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Mich21283

Mich

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Learning Korean from English

Level 25 · 40881 XP
10881 XP beyond level 25

Crowns: 390
You conquered all crowns

Skills: 65
You finished every skill

Lessons: 258
You finished every lesson

Lexemes: 1793
You have seen every word available
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Strength: 96%
5411000

Created: 2019-11-17
Last Goal: 2021-11-27
Daily Goal: 10 XP
Timezone: UTC-8

Last update: 2021-10-17 12:49:18 GMT+3


559852762

XP per Skill (4 weeks)raw

Alphabet
20XP
Alphabet 2
 
Alphabet 3: Loan Words
 
Basics 1
 
Basics 2
 
Common Phrases
 
Regular Verbs
20XP
Descriptive Verbs
 
Demonstratives
 
Formal Moods
 
Polite Speech
 
Food
 
Pronouns
 
Animals
 
Verbal Modifier: Present
 
Conjunctions
 
Polite Moods
 
Adverbs: Degree
 
Numbers 1: Native Korean
 
Prepositions
 
Adverbs 2
 
Compound Verbs
 
Verb: Continuous
 
Colors
 
Honorific
 
Casual
 
Clothing
 
Family
 
Written
 
Numbers 2: Sino-Korean
 
Verbs: Past Tense
 
Food 2: Restaurant
 
Gerund
 
Time
 
Modifiers 2: Past Tense
 
Seasons
 
Pronouns: Indefinite
 
Adverbs 3: Frequency
 
Objects
 
City
 
Body
 
Phrases2
 
Occupations
 
School
 
Future Tense
 
Calendar
 
Medicine
 
Home
 
Non-Verbal Adjectives
 
Hobbies
 
Shopping
 
Food 3: Cooking
 
Weather
 
Indirect Quotation
 
Sports
 
Feelings
 
Traffic
 
Geography
 
Bathroom
 
Passive
 
Emergency
 
Map
 
Travel
 
Winter Olympics
 
Pop Culture
174XP

Skills by StrengthCrownsDateNameOriginal Order

  • 157405983818.11.2019
    6.366Alphabet0 @ 100%1036/36 ••• Practice
    아 · 아이 · 야 · 어 · 여 · · 오 · 우 · 우유 · 우의 · · 으 · 이
    13 words

    Welcome to the Korean for English speakers course!

    Hangeul

    The Korean script, Hangeul, may seem intimidating, but don't worry; it's actually a lot like the alphabet we use in English, a small set of characters representing the sounds of the language. Of course, it's not perfect, but in general it matches spoken Korean better than English does.

    Syllable Blocks

    Unlike English, written Korean is organized into syllable blocks. Each block represents a single syllable and consists of two to four letters. The Korean word for ‘hello,’ 안녕하세요, is composed of 12 letters organized into five syllable blocks. Annyeonghaseyo!

    Both letters and syllable blocks are written from left to right and from top to bottom.

    Basic Vowels

    We begin with the six basic vowels of Korean: ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, and ㅣ. Their names are 아, 어, 오, 우, 으, and 이, respectively, where the letter ㅇ, or ieung, remains silent, acting as a place holder. In the same way, you may just add an ㅇ to get the name of any other vowel. Note that ‘ㅏ,’ ‘ㅓ,’ and ‘ㅣ’ are written to the side of the initial consonant while ‘ㅗ,’ ‘ㅜ,’ and ‘ㅡ’ are written beneath the initial consonant.

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    a /a/ Bach
    eo /ʌ/ gut
    i /i/ bee
    u /u/ boo
    o /o/ go
    eu /ɯ/ ugh

    ‘어’ is a short ‘o’ sound, difficult for many American English speakers, similar to the ‘u’ ‘cup’ or to the o in yogurt for British speakers.

    ‘으’ is also difficult, being rare in English, although it is a short ‘u’ something close to the uh in uh-oh.

    Iotized Vowels

    By adding an additional dash we get a y-sound.

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    ya /ja/
    yeo /jʌ/
    yu /ju/
    yo /jo/

    Diphthongs

    Korean has two way of forming diphthongs. The first is to add an ㅣ to the base vowel.

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    ae /ɛ/ bed
    e /e/ bed
    ui /ɰi/ we
    yae /jɛ/
    ye /je/

    Due to recent sound changes, 애(얘) and 에(예) are pronounced the same in most Korean dialects.

    의 is usually pronounced something like "we" on its own.

    The second set of diphthongs is formed by adding an ㅗ or an ㅜ.

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    wa /wa/
    wae /wɛ/
    oe /ø/ or /we/
    wo /wʌ/
    we /we/
    wi /wi/

    Due to sound changes, 왜, 외, and 웨 sound the same in most modern Korean dialects.

    NOTE: You will sometimes be asked to translate a word or two here. Hover over the words and you will see their translations.

  • 157414663619.11.2019
    6.426Alphabet 20 @ 100%2142/42 ••• Practice
    가 · 개미 · 게 · 너 · 노 · 노래 · 다 · 도 · 도넛 · 도쿄 · 루 · 리 · 미 · 뽀뽀 ·
    15 words

    Basic Consonants

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    m /m/
    n /n/
    ng /ŋ/ (no sound at start of syllable)
    g /g/ or /k/
    b /b/ or /p/
    d /d/ or /t/
    l/r /ɾ/or /l/
    j /ʨ/ jam
    s /s/ or /ɕ/

    ㄱ, ㅂ, and ㄷ represent both voiced and unvoiced sounds (g/k, b/p, and d/t), depending on the surrounding sounds. With these sounds, there should be no air coming from your mouth.

    ㄹ is like Spanish r, where the tip of the tongue strikes the palate very briefly. When it is a final consonant introduced below, it is pronounced like an l.

    ㅅ in most situations sounds like an s, but before ㅣ or "iotized" vowels it sounds more like "sh".

    Aspirants

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    k /kʰ/
    p /pʰ/
    t /tʰ/
    ch /tɕʰ/
    h /h/

    Aspirants are consonants followed by a puff of air. Hold a small sheet of paper in front of your mouth. Notice that the paper moves when you pronounce the English words ‘pen’ and touch’ due to the aspiration.

    Tense Consonants

    한글 Romanization Pronunciation
    kk /k͈/
    pp /p͈/
    tt /t͈/
    jj /t͈ɕ/
    ss /s͈/

    Tense consonants are pronounced with extra emphasis. Sometimes regular ㄱ, ㅂ, ㅈ, ㅅ, and ㄷ sound become tense in the middle of words, especially for younger speakers.

    Final Consonants

    Korean only have a few possible sounds at the end of a syllable, so many consonants' pronunciations change.

    Final Sound Letters
    ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ
    ㄷ ㅌ ㅅ ㅆ ㅈ ㅊ ㅎ
    ㅂ ㅍ

    When two consonants appear in the final position, only one of them is pronounced:

    Final Sound Letter Pairs
    ㄳ ㄺ
    ㄵ ㄶ
    ㄼ ㄽ ㄾ ㅀ
    ㄿ ㅄ

    When followed by a vowel, final consonants (except ㅇ and ㅎ) move to the start of the next syllable. Consonants revert back to their original pronunciations and pairs are split, allowing both to be pronounced. ㅇ does not move, and ㅎ disappears before a vowel. Tense consonants (ㄲ, ㅆ) are not pairs.

    Written Pronunciation
    독일 도길
    웃음 우슴
    영어 영어
    관용어 과뇽어
    놓이다 노이다
    닭이 달기
    많이 마니
    엮음 여끔

    Assimilation

    Many consonants change their pronunciations when a consonant at the end of one syllable influences or is influenced by the consonant at the start of the next.

    Situation Pronunciation Example
    ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ+nasal ㅇ+nasal 국물 [궁물]
    ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ+ㄹ ㅇ+ㄴ 낙뢰 [낭뇌]
    ㄷ ㅌ ㅅ ㅆ ㅈ ㅊ ㅎ+nasal ㄴ+nasal 꽃말 [꼰말]
    ㅂ ㅍ+nasal ㅁ+nasal 입니다 [임니다], 없는 [엄는]
    ㅂ+ㄹ ㅁ+ㄴ 법률 [범뉼]
    ㄹ+ㄴ ㄹ+ㄹ 실내 [실래]
    ㄴ+ㄹ ㄹ+ㄹ 신라 [실라], 물난리[물랄리]
    nasal (except ㄴ)+ㄹ nasal+ㄴ 성립 [성닙]

    Nasal sounds: ㄴ, ㅁ, final

  • 157422615820.11.2019
    6.246Alphabet 3: Loan Words0 @ 100%3124/24 ••• Practice
    뉴욕 · 도쿄 · 듀오링고 · 드래곤즈 · 런던 · 맥도날드 · 모터스 · 배스킨라빈스 · 베를린 · 부산 · 블루윙즈 · 삼성 · 서울 · 스타벅스 · 아이스크림 · 아파트 · 워싱턴 · 유나이티드 · 커피 · 콜라 · 파리 · 파티 · 현대
    23 words

    Loan Words

    Before we wade into Korean grammar and vocabulary, let's get some more alphabet practice with some words you should already know.

    Anglicization vs Korean

    We introduce two of the most famous Korean companies, Samsung and Hyundai. Don't be surprised that some companies and given names don't fit the romanization we're using.

    Korean has had several standard systems of romanization over the years, with Revised Romanization currently the official system in use by South Korea and in this course. It came about in the 90s, so proper nouns and words that had previously entered English often make use of one of the older systems.

    This gives us Samsung and Hyundai rather than "samseong" and "hyeondae".

    Transliteration

    Transliteration into Korean is based on Korean approximation of English pronunciation.

    Sometimes sentence final 'r' is dropped, subsumed into the vowel, like in British pronunciation.

    Sometimes single syllables become split since Korean doesn't really do consonant clusters, so 3 syllable United becomes 5 syllable 유나이티드.

    Of course, non-English words may be transliterated based on native language pronunciation, as in 파리 for Paris.

  • 157431719721.11.2019
    6.246Basics 10 @ 100%4124/24 ••• Practice
    · · 고양이 · · 남자 · 남자아이 · · · 동물 · 들 · 또는 · 물건 · · 사과 · 사람 · 아니요 · 아니요, · 아닙니다 · 아이 · 여자 · 여자아이 · 연필 · · · 와/과 · · 음식 · · · 입니다 · 장소 · · · 집 · 책 · 하고 · 학교
    37 words

    To Be

    In this lesson we're going to learn how to make some sentences using the verb ~이다, corresponding to the English verb to be. Let's get started!

    Nouns

    Korean nouns do not decline for number, case, or gender. The noun is the noun. Period. Simpler than English.

    However, Korean is an agglutinating or agglutinative language. Rather than changing the base noun depending on its use in a sentence, extra pieces called particles are added to introduce more meaning. In general these pieces are added to the end of the word.

    While that may seem scary, agglutinating languages usually have very clear rules so that people don't get confused when a basic word becomes buried inside a larger piece. The same is true for Korean. This means that you don't have to worry about memorizing exceptions to the rules, like we do in English!

    The and A(n)

    Korean does not have articles, and only context tells you whether you would need a "the" if said in English. The article "a(n)" is not used.

    And

    One common piece is and. Unlike in English where there is one word for "and" that can function in all situations, Korean has several. We introduce three here; all of which are used with nouns.

    Korean Example Usage
    ~하고 남자하고 Common in speaking
    ~와 남자와 Common in writing, after a vowel
    ~과 소년과 Common in writing, after a consonant
    Topic and Subject

    The most common, and trickiest, particles represent the topic and the subject of a sentences. These two particles represent two different, but overlapping, ideas.

