From a promotion for 서울우유:

우유와 요거트 중 무엇으로 겨울 준비를 할지 골라보세요!

I'm slightly confused by the meaning of 지 in 할지 골라보세요. Is it similar to 할지 몰라요, in that it's referring to something that's unknown?


The usage in your example of [-(으)ㄹ지] alludes to there being a choice. It is frequently heard with the ending to follow of either (알다/모르다) as such:

지금 몇 시인지 아세요? *

Do you know what time it is?

오늘 왜 이렇게 머리가 아픈지 모르겠어요. *

I don't know why my head hurts like this today.

* source: 외국어로서의 한국어 문법사전 (excerpts from page 407)

In these cases, the , I was told at 연세어학당, is "알" 지 (the 지 which is "to know").

I believe though, your example is more like the following:


의미: 앞의 구문과 뒤의 구문이 대응되면서 서슬어의 목적어 구실을 한다**

Meaning: The preceding and following phrases correspond as a pretext for the object(s). (translation mine...forgive loss of nuance)


옷이 작은지, 큰지 입어 봐요.**

오늘 만난 여자가 마음에 드는지 안 드는지 말해 보세요.**

갈지 그냥 집에 남아 있을지 얘기하렴. **

** source: 외국어로서의 한국어 문법사전 (excerpts from page 409)

In this case the 반어적이거나 서로 연관이 있는 ** (semantically interrelated) objects are the milk and yogurt.

The (으)ㄹ지 in the example sentence serves to interrelate the semantic choices into a single case of choices.


할지 means do something. Like in grammar,할 is like a example.in English we use make something,eat something,etc. so in Korean we use 먹을지,만들지,etc. 지 means something in do something.

  • I just asked another Korean and they said that '지' does basically mean the 'unknown thing' - so '할지' is something you are going to do (but you don't know what), 먹을지 is something you are going to eat (but you don't know what yet), etc. Would you agree with that?
    – topo morto
    Nov 26 '17 at 23:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.