Korean Lesson 아/어/여도 돼요

Lesson 42: 아/어/여도 돼요

In this lesson, you will learn how to use the structure 아/어/여도 돼요 to ask or give permission. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to say things like “May I take a picture?“, “May I sit here?“, “You may go home.“ etc.

Lesson 42: 아/어/여도 돼요

The structure 아/어/여도 돼요 is similar to saying “may“, “allowed“, “okay”, in English. It is used to ask permission from another person in a question or to give permission in a statement. Let’s look at some examples.

가다 = to go
가도 돼요? = May I go?
가도 돼요. = You may go.

앉다 = to sit
앉아도 돼요? = May I sit?
앉아도 돼요. = You may sit.

먹다 = to eat
먹어도 돼요? = May I eat it?
먹어도 돼요. = You may eat it.

열다 = to open
열어도 돼요? = May I open it?
열어도 돼요. = You may open it.

전화하다 = to call
전화해도 돼요? = May I call you?
전화해도 돼요. = You may call me.

The structure 아/어/여도 돼요 is made up of the ending 아/어/여도 and the verb 돼요. 아/어/여도 means ‘even if ~’, and 돼요 is the present form of the verb 되다 which means ‘to function/work’ or ‘to be okay’. So, the structure 아/어/여도 돼요 literally means ‘Even if you do it, it’s okay.’

Conjugation Rules

Conjugation RuleExamples
Last vowel in verb stem is ㅏ or ㅗ
+ 아도 돼요
가다 (to go) → 가도 돼요
Last vowel in verb stem is NOT ㅏ or ㅗ
+ 어도 돼요
먹다 (to eat) → 먹어도 돼요
Verb ends in 하다
+ 여도 돼요
전화하다 (to call) → 전화해도 돼요

Things To Note:

In the structure 아/어/여도 돼요, the verb 돼요 can be replaced with 괜찮아요 or 좋아요. 괜찮아요 means okay‘ in Korean. And 좋아요 means ‘good/great‘.

창문을 열어도 돼요? = May I open the window?
네, 열어도 괜찮아요. = Yes, you may open.

Another thing to note is that if you add the negative adverb 안 before 아/어/여도 돼요, this structure means ‘don’t have to’, ‘don’t need to’, or ‘it’s not necessary to’.

오늘 이거 해야 돼요? = Should I do this today?
아니요, 오늘 안 해도 돼요. 내일 해도 돼요. = No, you don’t have to do it today. You may do it tomorrow.

Example Sentences

이거 먹어도 돼요? =  May I eat this?
네. 드세요. = Sure. Help yourself.
지금 들어가도 돼요? = May I come in?
들어오세요. = Please come in.

저기에 주차해도 돼요? = Can I park over there?
네, 주차해도 돼요. = Yes, you may park.

여기에서 사진을 찍어도 돼요? = May I take a picture here?
아니요. 찍지 마세요. = No. Please don’t take any pictures.

에어컨을 켜도 돼요? = May I turn on the air conditioner?
네, 돼요. * = Yes, you may turn it on.

*아/어도 돼요 can be shortened to 돼요 when answering a question and giving permission.