Beginner3 Lesson 7-1. V/A-아/어야 + (S) + V ~

In the previous lesson, we learned that “야” in Verb-아/어야 indicates obligation or requirement, meaning verb is something you should do.

We also learned three grammar phrases with Verb-아/어야. 

1)Verb-아/어야 하다

2)Verb-아/어야 되다

both of which mean “to have to verb,”


3) Verb-아/어야겠다,

which is a less stronger version of the above two, and best translates to “had better,” “will have to” or “I guess one should.”

Today, we’re going to learn how to use Verb-아/어야 itself in the middle of a sentence, without putting extra verb or suffix right after it.

Verb-아/어야 + Sentence (next clause)

This would indicate that verb (attached to -아/어야) is a “precondition” of what’s stated in the following clause. In other words, the next clause cannot happen without doing the action in the previous clause.

For example,

연습을 많이 해야 한국어가 늘어요.

연습을 많이 하다, which is a verb attached to -아/어야, means “to practice a lot.” It is a precondition for the following clause “한국어가 늘어요 (Korean improves)” to happen.

So it can translate to “You have to practice a lot for your Korean to improve,” as in, without practicing hard, your Korean won’t improve. So it’s a required precondition.

Let’s look at another sentence.

일찍 자야 일찍 일어날 수 있어요. 

Here, you can find that 일찍 자다(to sleep early) is a precondition for the following clause “일찍 일어날 수 있어요 (You can wake up early.)

So it translates to “You have to sleep early to be able to get up early.” Sleeping early is a required action for getting up early. 


Translate the following sentences in English. (Drag on the answer part to make it visible.)

운동을 해야 건강해져요.

Answer: You have to work out to get healthier.

저는 커피를 마셔야 졸리지 않아요. (졸리다: to be sleepy)

Answer: You have to drink coffee to not get sleepy.

지금 출발해야 제시간에 도착할 수 있어요. (제시간에: on time)

We have to depart now to arrive on time.

약을 먹어야 감기가 빨리 나을 거예요. (낫다: to get better, recover)

You should take medicine for your cold to get better.