Level 5 Lesson 8 / It is about to …, I am planning to … / -(으)려고 하다, 하려고 하다

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In this lesson, we are going to look at another way of talking about a future action or state ; -(으)려고 하다 It might seem like there are just way more types of future tenses in Korean than necessary, but they all serve their specific purpose, so they will all come in handy when you need to say certain things in some specific situations. Be sure to check the PDF for the correct spelling of the expressions and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave us comments!

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.

  • Miso

    안녕하세요, 선생님들!

    Here is my 예문장:
    여러분 한국어 더 잘 하려고 하시면 티티믹 레슨을 자주 듣고 연습하세요! :)
    Level 5 is really really nice, I feel it’s hugely useful yet easy.
    But because of 현우 씨 now I’m going to lean forward each time I use (으)려고 하다 ><"
    -어떻게 도와 드릴까요?
    -카메라 사려고 *leans forward* 하는데에에에… :D

    Thank you very much, awesome lesson as usual! 너무 고맙습니다!

  • 아니요~~~ 지금 첫사람이 아니다… :(

    그런데 이 레슨은 너무 너무 중요해요. 그래서 아자 아자 화이팅!

  • 1. 이건 다음에 한국을 가려고 하잖아요. 그렇지만 시간이 안 아직이에요.


    2. what is the difference between -러 가다 / -러 하다 and 려고 하다? 가끔 혼란스러워요. ‘~’


    • Miso

      Hey 완!

      I think you should use -러+verb only with movement verbs like 가다, 오다, 데리고 가다/오다, 가지고 가다/오다… it means more a final destination/a goal when -려고 하다 can mean “being about to do smthg”, “wanting to do smthg”, it’s more meaningful than -러+verb. I think you could replace -러+verb with -려고 하다 but not the other way around.
      -러+verb is very basic and is limited to “a reason for going to some place”
      Hope that helps ;)

  • georgia

    hi, nice website u have here. i’m learning korean and wondering why most Koreans say 할 거에요, whereas my korean teacher tells me to write 할 거예요?

    • Jaegoo

      Hey georgia,

      할 거예요 is the correct way to write it, however when people are speaking quickly it will often sound like the 예 is in fact an 에.

      Hope this cleared things up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Thompson/34305168 Adam Thompson

    잘 가르쳤서 감사합니다.
    내가 몇 예 문장을 써 볼거예요:

    1. 커피 잔은 떨어지려고 했는데 바로 잡았어요.
    2. 어제는 전화로 한국에서 영어를 가르치려고 하는 선생과 얘기하고 충고해 줬어요.
    3. 차를 사려고 하는데 어떤 차가 제일 좋은 차인지 아직 결싱하지 못해요.

    좋은 하루 돼세요!!!

  • Samier

    안녕하세요 TTMIK !!

    1. 웃려고 하는데, 하지만 못 재미있어요.
    Trying to say “I was going to laugh, but it wasn’t funny”.


    • http://www.facebook.com/people/AD-Tandy/333500700 A.D. Tandy

      안녕하세요 Samier! Mind if I give this a try?

      “I was going to laugh, but it wasn’t funny.” = “웃으려고 하는데 재미없었어요.”

      Because 웃 ends with a consonant, 으 is needed before the future conjugation.

      는데 serves as “but” here, so you don’t have to be redundant with the use of “하지만.”

      Finally, “못 재미있어요” is unnatural and it’s better to use “재미없다” in the past tense.

      I hope that this helped.

  • Or just simply put it this way like 웃으려고 했는데 웃기지 않았어요.

    I hope this is also helping you in expanding your ideas somehow. :)

    -To Samier-

  • wintergreen

    선생님들, 안녕하세요.

    강의를 재미있게 잘 들었습니다. 감사합니다! ^^

    1. 어제 밤에 한국어 공부를 하려고 했는데 잠이 들어버렸어요.
    2. 다음 휴가 때는 여행을 가려고 해요.

  • http://doyouknowparkjisung.blogspot.com AlexG

    안녕 하세요 여러분!

    제 예문 수정 해 주세요:

    1) 화요일에 전 외식하려고 했는데 형이 아팠어요.
    2) 피곤하는데 곧 잠들으려고 해요.


  • http://indianadan.blogspot.com/

    선생님들 어랜만입니다!

    잘 지내셨어요? 전 한국어 공부하려고 하는데, 요즘 바빠졌어요. 지난주에 TOPIK 한국어늘력시험 등록했어요. TOPIK 보려고 하는 사람 중에는 TTMIK 아주 좋아해요. 지금부터 꼭 공부 할래요!


  • Kim Mi

    Annyeonghaseyo!^^ Hi,everyone.may I know how to say “I plan/want to buy 2NE1 album” in spoken korean language+hangul?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/MengYao-Low/1168590390 MengYao Low

      투애니원의 앨범을 사려고 해요.
      tu-ae-ni-won-ui ael-beom-eul sa-reo-go hae-yo..

