BTS are currently sweeping charts with their most recent comeback track, Not Today. But what can we learn from it?

Goal: To learn how to say “I can do…” and “I can’t do…” in Korean!

In Korean, there are a few ways of saying ‘I can / can’t do…”. The ones we’ll learn today are 할 수 있어 hal su isseo and 할 수 없어 hal su eobseo“.

So let’s break this down.

hal – to do
su – method
없어 eobseo – to not have, to not exist
있어 isseo – to have, to exist

Together, the phrase literally means ‘a method to do it exists/doesn’t exist’ – in other words, there’s no possible way you can do it! So let’s look at this grammar structure in BTSNot Today.

날아갈 수 없음 뛰어
nal-a-gal su eobseum ddwi-eo\
If you can’t fly, run
Today we will survive
뛰어갈 수 없음 걸어
ddwi-eo kal su eobseum keoleo
If you can’t run, walk
Today we will survive
걸어갈 수 없음 기어
keoleo kal su eobseum ki-eo
If you can’t walk, crawl

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Note: eobseo has become eobseum as they’ve conjugated the word to mean “if you can’t…”

That’s it for today! If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments below!


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UKP writer and resident Blackjack.