    • The subject marker shows who is doing the action.
    Korean Example Usage
    ~이 소년이 After a consonant
    ~가 남자가 After a vowel
    • The topic marker shows what the speaker is talking about.
    Korean Example Usage
    ~은 소년은 After a consonant
    ~는 남자는 After a vowel

    Note: 는 is often contracted to -ㄴ in spoken language. (남자는 → 남잔)

    The topic marker adds emphasis, contrast, or limits what is being talked about. 저 (meaning "I") becomes 제 before the subject particle 가.

    Usage Example Explanation
    Limited topic 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) Irrelevant of anyone else, I am a woman. (May imply that someone else might be as well.)
    Contrasting topic 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) Unlike the others, I am a woman.
    Subject 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) I am a woman. (May imply that out of the given options, I am the one who is a woman.)

    은/는 can be used with general statements as well because you only want to talk about the notion as a group, and nothing else.

    Usage Example Explanation
    General topic 음식입니다. (Bread is food.) Bread, for one, is food.
    General subject 음식입니다. (Bread is food.) Out of the given choices, it is bread that is food.

    A sentence may have several topics. Why a topic is not considered as a special case of a subject will be explained later.

    Copula

    The verb ~이다 is the only verb that is agglutinative.

    English Korean
    (It) is X. X입니다.*
    Y is X. Y가/는 X입니다.

    In the speech level (more about that later) we're using at this point in the course, this verb will always be realized as ~입니다 for a statement.

    To Not Be

    Korean has a separate verb, 아니다, which means "not to be." This verb is not agglutinative, and it comes after the thing that the subject is not, or a complement. The complement particle is also 이/가. At this point, this will always be realized as 아닙니다.

    English Korean
    (It) is not X. X가 아닙니다.*
    Y is not X. Y가/는 X가 아닙니다.

    PLURAL MARKER 들

    There is a plural suffix, , but using is often optional. It can be omitted if plurality is implied within the sentence, and is otherwise necessary for animate nouns/people but uncommon with inanimate nouns.

    들 is not used when making a general statement.

    Korean English Usage
    남자는 사람입니다. Men are people. General statement
    남자들은 사람입니다. The men are people. Referring to actual, specific men

    As an exception, 의 as a particle (meaning of) can also be pronounced 에.

    Where is the subject?

    When the subject (or any other sentence component) is well implied in the context, you may freely drop it in Korean, though you will mostly see and be asked to submit full sentences here since translation exercises do not come with any context. If you come across an incomplete sentence in this course, then the dropped component is probably people in general (often translated to one or you) or something very obvious even without context. Otherwise we accept every possible pronoun for the omitted components.

  • 157445963523.11.2019
    6.246Basics 20 @ 100%5124/24 ••• Practice
    가수 · 가족 · · 공원 · 길 · 맛없습니다 · 맛있습니다 · 매력 · 멋없습니다 · 멋있습니다 · 메시지 · 바다 · 방 · 산 · 신문 · 없다 · 없습니다 · 에 · 영화 · 의미 · 인기 · 있다 · 있습니다 · 자동차 · 재미없습니다 · 재미있다 · 재미있습니다 · · 출신 · 친구 · 학생 · 한국
    32 words

    Existence

    Korean has a set of basic verbs that indicate existence. Two of the most common verbs, they form a class of their own and are used in many compound verbs and phrases.

    있다 and 없다

    The two verbs are 있다 and 없다.

    Korean English
    있다 there is/to exist/to be located
    없다 there is not/to not exist/to not be located

    In our current speech level, these verbs become 있습니다 and 없습니다.

    Korean English
    빵이 있습니다. There is bread.
    빵이 없습니다. There is no bread.
    제가 공원에 있습니다 I am in the park
    제가 공원에 없습니다 I am not in the park

    When used with place, the place is always marked with .

    To Have

    있다 and 없다 are the most common verbs used to translate "to have" and "not to have" into Korean, respectively. There are other verbs that mean "to possess," "to own," or "to hold," but those are usually more formal and less frequently used. Instead, most Koreans use 있다 and 없다.

    The basic sentence is similar to the ones above, with the item marked with 이/가, the owner marked with 은/는, and the location marked with 에.

    Korean English
    저는 차가 있습니다. I have a car.
    저는 차가 없습니다. I do not have a car.
    저는 집에 신문이 있습니다. I have a newspaper at home.
    저는 집에 신문이 없습니다. I do not have a newspaper at home.

    Grammatically the word order does not matter as long as proper markers are used and the verb is at the end. However, the order shown in the examples above is the most common, and what is emphasized tends to come later in the sentence when you change the order.

    있다 Adjectives

    있다 and 없다 can be used to create a wide range of compound adjectives in Korean. This is similar to adjectives ending in -ful or -less in English.

    These compound adjectives can be broken down into their respective parts and still function the same way.

    Korean English Split
    맛있다 delicious, tasty (flavorful) 맛이 있다
    맛없다 not delicious, disgusting (flavorless) 맛이 없다
  • 157448866823.11.2019
    6.126Common Phrases0 @ 100%5212/12 ••• Practice
    감사하다 · 고마워 · 고맙다 · 고맙습니다 · 괜찮다 · 만나서 반갑습니다 · 미안하다 · 미안합니다 · 실례하다 · 실례합니다 · 안녕 · 안녕하다 · 안녕하세요 · 안녕하십니까 · 이름 · 죄송하다 · 죄송합니다 · 환영하다 · 환영합니다
    19 words

    Phrases

    Here we will introduce some of the most basic pleasantries you will use while speaking the Korean language. We'll introduce more later in the course as we delve further into Korean grammar.

    Speech Level

    Korean has 7 speech levels.

    Don't let it scare you away!

    Now that that fact has sunk in a little, let me alleviate your fears. Only 4 of the levels are common in daily speech today. You only hear some of the others among the older generation or in historical movies/dramas.

    Unlike in some languages where different speech levels use different words, Korean speech levels mainly just affect the endings of the verbs and the pronouns that go along with them.

    We'll introduce each level in due time. For now we're using 합쇼체, one of the most common levels. This is what you'd use talking to a stranger, when doing public speaking, among coworkers, to a teacher, and to customers/clients. In some dialects, including some popular in North Korea, this form is even common in more casual conversation, especially among men.

    Throughout these Tips&Notes, we usually talk about verbs in the infinitive, which always ends with ~다. Everything that comes before ~다 is the verb stem.

    More on this form in Verbs 1.

    Chinese Loanwords

    Korean, like most languages in East Asia, has a lot of loanwords from Chinese.

    Chinese loanwords, Sino-Korean, are very pervasive. They make up about half of the Korean vocabulary. However, similar to the overwhelming amount of Latin/French based vocabulary in English, many of these words are uniquely Korean, either because of a change in meaning or because two Chinese roots were put together to make a new Korean word.

    Unlike in Japanese, where one Chinese character (한자) may have multiple pronunciations, in Korean it is more standardized. Each 한자 usually has one pronunciation and the conversions between Chinese and Korean follow a logical system. If you speak some Chinese, you may soon be able to guess the meanings of some Korean words.

    안녕 for example, comes from ānníng, with 안녕하세요 meaning "be safe!" 안 has kept the Chinese pronunciation while 녕 has slightly changed. Most borrowings that include pinyin -ing have become .

    It should be noted that most of these words were initially borrowed hundreds of years ago, so they don't match Mandarin pronunciation 100%. Sometimes the Korean is closer to Cantonese or Shanghainese.

    Phrases

    Most pleasantries (hello, thank you, excuse me, etc) in Korean are a single word. You don't need to form a whole sentence when the listener knows what you mean, and so often just the verb is used

    Thank You

    A few words on thank you. We have two versions here in Phrases 1, 고맙다 and 감사하다.

    In most cases, the two are interchangeable. When there is a difference, 감사하다, a Sino-Korean word, has a more formal connotation and is used more in public speaking (with notable exceptions including the news) while 고맙다, a native Korean word, is less formal. In the speech level we're using now that's not an issue, but when you drop to a lower level 고맙다 often takes precedence.

    Also 감사하다 literally means "to thank," while 고맙다 is "to be thankful," so that can also lead to some differences in usage.

    Sorry and Excuse Me

    죄송하다 is a more formal form of apology. We'll introduce the other form later on in the course when we get to the next speech level.

    실례하다 is the word you'd use if you're trying to get past someone on a crowded subway or if you bump into someone. 실례합니다 literally means "I am being rude," so in other situations there are other alternatives that we will be teaching later on.

    Nice to Meet You

    Nice to meet you, 만나서 반갑습니다, is a set phrase that literally means "Glad to have met."

  • 157478422326.11.2019
    6.426Verbs: Regular Verbs0 @ 100%6142/42 ••• Practice
    가다 · 같이 · 공부 · 까지 · · 넘어지다 · 넘어집니다 · 노래 · 대화합니다 · 도서관 · · · 마십니다 · 말합니다 · 먹습니다 · · 생각하다 · 서다 · 선물 · · · 수영합니다 · 씁니다 · 씁니다. · · 앉다 · 앉습니다 · 에게 · 에게서 · 에서 · 영어 · 운동 · 웃다 · 웃습니다 · 으로 · · 이야기합니다 · 읽습니다 · 읽습니다. · · · 적습니다 · 조금 · · 편지 · 한국어 · 함께 · 합니다
    48 words

    Verbs

    It's time to learn how to make sentences using more than just "to be." We'll start off in Lesson 1 with simpler sentences and then build up to more complicated sentences.

    Declarative

    In 합쇼체, all verbs end with -ㅂ니다/-습니다 in the declarative mood. (As you might have already noticed, you can get the stem by dropping -다, or -다 is the ending for the base form of any verb.)

    Infinitive Verb 합쇼체 Explanation
    가다 갑니다 Verb stem ending in a vowel + -ㅂ니다
    웃다 웃습니다 Verb stem ending in a consonant + -습니다

    Word Order

    English word order is Subject-Verb-Object (SVO), while Korean is Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). SOV word order can be difficult for an English speaker at first, but eventually you get used to it.

    Because of the particles that are added onto the nouns, it is sometimes possible to rearrange those parts of a sentence and still be grammatically correct, although the emphasis of the meaning may be slightly changed. The verb, however, is always at the end.

    Topic

    If the subject is the topic (like in Basic 1), the subject disappears. Otherwise, 이/가 may still be present along with 은/는 in the same sentence. 은/는 is translated to "regarding."

    Sentence Translation
    (topic and subject) 여자입니다. Regarding me, I am a woman. The subject and topic coincide. See Basic 1.
    (topic) 차 (subject) 있습니다. Regarding me/To me, a car exists. (I have a car.) See Basic 2.
    여자 좋습니다. To me, women are likeable. (I like women.)
    사과 많습니다. To me, there are many apples. (I have many apples.)
    남자 큽니다. To the man, the height is big. (The man is tall)

    And vs With

    In Basic 1, we learned that 와/과 and 하고 mean "and," but they have another usage, "with."

    소년하고 소녀가 같이 갑니다.

    The boy and the girl go together.

    소년이 소녀하고 (같이) 갑니다.

    The boy goes with the girl.

    While 같이 means "together," it often comes after 와/과 or 하고 when it is used as "with."

    Korean Usage
    같이 Slightly more colloquial
    함께 Slightly more written

    To and From

    In Lesson 2 we introduce some verbs of motion along with the particles that go with them.