  • bubble22


    Thank you for the lesson :))
    I have a question. what are the differences between all the future tenses? And how do you know when to use them? Also, is it up to us which future tense we are going to use, or does it always depend on the situation? What about the meanings, how can they be very different?

    I’m so sorry, I have too many questions…
    Thank you very very much :)

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


    슈퍼쇼에 가려고 해서 돈이 모아요
    I want to go to Super Show so i save up money

    비가 오려고 하는데 집에 있어요
    It’s gonna rain so I stay at home

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

    i suddenly think about this, from Super Junior Dancing out
    아픈 맘속에 두고 억지로 웃으려고도 하지 마
    Don’t hide your pain ,dont force a smile
    How beautiful yet ironic

  • Peggy

    Your website is like a treasure to me. ANYTIME, that I find that I have forgotten the use of grammar, I would come back here to find and I would always get an answer . Talktomeinkorean.com ->>You are so important in my life!

    Keep up the hardwork!
    수고하셨습니다 !

    ps: how about teaching us some korean songs?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/etakesile Elise

    I forgot how to use this so I came to review it ^^;.

    I have a question, what’s the difference between ‘녹이다’ and ‘녹다’ is there a difference between when I can use them?

    I’ll try writing some sentences at harukorean ^^. Thank you for the lesson :).

    • http://www.myjourneytokoreanfluency.blogspot.com Karla

      녹이다 is a causative verb
      ex. 얼음을 녹였어요.-
      I melted the ice.

      ex.얼음이 녹아내렸어요.-(녹다+내리다)
      The ice has melted.

      *I hope this help

  • s

    토요일에 압구정에 친구들 만나려고 했거든요. 제 사장님가 왔어 친구들 만날 수없어요. 그럼면 아직도 챔밌어요. 저는 사장님와 매니저들 같이 밥을 먹었어 하고 술 마

    On Saturday I planned to meet my friends in Apgujeong. but my boss came to my work so I coudn’t meet my friends. However I still had fun. My boss, managers, and myself ate dinner and had drinks.

  • Sarah

    안녕하세요! ^^

    1. 여행에 가서 사진을 많이 찍으려고 했는에 카메라가 고장 나서 사진을 못 찍었어요.
    2. 오늘 일찍 퇴근하려고 했는데 일이 많아서 밤 늦게 퇴근했어요.
    3. 눈이 오려고 해요… 이번 겨울은 정말 추울 것 같아요.
    4. 기차가 가려고 해요! (The train is about to leave!)
    5. 문을 닫으려고 해요… 손 조심하세요!

    감사합니다 선생님! ^^

  • 후안

    소풍을 가려고 했는데 유감스럽게도 날씨가 흐려졌어요.

  • http://facebook.com/trickymitchell 지아나

    저는 집에 가려고 해요. I’m about to go home.

    도서관은 가깝려고 해요. The library is about to close.

    Edit 주세요.

  • Cassis

    what about verbs ending in ㄹ? does the ㄹ disappears or not?

  • http://mykoreannotebook.wordpress.com Kirsten

    Awesome! Just what i was looking for xD

  • steph

    hi, i was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between these future tenses:

    1. — (으)려고 하다
    2. — 기로 하다
    3. — 겠–
    4. ㄹ/을 거예요


    • http://small.dic.daum.net Greg

      1. about to, going to, preparing to
      2. planning to
      3. strong intention to do something, like 을래요 which is just more casual I think.
      4. general future/ uncertain/ probably/ maybe/ guess

    • alqh

      I saw a chart somewhere about the strength of intention :

      (weak) (strong)
      (으)ㄹ까 하다 ——————–(으)ㄹ 거예요 —————————— ~기로 하다
      Thinking of … Most probably would do… Decided/determined to

      I think 겠 is used as a more polite form of (으)ㄹ 래요…..
      Maybe (으)려고 하다 is like decided, and the time that it is going to happen is closer?

  • corina

    어제 쇠고기를 먹으려고 했는데, 가게가 열리지 않았어요.
    다음 주에 엄마랑 함께 쇼핑을 하려고 해요.
    오늘 아침에 늦잠을 자려고 했는데, 친구가 와서 낚시를 했어요.
    그 구두를 보고 마음에 들어서 사려고 했는데 돈이 없었어요.
    선생님들, 제 문장들이 고쳐주셔서 감사합니다.

    • http://small.dic.daum.net Greg

      제 문장들”을” 고쳐주시면 감사할 거예요
      seems okay.

