See also: 어야



Alternative forms

  • -여야 (-yeoya)used after 하다 (hada) verbs and adjectives



From Middle Korean -어〮ᅀᅡ〮 (Yale: é-zá), from Old Korean (*-a-sa); equivalent to the addition of the particle -야 (-ya) to the infinitive suffix -어 (-eo). Cognate with Jeju -어사 (-eosa) which preserves the original consonant. Compare -어서 (-eoseo).


Revised Romanization?eoya
Revised Romanization (translit.)?eoya
Yale Romanization?e.ya


Ablaut/harmonic pair
Yin-form -어야 (-eoya)
Yang-form -아야 (-aya)

-어야 (-eoya)

  1. only if: a suffix indicating a strong, essential condition which has to be achieved to realize a certain goal.
    Synonyms: -면 (-myeon), -려면 (-ryeomyeon), -거든 (-geodeun)
    -을 많이 마셔 -을 -어.
    Mur-eul mani masyeoya sar-eul ppael su iss-eo.
    You have to drink a lot of water to be able to lose weight.
    (literally, “You can lose weight only if you drink a lot of water.”)
    -어야지... 그래 사람-이-지!
    Geu jit an haess-eoyaji... Geuraeya saram-i-ji!
    He shouldn't have done such a thing... He doesn't even deserve to be called a person otherwise!
    (literally, “He shouldn't have done such a thing... Only if he does so [i.e. he still did what he shouldn't have] is he a human being!”)
  2. no matter: a suffix indicating that an action or a state has no influence over a certain situation, often questioning the extent of it.
    Synonyms: -어도 (-eodo), -더라도 (-deorado), -자 (-ja)
    -겠--지만, 예뻐 얼마나 예쁘-겠--나?
    Al-get-jiman, yeppeoya eolmana yeppeu-gen-na?
    I got that, but granted she is pretty, how pretty can she really be?
    (literally, “I understand that, but no matter if she is pretty, how pretty will she be?”)
    아무리 열심히 연습해 원어민-처럼 말할 -는 -을 -예요.
    Amuri yeolsimhi yeonseuphae bwaya woneomin-cheoreom malhal su-neun eops-eul geo-yeyo.
    No matter how diligently you may practice, you won't be able to speak like a native.

Usage notes

  • For vowel harmony, contractions, and allomorphy, see -아/어/여 (-a/eo/yeo).
  • Since -어야 (-eoya) expresses condition or futility, the past tense marker -었- (-eot-) is not used in the second clause.
  • Similarly to -어서 (-eoseo), -어야 (-eoya) cannot be followed by imperative or propositive clauses.
  • When -어야 (-eoya) expresses condition, it is most likely to be followed by 하다 (hada) or 되다 (doeda) to express obligation or necessity.
  • To intensify the meaning of the condition, -만 (-man) and -지 (-ji) are added to -어야 (-eoya).
  • In the second sense, the suffix is usually accompanied by 아무리 (amuri) or is used in the interrogative construction R-어-봐야 얼마나 R-겠- (R-eo-bwaya eolmana R-get-).

Derived terms