    Korean English
    ~에 to (implies destination)
    ~에서 from
    ~으로 (after a consonant except ㄹ) to/toward (implies direction)
    ~로 (after a vowel or ㄹ)
    ~까지 up to (implies some sort of boundary/limit)

    In general the word order with these sentences is Subject-From-To-Verb.

    Direct Objects

    The object of the verb is marked with ~을/를.

    Korean Example Usage
    ~을 소년을 After a consonant
    ~를 남자를 After a vowel

    Note: 를 is often contracted to ㄹ in spoken language. (남자를 → 남잘)

    Instrumental

    In addition to toward, ~으로/로 can also mark instrumental. When used after a place and with a verb of motion, it is "toward," but in other cases it is often translated as "with."

    Korean Example Usage
    ~으로 손으로 (by hand) After a consonant except ㄹ
    ~로 영어로 (in English) After a vowel or ㄹ

    At

    Similar to ~으로, ~에/에서 can have another meaning when not used with a verb of motion.

    Both ~에/에서 in this case mean in or at.

    Particle Usage
    ~에서 where an action takes place
    ~에 where something static is happening

    If you are interested, you can read Ash-Fred's comment here for further explanation:

    Link

    Speaking a Language

    When talking about speaking a language, there are two options, ~를 하다 and ~로 말하다.

    Korean English
    한국어를 하다 To speak Korean
    한국어로 말하다 To speak in Korean

    Compound Verbs

    A lot of verbs can be broken up into two pieces. For example, 노래 means a song, and 하다 means to do, and they form a new word "노래하다", "to sing." You can, of course, say 노래를 하다 (lit. to do a song). There are some special verbs that repeat the same things.

    Verb (broken into) English
    잠자다 잠을 자다 to sleep (a sleep)
    춤추다 춤을 추다 to dance (a dance)
    꿈꾸다 꿈을 꾸다 to dream (a dream)

    자다 can stand alone without 잠, but 추다 or 꾸다 always needs an object.

    Negative

    Korean has two ways to negate a verb.

    Korean Explanation
    An adverb that comes before the verb; compound verbs are usually broken, like 잠을 안 자다
    -지 않다 Another verb that comes after the main verb with -지 attached to it

    They are almost the same, but do not use 안 before 있다 or 없다. In other cases, you can safely ignore the differences at this level and use either at any time.

    Indirect Object

    These particles are used as to/from in the sense of giving things to or getting things from someone.

    Korean English
    ~에게 to
    ~에게서 from
  • 157482244327.11.2019
    6.366Verbs: Descriptive Verbs0 @ 100%6236/36 ••• Practice
    가볍다 · 길다 · 나쁘다 · 낮습니다 · 넓습니다 · 높습니다 · 많다 · 비싸다 · 싸다 · 작다 · 좁습니다 · 좋다 · 짧다 · 춥습니다 · 크다 ·
    16 words

    Adjectives

    Verbs are more dominant in Korean than they are in English. In fact, for the most part adjectives don't really exist in the language. Instead, there are descriptive verbs. In most speech levels, including the one that we're using now, these verbs act exactly the same as all other verbs.

    Korean English
    갑니다 goes
    나쁩니다 is bad
    먹습니다 eats
    좋습니다 is good

    As you can see, unlike in English, where we have to add other words in order to form a full thought using an adjective, Korean descriptive verbs are already fully loaded with "is."

    Adjectives

    But what about using adjectives without "to be?" Using the verbal roots, there is a way to transform all Korean verbs into modifiers, which we'll introduce in the Modifiers unit. Action verbs and descriptive verbs can all undergo this process, but they do so in slightly different ways.

    Height

    There is not really a direct translation of "tall" or "short" into Korean. However, there is an easy work around.

    높다 means high and 낮다 means low. When talking about buildings, trees, mountains, and so on, it is possible to say that something is high/low rather than tall/short.

    When talking about people, you reference their height directly along with big/small. This is usually done by marking the person in question as the topic, following by as the subject and then the descriptive verb, for something like this:

    저는 작습니다.- I am short. (Literally something like: "As for me, height is small.")

    When the meaning is understood, it is sometimes possible to drop the and just say 저는 작습니다.

    Not

    In a previous skill we met the negative verb 않다. Here we meet it's adverbial sibling .

    The usage of 안 is much simpler than 않다. Put it right in front of the verb, and you're done!

    Meaning-wise, the two are virtually indistinguishable, but 안 is used more often in speech, especially when speaking casually.

    않다 English
    저는 안 갑니다. 저난 가지 않습니다. I do not go.
    저는 안 아릅답습니다. 저는 아름답지 않습니다. I am not beautiful.
  • 157489093228.11.2019
    6.186Demonstratives0 @ 100%7118/18 ••• Practice
    가방 · 거기 · 건물 · 그 · 그것 · 그만큼 · 그쪽 · 그편 · 나무 · 식당 · 여기 · 이 · 이것 · 이만큼 · 이쪽 · 이편 · 저 · 저것 · 저기 · 저만큼 · 저쪽 · 저편 · 책상 · 침대 · 카메라 · 호텔 · 화장실
    27 words

    Demonstratives

    In this lesson we're going to focus on Korean demonstratives, those words we use to specify whether we're talking about this one or that one.

    Three Way Split

    Korean has a three way split in demonstratives while English only have two, which can be confusing at first, but is easy once you get the hang of it.

    Korean English
    this, close to the speaker
    that, close to the listener
    that (over there), far from both speaker and listener

    저 roughly corresponds to yonder.

    This and That

    이, 그, and 저 are the basic demonstratives, used just like this and that in English.

    Korean English
    이 개 this dog
    그 개 that dog (close to the listener)
    저 개 that dog (over there)

    Note

    Since Korean has no corresponding word for the, it is sometimes (actually very often) impossible to tell whether it is an apple or the apple that they are talking about, from the context. Then chances are it is "an" apple, as it is normal to use in lieu of "the" in such cases.

    Korean English
    bread/the bread
    그 빵 that bread (close to the listener)/the bread
    저 빵 that bread (over there)

    이, 그, and 저 are used in compound words to express other ideas. When combined with 것, this compound is a noun that corresponds to "this/that one" in English. It combines with particles just like any other noun.

    Korean English
    이것 this one
    그것 that one
    저것 that one (over there)

    Here and There

    For here/there, there is a slight change in the stems, but the basic meaning stays the same.

    Korean English
    여기 here
    거기 there (somewhere close to the listener)
    저기 over there

    Note 여기, 거기, and 저기 are nouns. Most of the time, you need an adverbial particle 에 after them, but it is usually omitted. When they are used as nouns, they can be translated to this place, that place, and that place (over there), respectively.

    Hot and Cold

    Hot

    Korean Explanation
    뜨겁다 a hot thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything hot to the touch
    덥다 something that makes you feel hot, like a summer day, a sauna, or a fever

    Cold

    Korean Explanation
    차갑다 a cold thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything cold to the touch
    춥다 something that makes you feel cold, like a winter day or a freezer

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    building
    thing/object
    thing/item
  • 157521842101.12.2019
    6.366Formal Moods0 @ 100%8136/36 ••• Practice
    가람 · 극장 · 너무 · 누구 · · 다시 · 더 · 덜 · 많이 · 말다 · 매일 · 무슨 · 무엇 · 박물관 · 배우다 · 보다 · 빨리 · 사진 · 손님 · 아저씨 · 아주머니 · 어느 · 어디 · 어떤 · 어떻게 · 언제 · 오늘 · · 조심하다 · 집중하다 · 천천히 · 한글
    32 words

    Formal Moods

    Moods in Korean include declarative, which we have already been using, imperative, propositive, and interrogative. While English often forms these using extra words, Korean packs this information into the endings of the verbs.

    Imperative

    The imperative mood is used to give orders. In 합쇼체, this is formed by taking the verb stem and adding -(으)십시오. There is no word corresponding to please in Korean. Both answers with or without please will be accepted, and you may ignore please in reverse translations.

    Stem Ending Example
    Ending in a vowel -십시오 가다 → 가십시오
    Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -십시오 만들다 → 만드십시오
    Ending in a consonant bar ㄹ -으십시오 앉다 → 앉으십시오
    (negative) -지 마십시오 가다 → 가지 마십시오

    The negative imperative mood is formed by adding -지 말다 to the verb stem before conjugation, giving us 가지 마십시오, 만들지 마십시오, and 앉지 마십시오, here in 합쇼체.

    Propositive

    The propositive mood is used to make suggestions, similar to "Let's…" in English. In 하오체, this mood is formed by adding -(으)ㅂ시다 to the verb stem.

    Stem Ending Example
    Ending in a vowel -ㅂ시다 가다 → 갑시다
    Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -ㅂ시다 만들다 → 만듭시다
    Ending in a consonant bar ㄹ -읍시다 앉다 → 앉읍시다
    (negative) -지 맙시다 가다 → 가지 맙시다

    The negative propositive mood is similar to the negative imperative.

    Interrogative

    The Interrogative mood is used to ask questions. In 합쇼체, this mood is formed by adding -(스)ㅂ니까 to the verb stem.

    Stem Ending Example
    Ending in a vowel -ㅂ니까 가다 → 갑니까
    Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -ㅂ니까 만들다 → 만듭니까
    Ending in a consonant -습니까 앉다 → 앉습니까
    (negative) -지 않습니까 가다 → 가지 않습니까

    The negative interrogative mood is not formed with -지 말다, but with -지 않다 like the negative declarative mood.

    Note

    While 않다 is simply the negation of a verb, 말다 means the speaker does not allow the listener(s) to do something. You may consider the propositive mood as the first person plural imperative mood here.

    Questions Words

    Unlike in English, word order does not have to change when asking a question. Question words can simply go into the sentence where the word they replace would have been. Just like declarative (or any other) sentences, it is possible to move the question words for emphasis.

    Korean English Note
    언제 when
    어디 where Unlike English, 어디 is not an adverb itself, but a pronoun. Thus it is often used with 에 or 에서.
    누구 who 누구 and 가 (subject particle) are usually contracted to 누가 in spoken language.
    무엇 what (pronoun) 무엇 is often contracted to in spoken language. As 를 is also often contracted to ㄹ, you may say 뭘 for 무엇을.
    무슨 what (determiner) As in "what animal" or "what country"; 무슨 is sometimes contracted to in spoken language.
    어떤 what kind of 어떤 replaces an adjective.
    어느 which
    어떻게 how Formed from 어떻다 meaning to be how
    why

    See Ash-Fred's comment here:

    Link

    Forms of Address

    Korean has a complicated system for forms of address. You should not call a stranger, superior, or an elder only by their name. 당신 is commonly used in translations, but is not common in spoken Korean. People will usually use the title or status of the person as a form of address, followed by -님 (without a space). For example, in a store, customers are often referred to as 손님 (customer/guest + -님). When the person is much older than you, you could also say 선생님 (lit. teacher; not just in a store but at any time). When speaking to someone politely in a situation where their name must be used, such as in a store or airport calling someone by name over a loudspeaker, it is common to add 님 after their name (with a space).