  • eliza

    1. 그 사람이 돈을 다 훔치려고 했는데, 누군가 봤나 봐요.
    2. 먹으려고 했는데 너무 매워서 못 먹었어요.
    3. 밥 만들려고 했는데 디디가 피자를 주문했어요.
    선생님들, 모두 감사합니다 ▲_▲

  • sharon

    – 비가 오려고 하네요.
    -비가 오려고 하니까, 우산을 가져가세요.
    do the sentences above sound natural?
    정말 감사합니다. :))

  • http://www.phuketcityhospital.org James Nanakornpanom

    외국에서 공부하는 학생들이 많아요
    외국에서 공부하려고 하는 학생들이 많아요
    외국에서 공부한 학생들이 많아요
    뭐가 달라요?

  • Mike

    Beware the translation “planning to”. It is grossly inaccurate. Consider the following.

    아내가 출산하려고 해요. My wife is about to have a baby. Literally, “My wife is about to do childbirth”

    If you translate this as “My wife is planning to have a baby”, that is very different from “My wife is about to have a baby”. The latter is a cause for emergency, while the former is not. “Planning” also implies that the subject of the sentence has control over the result, while “about to” does not, and that is very significant.

    Making the sentence past tense…
    아내가 출산하려고 했어요. My wife was about to have a baby. Literally, “My wife was about to do childbirth”
    … implies that she is no longer in labor, something she sure as hell didn’t “plan”.

    So, ~려고 하다 DOES NOT mean “planning to” or “intend to”. It means “about to”. Context may help resolve the ambiguity, but it’s best to think about it as “about to”, not “planning to”.

    • Jo

      The sentence above that you’re using is grammatically awkward. Koreans would never say “아내가 출산하려고 해요” because childbirth is something one cannot normally control… like you mentioned yourself.. ? If you instead were to say 아내와 자식을 만드려고 하다 it would make more sense because the decision to create a family is something one normally has control over. Their translation of “intend to”/”plannign to” is correct.

  • Claira


    제 동생이랑 영화를 보려고 했는데, 뭔가 해야 됐어요. (I was planning to watch movie with my brother, but we had something to do.)

    요즘에 갈수록 추워요. 눈이 오려고 해요. (It’s getting colder these days. It’s about to snow.)

    지난 주에 초콜릿 케이크를 굽으려고 했어요. 그런데 초콜릿 사는 것이 잊었어요. (I was planning to bake a chocolate cake last week. But I forgot to buy chocolate.)

    어제 집에서 있고 쉬려고 했는데, 친구가 왔어요. (I was planning to stay home and rest yesterday but my friend came.)

    지난 주말에 도서관에 가고 읽으려고 했어요. (I was planning to go to the library and read last weekend.)

    지난 밤에 자려고 했는데, 전화가 울렸어요. (I was about to sleep last night when the phone rang.)

    감사합니다! :)

  • Dolsanria

    I’m having a hard time translating this sentence in Korean

    -I was about to sleep but I remembered that I have an assignment to do.

    -자려고 했는데, 할 숙제 있어요.
    ( I don’t know if this sentence is right. I also don’t know where to put the verb 기억하다.)

    선생님 도와주세요!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Well, you can make a natural sentence without 기억하다.

      > 자려고 했는데, 해야 할 숙제가 있었어요.

      However, you can also make a natural sentence with 기억하다.

      > 자려고 했는데, 해야 할 숙제가 기억났어요.

  • alqh

    Hi, is there a difference between just (으)려고 and (으)려고 하다?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Hi. I hope you to remember -(으)려고 하다 as a pattern and it can’t make any meaning just with -(으)려고.

    • alqh

      How about something like 신문을 읽으려고 쌌습니다 ?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Did you mean 사다 (to buy)?

      Then it will be 신문을 읽으려고 샀습니다. Another verb came to the position of 하다.

    • alqh

      Right, sorry I meant 사다 (to buy)… so in this case there’s no 하다, would it mean something different if the sentence is re-written to use 하다?

    • Seokjin Jin

      신문을 읽으려고 했어요. = I was about to read a newspaper.

      신문을 읽으려고 샀습니다. = I bought a newspaper to read it.

      Yeah, when other verb is followd the pattern will have other meaning “I did B to A”.

  • george

    Hi guys, this is my first time that i write something in here, but i have been watching your videos, they ‘re really awesome. My question is not about grammar rather is about how can i purchase your books. When i go to the the store where i can purchase your books online, in shipping zones i don’t see the country Korea. I’m living in Korea and i would love to buy some of your books. Can you help me please?

    • Seokjin Jin

      If you click the “choose your region”, you will see Korean section.
      Thanks for your comment and please let me know if there is a problem.

  • george

    Thanks a lot Seokjin Jin teacher, I found the Korean section.

  • Jo A

    엘범 사려고 하는데, 다음 엘범 저축해요?

  • Francesco Colléter

    저는 공원 가려고에는데 비가 시작 와써요.

    I was about to go to the parc but it started raining…