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V+ (으)면, (으)며, (으)면서, ㄴ다면 | How to say "If" In Korean

Updated: Nov 16, 2023



There is only one way to say "IF" plainly in Korean, but there are also other forms that have different meanings, like "while", "and", "if you want.." and more. We'll go over the most common grammar in this lesson.



(으)면 - If; When


Usage:

- Express a supposition (an uncertain belief) or a condition about a fact or something that occurred repeatedly = if, when


- Past tense can’t come before -(으)면


- When expressing a supposition, 혹시, 만약 and 만일 can also be used to emphasize the supposition


- When the subjects of the 1st and 2nd clauses are different, the particle following the subject of the 1st clause changes from 은/는 to 이/가.


Consonant - 으면

Vowel - 면



Examples:

컴퓨터를 많이 하면 눈이 아파요.

If you send too much time on computer, you will hurt your eyes.


나는 기분이 좋으면 춤을 춰요.

When I am in a good mood, I dance.


주말에 날씨가 좋으면 바다에 가자.

If the weather is nice on the weekend, let’s go to the sea.



(으)면서, (으)며 - While


Usage:

-(으)면서 grammar pattern is used describe two actions being performed at the same time.


- It is used by adding (으)면서 to the verb of the first action (first sentence) and then following up with the second action.


- tense markers don’t come before (으)면서, if it’s past tense then the last verb is only conjugated


- the subjects in the sentence must be the same


- ~(으)며 is a shortened form of ~(으)면서. In theory, ~(으)며 can replace all of the example sentences above that show two actions occurring at the same time.


Consonant - Verb stem + 으면서

Vowel - Verb stem + 면서 (if word ends with a ㄹ, this formed will also be used


듣다 is a ㄷ-irregular verb and conjugates differently than other verbs that ends with a consonant. (들으면서)



Examples:

밥을 먹으면서 드라마를 봐요.

I eat while I watch a drama.


음악을 들으면서 운전을 해요.

= I listen to music while driving.



(으)려면 - If you want/intend to…then you should


Usage:

- It is the shortened form of V-(으)려고 하면, which is used to express a plan or intention to do something in the 1st clause and the condition to fulfill the plan or intention in the 2nd clause = if you want/ intend to… then you should...


- The 2nd clause is often ended in suggestive forms such as V-아/어야 해요, V-(으)면 돼요, V-(으)세요, 이/가 필요해요, and -는 게 좋아요.


End In Vowel or ㄹ - 려면

End In Consonant- 으려면



Examples:

한국어를 잘하려면 연습을 많이 해야 해요.

If you want to speak Korean well, you have to practice a lot.


감기가 걸리지 않으려면 코트를 입으세요.

If you don’t want to get a cold, then please wear a coat.



ㄴ다면 - If this/that happens..


Usage:

- Hypothesize a situation contrary to the past or happening in present or not yet occurred  = If this happens, one will/ would…


- This expression is often used with -겠어요, -(으)ㄹ 거예요, and -(으)ㄹ 텐데.


- In present tense: -ㄴ/는다면 can be exchanged with -(으)면 without meaning change


- In past tense: -ㄴ/는다면 can be exchanged with -았/었으면 or -았/었더라면 without meaning change


- A/V/N-(으)면 is used to refer to events that have a high chance to occur while A/V/N-(느)ㄴ다면 refers to events which have little or no chance to occur.


Present tense:

Adjective + -다면

Verb + ㄴ/는다면

Noun + (이)라면


Past tense:

Adjective + 았/었다면

Verb + -았/었다면:

Noun + 였다면 / 이었다면:



Mini-Practice:

Translate these sentences in Korean


1.) If I Drink Milk, My Stomach Will Hurt.

2.) We Ate Popcorn, While Watching A Movie.

3.) If You Want To Leave Early, Please Finish Your Work Quickly.

If He Were Taller, He Could Play Basketball.



Disclaimer: There are more grammar that use 면 - 았/었다면, 았/었더라면, 다 보면, 다면서요, (으)면 안 되다, -면되다, 았/었으면 좋겠다, etc. I couldn’t cover them all in this one post



More Examples:

💥(으)면

 

심심하면 치킨을 드세요 Eat fried chicken if (you) are bored


티켓 사시려면 저기 가시면 돼요 Go there if you want buy tickets.


핸드폰 있으면 잠시 꺼주세요 Turn off your cellphone if (you) have it.


날씨가 좋으면 사진 찍으러 가요.

If the weather is nice, we are going to take some pictures.


질문이 있으면 언제든지 물어보세요.

If you have a question, ask me anytime.



💥 (으)면서 | (으)며

그녀가 케익을 만들면서 버터를 다 써버렸다.

She ran out of butter while making the cake.


음악을 들으면서 공부 해요.

I study while listening to music.


점심을 먹으면서 텔레비전을 봤어요.

l ate lunch while watching television.


신문을 읽으면서 TV를 봅시다.

Let's watch TV while reading the newspaper. 


1운전을하면서 담배를 피우면 안 돼요.

You should not drive while smoking.



💥(으)려면

빨리 부산에 가려면 KTX를 타세요.

If you want to go to Busan quickly, then take the KTX.


우리 어머님을 만나려면 주말에 우리 집에 가세요.

If you want to meet my mother, then come to my home on weekend.


이 식당에서 식사하시려면 예약을 하셔야 합니다.

If you intend to have a meal in this restaurant, you have to book in advance.



💥ㄴ다면

이번에도 졸업을 못한다면 부모님이 정말 실말하실 거예요.

If I don't graduate this time, my parents will be really disappointed.


내가 부자라면 가난한 사람들을 도와줄 수 있을 텐데.

If I were rich, I would be able to help the poor.


10개 사신다면 1개 더 무료 드리겠습니다.

If you buy 10, I will give you 1 free.


지금부터 열심히 공부한다면 대학교에 갈 수 있을 거예요.

If you study hard from now, you should be able to enter the university.



Practice Answers:

1.) 우유를 마시면 배가 아플 거예요.

2.) 우리는 영화를 보면서 팝콘을 먹었어요.

3.) 일찍 퇴근하려면, 일을 빨리 끝내세요.

4.) (만약) 그가 키가 더 크다면, 그는 농구를 할 수 있을 거예요.



Like this blog post if you got all the answers right and leave a comment if you want to see more grammar posts like this.



If you're interested in more detailed grammar lessons with practices to go along with them - check out my Intermediate Korean grammar book!


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