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Double Negatives in Korean | (으)면 안 되다, (으)면 되다 Intermediate Korean Grammar

안녕하세요 여러분! This lesson will cover 2 low-Intermediate level grammar patterns. One is used to say that you "are not allowed to do" something and the other is used to say "It's okay if you do" something. Using this grammar we can also make a double negative. Let's get into the lesson!

V+(으)면 안 되다 = not allowed to, shouldn't, can't

Usage: This grammar is used to say that a certain action should not be done or is not allowed/prohibited. You’ll see it translated as: Shouldn’t, May not, To not be allowed.

How To Conjugate :

> Verb stem ends with a vowel or ㄹ:

보다 - - 보 + 면 안 되다

> Verb stem ends with a consonant:

먹다 - - 먹 + 으면 안 되다

> V-하다 → V-하면 안 되다:

청소하다 -- 청소하면 안 되다



수업 시간에는 밥 먹으면 안 돼

You aren’t allowed to eat during class.

영화관 안에서는 핸드폰을 쓰면 안 돼요.

You shouldn’t use your phone in the movie theater.

빌딩 안에서는 담배를 피우면 안 됩니다.

You’re not allowed to smoke inside the building.

미술관 안에서는 사진을 찍으면 안 됩니다.

You can’t take pictures inside of the art musuem.

가: 왜 이렇게 일찍 자요?

A: Why are you sleeping so early?

나: 내일도 늦잠을 자서 학교에 늦으면 안 돼요.

I can’t be late for school tomorrow because

I overslept.



P (You can check HERE for a lesson on that).


이번 주에 숙제를 끝내지 않으면 안 돼.

You should finish your homework this week.

오늘 일하지 않으면 안 됩니다.

I have to work today. / I should (do) work today.

고기를 못 먹어서 야채만 먹지 않으면 안 돼요.

He can’t eat meat, so he has to eat only vegetables.

(Or he should only eat vegetables)


V+(으)면 되다 = can, It's alright to..,It's okay to..

Usage: This grammar is the OPPOSITE of what we just looked at. It’s used to say that

something is okay to do or you may do something.

How To Conjugate :

> Verb stem ends with a vowel or ㄹ: 면

보다 - - 보 + 면 되다

> Verb stem ends with a consonant: 으면

먹다 - - 먹 + 으면 되다

> V-하다 → V-하면 되다:

청소하다 -- 청소하면 되다



단어를 모를 때는 사전을 찾으면 돼요.

If you don't know a word, it's ok to look it up in the dictionary.

더우면 에어컨을 켜면 돼요.

If it's hot, you can turn on the air conditioner.

아프면 약을 먹으면 돼요.

You can take medicine when you are sick.

질문이 있으면 손을 들고 이야기하면 돼요.

If you have any questions, it's ok to raise your hand and talk.

오늘 일을 하지 않으면 돼서 그냥 쉬세요!

It’s okay if you don’t do work today, just rest!

(Notice the negation is before the grammar unlike 으면 되다 - Giving this sentence a meaning like It’s ok if you don’t Verb)


That's all for this lesson! You can see more lessons like this HERE!

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