I don't get the difference between 할 수 있다 and 할 수 있어. (다 and 어). I want to write ‘I can do it’. I want to do a tattoo but I don't know which one is proper one?

  • 할수있다(formal use) 할수있어(informal)
    – Daivoc Kim
    Sep 15, 2019 at 0:56

3 Answers 3


-다 and -어 have lots of cases.

-다 is formal one -어 is informal one.

When u talking with people, it is more natural to speak '나는 할 수 있어'. However, When u write for letters or books, it would be more natural to speak '나는 할 수 있다'

Simply speaking,

나는 할 수 있다 (-다) => It describes the states, facts of some situations. 나는 할 수 있어 (-어) => It is more like colloquial style.


As the others have explained, the difference is formality. Since it's almost unheard of for Koreans to get a 한글 tattoo, it's hard to say which one would be more natural.


you can use '어' for question sentence, too.

너는 할 수 있어? is you can this? but 너는 할 수 있다? is weird.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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