    In short, you can't really translate you into Korean; you could be mom, teacher, driver, pastor, or anything. Furthermore, some nouns, such as singer (가수), sound weird when followed by -님. As you may or may not imagine, there are really some times when we Koreans avoid talking just because we don't know how to address someone. Anyway, since it is practically impossible for us to add every single title or status as an accepted answer for you, only title-neutral pronouns such as 당신, 선생님, 너 (introduced later), etc. will be accepted in English-to-Korean exercises. (You will eventually have to get used to how to call someone outside Duolingo or any online materials.) In Korean-to-English exercises, if a title is used in lieu of the second person pronoun, translate it as you.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    -히 -ly
    drama
    space/place
    ample/plentiful
    요리 food/dish/cuisine 料理
    writing
    every
    day
    heart
  • 157521975101.12.2019
    6.246Polite Speech0 @ 100%8224/24 ••• Practice
    날씨 · 내리다 · 돕다 · 라디오 · 맞다 · · 보다 · 사라지다 · 어둡다 · 열쇠 · 울다 · 음악 · 이다 · 잠그다 · 텔레비전
    15 words

    Polite Speech

    In this lesson we will introduce another speech level in Korean, 해요체.

    해요체

    해요체, which we'll translate as polite speech, is our second speech level. It's potentially the easiest. Many Korean textbooks focus on 해요체 for good reason. You can use this form in a wide variety of situations. It is less formal than 합쇼체, but still polite, so you can use it with strangers, especially those your age or younger. It is also used in conversations between classmates and coworkers, and sometimes between friends. Many travel phrasebooks use 해요체, so feel no fear using this level with taxi drivers, waiters, and tour guides.

    Regular Verbs

    With regular verbs, start with the stem and add -아요 or -어요, and that's it!

    Ending Final Vowels
    -아요 ㅏ ㅑ ㅗ ㅘ ㅛ
    -어요 (the rest)

    Simply add the ending that matches the final vowel in the stem. Note that ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅗ, ㅘ, and ㅛ end in ㅏ or ㅗ pronunciation-wise. The other vowels (vowels that do not end in ㅏ or ㅗ) match with -어요. (No verb stem has ㅛ as its final vowel in contemporary Korean.) When the verb stem ends in a vowel, a further contraction may be needed. Final ㅏ or ㅓ does not repeat itself, and final ㅡ is dropped. When ㅡ is dropped, the second vowel from the right becomes the new final vowel and then -ㅏ요 or -ㅓ요 comes accordingly. (If the stem consists of only one syllable, -ㅓ요 is used.) Final ㅣ + -어요, final ㅗ + -아요, and final ㅜ + -어요 can be contracted to ㅕ요, ㅘ요, and ㅝ요, respectively. (오다 is always contracted to 와요.)

    Verb Stem 해요체
    먹다 to eat 먹- 먹어요
    막다 to block 막- 막아요
    가다 to go 가- 가요
    잠그다 to lock 잠그- 잠가요
    크다 to be big 크- 커요
    내리다 to get off 내리- 내리어요/내려요
    보다 to see 보- 보아요/봐요
    오다 to come 오- 와요
    주다 to give 주- 주어요/줘요

    Irregular Verbs

    There are a fair number of irregular verbs in this speech level, but they are each fairly regular.

    ㅂ-Irregular Verbs

    When a verb stem ends with ㅂ, the ㅂ disappears and is replaced with 우. Apart from regular verbs, there are only two exceptions where ㅂ is replaced with 오, one of which is 돕다 to help. 우-/오- + -어요/-아요 is always contracted here.

    Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
    어둡다 to be dark 어둡- 어두우- 어두워요
    돕다 to help 돕- 도오- 도와요
    잡다 to hold 잡- (regular) 잡아요

    ㄷ-Irregular Verbs

    Only found among action verbs. When a stem ends in ㄷ, the ㄷ is replaced with ㄹ. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions.

    Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
    듣다 to hear 듣- 들- 들어요
    받다 to receive 받- (regular) 받아요

    ㅅ-Irregular Verbs

    When a stem ends in ㅅ, the ㅅ is replaced with 으. Remember that when ㅡ is dropped, the second vowel from the right becomes the new final vowel. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions. No further contraction can be done.

    Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
    짓다 to build 짓- 지으- 지어요 (Not 져요)
    낫다 to get well 낫- 나으- 나아요 (Not 나요)
    웃다 to laugh 웃- (regular) 웃어요

    ㅎ-Irregular Verbs

    Only found among descriptive verbs. 좋다 is the only regular descriptive verb whose stem ends in ㅎ. The ㅎ disappears, and final ㅏ/ㅓ + -아요/-어요 becomes ㅐ요 for all verbs found in this course. Exceptions are rare.

    Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
    이렇다 to be like this 이렇- 이러- 이래요
    좋다 to be good 좋- (regular) 좋아요

    르-Irregular Verbs

    When a stem ends with 르, the 르 is replaced with ㄹㄹ and the first ㄹ is attached to the end of the previous syllable. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions.

    Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
    다르다 to be different 다르- 달ㄹ- 달라요
    따르다 to follow 따르- (regular) 따라요

    여-Irregular Verbs

    All verbs that end in 하다 are 여-irregular verbs. -아요 becomes -여요 which gives 하여요. 하여요 is usually contracted to 해요.

    Verb Stem 해요체
    하다 to do 하- 하여요/해요

    ~이다

    ~이다 to be is ~이에요 in 해요체. ~이에요 can be contracted further to ~예요 if it comes right after a vowel.

    Example Translation
    is bread 빵이에요
    is an apple 사과예요

    You can technically use ~이에요 after a vowel, but no one does.

    잠그다

    잠그다 means to lock, but in Korean it is only used with an object that is directly locked. You cannot lock a room but a door of the room. The door can be locked, but you cannot be locked.

    낫다

    In English, you recover from a disease. In Soviet Korea, a disease recovers from you; the disease is the subject, and the patient is usually the topic. You can drop the subject if you don't have to specify what the disease is.

    Examples Translation
    저는 병이 나아요. I recover from the disease.
    저는 나아요. I get well.

    Transliteration

    Link

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    disease
  • 157542437704.12.2019
    6.486Food0 @ 100%9148/48 ••• Practice
    감자 · 계란 · 고기 · 고추 · 과일 · 과자 · · 그릇 · 기름 · · 김밥 · 김치 · 달걀 · 닭고기 · 돼지고기 · 딸기 · 라면 · 만 · 맥주 · · 바나나 · 반찬 · 밥 · · 불고기 · 샌드위치 · 생선 · 설탕 · 소고기 · 수프 · 식사 · 아이스크림 · 아침 · 야채 · 오렌지 · 옥수수 · 와인 · 우유 · 저녁 · 점심 · 접시 · 주스 · 초콜릿 · 치맥 · 치즈 · 치킨 · 커피 · 케이크 · 토마토 · 파스타 · 피자 · 햄버거 · 후추
    53 words

    Food

    Time to learn a little bit about the very important topic of Food!

    Object Particle

    It is time that we learned the next of Korean's all important particles - 을/를.

    This particle pair is used to mark the direct object of the verb. What is the direct object? It is the thing that the subject does the verb to. Think about it like this: Who verbs what? The "what" is the object.

    As in the case of other particles, whether to use 을 or 를 depends on what sound it is following. 을 always follows a consonant and 를 always follows a vowel.

    Sentence Translation
    제가 피자를 먹습니다. I eat pizza. vowel + 를
    제가 과일을 먹습니다. I eat fruit. consonant + 을

    Rice, , is a staple in Korean cuisine. In fact, it isn't uncommon to say 밥을 먹어요 to mean simply "to eat" rather than "to eat rice." Rice has been so important that Korean has multiple words for rice where English has only one. 밥 means specifically cooked rice.

    Fish

    Fish is very popular in Korea, and Koreans can be very specific about what fish they are eating. In general, 물고기 is used to talk about fish as an animal and 생선 is the fish you'd find in the grocery store.

    Eggs

    Koreans love eggs. Not just chicken eggs, but also quail eggs and fish eggs are popular in Korean dishes. Here we've taught two words, 달걀 and 계란. Both refer specifically to chicken eggs, being combinations of chicken and egg. 계란 is originally from Chinese, and there has been a push by some people to use only native Korean 달걀.

    Korean Foods

    We know that Korean food has become more internationally well known in recent years, so you'll want to know all you need to get by at your favorite Korean restaurant. This lesson serves only as the first step, so we have just introduced a few of the most common basics.

    • 라면: ramen. You can easily find instant 라면 in any grocery store, but even better is to go to a restaurant where the chef expertly creates a delicious bowl full of noodles, meats, and vegetables with a savory broth.

    • 불고기: bulgogi, thinly sliced beef, seasoned, and often cooked at the table.

    • 김밥: kimbap/gimbap, white rice and fillings rolled up inside sheets of 김 (seaweed laver). Unlike sushi, 김밥 fillings are usually cooked and rarely include fish, aside from canned tuna. Common ingredients include egg, daikon, carrot, cucumber, crab stick, and ham. Some more inventive 김밥 includes bulgogi, tuna salad, and spicy chicken.

    • Note Since the Korean alphabet does not match one to one with the English alphabet, it is difficult to spell some Korean foods. When multiple spellings exist, we will accept all common spellings.

    English Transliteration

    As Korean generally does not have consonant clusters, English words with clusters have the vowel 으 added when needed, like in 밀크셰이크. This also happens also when a word ends with a consonant, although ch and j sounds often wind up as 치 or 지 instead, like in 오렌지.

    Sometimes the letter R is simply dropped, more British style, as in 햄버거.

    Hot and Cold

    English has one word for hot and one for cold. Korean, on the other hand, makes a distinction between several different words.

    Hot

    Korean Explanation
    뜨겁다 a hot thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything hot to the touch
    덥다 something that makes you feel hot, like a summer day, a sauna, or a fever

    Cold

    Korean Explanation
    차갑다 a cold thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything cold to the touch
    춥다 something that makes you feel cold, like a winter day or a freezer

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    alcohol
    chicken
    noodle
  • 157544347904.12.2019
    6.186Pronouns0 @ 100%9218/18 ••• Practice
    · 그녀 · 나 · 너 · 너희 · 놀리다 · 당신 · 미워하다 · 믿다 · 사랑하다 · 서로 · 속이다 · 싫어하다 · 우리 · 자기 · 자신 · 좋아하다 · 혼자
    18 words

    Pronouns

    Let's take a closer look at Korean pronouns!

    I

    "I" in Korean can be translated as either or . 저 is more formal, more humble, and is commonly used with 합쇼체 and with 해요체.

    나 is less formal and is sometimes used with 해요체, especially when talking politely to an acquaintance or somebody younger.

    You

    is the you-form of 나. It would be best to avoid using it except when being informal. In all formal scenarios, simply use somebody's title.

    너희 is a plural form of 너. 너네 is also used.

    당신 is

    1. you in 하오체 (Quite obsolete; this course does not cover this formality level.)

    2. you to call one's spouse, in a respectful manner

    3. you in written language, in a respectful manner

    4. you while arguing, in a disrespectful manner

    5. he or she in an extremely respectful manner

    He and She

    Korean does not commonly use he/she in sentences. When necessary, especially in translations, Koreans will use 그는/그가 and 그녀는/그녀가 to mean he and she.

    In a normal Korean conversation, once you have established the topic, you no longer need to have a subject, so you can drop the he/she completely.

    서로

    서로 means "each other" and usually comes right after the noun.

    자기 자신

    자기 and 자신 both mean "oneself," but have slightly different usages.

    • 자기 is used in general, usually as an object.

    • 자신 is used similar to 자기, but can also be used as after the subject for emphasis, as in 저(의) 자신 "I, myself" and it can means "for oneself"

    The two can be used together as 자기 자신, which can be used in all of the above circumstances.

