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Grammar Lesson 2 Korean

(ㄹ/을) 수(도) 있다/없다,못 (can do,can’t do,might do, unable to do)

Now let’s learn how to say we can do, can’t do, might do, or unable to do something.

AV + (ㄹ/을) 수 있다

1. When we want to say we can do something, we conjugate korean verbs by removing the verb stem ‘다’ and replacing it with (ㄹ/을)수 있어요. When the verb’s last character is a consonant, we replace the stem with ‘을 수 있어요’ else we remove the stem, append ㄹ to the bottom of the verb and add ‘수 있어요’.

운전할 수 있어요? = Can you drive?

AV + (ㄹ/을) 수 없다

2. If we can’t do something, then we replace ‘다’ with (ㄹ/을)수 없다. When the verb’s last character is a consonant, we replace the stem with ‘을 수 없어요’ else we remove the stem, append ㄹ to the bottom of the verb and add ‘수 없어요’.

중국어 할 수 없어요. = I can’t speak Chinese.

AV + (ㄹ/을) 수도 있다

3. If we might do something, then we replace ‘다’ with (ㄹ/을)수도 있다.When the verb’s last character is a consonant, we replace the stem with ‘을 수도 있어요’ else we remove the stem, append ㄹ to the bottom of the verb and add ‘수도 있어요’.

한국에서 살 수도 있어요. = I might live in Korea.

못 + AV
AV + 지 + 못하다

4. If we want to say we are unable to do something (this is different than cannot), we use the word ‘못’ + Verb, or Verb + ‘지 못하다’.

지켜 주지 못해요. = I am unable to protect you.

지켜줘요 = I am unable to protect you.