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As exercise I am trying to translate the following:

A: Can you buy some bread?

B: I will buy it on my way home but I have to go to school now.

My attempt.

A: 빵를 사수 있어요?

B: 집으로 가는 길에 사지만 지금 학교에 가요

My doubts. The sentence by A in my translation to me sound a bit too direct and I don't know if this is what a korean would say. A softer expression might be better. For the B sentence I divided it in two:

I will buy on my way home -> 집에서 가는 길에 살 거예요.

And

Now I have to go to school. 지금 학교에 가요.

I joined the two sentences using the post modifier ~지만 but in doing so I lost the future tense. However the sentence might be sufficiently clear anyway but I am not sure.

Any corrections?

1 Answer 1

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Those sentences are not natural.

A: 빵를 사수 있어요? -> 빵**(을)** 수 있어요?
B: 집으로 가는 길에 사지만 지금 학교에 가요 -> 집에 가는 길에 살게요. 지금 학교(에) 가요.

It is grammatical after the correction, but it's still not what people would actually say. Since the sentences are between a couple ("on my way home"), A is expecting B to bring the bread home, and this is expressed as 사 오다. 사 오다 (or 사오다) is a contraction of 사서 오다 (get/buy and bring it home).

So 빵(을) 사올 수 있어(요)? or (오는 길에) 빵 사 올래(요)? (Would you get bread on your way home? 오는 길에 = 집에 오는 길에 = on your way home; V-ㄹ래(요)? = will/would you V?) is how one might say it to a spouse/partner. Note that a couple are more likely to use a casual form without -요 when talking to each other.

-지만 in B's sentence is very unnatural. You can simply make it two sentences or use different connectors, as shown below.

B: I will buy on my way home. -> 집에 가는 길에 살 거예요 -> 집에 가는 길에 살게. (집에서 is wrong.-ㄹ게 = casual form of "I will ...")
B: Now I have to go to school. -> 지금 학교에 가요 -> 지금 학교 가야 돼(요). (V-(아/어)야 돼요 = I have to V)

Combined, you can say 집에 가는 길에 살게(요). 지금 학교 가야 돼(요) as two sentences, or change the order and make it a cause-and-effect sentence, like 지금 학교 가야 되니까 (or 하니까) 집에 가는 길에 살게(요).

In all these, the future from -ㄹ 거예요 is not a good choice because it sounds like telling the other person about one's independent plan. You don't use it when you're doing something for the other person or for the sake of both you and the listener. -ㄹ래(요)? and -ㄹ게(요) are the casual sounding phrases in such a situation.

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  • Hi. What is the feeling my sentence was giving then? I don't understand fully your answer. Up to corrections was grammatically correct I understand but the feeling being given doesn't make it sound natural, right? Jun 14, 2023 at 4:42
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    It doesn't sound like a conversation between two people living together. 살 수 있어요? sounds like dryly asking the ability, like "Is it possible for you to buy it?" rather than "Can you get bread?" (사 올래요?). Also if you're buying something for a friend or spouse, you don't use the aloof sounding -ㄹ 거예요. Your original sentences have the feel of telling someone like a co-worker what you're going to do rather than telling your partner at home. In Korean the sentence endings tend to become different between the two cases. Check the phrases -(으)ㄹ래(요), -ㄹ게(요), and the like.
    – Tony
    Jun 14, 2023 at 6:30

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