    Possessives

    For both I and you the pronouns take a special form in two cases: possessive and with the particle 이/가.

    Pronoun Possessive Subject
    제가
    내가
    네가

    Since 네 and 내 sound very similar thanks thanks to sound changes, some speakers, especially younger people, say 니/니가 instead of 네/네가, though it's not the standard language.

    Generally speaking, the possessive form is interchangeable with the un-contracted version. However, in most cases 제 is much more common than 저의. However, 저가 is never acceptable as a subject.

    Can you say 나 in 합쇼체 (-ㅂ니다)?

    Definitely yes. 저 is for lowering oneself, and -ㅂ니다 is for raising the listener. If you are higher than the listener, you can raise them by using -ㅂ니다, but you don't have to lower yourself. On the other hand, it is weird to lower yourself and at the same time not raise the listener.

  • 157587259509.12.2019
    6.306Animals0 @ 100%10030/30 ••• Practice
    개구리 · 개미 · 거미 · 거북이 · · 고래 · · 까치 · 나비 · 너구리 · 농장 · 늑대 · 닭 · 돼지 · 말 · · 물고기 · · 부엉이 · 사슴 · 상어 · 새 · · · · 여우 · 오리 · · 위험 · 쥐 · 코끼리 · 타다 · 토끼 · 호랑이
    34 words

    Animals

    Time to learn some animal related vocab.

    To Ride

    타다 in Korean means "to ride." This is the same for an animal as it is for a vehicle. It can also be translated as "to take" as in "I take the bus to school."

    To Find

    찾다 can be both "to find" and "to search/to look for." Generally, it can be understood from context which of the two is meant. One hint that works some of the time is simple present vs present progressive (찾아요 vs 찾고 있어요) something like "to find" vs "to be finding."

    Korean Animals

    We introduce two animals here that are not as well known as some of the others:까치 and 너구리.

    까치 is a magpie, a type of black and white bird similar to a raven or a crow. They are fairly common throughout Korea, even in urban areas.

    너구리 is a tanuki/mangut/raccoon dog, depending on the translation. They are small raccoon-like animal more closely related to the fox that can be found throughout East Asia. Sometimes 너구리 may also be used to mean simply raccoon.

    ~이

    There are many animals in Korean that end with ~이.

    This happens in part because of another piece of Korean grammar. Nouns ending with ~이 are similar to nouns ending in -er in English, meaning "the one that does X." For example 개구리 comes from 개굴+이, which would be like if the word for "frog" was "ribbit-er."

    An exception is 거북이, which was formed by the 이 as from 이/가 becoming permanently attached to the original form of the noun, possibly. Both 거북 and 거북 are still in common usage.

    Rat/Mouse

    Languages group things differently. One example in Korean is , which can mean both rat and mouse. If you want to be more specific, 생쥐 means "mouse" only.

    is a gender-neutral term for a single animal of the bovine species. Ox, cow, and bull are all accepted as a translation.

    부엉이

    Just like rat/mouse in English, Korean has two words for owl. 부엉이 is an owl with ear tufts, like Duo. 올빼미 is an owl without tufted ears.

    Fish

    Unlike in English, where fish can be both the animal and the meat, Korean has two different words. However, it isn't as cut and dry as the difference between "cow" and "beef".

    생선, which we've already learned, means "fish" in terms of food. This may be a piece of cooked fish, a whole fish, or even a live fish waiting to be sold from a tank at a fish market.

    물고기 (literally "water" + "meat") refers to a fish as a living animal, usually not as something intended to be eaten.

    은/는

    The topic particle 은/는 can also come after an adverb or an adverbial phrase.

    Example Translation
    서울에 사람이 많다. There are many people in Seoul.

    은/는 still means regarding though it would be ungrammatical in English to say regarding in Seoul. Since regarding Seoul would also work fine, you may just say "서울 사람이 많다."

    The word is another way to make a negative sentence, indicating the inability to do something.

    운동을 안 하다/운동을 하지 않다= Not to exercise

    운동을 못 하다=To be unable to exercise/cannot exercise

    못 may imply that the inability is due to the person's own inferiority, that they are simply not up to the task of completing the verb.

    Often 못 is used together with 잘, as in 저는 노래를 잘 못해요. "I cannot sing well"

    There is another way to say "unable" that we will introduce later.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    개굴 croak/ribbit
    부엉 hoot
    nose
    dragon
    fish
    agriculture
    tiger
    sheep
  • 157630676614.12.2019
    6.366Verbal Modifier: Present0 @ 100%10236/36 ••• Practice
    가는 · 가장 · 강아지 · 귀여운 · · · 나는 · 다른 · 단 · 달리는 · 마시는 · 맛없는 · 맛있는 · 매운 · 먹는 · 소금 · 쉬운 · · 신선한 · 쓰다 · 쓴 · 아기 · 않는 · 어려운 · 언어 · 없는 · 우는 · 웃는 · 읽는 · 있는 · 자는 · 작은 · 재미없는 · 재미있는 · 짜다 · 짠 · 짧은 · 추는 · 큰
    39 words

    Verbal Modifiers

    Let's learn how to use verbs to create modifiers for nouns.

    Modifiers

    As we've mentioned before, verbs play a significant role in Korean. So far we've focused on sentences like "The man goes." or "The man is bad." In this skill we'll learn how to say "The man who goes" and "The bad man."

    These verbal modifiers are created using the verb stem and usually go in front of the noun, like adjectives do in English.

    The process is similar, though slightly different, for descriptive and action verbs. Action verbs have three different forms (past, present, and future) and descriptive verbs have two (future and present). Here we'll focus on the present tense.

    Descriptive Verbs

    First we'll tackle descriptive verbs. (있다, 없다, and verbs that end with 있다 or 없다 are exceptions. They conjugate like action verbs here; see below.)

    1. For a basic descriptive verb ending in a consonant we take the verb stem and add -은.

    작다 → 작은

    1. For a basic descriptive verb ending in a vowel, you simply add -ㄴ at the end of the syllable.

    나쁘다 → 나쁜

    1. For a descriptive verb ending in a ㄹ, the ㄹ is simply replaced by the ㄴ.

    달다 → 단

    1. For a ㅂ-irregular descriptive verb, the ㅂ changes to 우, just as we introduced in Polite Speech skill. The ㄴ is then added to the end of the new stem.

    쉽다 → 쉬운

    Verbs

    Action verbs as well as 있다 and 없다 are much more straightforward to turn into modifiers than descriptive verbs. Simply take the verb stem and add -는.

    • 가다 → 가는

    • 먹다 → 먹는

    • 있다 → 있는

    • 맛없다 → 맛없는

    A verb stem ending in ㄹ will drop the ㄹ.

    • 날다 → 나는

    This modifier can be translated in multiple ways in English, often as "doing" or "who/that/which is doing."

    • 먹는 사람: The eating person/The person who is eating

    However, it could be literally anything. In English we have which, who, where, when, whose, with which, etc., but they all can be translated to -(으)ㄴ or -는. If a sentence in the present tense modifies a noun, you can use it.

    • 제가 먹는 샌드위치: The sandwich which I am eating

    • 음식이 맛있는 한국: Korea where food is delicious

    • 손이 큰 남자: A man whose hand is big

    • 밥을 먹는 그릇: A bowl with which (one) eats rice (or A bowl that eats rice (?))

    가장

    n. having a higher or stronger degree than anything/anyone else

    가장 is used to make the superlative form of a descriptive verb, and is usually translated to the most. However, there is a slight difference between English and Korean here. By definition, only one of the group can receive the honorable title "가장". If there are two tallest people in the world of the exactly same height, there is no 가장 tall person.

    Roots

    • ~ㅇ아지 - diminutive form (mostly for baby animals)
  • 157713739224.12.2019
    6.126Conjunctions0 @ 100%10312/12 ••• Practice
    고 · 그래서 · 그런데 · 그리고 · 는데 · · 아서 · 으면 · 으면서 · 지만 · 하지만
    11 words

    Conjunctions

    Conjunctions are the pieces that link two parts of a sentence together. In Korean, these linking pieces are not stand alone words, but are added to the ends of verbs.

    When starting a sentence with a conjunction, the suffix is usually added to a form of 그렇다 to create a stand alone word.

    And

    We're already learned 와/과 for and, but that pair only works to link nouns. When you want to link verbs, Korean has the suffix ~고.

    ~고 is attached to the stem of the verb.

    저는 먹고 마셔요=> I eat and drink.

    Stand alone form: 그리고.

    And then

    Another suffix that can be translated as "and" is ~서. Unlike ~고, ~서 implies sequence of events. It can also be translated as "and so" or "and then."

    To attach ~서, take the 해요 form of the verb, drop the 요 and attach ~서.

    저는 먹어서 마셔요.=> I eat and drink/I eat and then I drink.

    Note: This form is not attached to a verb conjugated for tense. The tense is indicated by the final verb.

    Stand alone form: 그래서

    If

    "If" in Korean is marked by ~(으)면. This suffix is added to the base verb stem. ~면 follows stems ending in a vowel or a ㄹ. ~으면 follows stems ending in a consonant.

    저는 먹으면 마셔요.=> If I eat, I drink.

    When

    "When," "while," or "as" is marked by ~(으)면서. ~(으)면서 is attached to the stem in the same way as ~(으)면 above.

    In formal writing, ~(으)면서 may be realized as ~(으)며.

    저는 먹으면서 마셔요.=> I drink when/while/as I eat.

    But

    There are two ways to realize "but" in Korean. First we will discuss ~지만.

    • ~지만 is the closest the the English "but." It is attached directly to the verb stem, and indicated a contrast between the two clauses.

    저는 먹지 않지만 마셔요.=>I do not eat, but I do drink.

    Stand alone form: 하지만 (more colloquial)/그렇지만

    • ~는데 is a bit trickier. This conjunction is not quite like any conjunction we have in English. The basic idea is that the first clause introduces background information for the second. Often, this is a contrast, and so we translate it as "but." Sometimes, however, it is simply indicating that the two are connected, and it can be translated as "and." In its stand alone form, it may be translated as "by the way."

    ~는데 is attached to action verb stems and ~은데 to descriptive verbs.

    저는 먹는데 안 마셔요.=> I eat, but I do not drink.

    저는 한국에 갔는데, 재미있었어요=> I went to Korea and it was fun.

    Stand alone form: 그런데/근데 (spoken)

    Also

    ~도 is a particle that is used most often with nouns to mean "also" or "too". It replaces the subject/object particle.

    To Go To

    ~(으)러 means "in order to" and is only used to connect an action with a verb of motion. It indicates that you are going somewhere in order to complete an action.

    ~으러 is attached to verb stems ending in consonants and ~러 to vowels.

    저는 먹으러 식당에 가요.=> I go to the restaurant to eat.

  • 157958807621.01.2020
    6.186Polite Moods0 @ 100%11118/18 ••• Practice
    것 · 고르다 · · · 내일 · 누가 · 다니다 · 만나다 · 만들다 · 사다 · 살다 · 숨다 · · 팔다
    14 words

    Polite Moods

    Moods in 해요체 are much simpler than in 합쇼체. Let's get started!

    Imperative

    To form the imperative in 해요체 you need to start with the verb stem and add (으)세요.

    As you may now be used to, how this works depends on whether the stem ends with a vowel or a consonant.

