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선풍기 = electric fan
도전 = challenge
도전자 = challenger
코피 = nosebleed
주어 = a subject in a sentence
장애 = obstacle/barrier
장애인 = disabled person
정서 = emotion, feeling
정서장애 = emotional disorder
유아 = small/little child/toddler
유아기 = early childhood period
오염 = pollution
고무 = rubber
대회 = big meeting, competition
For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.
In this lesson, you will learn about two similar grammatical principles and their (similar) respective meanings. In this lesson, you will learn how to use ~아/어서는 안 되다 to mean “one should not” and ~(으)면 안 되다 to mean “one must not.” We will also look at the positive meaning of using ~(으)면 되다, which is a very natural expression but usually one that foreign learners of Korean don’t use right away. Let’s get started.
One should not: ~아/어서는 안 되다
In Lesson 49, you learned how to apply 되다 to many different types of sentences. In addition to the meanings introduced in Lesson 9 and Lesson 14, you learned that 되다 can be used to indicate that there is “no problem” with something. For example:
You also saw that this can be applied to sentences with ~아/어도 to indicate that there is “no problem” with an action being done. You might remember, the most common translation for these types of sentences was “one may” or “one can.” For example:
Attaching ~아/어서는 안 되다 to the end of a clause indicates that there will be a problem if the action is completed. This type of sentence is essentially the opposite of the type of sentence above. Now, instead of indicating that there will not be a problem, (by just using 되다) we are indicating that there will be a problem (by using 안 되다). The typical English translation of this is usually “one should not.” For example:
밥을 많이 먹어서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t eat a lot
선생님을 무시해서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t ignore your teacher
장애인들을 놀려서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t make fun of disabled people
고무를 입에 넣어서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t put rubber in your mouth
그렇게 빨리 뛰어서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t run that fast
사람을 겉모습으로 평가해선 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t judge somebody on their looks
네 친구를 네 잘못에 대해 탓해서는 안 돼
= You shouldn’t blame your friends for your own mistakes
유아기에 애기들에게 우유를 줘서는 안 돼요
= During the early childhood period, you shouldn’t give milk to babies
새로운 도전을 그렇게 빨리 거절해서는 안 돼요
= You shouldn’t refuse new challenges that quickly
인터넷으로 동시에 수백 개의 물품을 사서는 안 돼요
= You shouldn’t buy hundreds of items from the internet at the same time
처음 만나는 사람을 첫인상으로 평가해서는 안 됩니다
= You shouldn’t judge somebody you meet for the first time on their first impression
아무 움직임 없이 한 시간 동안 앉아서 컴퓨터를 해서는 안 돼요
= You shouldn’t sit at a computer for an hour without any movement
Even though these sentences are used in the present tense, they are usually referring to actions that occurred in the past (unless somebody is just making a general statement that “one should not” do some action). For example, in the first example above:
그렇게 빨리 뛰어서는 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t run that fast
Immediately before that sentence was said, somebody was probably running too fast – which caused somebody to say the sentence “그렇게 빨리 뛰어서는 안 돼요.”
This one is fairly straightforward. Let’s move on to the next one.
One must not: ~(으)면 안 되다
In Lesson 43 you learned about ~(으)면 and how it can be used to mean “if” or “when.” For example:
내일 비바람이 오면 경기가 취소될 거예요
= If it storms tomorrow, the match/game will be cancelled
지금 환경을 보존하지 않으면 미래에 더 큰 문제가 생길 것 같아요
= If we don’t preserve the environment, there will probably be bigger problems in the future
오늘 그 사람을 만나면 낯선 사람으로 대할 거예요
= If I meet that person today, I’m going to treat him like a stranger
You can use “안 되다” after “~(으)면 to indicate that there will be a problem when/if a something occurs. For example:
그렇게 하면 안 돼요 = You must not do it like that
This meaning is very similar to the meaning learned above (~아/어서는 안 되다), but I like to think that the meaning is slightly stronger when you use ~(으)면 안 되다. Below are more examples:
그 정보를 누락하면 안 돼요 = You must not omit that information
그 말을 영어로 하면 안 돼요 = You must not say that in English
이 차에 디젤을 넣으면 안 됩니다 = You must not put diesel fuel in this car
그런 말을 유아에게 하면 안 돼요 = You must not say that type of thing to a child
현재오염문제를 무시하면 안 돼요 = You must not ignore the current pollution problem
정서장애가 있는 친구들을 놀리면 안 돼요 = You must not pick on friends with emotional disabilities
주어를 그 문장에서 그 위치에 쓰면 안 돼요 = You must not use the subject in that place in a that sentence
~(으)면 안 되다 is often used in the form of a question. When used as a question, one is asking if there will be a “problem” if the action before ~(으)면 occurs. It is possible to translate these types of sentences to English in many ways, which I have provided. For example:
이렇게 하면 안 돼요?
