Intermediate Grammar #5: ~(으)ㄹ걸요 “Prob’ly” (informal)


  • Only used conversationally among friends (NEVER in writing)
  • Gives an unconfirmed assumption/supposition


  • Also used to softly disagree with listener
  • ONLY used when speaker is privy to the info – if both people know the same info, can’t use it
  • Intonation rises at the end – almost like a question
  • Weaker conviction than ~(으)ㄹ 거예요



  • 과거: ~았/었을걸요
  • 현재: ~(으)ㄹ걸요


  • 과거: 였을걸요/이었을걸요
  • 현재: 일걸요



  • A: 그 분은 게을렀을걸요.
    (He was prob’ly just lazy.)
  • V: 책을 읽었을걸요.
    (I prob’ly read that book.)
  • N: 저 큰 건물은 박물관이었을걸요.
    (That big building was prob’ly a museum.)
  • A: 그 영화는 너무 징그러웠을걸요.
    (That movie was prob’ly gross.)
  • V: 축구선수 다 아주 빨리 달렸을걸요.
    (All the soccer stars prob’ly ran fast.)
  • N: 혜인의 남자친구가 너무 멋있을걸요.
    (HyeIn’s boyfriend was prob’ly pretty handsome.)


  • A: 진영 씨는 똑똑할걸요.
    (JinYoung is prob’ly pretty smart.)
  • V: 내 생각에 우리는 수영을 할걸요.
    (I think we should prob’ly go swimming.)
  • N: 드라마 배우 일걸요.
    (He’s prob’ly a drama star.)
  • A: 김치찌개는 안 매울걸요.
    (The kimchi jjigae prob’ly isn’t spicy.)
  • V: 여기에 앉을걸요.
    (You could prob’ly sit here.)
  • N: 너는 천재 일걸요.
    (You’re prob’ly a genius.)

**These are notes from Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate. For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.

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