    • After a vowel, add -세요: 가세요
    • After a consonant except ㄹ, add -으세요: 웃으세요
    • When the last consonant is a ㄹ, drop it and add 세요: 만드세요

    By dropping the ㄹ, verbs like 살다 and 사다 have the same imperative form, 사세요. The meaning is therefore derived from context.

    Note: The usual declarative ending -아요/-어요 can be used in lieu of -(으)세요, but it is less formal.

    Propositive

    To make a proposition in 해요체 the same basic form is used as making a statement. It is common to add 같이 before the verb, basically saying "let's...together"

    Note: Optionally you can say 우리 as the subject. Particles are usually not used with 우리 in this sense unless for emphasis.

    Interrogative

    When asking a question, the verb form does not change.

    다니다

    The primary meaning of the verb 다니다 is "to go," but it implies the person goes to the place regularly or frequently and has something to do there. Figuratively you can say 다니다 for your workplace or school. "저는 학교에 다닙니다." would most likely mean you attend school (as opposed to you just go there frequently), and you can also say that when you are asked what your job is. This verb can be transitive and intransitive, and it takes 을(를) and 에 as a particle after the place, respectively.

    원하다

    The Korean word 원하다 is used specifically for wanting something, not wanting to do something. We'll teach how to say that you want to do something sooner than later.

    How Much

    In Korean 얼마 means "how much." It can be used with the copula to ask "how much is it?" or as 얼마나 plus an adjective to mean "how much," "how long," etc.

  • 158066826602.02.2020
    6.186Adverbs: Degree0 @ 100%12218/18 ••• Practice
    거의 · 굉장히 · 그리 · 꽤 · 나쁜 · 뜨거운 · 매우 · 바쁜 · 별로 · 보다 · 비싼 · 상당히 · · 아주 · 엄청 · 정말 · 제일 · 좋은 · 차가운 · · 특히 · 훨씬
    22 words

    Adverbs of Degree

    As such a verb heavy language, Korean has a large number of adverbs. We've split them between several skills, here focusing on adverbs of degree.

    Adverbs

    Korean adverbs come before the verb.

    When given the option between an adjective describing a noun or an adverb on the verb, Korean will use the adverb more often than we do in English. For example, to say "He reads many books" rather than the direct translation "그는 많은 책을 읽어요," the correct sentence would be "그는 책을 많이 읽어요"

    Emphasis

    There are various words used to give emphasis, like very in English. Here we are introducing a couple of them.

    Words Translations
    매우, 아주, 굉장히 very, so, greatly, highly, exceedingly
    정말(로), 진짜(로), 참(으로) really, truly, indeed, (non-standard) very, so
    특히 in particular, particularly, especially, specially
    상당히 considerably, fairly, rather, quite
    quite, fairly, rather, pretty
    엄청 overly, too, excessively, awfully
    너무 too, overly, excessively, awfully, so Read more

    There aren't really one-to-one translations for these, so here we accept what's listed above.

    Superlative

    The superlative form in Korean is formed using 가장 or 제일 plus the adjective/descriptive verb. Both can be used interchangeably, but 가장 means "the most," and 제일 means "number one."

    Usually the phrase is 제일/가장 + Modifier form + Noun.

    For example, 제일 맛있는 음식=the most delicious food

    When forming a superlative in English, the noun is not always used, for example "This book is the best." In Korean, you would translate that as 이 책은 제일 좋은 책이에요 "This book is the best book" or 이 책은 제일 좋은 것이에요 "This book is the best one." Unlike in English where we actively seek to avoid repeating the noun, it is completely okay in Korean.

    Link

    Comparative

    Comparative in Korean is introduced with the particle 보다. 보다 can be translated as "than" and attaches to the end of the noun to which the first noun is being compared and usually comes right before the descriptive verb.

    이 사과는 바나나보다 맛있어요.

    This apple is more delicious than the banana.

    Just using 보다 is enough to indicate the comparative form, but 더 is sometimes added before the descriptive verb for emphasis. Like English, the 보다 part can be omitted and simply adding 더 before the descriptive verb is enough.

    이 사과가 더 맛있어요.

    This apple is more delicious.

    Note: Of course, you can change the word order. Since the topic normally comes first, when 보다 comes first instead, the other noun is usually followed by 이(가) rather than 은(는). Whether the word order is changed or not, 이(가) emphasizes the noun before it.

    *Negative

    There are some interesting adverbs that have a negative meaning in Korean that deserve special mention.

    • 별로 means "not really/not particularly" and is usually used alongside the negated form of the verb.

    별로 안 좋아요.=It is not too good/It is not very good.

    별로 없어요.=There is not much.

    • 거의 means "almost" and can be used either negatively or positively. It is mentioned here to contrast with 별로 above.

    거의 없어요=There is almost nothing.

    • 그리 means "so" or "that" and is used with negated or interrogative forms.

    그녀는 그리 안 나빠요.=She is not [so/that] bad. 그게 그리 나빠요?=Is it that bad?

    Roots

    • 제일 - number one (第一)
    • 특 - special (特)
    • 상당 - quite (相当)
    • 굉장 - imposing (宏壯)
    • -히 - -ly
  • 157971115922.01.2020
    6.246Numbers 1: Native Korean0 @ 100%12324/24 ••• Practice
    개 · · 넷 · 다섯 · · 둘 · 마리 · 마흔 · · · 번째 · · 서른 · 셋 · · 아홉 · 아흔 · 여덟 · 여든 · 여섯 · · 예순 · 일곱 · 일흔 · 자루 · · 하나
    27 words

    Native Korean Numbers

    Korean has two sets of numbers, Native Korean and Sino-Korean. Before that scares you away, let's take a closer look at Native Korean Numbers.

    Usage

    Native Korean numbers are used for numbering things, just as you would any number system. In contrast, Sino-Korean numbers are used in specific cases, such as dates, telephone numbers, addresses, and counting money.

    Native Korean can be used for counting as well. When taking pictures, you may hear Koreans say "하나, 둘, 셋!" before snapping the photo.

    Native Korean has the numbers 1-10, then 11-19 simply combine 10 and the small number, so 11 would be "ten-one." There are separate words for each of the tens, which are used to create compounds the same way that 10 is.

    Some of the tens are derived from their "base" as in English, 여덟/eight=> 여든/eighty, but others have no obvious relationship.

    Irregulars

    Native Korean has five numbers that take a "short" form before a counter.

    Number Base Form Short Form
    1 하나
    2
    3
    4
    20 스물 스무

    Counters

    What are these counters we've mentioned? Think of words in English like paper or milk. Usually we cannot say "a paper" or "a milk," except in some limited circumstances. We have to be specific, "a sheet/piece/pack of paper" or "a cup/glass/carton/jug of milk." Now apply that to every noun in Korean.

    The most common counter is 개 and can be used in most situations. As a non-native Korean speaker, you can often get away with using 개 in cases where Koreans would use a specific counter. Exceptions include 명 for people, 마리 for animals, and some food terms where more specificity is required.

    The general usage is Noun+Number+Counter+Particle in a sentence.

    • 사람 한 명이 있어요=There is one person

    Particles can sometimes be attached to the noun instead of the counter.

    Usually in writing the number and counter are written separately, with a space, but without a space when using a numeral (두 명 vs 2명).

    Other word orders are also possible in some circumstances, but less popular:

    • Number+Noun (한 사람)

    • Number+Counter+의+Noun (한 명의 사람)

    • Noun+Number (사람 하나)

    Counter Nouns
    General counter
    People
    Age
    마리 Animals
    자루 Long thing things
    Machines/cars

    Age

    Age in Korean is marked with the counter 살. 저는 스무 살이에요=I am twenty

    In Korea, age is calculated differently than in most other countries. It is based on the traditional Asian lunar cycle. A baby is one when it is born and turns two on New Year's Day. Depending on who you are talking to, this may be either January 1st or Lunar New Year. Therefore, most of us are 1 or 2 years older in Korea than we are at home.

    Large Numbers

    Although Native Korean was the original number system, it now only goes up to 99 in regular language. Larger numbers are said in Sino-Korean except in some more academic cases, mostly poetry, as the large Native Korean numbers are fairly archaic.

    For these numbers of 100, some people may mix the two forms. 150, for example, could be said with 100 in Sino-Korean and 50 in Native Korean. This is more common in speaking than in writing.

    It is not uncommon for numbers over 19 to be said in Sino-Korean, especially by children who do not yet have the trickier Native Korean digits memorized.

    Number Native Korean
    10
    20 스물
    30 서른
    40 마흔
    50
    60 예순
    70 일흔
    80 여든
    90 아흔

    Ordinal Numbers

    Ordinal Numbers (first, second, third) are created by combining the Native Korean number with 번째. This uses the short form for those numbers that have one, except for 1, which uses 첫 instead of 한, giving us 첫 번째 for "first."

    Roots

    • 명 - name (名)
  • 158213041919.02.2020
    6.246Prepositions0 @ 100%13124/24 ••• Practice
    가까이 · 가운데 · 건너편 · 근처 · 뒤 · 멀리 · · 바로 · 밖 · 배낭 · 배우 · 사이 · 상자 · · 식탁 · 아래 · 안 · 앞 · 옆 · 오른쪽 · 왼쪽 · 위 · 은행 · 의자 · 장난감 · 하늘
    26 words

    Preposition

    Let's learn Korean prepositions!

    Prepositions

    English prepositions, words like on, in, and between form their own class of words. In Korean they are actually regular nouns, taking particles depending on their use in the sentence.

    Generally speaking, "prepositions" in Korean act like postpositions, coming after the noun, usually with the particle 에 or 에서.

    • 집 안에=inside the house

    Strictly speaking, there should be an 의 after the first noun.

    • 집의 안에

    Grammatically, this means that a direct translation would actually be "at the house's inside" rather than "inside the house." In normal usage, the 의 dropped.

    Korean English
    in/inside
    outside
    in front
    next to
    over/on/above
    behind
    아래 under/beneath
    under/beneath
    inside/among
    가운데 in the middle
    사이 between
    근처 near
    건너편 across from
    왼쪽 left
    오른쪽 right

    On

    means both "on" and "above." In many cases, when the meaning of "on" would otherwise be understood, it is not necessary to use "위." Just the particle "에" would be enough.

    "위" is not used for something "on" the wall, since 위 carries the connotation of behind "above" something.

    When we want to specifically say "on" vs "over/above" we add 바로, which means directly. 바로 can be used with most of these position words.

    Under

    While 아래 and 밑 can both be translated to "under", they are fairly different in meaning. 아래 refers to the whole space lower than a standard point which could be anything (e.g. sunshine, moonlight, the sky, the sea level, etc.), but 밑 means either 아래 or the bottom, of a tangible object. 자동차 밑 can mean either "under the car" (=자동차 아래) or "the bottom of the car" which might actually be the upper part if the car is turned over, depending on the context.

    • 하늘 아래 ― Under the sky
    • 물고기가 바다 에 삽니다. ― Fish live at the bottom/lower part of the sea.
    • 물고기가 바다 아래에 삽니다. ― Fish live literally under the sea; in the crust, mantle or core of the earth.
    • 의자 아래/밑에 열쇠가 있습니다. ― There is a key under the chair.

    In

    Both 속 and 안 are "in(side)" in English, but they are not the same in Korean. 속 means what is inside or surrounded whereas 안 just means the inner space as opposed to the outer space.

