-ㄹ까 말까 Expression Of Hesitation
August 25, 2009 by tailieutienghan
-ㄹ/을까 말까 (eulkka malkka) is the grammatical structure that expresses hesitation. The former part, 을까 is the self-interrogative form and can be translated as “should I” or “will it”, and the latter part, 말까 is the verb 말다(= to not do) in the same form. Therefore 을까 and 말까 together form an expression of hesitation, and it's usually followed by verbs that express thought, discussion, worry, decision, or consideration.
The verbs that are often used along with this grammatical structure are 생각하다(saenggakhada – to think), 고민하다(gominhada – to worry, to think), 결정하다(gyeoljeonghada – to decide), and 하다(hada – to do, to think).
Verb steb + -ㄹ/을까 말까 + (하다)
가다 (gada – to go)
▶ 가 + -ㄹ까 말까 하다 = 갈까 말까 하다
적다(jeokda – to write down)
▶ 적 + -을까 말까 하다 = 적을까 말까 하다
1. 선생님한테 물어볼까 말까 생각하고 있어. [물어보다] [생각하다] (seonsaengnim-hante mureobolkka malkka saenggakhago isseo)
– I'm debating whether to ask my teacher or not.
2. 디저트 먹을까 말까? [먹다] (dijeoteu meogeulkka malkka?)
– Shall we eat the dessert or not?
3. 컴퓨터를 새로 살까 말까 계속 생각했어요. [사다] [생각하다] (keompyuteo-reul saero salkka malkka gyesok saenggakhaesseoyo)
– I kept thinking whether I should buy a new computer or not.
4. 갈까 말까 의논하고 있어요. [가다] [의논하다] (galkka malkka uinon-hago isseoyo)
– We're discussing whether to go or not.
5. 결혼을 할까 말까 고민하고 있어요. [하다] [고민하다] (gyeolhon-eul halkka malkka gominhago isseoyo)
– I'm debating whether I should get married or not.
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