Lesson 49: There is no problem if: ~아/어도 되다

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Vocabulary
Introduction

Another meaning of 되다
To be allowed to do: ~아/어도 되다
One doesn’t have to do: 안 ~아/어도 되다
좋다 and 괜찮다

 

Vocabulary

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use. You might not be able to understand all of the grammar within the example sentences, but any grammar you can’t understand will eventually be introduced in later lessons. Use these sentences to give yourself a feel for how each word can be used, and maybe even to expose yourself to the grammar that you will be learning shortly.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
감독관 = supervisor, proctor

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “감독꽌”

Common Usages:
시험감독관 = exam proctor

Examples:
문제를 이해하지 못하면 감독관에게 물어봐도 돼요
= You may ask the supervisor/proctor if you don’t understand the question

감독관은 시험시작 20분전까지 각 교실로 입장해 주세요
= Would all of the (exam) proctors please enter each (their respective) classrooms 20 minutes before the start of the exam

심장 = heart

Common Usages:
심장마비 = heart attack
심장이식 = heart transplant
심장박동 = heart beat
심장이 뛰다 = for a heart to be pounding

Examples:
심장수술이 잘 됐어요? = Did the heart surgery go well?
말이 날뛰듯이 그의 심장이 뛰었다 = His heart was racing, as if a horse bucking
심장이 멈춘 듯이 가슴이 아파요 = My chest hurts as if it stopped
제가 20분이상 쉬지 않고 달리면 심장이 빨리 뛰기 시작해요 = When I run for 20 minutes without resting, my heart starts to race

수염 = facial hair

Common Usages:
염소수염 = goatee
수염을 깎다 = to trim one’s facial hair
수염을 기르다 = to grow facial hair

Examples:
이 직장에서 수염을 길러도 돼요 = You are allowed to have a beard at this job
수염을 안 깎아도 돼요? = You don’t need to shave your beard?
수염이 길면 음식을 먹을 때마다 수염에 음식이 묻어서 깨끗하지 않아요 = When your facial hair is long, every time you eat food, it gets stuck in your beard so it’s not clean

명예 = honor

Common Usages:
명예를 얻다 = to gain honor
명예퇴직 = “retiring with honor” (usually used when somebody retires before the regular retiring age. The opposite of this [to retire at the regular retiring age] is정년퇴직)

Examples:
내일 시합에서 명예를 회복해도 돼요 = You can regain your honor during tomorrow’s game

오늘 저희 선생님 중 한 분이 명예퇴직을 하셔서 회식이 있을 거예요
= Today, one of our teachers is retiring (early) so there will be a staff dinner

이 선수는 세상에서 가장 빠른 선수라는 명예를 올림픽을 통해 얻었어요
= This athlete received/gained the honor of being the fastest sprinter/athlete in the world through the Olympics

당구 = billiards

Common Usages:
당구대 = pool table
당구장 = pool hall
당구공 = pool ball

Examples:
당구를 여기서 쳐도 돼요 = You are allowed to play pool here
형이랑 (같이) 당구를 하면서 술을 마셨어요 = I drank alcohol with my brother while playing pool
내일 친구랑 같이 당구를 칠 계획이 있어서 회사에 갈 수 없어요 = I have plans to play pool with a friend tomorrow, so I can’t go to work

얼룩말 = zebra

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “얼룽말”

Common Usages:
얼룩말 = zebra
얼룩말 무늬 = zebra print/pattern

Examples:
얼룩말에게 먹이를 줘도 돼요? = May I give feed to the zebras?
동물원에서 동물이 많지만 얼룩말이 없어요= There are many animals at the zoo, but there are no zebras

탁구 = table tennis

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “탁꾸”

Common Usages:
탁구대 = ping pong table
탁구공 = ping bong ball
탁구채 = ping pong racket

Examples:
우리가 탁구를 해도 돼요? = May we play table tennis?
체육시간에 배우는 스포츠 중 가장 흔한 스포츠는 탁구예요 = The most common sport to play/learn during P.E. class is table tennis

시합 = game, match, competition

Common Usages:
재시합 = rematch
시합에 나가다 = to participate in a competition
시합에 이기다 = to win a match
시합에 지다 = to lose a match

