 없어요

    2) I don’t have other choice but to love you.
    – 너를 사랑할 수 밖에 없어

    3) It’s obvious that she won’t be there.
    – 그녀는 거기에 없을 수 밖에 없어요

    4) I didn’t have any other choice but to eat that pizza.
    – 피자 먹을 수 밖에 없어서, 다 먹었어요

    5) I don’t have any other choice but to work hard.
    – 열심히 일할 수 밖에 없어요

    If there are any mistakes, please correct me, 감사합니다!!

    • Seokjin Jin

      더날수 밖에 없어요 > 떠날 수 밖에 없어요.

      But, rest of the sentences are all correct! Good job!

    • Sanjeeda Masroor

      감사합니다 for the corrections!!

  • Gh Arzaa

    1- 그사람이 사직할수 밖에 없어요
    That person have no choice but to resign
    2- 내 머리가 흰색여졌어요,염색할수밖에 없어요
    My hair become white i have no choice but to dyed

    Correct me please .

  • Dania Freih

    왜 안 가요? 지금 갈 수 밖에 없잖아요.
    오늘은 여기에 있을 수 밖에 없어요.
    오랜만이여서 보고 싶을 밖에 없어.

  • Leni

    오늘 아침 6시부테 일을했구나. 그럼 지금은 피곤할 수 밖에 없어죠? You started work at 6am this morning. Then of course you would be tired now.

  • Matt

    그는 너무 우스워서 웃을 수 밖에 없어요. = He is so funny, you can do nothing but laugh.
    생격이에요. 성가실 수 밖에 없어요. = It is her personality. She can be nothing but annoying.
    어제 시합에 져서 안 삐칠 수가 없어요. = They lost the match yesterday, so obviously they are sulky.

    Thanks for the lesson!