    • 달걀 ― inside of the egg or what is inside the egg (as opposed to the shell of the egg)
    • 달걀 ― inside of the egg (as opposed to the outer space of the egg)
    • 건물 ― inside of the building (as opposed to the exterior of the building)
    • 건물 ― inside of the building (as opposed to outside of the building)
    • ― inside of the mountain
    • ― in the mountains

    산속 is an exception and is considered as one word.

    If you don't know which to use, probably they are interchangeable for the word. How you see the object in your mind may affect the choice.

    • 상자 안/속에 ― inside the box

    Table

    Korean has a few words for "table". We've already seen 탁자, and here we introduce 식탁. A 식탁 is a dining/kitchen table, composed of the words 식/food and 탁/table.

    Roots

    • 상 - box (箱)
    • 의 - chair (椅)
    • 은 - silver (银)
    • 행 - business (行)
  • 158308096901.03.2020
    6.126Adverbs 225 @ 75%13212/12 ••• Practice
    게 · 늦다 · 따로 · 시끄럽다 · 없이 · 열심히 · 완전히 · 우연히 · 조용하다 · 조용히 · 즐겁다 · 편하다
    12 words

    Adverbs 2

    It's time to learn how to form adverbs in Korean!

    -게

    Forming adverbs in Korean is extremely easy. For regular adverbs, starting with a descriptive verb simply take the verb stem and add -게, similar to adding -ly in English.

    • 늦다=to be late
    • 늦게=late (adverb)

    Some descriptive verbs have both regular and irregular forms. For example, 빠르다 (to be fast) can become both regular 빠르게 and irregular 빨리.

    -히 and Others

    A number of descriptive verbs, mostly ending in ~하다, take ~히 as their ending as an adverb, after dropping the 하다.

    조용하다 (to be quiet) =조용히 or 조용하게 (quietly)

    없다 is an irregular case, becoming 없이 (without).

    Roots

    • 완전 - complete (完全)
  • 158328619604.03.2020
    6.186Verbs: Compound Verbs25 @ 75%14118/18 ••• Practice
    괴물 · 도와주다 · 돌려주다 · 돌리다 · 먹어보다 · 빌려주다 · 빌리다 · 슬퍼하다 · 싶어하다 · 탁자 · 해보다
    11 words

    Compound Verbs

    As we've already seen, Korean verbs have aspects of meaning absent from their English counterparts. Here we'll introduce another level of meaning to improve your Korean fluency.

    ~주다

    First up is ~주다. 주다 (to give) attaches directly to the Casual form of the verb, sometimes called the 아/어 form in grammar books.

    Taking it's meaning from "to give", V아/어주다 implies that the action is being done for the benefit of someone else. Sometimes this aspect of generosity is translated into English, but more often than not it isn't.

    우리는 남자에게 읽어줍니다=We read to the man.

    먹어주세요=Eat it (for me).

    ~보다

    Next we have ~보다. 보다 (to see) attaches to the Casual 아/어 form as well.

    Stemming from the meaning of "to see," V아/어보다 has the meaning of to try something out, to see how it is. Both 먹어보다 and 마셔보다 can mean "to try" or "to taste," literally "to see what it's like to eat" and "to see what it's like to drink"

    읽어보세요=Read it/Take a look at it

    해보세요=Give it a try

    ~하다

    Now let's look at ~하다. While ~주다 and ~보다 can attach to most any word, ~하다 is more restricted. Usually this compound ending attaches to the 아/어 form of descriptive verbs.

    In fact, we've already seen this a few times, with words like 좋아하다 and 싫어하다.

    Adding V아/어하다 means to treat something a certain way. For example, 좋다 ="good" and 좋아하다="to like" (to treat something like it is good).

    It can also mean "to act like..." For example, 슬프다="to be sad" while 슬퍼하다="to act sad." Usually this aspect of ~하다 compound verbs is only used when talking in the third person because it is something that you have observed. When talking about yourself, you would just say that you were sad, not that you were acting sad.

    무섭다=to be scary

    무서워하다=to fear

    ~가다/~오다

    Finally we have ~가다 and ~오다, which you should recognize as "to go" and "to come."

    Coming after V아/어, this pair of endings is usually used with verbs of motion to indicate direction. For example, 내리다="to move downward" so 내려오다="to come down" and 내려가다="to go down."

    돌다=to return

    돌아오다=to come back

    돌아가다=to go back

    To Want

    We've already taught you 원하다 as "to want something" and now here we have ~고 싶다 "to want to do something."

    ~고 싶다 attaches to the verb stem (V minus 다), and is treated as a descriptive verb. When talking about a third person, you would only ever use the compound ~고 싶어하다.

    저는 가고 싶어요=I want to go

    그녀는 가고 싶어해요=She wants to go

    Roots

    괴 - ghost (怪)

  • 158381639210.03.2020
    6.126Verb: Continuous0 @ 100%14212/12 ••• Practice
    가벼운 · 가지다 · 게으른 · 고 있다 · 들다 · 무거운 · 생각하는 · 선생님 · 앉는 · 예쁜 · 지도 · 회사원
    12 words

    Continuous Verbs

    In this lesson we'll do some review of the verbs we already know while introducing the Continuous aspect of Korean verbs.

    The use of this verbal aspect is more restrictive than in English, in the present tense focusing only on verbs currently in progress. Even then, in many cases it is used more for emphasis than the English equivalent, with the simple present tense usually taking precedence.

    Action Verbs

    Let's start off with action verbs. Take the verb stem (root minus ~다) and add ~고 있다. ~고 있다 conjugates just like the 있다 we've already learned, and it's as simple as that!

    먹다=>먹고 있다

    저는 치킨을 먹고 있어요=I am eating fried chicken

    Stative Verbs

    Stative verbs like 앉다 or 서다 take the continuous differently. Of course, it is possible to say 앉고 있어요, although this would translate more closely to "I am being seated" than "I am sitting."

    To truly say "I am sitting" you would say 저는 앉아 있어요.

    The rule here s to take the Casual form and add 있어요. In grammar books this may be written as 아/어 있다.

    To Have

    We mentioned when introducing the possessive aspect of 있다 that there are other ways to indicate the possessive in Korean. Here we teach the verbs 가지다 (sometimes 갖다) and 들다, with 가지다 the more common of the two.

    Both these verbs can be translated as "to hold" or "to carry." 들다 additionally can mean "to pick up" or "to take in hand."

    In the continuous aspect, both these verbs become "to have." This is more specific, and restrictive, than using 있다.

    While "A는 B가 있다" in general indicated that A possesses B, "A가 B를 가지고 있다" implies that A is carrying around B. This makes sense if it's something in your bag or your pocket, but it makes less sense when you're talking about your house or your friend.

    선생님

    선생님 means "teacher" in Korean, but is also a common term of respect. It is not uncommon for strangers to call each other 선생님 on the streets in polite conversation when they do not know which other term of address would be most appropriate. Additionally, it is sometimes added to the end of other titles, like doctor, to convey a deeper level of respect.

    Students in school generally address their teachers solely as 선생님.

    As the term is respectful, there is a more informal version that students use when they are talking to a favorite teacher, 쌤, which is a slang abbreviation of 선(ㅅ)생(새)님(ㅁ).

  • 158420430414.03.2020
    6.246Colors0 @ 100%14324/24 ••• Practice
    · 검은 · 검정 · 꽃 · 노란 · 노랑 · · 보라 · 분홍 · 빨간 · 빨강 · 색 · 색깔 · 인 · 주황 · 초록 · 파란 · 파랑 · 하얀 · 하양 ·
    21 words

    Colors

    Colors can be tricky in Korean, with a mixture of Native Korean and Sino-Korean color terms.

    Native Korean

    In Lesson 1 we introduce some Native Korean verbal modifiers.

    English Korean
    Black 검은
    White 하얀
    Blue 파란
    Red 빨간
    Yellow 노란

    As you should be able to see, all of these are the Modifier forms of descriptive verbs.

    Sometimes these adjectives are followed by 색 "color" with or without ~인, the Modifier form of ~이다.

    So for "black cat" you may see:

    • 검은 고양이
    • 검은색 고양이
    • 검은색인 고양이

    Sino-Korean

    In Lesson 2 we introduce some Sino-Korean colors. Like most borrowings from Chinese, these take the form of nouns in Korean.

    English Korean
    Orange 주황
    Green 초록/녹
    Gray
    Brown
    Purple 보라
    Pink 분홍

    Usually these are used with 색/색인 to form modifiers in a sentence.

    An "orange cat" gives us:

    • 주황색 고양이
    • 주황색인 고양이

    Most colors have a Sino-Korean equivalent, but normally Korean colors take precedence, with the Sino-Korean words used as roots in compound words.

    Green

    Korean colors are a bit more nuanced than the ones we use in English. Many colors have multiple words that can be used to mean the same thing but with different connotations.

    The one case where we do introduce both words here is "green." Both 초록 and 녹 mean green, so what's the different?

    초록 means "grass green" and may have the connotation of being cleaner or sharper than 녹.

    The same is true for 흰 (pure white) and 까만 (jet black). We'll may see some of these colors later in the course, but for know you can just put them out of your mind.

    Color Nouns

    The Native Korean colors have noun forms based in part on their base verb forms.

    English Modifier Noun
    Black 검은 검정
    White 하얀 하양
    Blue 파란 파랑
    Red 빨간 빨강
    Yellow 노란 노랑

    While these may sometimes be used to form modifiers, usually they are used in compound nouns or when talking about the color itself.

    One compound we'll see here is 파랑새 (bluebird) compared to 파란 새 (blue bird).

    In this skill we also introduce 색깔. 색깔 is used as "color" when standing alone, while 색 is most commonly used as a suffix attached to other words. One exception to this is when asking what color something is, which is usually realized as "X은 무슨 색이에요?"

    Descriptive Verbs

    The Native Korean colors have descriptive verbs that may used for "to be X-color."

    English Modifier Noun Verb
    Black 검은 검정 검다
    White 하얀 하양 하얗다
    Blue 파란 파랑 파랗다
    Red 빨간 빨강 빨갛다
    Yellow 노란 노랑 노랗다

    ~ㅎ다 verbs form a special case for conjugation, as we saw in Polite Moods with 이렇다. Drop the ㅎ and the 아 turns into 애. For 하얗다, 야 becomes 얘.

    The cat is white=고양이가 하얘요.

    When using Sino-Korean colors, or even the Native Korean modifiers, it is common to use ~색이다 to form the descriptive verb.

    The cat is gray=고양이가 회색이에요.

    But

    There are two ways to say "but" in Korean. First we will discuss ~지만.

    • ~지만 is the closest the the English "but." It is attached directly to the verb stem, and indicated a contrast between the two clauses.

    저는 먹지 않지만 마셔요.=>I do not eat, but I do drink.

    Stand alone form: 하지만 (more colloquial)/그렇지만

    Roots

    • 색 - color (色)
    • 주황 - orange (橘黄)
    • 초 - grass (草)
    • 녹/록 - green (绿)
    • 회 - gray (灰)
    • 갈 - brown (褐)
    • 분 - flour/powder (粉)
    • 홍 - red (红)
  • 158465054919.03.2020
    6.186Honorific0 @ 100%15118/18 ••• Practice
    계시다 · · 께서 · · 드리다 · 드시다 · 말씀하다 · · 생신 · 성함 · 시다 · 연세 · 주무시다 · 진지 · 할머니 · 할아버지
    16 words

    Honorific

    The time has come for us to address one of Korean's most (in)famous features, honorifics.

    Usage

    Every Korean sentence changes based on two factors: the listener and the subject.

    The listener dictates the speech level, which we've already seen.