Examples:
내일 시합에서 명예를 회복해도 돼요 = You can regain your honor during tomorrow’s game
연습을 많이 해도 시합에서 질 거예요 = Regardless of how much you practice, you will lose the match
오늘 시합에서 이기면 결승전에 진출할 수 있습니다 = If we win the match today, we can advance to the finals

인문 = humanities, liberal arts

Common Usages:
인문 = humanities, liberal arts
인문사회 = humanities and social sciences
인문학 = the humanities (as a field of study)
인문 대학 = Liberal Arts College

Examples:
이 학교가 과학 고등학교라서 인문학을 공부하지 않아도 돼요
= You don’t need to study the humanities at this school because it is a science high school

요즘 사람들이 가장 많이 찾는 책 종류는 인문학입니다
These days, the most sought after type book by people is the humanities

인문학교육은 인생을 살아가는 데 도움을 많이 주는 중요한 교육입니다.
= Education in the humanities is an important education that can be very helpful to people going through life

자격 = qualification

Common Usages:
자격요건 = qualification requirements
자격미달 = unqualified

Examples:
그 나라에서 선생님이 되고 싶으면 특별한 자격이 있지 않아도 돼요
= If you want to become a teacher in that country, you don’t need any special qualification

저는 자격미달로 그 학교에 떨어졌어요
= I didn’t get into that school because I wasn’t qualified

이 회사에 지원하기 전에 먼저 자격요건을 확인해주시길 바랍니다
= Before applying to this company, please check the qualification requirements first

자격증 = certificate (something showing qualification)

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “자격쯩”

Notes: “증” refers to some sort of proof that one can, or is allowed to do something. For example:
면허증 = drivers licence (a card showing that one can/is allowed to drive)
학생증 = student card (a card showing that one is a student)

As such, 자격증 is a document that shows proof that one is qualified in something.

Common Examples:
자격증을 따다 = to get a certification/certified

Examples:
자격증을 안 보여줘도 돼요? = I don’t need to show you my certification?
한국에 젊은이들은 취업을 하기 위해 많은 자격증을 따요 = Young people in Korea get a lot of certificates to get hired

기억력 = memory

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “기엉녁”

Notes: This refers to one’s memory ability or power. It is not used to refer to an event in the past.

For example:
기억력이 좋다 = for one’s memory to be good
기억력이 나쁘다 = for one’s memory to be bad

Examples:
핸드폰에 연락처 기능이 있어서 요즘에 사람들은 기억력이 좋지 않아도 돼요
= Cell phones have contact functions in them so these days people don’t need to have a good memory

먹이 = prey, food

Common Usages:
먹이사슬 = the food chain
먹이를 찾다 = to hunt/search for prey
먹이를 먹다 = to eat one’s prey

Examples:
얼룩말에게 먹이를 줘도 돼요? = May I give feed to the zebras?
생태계는 먹이사슬을 바탕으로 존재합니다 = The ecosystem is based on the food chain

나는 아빠에게 부탁해서 펭귄 먹이를 사달라고 했다. 펭귄 점심 시간에 먹이가 있으면 직접 펭귄에게 먹이를 줄 수 있기 때문이다.
= I asked my dad for a favor, I asked him to buy me some penguin bait/feed. Because, if you have bait during the penguin lunch time, you can feed the penguins yourself.

교도소 = prison

Notes: The word “감옥” can also be used

Common Usages:
교도소에 입소하다 = to be put in jail
교도소에 가다 = to go to jail
교도소에서 석방되다 = to be released from jail

Examples:
죄수를 보러 교도소에 들어가도 돼요? = May we go into the prison to see the prisoners?
이 교도소는 많은 살인자가 있는 곳으로 유명해요 = This prison is famous for having a lot of murders

교도소 주변에는 아무도 살고 싶지 않기 때문에 아파트가 없어요
= There are no apartments in the area of prisons because nobody wants to live there

죄수 = prisoner

Common Usages:
죄수를 석방하다 = to free a prisoner
죄수를 감시하다 = to watch a prisoner

Examples:
죄수를 보러 교도소에 들어가도 돼요?
= May we go into the prison to see the prisoners?

