Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Inferential and intentional suffix 「-겠」

The suffix 겠 is a pre-final ending that comes between the stem of the predicate and the final-ending, as in 하겠습니다 (하 + 겠 + 습니다, will do). The suffix 겠 is used to indicate two things.
First, when the subject of the predicate is the first and/or second person, the suffix 겠 expresses the speaker’s intention or asks the listener’s intention, and it corresponds to “will” in English. It is used for first person statements and/or second person questions.

Notice that the meaning of the suffix 겠 is similar to -(으)ㄹ래요 “will.” However, while -(으)ㄹ래요 is normally used in colloquial usages, the suffix 겠 is used for more formal usages.
Second, when the subject of the predicate is not either the first or second person, the suffix 겠 indicates the speaker’s conjecture or asks the listener’s idea regarding the topic in question. It is corresponding to “I guess/think”(for the first person statement) or “do you think that . . .”(for the second person question) in English.

The suffix 겠 is used in formal or broadcasting contexts, such as weather forecasts and news reports. Consider the following examples.

* Click to read related posts.
Grammar for Intermediates
Intention & Willingness (-ㄹ래요 & -ㄹ게요)
The subject honorific suffix 「-(으)시」

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