Purpose and Intention: -(으)려고 하다
There is an important variation to the -(으)려고 grammar topic. That variation is -(으)려고 하다 and it has a whole different, useful application when it comes to Korean grammar. It is best not to mix them up as there is a very distinct difference in message between the two. Let’s take a look.
Plan To -(으)려고 하다
Its brother -(으)려고 grammar topic expresses the purpose of one’s actions. So it means you are actually doing what you are talking about. However, the Korean grammar pattern -(으)려고 하다 has a completely different nuance to it. You use this expression to express plans to do something with a specific purpose, but you have yet to act upon those plans. In English this pattern could be translated as much as “plan to” or “intend to”. Let’s look at an example:
Example: 방학 때 아르바이트하려고 해요.
Translation: I plan to work part-time during the school break.
How To Use
If you know how to use its brother, -(으)려고, you will have little to no problems with using this -(으)려고 하다. The conjugation rules are pretty much the same. This pattern can only be used with verbs. This pattern follows the simple “Add 으 batchim/no batchim rule”. It goes like this:
- If the verb stem ends in a vowel (no batchim), then you add -려고 하다.
- If the verb stem does end in a consonant (batchim), you add -으려고 하다.
For this verb pattern the ㅅ irregular verbs can be quite tricky, among other irregular verbs. Keep an eye on them.
There is one remark to make. You will come across sentence who use -(으)려고 했다. While this is the past tense form of -(으)려고 하다, it does not exactly have a past tense meaning. Instead it means that whatever was planned, did not have the result that was expected.