만약 is (similar to 하마터면 which we covered a while ago) an optional part of the grammar pattern -(으)면 that you can use for emphasis and to make the listener/reader expect that a conditional (if) expression will follow. It is synonymous with 만일 so you can use them interchangeably in the context of condintionals.
Don’t forget to check out our lesson on the -(으)면 grammarpattern if you haven’t already done so!
While you will for the most part encounter this word in conjunction with the grammar pattern (으)면, you should keep in mind that you can use it on its own and that it is in fact a noun. More accurately, it can be defined as “(an) uncertain case” and you can use it like this, among many other ways:
= Just in case…
만약 눈이 온다면 집에 있을 거에요.
= If it snows, I’ll be home
만약 감기에 걸리면 집에서 쉬어야 해.
= In case you catch a cold, you should rest at home.
만약 무슨 일이 일어난다면
= If anything happens…
만약 운이 좋다면
= If you’re lucky…
만약을 위해 준비를 해야겠지.
= I guess I should prepare, just in case.
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By: Kimchi Cloud
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