Level 4 Lesson 8 / it is okay to…, you don’t have to… / -아/어/여도 돼요, 해도 돼요


In this lesson, we are looking at how to say “it is okay to …” or “you don’t have to…” In English, these two expressions might not be so related, but in Korean, they share a common structure, which is -도 되다. Listen in to find out how to use this structure correctly.

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Level 4 Lesson 8 / it is okay to…, you don’t have to… / -아/어/여도 돼요, 해도 돼요
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  • Winnie Zambo

    1. 이 사무실안에 너무 더워요. 에어컨을 켜도 되요?

    2.오늘 대학교에 안 가도 되요. 수업이 없거 든요.

    • Seokjin Jin

      이 사무실안에 너무 더워요. > 이 사무실 안이 너무 더워요.
      없거 든요> 없거든요

      Except of this small mistake, your sentences are perfect.

  • Tobias S

    I think at first glance in English they’re not related, but if you take a closer look at the structure they make sense in English, we just have the expression ‘you don’t have to…’ which feels more right.

  • Sarah

    사랑해도돼요 …^_^

  • Eric Victor

    이 표외에 쓸수있는 볼펜 많이 있지만 안써도 돼요.
    Am I right?
    (What I tried to say was ” there are a lot of usable pens on the table but its ok,too if don’t use them” )
    Pls correct me if I’m wrong. Thank you very much. ^^

  • Jae Kyeong

    내일은 시간을 안 없어도 돼요. It’s ok if you don’t have time tomorrow.
    민호 씨 타도 돼요. 일에 운전할 거예요.
    Min Ho, you don’t have to take the bus. I will drive you to work.

  • Francesco Colléter

    “누나 주와 요?”
    “네 저금만”
    “그래도, 난방을 안교도돼요. 스웨터를 입도 돼요”

    Older sister, are you cold ?
    Yes, a little bit
    Still, you don’t need to turn on the heating. You could put on a sweater.

  • John R

    내일 숙제를 해도 돼요? Can I do the homework tomorrow?

    녹차 아이스크림 안 먹어도 돼요? Can I not eat the green tea ice cream?

    불 꺼도 돼요? Can I trun off the lights?


  • is it right to say 먹지 않아도 돼요 when you want to say you don’t have to eat ?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      Right! You can also say 안 먹어도 돼요. =)

  • rochim hidayah

    한국어를 공부 안 해도 돼요?

    • Seokjin Jin

      한국어를 잘 하려면, 꼭 공부 해야죠. ㅎㅎㅎ

      잘 쓰셨어요.

  • Trevor Lau

    Is it okay to change 해도 돼요 to 해도 괜찮아요? Thanks!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Yes. I think they are interchangeable in most of the cases.

  • VoldiPhil

    great lesson, great detailed explanation, thanks 🙂

  • 소피

    피곤해면, 안 요리해도 돼요. 우리 배달 음식 사도 돼요.

    • Seokjin Jin

      피곤하면, 요리 안해도 돼요. 우리 배달 음식 시켜도 돼요.

    • 소피


  • 디코드

    지금은 일이 있어서 나중에 이이슈 해도 돼요?

    • Seokjin Jin

      나중에 공부한다고요? 🙂

  • 디코드

    인트넷 돼요? It means “Does the Internet work?”. Can I say 인트넷 있어요?

    • Seokjin Jin

      You can say “인터넷 돼요?”

  • César Duarte

    오늘 많이 먹어도 되다

  • Shy Unicorn ♡

    괜잖아요, 울어도 돼요.

  • Matt

    만약 문제를 있으면 질문 해도 돼요? = Is it okay to ask if I have a problem?
    한국어로 말해도 돼요. = It is fine if we speak in Korean.
    월요일 까지에 이것 안 끝내도 돼요. = You don’t have to finish it until Monday.

    감사합니다 for the lesson!

  • Jams4Jimin

    일이 끝나면 집에 가도 돼요?
    If work is done, is it okay to go home?
    이 레슨이 너무 좋아요! 감사합니다!

    • JooyeonPark

      네, 맞아요! 🙂

  • 향기

    하루종일 자도 돼오….
    제가 가장 듣고 싶은 말이에요…ㅎㅎ

  • Stevie boy

    안녕하세요~ 정정해 주세용 ㅜㅜㅜ

    1. 싫으면 다 안 먹어도 돼요.
    2. 아무거나 만들어도 돼요.
    3. 요리한 사람이랑 얘기 안 해도 돼.
    4. 어제 바빠서 안 와도 돼.
    5. 너무 크죠? 바꾸도 돼요.

  • Ashley Heil

    일이 끝나서, 집에 가도 돼요? My work is finished so is it okay if i go home? 맞아요?

  • Sanjeeda Masroor

    1) You can buy a new dress.