= Can’t you do it like this?
= Are you able to do it like this?
= Is it okay if you do is like this?
= Will there be any problem if you do it like this?
더 빨리 하면 안 돼요?
= Can’t you do it faster?
= Are you able to do it faster?
= Is it okay if you do it faster?
= Will there be any problem if you do it faster?
조금 더 주면 안 돼요?
= Can’t you give me a little bit more?
= Are you able to give me a little bit more?
= Is it okay if you give me a little bit more?
= Will there be any problem if you give me a little bit more?
It is also possible to create a double negative with this type of question. For example, if you wanted to ask if you could eat now, you could say:
밥을 지금 먹으면 안 돼요?
= Can’t we eat now?
= Are we able to eat now?
= Is it okay if we eat now?
= Will there be any problem if we eat now?
However, by making the original action negative, the speaker can ask if it is alright if something is not done. For example:
밥을 지금 안 먹으면 안 돼요?
= Can we not eat now?
= Are we able to not eat now?
= Is it okay if we don’t eat now?
= Will there be any problem if we don’t eat now?
그 대회를 참여하지 않으면 안 돼요?
= Can we not participate in that event?
= Are we able to not participate in that event?
= Is it okay if we don’t participate in that event?
= Will there be any problems if we don’t participate in that event?
이번에 여행할 때 수천 장의 사진을 찍지 않으면 안 돼요?
= Can you not take thousands of pictures this time when we travel?
= Are you able to not take thousands of pictures this time when we travel?
= Is it okay if you don’t take thousands of pictures this time when we travel?
= Will there be any problem if you don’t take thousands of pictures this time when we travel?
This form is actually a very polite way to ask for something to be done. As such, it is common for ~아/어 주다 (Lesson 41) to be used with the question version of ~(으)면 안 되다. For example:
밥을 사 주시면 안 돼요?
= Are you able to buy me rice?
= Is it okay if you buy me rice?
교통카드를 충전해 주면 안 돼요?
= Are you able to charge my subway card?
= Is it okay if you charge my subway card?
If you ask somebody a question like this (or any other question asking if something can be done), the answer that is typically given when it cannot be done is “안 돼요.” For example:
교통카드를 충전해 주면 안 돼요? = Are you able to charge my subway card?
안 돼요 = No/I can’t do it here/It won’t work here
You can also use the form ~(으)면 안 되다 without “안” to create a different meaning. I will talk about this next.
Suggesting that one should: ~(으)면 되다
By adding ~(으)면 되다 to the end of a sentence or clause, you create a meaning that is very similar to ~아/어야 하다, which you learned in Lesson 46. This form has the meaning of “you must” or “you should” depending on the situation. For example:
서울역에서 내려야 돼요 = You must/should get off at Seoul station
Using ~(으)면 되다 creates a similar meaning. For example:
서울역에서 내리면 됩니다 = You should get off at Seoul station
Here, the speaker is basically indicating “it/everything will be okay if you get off at Seoul station.” Although the meaning is similar to ~아/어야 되다, using ~(으)면 되다 is more of a suggestion. Because this is more of a suggestion, its meaning is very soft and is often used by people when they are asked for advice. For example, one time a woman asked my wife how to get to 사당 station, to which my wife replied:
다음 역에서 내리면 돼요
= You can/should get off at the next station
= There will be no problem (it will be okay) if you get off at Seoul Station
A more natural translation could sometimes be “one can.” For example:
조금만 넣으면 돼요 = Just put a little bit in
조금 더 올라가면 돼요 = Just keep going up a little bit further
코피를 휴지로 막으면 돼요 = You can block the nosebleed with a tissue
소금을 얼마나 더 넣어야 돼요? = How much more salt should I put in?
애기가 피곤하면 업어 주면 돼요 = If the baby is tired, you can carry him on your back
That’s it for this lesson!