이 교도소에는 총 100명의 죄수가 수감되어 있습니다
= There are 100 prisoners in total locked in this prison

이 남자는 살인을 저지른 죄수로 곧 감옥에 수감될 예정입니다.
= This man committed murder, so he will soon be locked up as a prisoner in prison

Verbs:
파악하다 = to understand, to grasp, to figure out

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “파아카다”

Common Usages:
분위기 파악을 하다 = to understand an atmosphere

Examples:
선생님! 이 문제를 파악할 수 없어요. 나중에 선생님의 교무실에 가도 돼요?
= Teacher! I can’t grasp/understand this problem. May I go to your office later?

이 내용을 읽고 전체적인 내용을 파악하는 게 오늘 수업의 핵심입니다
= The main point of today’s class is to read the contents and understanding/grasp it as a whole

저는 분위기 파악을 잘 못해서 사람들과 친해지는 게 어려워요
= I’m not able to understand the atmosphere of situations so it is difficult for me to get close with people

살아나다 = to revive

Examples:
이 물을 마시면 죽은 사람도 살아난다는 미신이 있어요
= There is a superstition that if you drink this water, it can even revive people

길가에 쓰러진 사람에게 인공호흡을 해서 그 사람이 다시 살아났어요
= He gave CPR to the fallen person on the road and that person was able to survive (rise again)

동반하다 = to accompany

Common Usages:
동반자 = a companion, somebody with you
평생 동반자 = lifelong companion

Examples:
학생들이 들어가도 되지만 부모를 동반해야 돼요
= Students may enter, but they must be accompanied by a parent

아이를 동반한 가족은 이 곳에서 기다리면 더 빠르게 입장할 수 있습니다
= If families accompanied with children wait here, they can enter quicker

이 약은 두통을 동반할 수도 있으니 이 약을 먹은 후 커피를 마시지 마세요
= Head pain can be accompanied (as a side effect, for example) with this medicine, so after taking this medicine, don’t drink coffee

회복하다 = to restore, to recover

The noun form of this word (“회복”) translates to “a restoration.”
The pronunciation of this word is closer to “회보카다”

Common Usages:
건강을 회복하다 = to restore one’s health
컨디션을 회복하다 = to restore one’s condition “컨디션” is used in Korean to indicate that one’s body “condition” is good or not good (usually to indicate that one is sick or not sick)

Examples:
내일 시합에서 명예를 회복해도 돼요
= You can regain your honor during tomorrow’s game

저는 피곤할 때마다 컨디션 회복을 위해 아침에 조깅을 가요
= When I am tired, in order to recover my condition, I go jogging in the morning

1년 전에 자동차 사고를 당한 동료는 건강을 회복하고 다시 출근했어요
= My co-worker that got into a car accident a year ago has recovered his health and has again started coming to work

Adjectives:
편리하다 = to be convenient, to be handy

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “펼리하다”

Common Usages:
편리한 곳 = a convenient place
편리하게 = conveniently

Examples:
제일 편리한 것을 선택해도 돼요
= You can choose the most convenient one

이 노트북은 매우 가벼워서 가지고 다니기 편리해요
= It is very convenient to carry this laptop around because it is very light

한국에서는 전철을 타면 편리하게 서울 도심 곳곳을 갈 수 있어요
= You can go everywhere in Seoul conveniently if you ride the subway

불쾌하다 = to be unpleasant, to be nasty

Common Usages:
냄새가 불쾌하다 = for a smell to be nasty
분위기가 불쾌하다 = for an atmosphere to be unpleasant
표정이 불쾌하다 = for an expression to be unpleasant

Examples:
옆에 있는 사람이 하는 말이 아주 불쾌해서 다른 자리로 가도 돼요?
= What the person beside me is saying is unpleasant, so may I go to another seat?

어제 백화점에서 물건을 살 때 수수료에 대한 설명을 해주지 않아서 불쾌했어요
= When I bought an item at the department store yesterday, they didn’t explain about the fees, so it wasn’t nice

전철에서 술에 취한 사람이 옆에 앉으면 냄새 때문에 불쾌해서 저는 자리에서 일어나요
= Because of the smell, when drunk people sit beside me on the subway, it is unpleasant so I get up from my seat

단단하다 = to be hard, to be stiff

Examples:
고기에 그 단단한 부분도 먹어도 돼요
= You can/may even eat that hard/stiff part of the meat

저는 말랑말랑한 바나나보다 단단한 바나나가 더 맛있어요
= To me, hard bananas are more delicious that soft bananas

나무가 생각보다 단단해서 톱을 이용해서 반으로 잘랐어요
= The tree is harder (“stiffer”) than we thought so we used a saw and cut it in half

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will build on your understanding of ~아/어도 to make sentences using 되다. Using these concepts, you will be able to indicate that here is no problem if something is or is not done. Let’s get started.

