As I always make mistake with ㅔ and ㅐ, I always wondered why we use 겠 and not 갰, like in 알겠습니다.

Also, if there is any heuristic for ㅔ and ㅐ, please let me know.

  • 2
    I don't think an etymology is known, but "갰" doesn't appear in Standard Korean in any occasion.
    – Ignatius
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 0:51
  • 1
    Note that ㅔ and ㅐ are also different sounds in strictly standard Korean, and they are still quite different outside the Seoul / Gyeonggi-do areas.
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:12
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    갰 is used in 갰다, past tense for 개다 - to fold. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 12:38
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    And though ㅔ and ㅐ should sound differently, even native Koreans can't tell differences between these two in everyday conversations. (They do know how to pronounce them differently, they just don't because it's a bit tedious) They are strictly differentiated in written languages, though; 네 means "your", and 내 means "my". Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 12:43
  • 2
    It has been said that -겠- came from the abbreviation for -게 ᄒᆞ엿- (reference).
    – Klmo
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


'겠' came from '게 하여 있'. So the original form of '하겠다' is '하게 하여 있다'. Of course, the latter form is not actually used in modern Korean neither in written nor in spoken form.

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