    – 세로은 드레스 사도 돼요

    2) It’s okay. You can take it.
    – 괜찮아요. 소요도 돼요

    3) You can taste it
    – 맛을보기도 돼요

    4) You can drive my car.
    – 제 자가 운전해도 돼요


  • Dania Freih

    집에 있어도 돼요. 저랑 안 가도 돼요.
    you can stay home. you don’t have to go with me.
    혼자 다 먹어도 돼요?
    can I eat it all by myself?
    이거 여기에서 남겨도 돼요?
    can I leave this here?
    내일은 일찍 안 와도 돼요.
    it’s okay if you don’t come early tomorrow.
    지금은 안 읽어도 돼요.
    it’s okay if you don’t read it now.

    • Seokjin Jin

      All correct! 잘 했어요.

    • Dania Freih

      감사합니다 석진 씨!!

  • Peter

    희식에서 술을 안 마셔도 돼요? 저는 술을 하나도 안 마시는데요.
    Is it okay not to drink alcohol at a 희식? I don’t drink alcohol at all.

    한국어를 조금밖에 못 해도 돼요, 지금. 아직 배우고 있죠.
    It’s okay if you can only understand Korean a little, right now. You’re still learning, aren’t you.

  • Aurora Florentina Şindrilaru

    밤에 전화를 해도 돼요. 저는 늦게 자요.
    소파 위에서 누워도 돼요? 진짜 피곤해요.


    • JooyeonPark

      Great sentences! 🙂

    • Aurora Florentina Şindrilaru

      선생님, 감사합니다!

  • what’s the difference between this and -ㄹ 수 있다?

    • YiQian Cassiopeia

      My understanding is that ㄹ 수 있다 is more commonly used to express the possibility of an event/action, “You can send pictures using this app.” or “I can eat a lot.” 이 앱으로 문자를 보낼 수 있어요. 많이 먹을 수 있어요.
      아/어/여도 돼요 is used when an action or event is allowed, such as “Can I use the washroom?” or “Can i leave now?” 지금 가도 돼요?

      Actually, look at it this way. There are two ways to write “Can (You/I) eat a lot?”
      많이 먹을 수 있어요? As in, can you eat a lot? (perhaps regarding appetite) Can you eat a lot of food?
      많이 먹어도 돼요? As in, is it okay to eat a lot? Maybe your friend says “Oh there’s this free food tasting session, you shouldn’t miss it!” and you ask, “많이 먹어도 돼요?”, which would mean “Oh wow, do I get to eat a lot/are we allowed to eat a lot?”

      I hope that helped. 🙂

    • That helped a lot! Thank you!!! 😀

    • Tim

      Very late answer, but maybe following people can learn from this answer.

      From how TTMIK presents it, -아/어/여도 돼요 (this lesson) = MAY I do something. You are capable of the action, but you are asking permission.
      e.g. MAY I use the bathroom?

      -ㄹ 수 있다 = CAN I do something. Here, the form is actually asking if you are literally able to do something.
      e.g. CAN I run five miles?
      You’re asking yourself if you are physically capable of completing the task.

  • Sena Rainey

    그 책을 안 보내도 돼요.
    You don’t have to send me these books.

  • Mary T

    In English, when we want to express this meaning using a question, it is grammatically proper to use “may” rather than “can.” Of course, it has become very common to misuse “can” in colloquial usage, so it is okay to translate it as “can.” But for clarity, it might help people to understand that this is more like, “May I/you/we/she/he… ?”

  • 감사합니다

  • 야신

    내일 방문해도 돼요? (Can i visit you tomorrow?).

    가끔 실수해도 돼요. (It’s okay if you make a mistake sometimes).

  • Harvey Rivas Potot

    – 중요하는 건 상금이 아니고 멈버들의 협력하고 도력이라서 경기에서 상대한테 져도 돼요/괜찮아요/좋아요.
    – 느껴 있는 걸 말 안 해도 돼요. 다 얼굴에 쓰여 있어서 지금 뭘 생각하고 있는지 알아요.

  • Nhoc Nhoc

    저는 컴퓨터를 쎠도 돼요?
    Can I use your computer ?
    오늘 학교에 안 가도 돼요. 아직 방학인데요.
    You don’t have to go to school today. It’s still vacation.
    내일 안 등산해도 돼요.
    It’s okay if you don’t climb mountain tomorrow.

  • Trinity


    오늘 열심히 일해서 지금 놀아도 돼요. 그렇지만 내일 할머니는 오는데, 오기 전에 집을 청소해 주세요- Since you worked hard today, you can play now. But Gran is coming tomorrow, so please clean the house before she comes

    괜찮아요. 안 도와도 돼요 – It’s alright. You don’t have to help me

    만약 빠르면, 더 일찍 자도 돼요 – If you are fast, you can sleep earlier

    TTMIK이랑 한국어를 공부하기 위해서 이미 안 좋아도 돼요 – In order to study Korean with Talk To Me In Korean, you don’t have to be good already.

    맞아요? 문제 있어요? 고마워요!!

  • 현미

    1. 대학에서 교복을 안 입어도 돼요. = You don’t have to wear a uniform in college.
    2. 학교에 안 걸어도 돼요. 같이 차로 가요. = You don’t have to walk to school. Let’s drive there together.
    3. 강당에서 간식을 먹어도 돼요. = It’s ok to eat snacks in the lecture hall.