Intention and Conjecture: -겠다
Next up in the conjecture line up is the pattern -겠다. However, you don’t only use this pattern to make suppositions. In fact, -겠- is something you’ll often bump into. I really recommend learning spending a good deal of time on this grammar topic. Let’s see what it is all about.
The first use of -겠다 is to tell your intent or will to do something. Please mind that this pattern when expressing will or intent is only used to express your intent or will. In this case it will be translated as “I will”, “I am going to” or “I plan (to)’.
It cannot, however, be used to tell others of someone else’s intent or will. Thus the following sentence is incorrect:
Incorrect: 조앨 씨는 토요일에 일하겠어요.
You can also use this verb pattern to express your unwillingness or intent not to do something. In that case you will use its negative form which is either -지 않겠다 or 안 -겠다.
Example: 올해 술을 마시지 않겠어요.
The form -겠다 is also used to share a supposition. The difference with the previously seen way of supposition is that the supposition is made intuitively without any real reason. Though that might be a bit difficult to understand. So let us explain it using a little story:
Imagine you are walking on the street and you see a movie poster. You then want to see to your partner that you believe that the movie would be interesting to watch. This is an intuitive supposition without no basis thus you will say to your partner: “재미있겠어요!”.
Another way to use the verb pattern -겠다 is sharing information about things that are about to happen in the very near future. In this case, the pattern will be translated as “should” or “will”.
Example: (기차역 안내 방송) 기차가 곧 도착하겠습니다.
However, the fun of -겠다 doesn’t stop with those uses. There is a bit more left to tell.
The first other use is the idiomatic use. When you started learning Korean you will have learned undoubtedly: “처음 뵙겠습니다.”; which as you know translates as much as “Nice to meet you”. This is a good example of idiomatic use of -겠다. There is little else to say about it since idiomatic use is simply how it is.
The last use of the -겠다 pattern is that it is a way to express a thought less assertive, more gentle and polite. Example would be when asked whether you understand and you don’t then you could say: “아니요, 잘 모르겠어요.”
The How To
That is a lot of uses for one small verb ending. However, there is also some good news on the -겠다 grammar topic. Because of its first consonant, no irregular verb behaves weirdly with it. So to form it you simply take the verb stem and slap -겠다 to it. Then just conjugate it like you would any other verb. It’s just that easy.