Future Tense Usage – Korean Tense #11

We've finished present and past tense. Now, let's move on to the future tense. To express future tense, Koreans use -겠- or -ㄹ 것이다. Like present and past tense, these future tense forms can be used in other situations. We'll learn when future tense expressions are used in Korean.

Future Situations

First of all, in future situations. Koreans use future tense to describe the situation that will happen in the future.

이 일은 누가 하겠습니까?
제가 하겠습니다.
Who will do this work?
I will do that.

매일 이렇게 하면 3일 후면 다 하겠네.
If we do like this every day, we can finish it after 3 days.

내일이면 완성될 거예요.
It'll be completed tomorrow.

Intention or Desire

Many of you know the second meaning of will. Will can be used to describe intention, desire or wish that you want something to be happened or your decision to do something. It's same in Korean, -겠- or -ㄹ 것이다 can be used to show your will.

그 행사에는 제가 갈게요.
I'll participate that event.

나는 내일 저녁에 반드시 영화를 보러 갈 거다.
I'll go see a movie tomorrow evening no matter what.

다음 시험에서는 꼭 100점을 받겠습니다.
I'll get full marks in the next exam.

In these situations, the event is not happened but the speaker is showing their will to make that happen.

Assumption or Expectation.

Finally, -겠- and -ㄹ 것이다 are used to show your assumption or expectation. It might be the main difference between English and Korean. In English, it's more common to use "may", "might", "must", "can" for this nuance, but Koreans also use -겠- and -ㄹ 것이다 for their assumptions. You might think it's a bit illogical, however, we don't know what will happen in the future. So, eveything we talk about future is actually assumptions or expections. Now you can understand why Koreans use the same expression for future and expectation.

1시간 후에는 모두 모여 있을 것이다.
In an hour, all of them might be together.

사흘 뒤면 다 끝날 거예요.
In 3 days, everything might be finished.

When you want to expect or suppose what happed in the past or something finished, -겠- is used with -었-.

지금 쯤이면 집에 도착했겠다.
They might have arrived home by now.

날씨가 추워서 많이 고생했겠다.
They might have had hard time because of the cold weather.