 

Another meaning of 되다

In previous lessons, you learned some uses of the word “되다.” For example in Lesson 9 you learned that it can be used as a stand-alone verb which means “to become:”

저는 선생님이 되고 싶었어요 = I wanted to be a teacher

In Lesson 14, you learned about its function in passive sentences. For example:

세금은 값에 포함된다 = The tax is included in the price

Another usage of “되다” is to indicate that there is “no problem” with something. Common translations for this can be “for something to be going well” or “for something to be working (well).” You can typically place “되다” after a noun to indicate that there is no problem with that noun. The word “잘” is often included in these sentences as its nature to mean “well:” For example:

사업이 잘 되고 있어요? = Is your business going well?
일이 잘 돼요? = Is your work going well?
여기서 Wi-Fi가 잘 돼요 = The Wi-Fi here works well
심장수술이 잘 됐어요? = Did the heart surgery go well?
문제 해결이 잘 됐어요? = Did the problem get solved okay?

This same usage is often used to say that something has “finished” doing whatever it should be doing, for example

밥이 됐어요? = Is the rice ready?/Has the rice finished cooking?

You can also use 되다 to tell somebody to stop giving you something. For example, if somebody is filling up a glass of water for you, and you want to say “Okay! That’s enough!” you can just say “됐어(요)!”

If you wanted to say the opposite – that is – that something is not going well, not working or is not finished, you should use the word 안 (even though the usual opposite of “잘” is “못”). “잘” can also be included in these sentences along with “안”  (just like how “잘” can be used alongside “못”). For example:

밥이 아직은 안 됐어요 = The rice still isn’t ready
여기서 Wi-Fi가 (잘) 안 돼요 = The Wi-Fi doesn’t work (well) here
컴퓨터가 안 돼요 = The computer isn’t working
로그인이 안 돼요 = The log-in isn’t working (I can’t log in)

Person 1: 축구 경기를 내일 보러 갈래요? = Shall we go to see a soccer game tomorrow?
Person 2: 저는 가고 싶지만 내일은 안 돼요 = I want to go, but I can’t go tomorrow (tomorrow doesn’t work for me)

I want to talk about this usage of 되다 and how it can be applied in sentences with ~아/어도.

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To be allowed to do: ~아/어도 되다

In the previous section, you learned how 되다 can be used to indicate that there is “no problem” with something.

In the previous lesson, you learned how to attach ~아/어도 to the stem of a clause to create the meaning of “regardless of…” For example:

네가 일찍 가도 … = Regardless of if you leave early…

되다 (in the usage described in this lesson) is commonly used after ~아/어도 to indicate that there is no problem with the action being done. For example:

네가 일찍 가도 돼 = Regardless of if you leave early, there is no problem

This typically translates to “one may” or “one is allowed to.” For example:

네가 일찍 가도 돼 = “You may go early,” or “You are allowed to go early”

Below are many examples:

아무거나 해도 돼요 = You can do whatever you want
지금 문을 열어도 돼요 = You may open the door now
제일 편리한 것을 선택해도 돼요 = You can choose the most convenient one
여기 있어도 돼요 = You are allowed to be here
당구를 여기서 쳐도 돼요 = You are allowed to play pool here
이 직장에서 수염을 길러도 돼요 = You are allowed to have a beard at this job
내일 시합에서 명예를 회복해도 돼요 = You can regain your honor during tomorrow’s game
고기에 그 단단한 부분도 먹어도 돼요 = You can/may even eat that hard/stiff part of the meat
학생들이 들어가도 되지만 부모를 동반해야 돼요 = Students may enter, but they must be accompanied by a parent
문제를 이해하지 못하면 감독관에게 물어봐도 돼요 = You may ask the supervisor/proctor if you don’t understand the question

These types of sentences can also be used to ask questions. Here, the speaker is asking if there is any “problem” with an action occurring. For example:

제가 일찍 가도 돼요? = Regardless of if I go early, is there any problem?

