-아야 하다 / -어야 하다 – to have to do X

In fact there are 4 ways to express “to have to do X” in Korean, but to put all four of them in the title wouldn’t work. We’ll look at them one by one.

Sometimes it is more natural to translate this principle as “should” rather than “have to” in English, but the closest meaning is “to have to”. There is a separate principle for “should” that I’ll cover in a separate lesson.


How to attach it:

Each variation of this grammatical principle starts with -아 / -어. To know which one to attach, follow these rules. Now let’s get into each principle.


-아야 하다 / -어햐 하다

This particle is perhaps more common in writing than in speech. It can also be used in the past tense by conjugating the 하다 part, like this.

Examples:

J’amais Vu:
이제 어떻게 해야 해? ~ “What am I supposed to do now?”
Original verb: 하다 – to do

ON:
미치지 않으려면 미쳐야 해. ~ “If you don’t want to go crazy, you have to go crazy.”
Original verb: 미치다 – to be crazy, to go insane

Singularity:
그때 내가 무얼 해야 했는지 ~ “…what I should have done then.”
Original verb: 하다 – to do

하루만 (Just One Day):
켜야 했던 그 수많은 말 중에서 딱 한 마디만 ~ “…just one of the many words that I had to swallow.”
Original verb: 삼키다 – to swallow


-아야 되다 / -어햐 되다

This particle is more common in speech than in writing. It can also be used in the past tense. One interesting note about the word 되다 is that it is often conjugated as 돼 or in the past tense 됐어.

Example:

Trivia 轉 : Seesaw:
누군간 여기서 내려야 돼. ~ “Someone has to get down from here.”
Original verb: 내리다 – to go down


-아야지 / -어야지

This one only works in the present tense. If you want to add some respect, switch the 지 to a 죠.

Examples:

2nd Grade:
수능은 잘 봐야지 ~ “You have to do well on your College entrance exam.”
Original verb: 보다 – to see, or to take a test

욱 (UGH!):
그 정돈 감수해야지 – “You have to put up with that much.”
Original verb: 감수하다 – to put up with, to bear

바다 (Sea):
그럼 달려야지 뭐 ~ “Then we just have to run.”
Original verb: 달리다 – to run


-아야겠다 / -어야겠다

This is the future tense version of this grammatical principle. It is actually an abbreviated form of -아야 하겠다 / -어야 하겠다. You’ll more commonly see the abbreviated form.

Also …겠다 is the plain or diary form conjugation. The casual form is …겠어. But with future tense particles that have 겠 in them, you’ll often see the diary form used.

Examples:

Anpanman:
근데 꼭 해야겠어요 엄마 ~ “But I’m going to have to do to it, Mom.”
Original verb: 하다 – to do
*Note: 요 has been added here to add respect, since he’s talking to his mom.

MAMA:
꼭 성공해야겠다고 결심하고 ~ “I resolved to succeed no matter what.”
Literal translation: “I resolved that I will have to succeed no matter what.”
Original verb: 송공하다 – to succeed

724148 (by Agust D):
일단 대구를 떠나야겠다는 생각 ~ “The thought that first of all I’ll have to leave Daegu.”
Original verb: 떠나다 – to leave