I have seen two grammatical structure to mean ‘if you attempt to do ~’. However, I’m not sure if these two grammars mean the exact same thing, or have slightly different nuances.

So is there any difference between them?

2 Answers 2


They are mostly interchangeable, but I think there's at least one difference: "-하려면" can mean "in order to...", without necessarily saying that someone is trying to do that right now. The following are some random phrases I found on the web:

휴대폰 화면을 사용하려면 다음 항목이 필요합니다.

빨리 익히려면 그냥 실온에서 2~3일 두었다고 김치 냉장고에 넣으면 됩니다.

꽁꽁 얼린 밥을 갓 지은 밥처럼 데우려면 어떻게 해야 할까요?

In each case, if you change it to "-려고 하면", I think it sounds less natural.

  • Correct! It is more natural to simply say "하려면." If I had to compare with English, I would say it corresponds to "I'm" whereas "하려고 하면" corresponds to "I am."
    – David Lee
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 20:28

No, they mean the same. ~려면 is actually the shortened term for ~려고 하면, so it doesn't matter which one you use.

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