Verb + (으)려고 + Verb [ Korean Grammar ] 

 July 10, 2021

By  Smriti

Learning grammar is one of the most difficult things for Korean language learners. On this blog we will try to help you learn Korean grammar in the quickest and easiest way possible. This blog will be helpful for those who are studying Korean language and want to improve their grammar skills.

Today we’ll see how to form sentences with grammar pattern Verb + (으)려고 + Verb " with some example sentences. 

"(으)려고 " is added after the verb stem to imply speaker's motive, intention or purpose behind doing something". 

It is a connective ending used when the speaker has an intention or desire of doing something. 

It has same usage as Verb + (으)러 but it can be used with any verb irrespective of 가다, 오다 or 다니다  which are the only action verbs denoting motion used with with V + (으)러.

V + (으)러 can only be followed by 가다, 오다 or 다니다 but Verb + (으)려고 can be used with other verbs as well. 

Verb + (으)려고 is like a universal Korean grammar pattern which can be used with all sorts of verb and implies much stronger implication than V + (으)러. 

Let's look at some examples to understand the concept of Verb 1 + (으)려고 Verb 2 grammar pattern.

  1. 오늘은 한국 음식을 먹으려고 식당에 가요.

Today I’ll go to a restaurant to eat Korean food.

Here, in order to eat Korean food the speaker will go to the restaurant.

It indicates the speaker's intention of going to the Korean restaurant. 친구를 사귀려고 한국어를 배우고 있어요. 

I'm learning Korean to make Korean friends.

Here, in order to make Korean friends, the speaker is learning Korean.

It indicates the speaker's  intention of learning Korean. 

How to conjugate " (으)려고 " grammar pattern?

In case no. 1 : When the verb stem ends with a consonant like 먹다 (to eat), 받다 (to receive) etc. 

Remove 다 from the main verb and add 으려고 after the verb stem.

Eg: 먹으려고 갑시다. 


In case no. 2 : When the verb stem ends with a vowel like 사다, 배우다 etc.

Remove 다 from the main verb and add 려고 after the verb stem. 

Eg : 사려고 시장에 가.

힌디어를 배우려고 인도에 갔다.


In case no. 3 : When the verb stem ends with a ㄹ like 놀다.

Remove 다 from the main verb and add 려고 after the verb stem. 

Eg :  그녀는 내 장난감을 가지고 놀려고 내 방으로 계속 와.

She keeps on coming into my room to play with my toys.


In case no. 4 : When the verb stem ends with 하 like 공부하다.

Remove 다 from the main verb and add 려고 after the 하 verb stem. 

Eg : 그는 외국에서 공부하려고 생각하고 있다.

He is thinking of studying abroad.

 So the verbs changes from, 

  • 가다 - 가려고
  • 주다 - 주려고 
  • 가져가다 - 가져가려고
  • 검사하다 - 검사하려고
  • 놀다 - 놀려고
  • 먹다 - 먹으려고
  • 벌다 - 벌려거


Let's look at the example.

잠시 후에 우리는 다시 놀려고 밖으로 나갔어요.

A little later, we went outside to play again.

  • 놀 - play
  • 려고 - in order to 
  • 밖으로 - outside
  • 나갔어요 - went

The speaker is given the  reason or expressing his intention behind doing something. In this case, in order to play he went outside.

  1. TOPIK 시험을 합격하려고 열심히 공부하고 있어요.

I am studying hard to pass the TOPIK exam.

Intention of the speaker was to pass the topic exam because of which he studied hard. In order to pass the TOPIK exam the speaker studied hard. 

2. 드라마를 보려고 숙제를 빨리 했어요.

I did my homework quickly to watch the drama.

The speaker's intention for doing the homework quickly was to watch the drama. So in order to watch the drama, the speaker finished the homework quickly. 

Similarly examples,

3. 그는 위험한 동물에 너무 가까이 다가가려고 노력하다가 죽었다.

He died while trying to get too close to a dangerous animal.

4. 그는 5마일을 달리려고 시도했지만 할 수 없었다.

He tried to run five miles and couldn’t.

5. 대답하려고 손을 들어. 

Raise your hand to answer.

6. 난 너를 도와주려고 여기 있는 거야.

I’m here to help you.

Rule 1) : 

It is used in declarative sentences only and never in imperative or requesting sentences. 

Eg : 사람들이 막 떠나려고 한다.

The people are about to leave.


넌 내가 이걸 하는 걸 도와주려고 했었어. 기억나?

You were going to help me with this. Remember?


Rule 2) :

(으)려고 / (으)려고요 can used as the ending of any declarative sentence.

Eg : 한국 왜 가고 싶었다고요?

Why did you want to go to Korea ?


한국너를 공부하려고요.

In order to study Korean.


지금 뭐 하는 거예요 ?


What are you trying to do?

I am trying to help.


Related Korean grammar posts :

어서/아서 vs (으)니까 and (기) 때문에

Noun +~에서/부터 ~까지

Noun + 보다

Verb+(으)려고 하다

V/A + 아/어/해야 하다 and 되다

Verb + (으)ㄹ수있다/없다


To understand TOPIK Test structure, application process, Levels and Passing scores etc. check these pages:

  1. TOPIK – The Complete Guide & 2. TOPIK Levels and Passing Marks. You can also Practice Online with TOPIK GUIDE Mock Tests.

If you are going to take the TOPIK Test for the first time, or if you want to give your score a boost so that you can pass a higher level, we would strongly advise you to get the Complete Guide to TOPIK – Self-Study Package. It is a digital study package that has everything you need to get a great score in the TOPIK test – all the past TOPIK papers with answer sheets, grammar and vocabulary study material, video tutorials explaining the test structure, strategies to solve them and much more. You can check out more details about this study package HERE.

Learning Korean can be tricky, especially when the goal of your learning is conversation. If you’ve ever attempted to speak Korean but were unable to, then hopefully you’ll find this post helpful.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions. Comment down below. 

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