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‘-(으)ㄹ 거예요’ vs ‘-(으)ㄹ게요’ in Korean grammar

learning korean Feb 15, 2023
future tense in Korean grammar, difference between  ‘-(으)ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘-(으)ㄹ게요’, ‘-(으)ㄹ 거예요’ vs ‘-(으)ㄹ게요’

 - Author: Good Job Korean team 
 - Editor: Good Job Korean team 

 ‘-()ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘()ㄹ게요’ are both used as future tense. However, there are clear differences in when to use each of them.




 Three Conjugation Rules for ‘-()ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘-()ㄹ게요


 The conjugation rule for both ‘-()ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘-()ㄹ게요’ are pretty similar. Only difference is the endings, ‘게요’ and ‘거예요’. Let’s check out the conjugation with examples.


 Rule 1. For a consonant ending verb stem (먹다: to eat)


 You add 을 거예요/을게요 to the verb stem.


 먹다(to eat) -> 을 거예요. (I will eat)

                     을게요. (I will eat)


 Rule 2. For a vowel ending verb stem (운동하다: to exercise)


 You addㄹ 거예요/ㄹ게요to the verb stem.


 운동하다(to exercise) -> 운동할 거예요. (I will exercise)
운동할게요. (I will exercise)


 Rule 3. ‘’ ending verb stem (살다: to live)


 You add거예요/게요to the verb stem.


 살다(to live) -> 거예요. (I will live)

                     게요. (I will live)


Usage Difference between ‘-()ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘-()ㄹ게요

Even though ‘()ㄹ 거예요’ and ‘()ㄹ게요’ are both future tenses, the usages are completely different. ‘()ㄹ게요’ is used to show ‘my reaction’ to the others, whereas ‘()ㄹ 거예요’ is normally used to talk about a fixed plan for the future.


Let’s see each big difference through examples


1) If the subject of a sentence is NOT ‘I’, you have to use ‘()ㄹ 거예요.


 As ‘()ㄹ게요’ is always used to ‘my reaction’, it cannot take a subject that is not ‘I’. So if a subject of a sentence is NOT ‘I’, you always use ‘()ㄹ 거예요’.

비가 올 거예요. (O)
비가 올게요.
   It will rain.

*비가 오다: to rain


As the sentence takes the subject ‘(rain)’, ‘()ㄹ 거예요’ has to be used.


For this reason, You always use ‘()ㄹ 거예요’ ending for question forms because most questions take a subject that is not ‘I’ unless I ask a question to myself.


 먹을 거예요?
 Are YOU going to eat?

 *밥: rice, meal   *먹다: to eat


 누구를 만날 거예요?
 Who are YOU going to meet?

 *누구: who    *만나다: to meet


 2) You use ‘()ㄹ게요’ when you’ve just decided to do something by other’s words


이거 너무 어려워요.
 A: This is too difficult.

 B: 제가 도와줄게요.
 B: (If you say so) I’ll help you.

 *이거: this   *너무: too   *어렵다: to be difficult   *돕다: to help


 B has just decided to help A as A said “This is too difficult’. By using ‘()ㄹ게요’, B implies that “If you say so I’ll help you”. It is a reaction to A’s words.


 It is very strange to use ‘제가 도와줄 거예요’ in this context because it implies “I was supposed to help you even before you requested”. ‘()ㄹ 거예요’ is normally used for a plan that is already fixed and is not affected by whom you are talking to.



 A: 내일 3 시에 뭐 할 거예요?

 A: What are you going to do at 3 tomorrow?

 B: 내일 3 시에 운동할 거예요.

 B: I am going to work out at 3 tomorrow.

 *내일: tomorrow   *: counter word for hour   *: what   *하다: to do   *운동하다: to exercise


 Both sentences talk about a fixed plan, using ‘()ㄹ 거예요’. They just ask and state a fact but not a reaction to the other’s words. 


 3) You use ‘()ㄹ게요’ if you want to show that you are aware of your listeners


 When Koreans leave a gathering or a party before it ends, they often say this.



 저 먼저 갈게요.

 (if you don’t mind) I will leave first.

 *먼저: first   *가다: to go


 Even though it is not a reaction to someone’s words, you should use ‘()ㄹ게요’ as it is a reaction to the thought that others may have. By saying ‘갈게요’, you show that you are aware of the listeners and gently deliver the fact that you will leave first.


 If you say ‘저 먼저 갈 거예요’ at the moment you leave, it implies ‘I will leave no matter what you guys say!’ which will make you sound rude.


 Let’s summarize the difference with this chart!


()ㄹ 거예요


Can take any of subjects

Can only take ‘I’ as a subject

Can be used in a question form

Cannot be used in a question form

Fixed plan

Just decided plan by other’s words

Not influenced by other listeners or speakers

Show that you are aware of other listeners



 Example sentences of –()ㄹ게요 and –()ㄹ 거예요.


 내일 비가 올 거예요.

 It’s going to rain tomorrow.

 *내일: tomorrow   *비가 오다: to rain


 A: 저는 한국말 못 해요.

 A: I can’t speak Korean.

 B: 괜찮아요. 제가 영어로 말할게요.

 B: It’s okay. I will speak in English.

 *한국말 하다: to speak Korean   *괜찮다: to be okay   *말하다: to speak, say


 진 씨, 내년에 한국 갈 거예요?

 Jin, are you going to visit Korea next year?

 *내년: next year   *가다: to go, to visit


 A: 오늘도 운동 안 할 거예요?

 A: Aren’t you going to work out again today?

 B: 오늘은 할게요.

 B: I will do it today.

 *오늘: today   *-: too, even   *운동하다: to work out


 A: 죄송합니다. 지금 회의하고 있어요.

 A: I’m sorry. I’m having a meeting right now.

 B: 나중에 다시 전화할게요.

 B: I will call you again later.

 *죄송합니다: I’m sorry (formal way)   *지금: now   *회의하다: to have a meeting   *나중에: later

 *다시: again   *전화하다: to call


 도대체 언제 공부할 거예요?

 When on earth are you going to study?

 *도대체: on earth(to emphasize)   *공부하다: to stud

 - Author: Good Job Korean team 
 - Editor: Good Job Korean team