[Grammar of the Week] | 만약 and (으)면 + 희망 (huimang) [Word of the Day]


Before we get started on the Grammar of the Week, I want to start with the WOTD. It’s a simple word to start off the week and “hope”fully you’ll be able to use it in a sentence.

희망 (huimang) | “hope”


  • 내가 직장을 얻을 희망. (naega jigjang-eul eod-eul huimang.) | “I hope I get the job.”

And now for the Grammar of the Week!

I covered this a long while ago during the WOTD. I think that was before I started the Grammar of the Week series so this may be a bit of review but I ran across this topic again while I was doing some extra research today. Coincidentally, it was on one of my sites that I use to study, talktomeinkorean.com. I saw it and figured, why not? I understand it a lot better now so why not explain it here.

Let’s get started.

  • 만약 (man-yak) = in case, if
  • -(으)면 (-(eu)myeon) = verb ending for “if”

You may be wondering, if they both mean the same thing, why do you need them both? Well, we’re going back to conjugation principles on this one. Both are needed in order to express what you’re saying, so for example:

  • “If/In case I’m late”
  • “If/in case I’m sleeping”

You need both of these to express that. -(으)면 would be added to the verb you are using in the sentence. This can used for past/present/future tense but I’m going to do this in future tense. So let’s focus on “sleeping”.

자다 [verb] | “to sleep” +  -(으)면


  • 내가 자고 있으면 | “If/in case I’m sleeping”

By itself, this makes sense, however you would add 만약 to the beginning of this to give a clear understanding of what you’re saying. You don’t have to add it but it’ll make more sense to your listener if you do.


  • 만약 내가 자고 있으면 | “If/in case I’m sleeping”

Just a note here on the conjugation:

1. Verb stems ending with a vowel + -면

  • 자다 –> 자면 (if you sleep)

2. Verb stems ending with ㄹ + -면

  • 살다 –> 살면 (if/in case (I/you) live)

3. Verb stems ending with consonants other than ㄹ + -으면

  • 먹다 –> 먹으면 (if/in case you eat)

So that’s it for this week! Next week we’ll be doing examples!


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