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‘(으)ㄹ까요?’ in Korean grammar: ‘Shall we~?’, ‘Do you think~?’

learning korean Feb 10, 2023
(으)ㄹ까요, Shell we, Do you think, Korean grammar

 - Author: Niya (Trinidad and Tobago)
 - Editor: Good Job Korean team 

 ‘()ㄹ까요?’ is one of the most frequently used verb endings in Korea. It is usually translated as ‘Shall we do~?’ or ‘Do you think~?’. Now let’s check out how it is conjugated and the usages of it with example sentences!


 How to conjugate ‘()ㄹ까요?’


 Let’s see 3 rules for conjugating ‘(으)ㄹ까요?’.


 Rule 1. When the verb stem ends with a final consonant, you add ‘을까요?’.



 먹다(to eat) -> 먹을까요?


 Rule 2. When verb stem ends with a vowel, you add ‘ㄹ까요?’.



 가다(to go) -> 갈까요?



 Rule 3. When verb stem ends with ‘ㄹ’, you just add ‘까요?’.


 팔다(to sell) -> 팔까요?


 3 Usages of ‘()ㄹ까요?’


 Usage #1. Used while suggesting doing something together.

 When ‘()ㄹ까요?’ is used as this usage, it is translated as ‘Shall we ~?’. In this case, the subject is almost always ‘WE’.



 같이 먹을까요?

 Shall we eat together?

 *먹다: to eat

 -> This sentence is only used when you want to eat something TOGETHER. So, it cannot be translated as “Shall you eat?”.


 Usage #2. Used to ask someone’s opinion by showing curiosity.

 ‘(으)ㄹ까요?’ is also used to ask someone’s opinion and is translated as ‘Do you think~?’ or ‘I wonder~?’.



 진 씨가 식사를 할까요?

 Do you think Jin is going to eat?

 I wonder if Jin is going to eat.

 *식사를 하다: to eat, to have a meal


 -> This sentence can have any subject unlike the first usage, so you can regard the ‘(으)ㄹ까요?’ sentence with a third person subject as the second usage.


 Usage #3. When you take or (I/me) as a subject

 When you take 저 or (I/me) as a subject with ‘(으)ㄹ까요?’ verb ending, it is translated as ‘Shall I do~?’ or ‘Do you think I should do~?’.



 저 이거 살까요?

 Do you think I should buy this?

 *저: I(polite speech)   *이거: this   *사다: to buy



 When ‘()ㄹ까요’ is used in the past tense, it is only used as the second usage, asking someone’s opinion by showing your curiosity. You can simply conjugate by using ‘Past tense without 어요 + 을까요?’ structure.



 진 씨가 한국에 왔을까요?

 Do you think Jin came to Korea?

 *오다: to come   *왔어요: (I) came



 Example sentences of ‘()ㄹ까요?’


 우리 산책하러 갈까요?

 Shall we go for a walk together?

 *우리: we   *산책하다: to take a walk   *verb + -러 가다: to go to do verb


 저 오늘 저녁 뭐 먹을까요? 

 What should I eat for dinner today?

 *저녁: dinner, evening   *: what   *먹다: to eat


 영화가 끝났을까요?

 Do you think the movie ended?

 *영화: movie   *끝나다: to end


 내일 비가 올까요?

 Do you think it will rain tomorrow?

 *내일: tomorrow   *비가 오다: to rain

 - Author: Niya (Trinidad and Tobago)
 - Editor: Good Job Korean team