V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야 Mastering Korean Grammar 181

하늘을 보아야 별을 따지.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on mastering the essential Korean grammar structures "V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야." 

Understanding these grammatical forms is crucial for anyone learning Korean, as they are widely used to express necessary conditions and prerequisites in everyday conversations and formal writing.

If you want to watch the lesson in Korean with English subtitles, please click the link below.



Usage of V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야

• Condition (조건): This expression is used to indicate that the preceding word is an essential condition for the following word.

• V/A-아야/어야/해야 attaches to verbs and adjectives, while "N-이어야/여야" is used with nouns.  

• Notably, 'N-이어야/여야' can also function as 'N-이라야/라야.'

Use in Speech add '-지':  when speaking Korean, adding '-지 to these structures, as in '-아야지/어야지/해야지 and -이어야지/여야지,' can add a conversational tone.

Emphasis add '-만':  emphasis on the condition, '-만 is used, forming structures like '-아야만/어야만/해야만 and -이어야만/여야만.'

Explanation with Proverbs: V-아야/어야/해야

Proverb: 하늘을 보아야 별을 따지. (보다 + 아야)
                 (You have to look at the sky to get the stars.)

→ Here, '보아야' is a combination of the verb '보다' and '-아야.'

→ You can shorten '보아야' to '봐야.' 

 '보아야' indicates that gazing at the heavens is a prerequisite for star-picking. 

→ meaning of the proverb

There are two meanings of the proverbs:

1) It means that there must be considerable effort and preparation to achieve a result.

2) It can be used when there are no opportunities or conditions for something to happen.

Explanation with Proverbs: A-아야/어야/해야

Proverb: 윗물이 맑아야 아랫물이 맑다. (맑다 + 아야)
                 (
The water downstream is clear only if the water upstream is clear)

→ Here, '맑아야' is a combination of the adjective '맑다' and '-아야.'

→ '맑아야 illustrates a condition where the purity of the upper water ensures the clarity of the lower water.

→ meaning of the proverb:  if the superiors do well, the subordinates will follow suit.

Explanation with Example Sentences: N-이어야/여야 (-이라야/라야)

Notice: 이 놀이기구는 1미터 이상이어야 탈 수 있습니다. (이상 + 이어야, 이상 + 이라야)
              (One must be over 1 meter tall to ride this amusement ride.)

→ Here '이상이어야' is the combination of the noun '이상' and '-이어야.'

→ You can also say by adding '-이라야.'  Then you can say '이상이라야.'

→ '이상이어야' dictates a strict physical requirement – a height over 1 meter – to participate in the fun. 

Conditions in the Past: -았어야/었어야/했어야

-아야/어야/해야' can be used with the past tense expression '-았/었/했-, and say '-았어여/었어야/했어야.' 

• In this case '-았어야/었어야/했어야' is used when expressing regret or feeling sorry for not being able to do something because the condition was not met in the past.

Example: 지하철을 탔어야 늦지 않았을 텐데. (타다 + 았어야)
                  (I should have taken the subway so I wouldn't be late.)

→ Here, '탔어야'' is a combination of the verb '타다' and '-았어야.'

→ '탔어야' shows regret of taking a taxi. It means ‘I should have taken the subway instead of a taxi. If I had taken the subway, I wouldn’t have been late.’

Regret -았어야/었어야/했어야 했는데

• You can talk about regret  by combining '-았어요/었어야/했어야' followed by '했는데.'

Example: 지하철을 탔어야 했는데 택시를 타서 늦었어. (타다 + 았어야 했는데)
                   (I should have taken the subway, but I was late because I took a taxi.)

→ '탔어야 했는데' is a combination of the verb '타다' and '-았어야' and '했는데.'

→ This is an expression of regret for not taking the subway.

Grammar Tips 1: -겠- (X) vs -아야겠다/어야겠다/해야겠다 (O)

1) -겠어야: incorrect

• -아야/어야/해야 cannot combine with future/speculation '-겠-.'

Example: 따뜻한 옷을 입겠어야 감기에 안 걸릴 거예요. (X) (입다 + 겠 + 어야)

→ '-겠어야' is an incorrect expression.

2) -아야겠다/어야겠다/해야겠다 (will/necessary): correct

• But, it can be used to talk about will or necessity by adding '-겠다' after '-아야/어야/해야.'

• It is used when talking about the will to do something or that something is necessary.

Example: 감기에 안 걸리게 따뜻한 옷을 입어야겠어요. (입다 + 어야 + 겠어요)
                  (I need to wear warm clothes so I don’t catch a cold.)

→ '입어야겠어요' is a combination of the verb '입다' and '-어야' and '-겠어요.'

→ It says that I need to wear warm clothes to avoid catching a cold. It's necessary to wear warm clothes.