These types of questions typically translation to “May…?” or “Is it alright if…” For example:

제가 일찍 가도 돼요? = May I go early?

Below are many examples:

밥을 많이 먹어도 돼요? = May I eat a lot?
화장실에 가도 돼요? = May I go to the bathroom?
얼룩말에게 먹이를 줘도 돼요? = May I give feed to the zebras?
우리가 탁구를 해도 돼요? = May we play table tennis?
죄수를 보러 교도소에 들어가도 돼요? = May we go into the prison to see the prisoners?

옆에 있는 사람이 하는 말이 아주 불쾌해서 다른 자리로 가도 돼요?
= What the person beside me is saying is unpleasant, so may I go to another seat?

선생님! 이 문제를 파악할 수 없어요. 나중에 선생님의 교무실에 가도 돼요?
= Teacher! I can’t grasp/understand this problem. May I go to your office later?

The final clause of all of these example sentences has been in the present tense. It is possible to conjugate 되다 to the past or future tenses to indicate that there would have been no problem if an action had been done, or will be done in the future. For example:

그때 나가도 되었어요 = It would have been okay if you left at that time
문을 열어도 되었어요 = It would have been okay if you opened the door

그때 나가도 될 거예요 = It will be okay if you leave at that time
문을 열어도 될 거예요 = It will be okay if you open the door

 

 

One doesn’t have to: 안 ~아/어도 되다

In the previous section, you learned how to indicate that there will be “no problem” if some action was completed. In order to indicate that there will be “no problem” if some action doesn’t occur, you can conjugate the verb before ~아/어도 negatively using 안 or ~지 않다. For example:

네가 빨리 안 가도 돼 = Regardless of if you don’t leave quickly/early, there is no problem

This typically translates to “it is okay if one does not” or “one doesn’t have to.” For example:

네가 빨리 안 가도 돼 = You don’t have to go quickly/early

Below are many examples:

내일까지 다 안 해도 돼요 = You don’t need to do it all by tomorrow
저는 밥을 벌써 먹어서 다시 안 먹어도 돼요 = I don’t need to eat because I already did
여기에 사인을 안 해도 돼요 = You don’t need to sign here
이 음식에 소금을 안 넣어도 돼요 = You don’t need to put salt on this food
그런 것을 걱정 안 해도 돼요 = You don’t need to worry about that kind of thing

그 시험을 합격하기 위해 공부를 안 해도 돼요
= In order to pass that test, I don’t need to study

이 학교가 과학 고등학교라서 인문학을 공부하지 않아도 돼요
= You don’t need to study the humanities at this school because it is a science high school

그 나라에서 선생님이 되고 싶으면 특별한 자격이 있지 않아도 돼요
= If you want to become a teacher in that country, you don’t need any special qualification

핸드폰에 연락처 기능이 있어서 요즘에 사람들은 기억력이 좋지 않아도 돼요
= Cell phones have contact functions in them so these days people don’t need to have a good memory

You could also generally see this form as the opposite of ~아/어야 하다, which you learned in Lesson 46. Notice the opposite meanings that these sentences have:

그 시험을 합격하기 위해 공부를 안 해도 돼요 = In order to pass that test, I don’t need to study
그 시험을 합격하기 위해 공부를 해야 돼요 = In order to pass that test, I need to study

This form can be used to ask questions as well. For example:

지금 밥을 안 먹어도 돼요? = You don’t need to eat (rice) now?
내일까지 다 안 해도 돼요? = You don’t need to do it all by tomorrow?
수염을 안 깎아도 돼요? = You don’t need to shave your beard?
자격증을 안 보여줘도 돼요? = I don’t need to show you my certification?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Words like 좋다 and 괜찮다

In all of the sentences in this lesson using ~아/어도 되다, the common meaning applied to all sentences is “it is okay if…” or “there is no problem if.” Instead of using 되다, other words that have a similar meaning can be used as well. The two most common substitutes for 되다 in this usage are 좋다 and 괜찮다. For example:

지금 문을 열어도 돼요 = You may open the door now
지금 문을 열어도 좋아요 = You may open the door now
지금 문을 열어도 괜찮아요 = You may open the door now

밥을 많이 먹어도 돼요? = May I eat a lot?
밥을 많이 먹어도 좋아요? = May I eat a lot?
밥을 많이 먹어도 괜찮아요? = May I eat a lot?

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