Grammar Tips 2: Imperatives and Requests X

It's important to note that these structures are incompatible with imperative or request forms like '-(으)ㄹ래요?, -(으)ㅂ시다, -(으)세요.'

1) Descriptive sentence (O) 
- 학생증이 있어야 책을 빌릴 수 있어요(You must have a student ID to borrow books.)

2) Imperative sentence (X) 
- 학생증이 있어야 책을 빌리세요

3) Request sentence (X) 
- 학생증이 있어야 책을 빌립시다.

Combination Information V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야

1) Verbs/Adjectives: -아야/어야/해야

① Vowel ㅏ, ㅗ: -아야

    → 앉다 + 아야 → 앉아야

② Other Vowels: -어야

   → 먹다 + 어야 → 먹어야

③ 하다: -해야 (하다 + 여야)

   → 공부하다 + 해야 → 공부해야

2) Noun: -이어야/여야 (-이라야/라야)

① with final consonant: -이어야/이라야

    → 학생 + 이어야/이라야 → 학생이어야/학생이라야

② without final consonant: -여야/라야

    → 가수 + 여야/라야 → 가수이여야/가수라야

Practice with Real-life Examples

1. 커피를 (마시다) 늦게까지 공부할 수 있어요.

→ 커피를 마셔야 늦게까지 공부할 수 있어요. (마시다 + 어야)
    (I need to drink coffee so I can study late.)

2. 열심히 (운동하다) 살이 빠져요.

→ 열심히 운동해야 살이 빠져요. (운동하다 + 해야)
    (You have to exercise hard to lose weight.)

3. 이 학교 (학생) 도서관에 들어갈 수 있어요. 

→ 이 학교 학생이어야 도서관에 들어갈 수 있어요. (학생 + 이어야/이라야)
    (You must be a student at this school to enter the library.)

Short Dialogues for Better Understanding

To see these grammatical structures in action, let's look at a dialogue between Nana and Miso.

Nana: 미소 씨, 혹시 내일 미팅 자료 이메일로 보내줄 수 있어요?

Miso: 지금 외부에 있어서요. 사무실에 가야 보낼 수 있을 것 같아요. (가다 + 아야)

Nana: 그러면 이따가 회사에 가서 보내 주세요.

→ '가야' is a combination of the verb '가다' and '-아야.'

(in English)

Nana: Miso, can you send me tomorrow's meeting material by email?
Miso: 
I'm outside right now. The meeting material is on the company computer, so I think I'll have to go to the office to send it.
Nana: 
Then, please go to the company later and send it to me.

Challenge Yourself: '-아야/어야/해야, -이어야/여야' Korean Grammar Quiz

Quiz 1: Try to fill in the blanks with the correct form of '- V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야. (*irregular form)

Example: 먹다 (v. eat) → 먹어야

1. 사다 (v. buy)

2. 오다 (v. come)

3. *듣다 (v. listen)

4. *덥다 (adj. hot)

5. *짓다 (v. build)

6. 회사 (n. office)

7. 집 (n. home)

Quiz 2) Attempt to complete the sentences using ‘-아야/어야/해야, -이어야/여야.’

8. 내일 날씨가 (좋다) 등산할 수 있을 것 같아요.

9. 한국어를 할 줄 (알다) 한국에서 일을 할 수 있어요.

10. 감기는 잘 (쉬다) 빨리 나아요.

11. (초등학생) 박물관에 무료로 들어갈 수 있어요.

12. (Proverb) 가는 말이 (곱다) 오늘 말이 곱다.

(English)

8. I think we can go hiking only if the weather is nice tomorrow.

9. You can work in Korea only if you can speak Korean.

10. You need to rest well to get better from a cold quickly.

11. Elementary school students can enter the museum for free.

12. (proverb) Only when the words that go are good, and the words that come back are good.

★ Answer

1. 사야 (사다 + 아야) 

2. 와야 (오다 + 아야) 

3. 들어야 (듣다 (ㄷ→ㄹ) + 어야) 

4. 더워야 (덥다 (ㅂ→우) + 어야) 

5. 지어야 (짓다 (ㅅ탈락) + 어야) 

6. 회사여야 (회사 + 여야) 

7. 집이어야 (집 + 이어야)

8. 내일 날씨가 좋아야 등산할 수 있을 것 같아요.

9. 한국어를 할 줄 알아야 한국에서 일을 할 수 있어요. (알다 + 아야).

10. 감기는 잘 쉬어야 빨리 나아요. (쉬다 + 어야)

11. 초등학생이라야 박물관에 무료로 들어갈 수 있어요. (초등학생 + 이라야)

12. 가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다. (곱다 (ㅂ→오) + 아야)

Free Quiz PDF Download










Conclusion

Today, we've delved deeply into the "V/A-아야/어야/해야, N-이어야/여야" structures in Korean. These grammatical forms are crucial for expressing conditions and necessities. Keep practicing, and soon you'll be using them like a native speaker!


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