    The subject dictates the use of honorifics.

    These two are mutually exclusive. Honorifics can be used in any of the speech levels of Korean, creating a very, very wide variety of sentences.

    The honorific is usually seen on the verb, just like speech levels, but there are also some special honorific nouns and particles.

    Honorifics are usually used when talking about older relatives, people of higher social status, deities, and other respected entities, implying that the speaker is lower in status and therefore showing honor and respect for the subject.

    It would be incredibly rude to use this form in any way to refer to yourself.

    ~시다

    Usually the honorific is formed simply by adding ~시다 to the verb stem, after applying the special cases (ie 듣=>들, 덥=>더우, etc).

    Form most verbs ending in a consonant, drop ~다 and add ~으시다. 얻다=>얻으시다

    With a verb stem ending in a ㄹ, drop the ㄹ as well. 살다=>사시다

    ㄷ special case verbs do not drop the ㄹ, but instead act like a regular consonant. 듣다=>들으시다

    For a verb ending in a vowel, simply add ~시다. 하다=>하시다

    ~시다 is slightly irregular, but works similar to other verbs.

    하다 하시다
    합니다 하십니다
    해요 하세요
    하셔
    한다 하신다

    If some of this looks familiar, it's because you've already seen ~시다 in the imperative.

    Special Verbs

    Rather than simply add ~시다, some verbs have their own honorific forms.

    Plain Honorific
    먹다 드시다
    마시다 드시다
    있다 계시다*
    자다 주무시다
    말하다 말씀하시다

    In addition, the verb 드리다 replaces 주다 when giving something to an honored person.

    *계시다 replaces 있다 only in the sense of "to be" or "to exist." The sense of "to have" can be formed using 있으시다. 계시다 is still used when forming the progressive (~ing) form of the verb.

    Other Special Words

    Other words also have their own forms.

    Plain Honorific
    진지
    이/가 께서
    에게
    나이 (age) 연세
    이름 (name) 성함
    생일 (birthday) 생신
    명 (counter)

    Note: Unlike 이름, 성함 technically means a full name.

    Forms of Address

    Korean forms of address are a type of honorific.

    ~씨 is a lower level honorific usually added to somebody's name.

    ~님 is a higher level of addressed usually added to somebody's title or to a relationship term. With relationship terms, there is sometimes a slight change to the original when adding the stem.

  • 158552506330.03.2020
    6.186Casual0 @ 100%15218/18 ••• Practice
    · · · 닦다 · 민지 · 서연 · 서준 · 설거지하다 · 시작 · 야 · 여행하다 · 열다 · 응 · 지금 · 지훈 · 창문 · 청소하다 · 친한 · 파티
    19 words

    Casual

    It's time to learn the third of the four most common Korean speech levels with Casual.

    Usage

    This speech level is commonly used to talk to close friends and family. It is also used when speaking to children, even when they are strangers.

    If you use this to talk to strangers (other than small children) it is usually very rude. Sometimes people use this when they're angry to yell at strangers or other people that would usually be addressed more politely.

    해체

    Casual speech, 해체 is very easy to form. In most cases, you simply take the Polite form and drop the -요.

    먹어요=>먹어

    Exceptions to this are the copula ~이다 and 하다.

    • ~이다 becomes ~(이)야. The 이 is only added after a consonant.

    개야=It is a dog. 집이야=It is a house.

    • 하다 usually becomes simply 해, just by dropping the ~요 from the Polite form. In some cases, mostly in writing, 해 is replaced by 하여.

    • When using the Honorific, ~시다 becomes 셔, not 세.

    Moods

    해체 changes very little based on mood.

    그것을 해 can be "(They) do it," "Do (they) do it?" or "Do it!"

    To form the propositive, drop the ~다 from the infinitive and add ~자. So 하자 means "Let's do it!"

    To form a negative imperative sentence, add "-지 마" (NOT "-지 말아") to the stem.

    Names

    Korean names are usually three syllables total, with a one syllable family name and a two syllable given name. The family name comes first, and the whole name is written with no spaces. So first Korean president Syngman Rhee's name would be written 이승만.

    In Casual speech it is not uncommon to use someone's actual name, especially when they are the same age or younger. When addressing someone, it is common to add ~아/야 after the name.

    ~아 follows a consonant ~야 follows a vowel

    서연아!=Seoyeon! 민지야!=Minji!

    Roots

    • 지금 - now (只今)
  • 158622953307.04.2020
    6.306Clothing25 @ 75%16130/30 ••• Practice
    가면 · 구두 · 넥타이 · 모자 · 바지 · 반지 · 벌 · 벨트 · 선글라스 · 셔츠 · 손목시계 · 신다 · 신발 · 아름다운 · 안경 · 양말 · 양복 · 옷 · 운동화 · 원피스 · 입다 · 장갑 · · 치마 · 코트 · 한복 · 허리띠
    27 words

    Clothing

    In this lesson about clothing the grammar and vocabulary are fairly straightforward, though there are some verb issues to contend with. Here we go!

    To Put On

    Korean has multiple words meaning "to put on," each with their own distinct though potentially overlapping meanings.

    Depending on context, these words can mean "to put on," "to wear," or "to be wearing."

    Verb Meaning Types of Clothing
    입다 To wear/to slip on General clothing
    신다 To wear footwear Socks, shoes
    쓰다 To wear on the head Hat, glasses
    끼다 To wear on the hand Gloves, ring
    차다 To wear/clasp Belt, watch, earrings
    매다 To wrap/tie Tie, scarf, necklace, shoelaces

    Some other verbs may be used in very limited cases, so we will not introduce them here.

    To Take Off

    In the same way, there are multiple ways to say "to take off." although in a more limited way.

    Verb Meaning Types of Clothing
    벗다 To take off/remove General clothing, shoes, hats
    풀다 To untie/unwrap Scarf, tie, watch, belt
    빼다 To pull off/out Gloves, belt, ring, watch

    Another one or two verbs, such as 떼다 (to detach) may also be used in other limited cases.

    갈아~

    By adding 갈아~ in front of 입다 we get 갈아입다 "to change clothes."

    갈아~ also works this way for 갈아타다 "to transfer bus/train/plane"

    Hanbok

    Korean traditional clothing is the hanbok, which originated in the Joseon dynasty. Hanbok is more a style of clothing than an article, usually composed of several pieces with bright colors and simple lines. People today still wear hanbok, although usually on ceremonial occasions such as weddings and certain holidays.

    구두 and 신발

    So 구두 and 신발 both mean shoes, but while 신발 is a general term, 구두 is more for dress shoes.

    Belt

    In Korean belt can be either 허리띠 or 벨트, but while 허리띠 is only a piece of clothing, 벨트 can also be a piece of machinery.

    Counters

    • 벌 - set of clothing
    • 짝 - one half of a pair
    • 켤레 - a pair

    되다

    The verb 되다 has many uses and meanings in Korean. It can serve as "to become", "to turn", or "to be."

    In this lesson we see X면 안 돼요. This literally means "If you do X, it is not becoming." In plainer English, this would be "doing X is not okay." You can also say this in the positive, X면 돼요 "doing X is okay."

    Sometimes we translate this as "it is okay/it is not okay" or "it is allowed/it is not allowed", but also "you should/you should not", "you can/you cannot", or "you may/you may not." This is not imperative, so it will not be translated as "Do not do X."

    Roots

    • 양 - Western (洋)
    • 복 - clothing (服)
    • 화 - shoes (鞋)
    • 안 - eye (眼)
    • 경 - lens (镜)
    • 허리 -waist
    • 띠 -belt
    • 손목 - wrist
    • 시계 - clock (时计)
    • 원피스 - one piece (dress)
  • 158707033816.04.2020
    6.246Family0 @ 100%16224/24 ••• Practice
    남동생 · 남편 · 동생 · 딸 · 배우자 · 부모 · 부부 · 사촌 · 삼촌 · 손녀 · 손자 · 아내 · 아들 · 아버지 · 아빠 · 애인 · 어머니 · 엄마 · 여동생 · 여보 · 오빠 · 이모 · 자매 · 자식 · 형 · 형제
    26 words

    Family

    Family in Korean, like in many Asian languages, is a tricky subject. Depending on age and formality, many words exist where in English there would just be one. We'll try to make it fairly straightforward for you :)

    ~님

    As we saw in Honorifics with grandparent terms, many familial terms take the ending ~님 with a slight change of the root word to add extra respect for the family member.

    Plain Honorific
    어머니 어머님
    아버지 아버님
    아들 아드님
    따님
    누나 누님

    Older/Younger

    Age is important in determining hierarchy and respect in Korean society.

    One example is 우리 for "my." When talking about something important, usually shared in common by a community, like your country, president, or school, Koreans usually say 우리 to mean "my" as a sign of respect. The same is true with parents and older relatives, as well as sometimes children. When you want to emphasis "our" over "my" you just add 들 to erase the confusion.

    Another example is siblings, which has 6 words where English would have only 2. The name you use for a sibling depends on your gender, their gender, and who's older.

    Speaker's Gender Older Sister Older Brother Younger Sister Younger Brother
    Male 누나 (여)동생 (남)동생
    Female 언니 오빠 (여)동생 (남)동생

    You would only ever call an older sibling 오빠 or 누나, and never their name. The same is true for older cousins and older friends. Which certainly takes some getting used to. If we knew your brother's name then we'd add his name as a translation for 형, but that's sadly impossible, so please write brother as a translation for 형 though in reality you never call your brother brother. The same goes for 누나, and so on.

    If

    "If" in Korean is marked by ~(으)면. This suffix is added to the base verb stem. ~면 follows stems ending in a vowel or a ㄹ. ~으면 follows stems ending in a consonant.

    저는 먹으면 마셔요.=> If I eat, I drink.

    When

    "When," "while," or "as" is marked by ~(으)면서. ~(으)면서 is attached to the stem in the same way as ~(으)면 above.

    In formal writing, ~(으)면서 may be written as ~(으)며.

    저는 먹으면서 마셔요.=> I drink when/while/as I eat.

    Usage

    Every Korean sentence changes based on two factors: the listener and the subject.

    The listener dictates the speech level, which we've already seen.

    The subject dictates the use of honorifics.

    These two are mutually exclusive. Honorifics can be used in any of the speech levels of Korean, creating a very, very wide variety of sentences.

    The honorific is usually seen on the verb, just like speech levels, but there are also some special honorific nouns and particles.

    Honorifics are usually used when talking about older relatives, people of higher social status, deities, and other respected entities, implying that the speaker is lower in status and therefore showing honor and respect for the subject.

    It would be incredibly rude to use this form in any way to refer to yourself.

    ~시다

    Usually the honorific is formed simply by adding ~시다 to the verb stem, after applying the special cases (ie 듣=>들, 덥=>더우, etc).

    Form most verbs ending in a consonant, drop ~다 and add ~으시다. 얻다=>얻으시다

    With a verb stem ending in a ㄹ, drop the ㄹ as well. 살다=>사시다

    ㄷ special case verbs do not drop the ㄹ, but instead act like a regular consonant. 듣다=>들으시다

    For a verb ending in a vowel, simply add ~시다. 하다=>하시다

    ~시다 is slightly irregular, but works similar to other verbs.

    하다 하시다
    합니다 하십니다
    해요 하세요
    하셔
    한다 하신다

    If some of this looks familiar, it's because you've already seen ~시다 in the imperative.

    Special Verbs

    Rather than simply add ~시다, some verbs have their own honorific forms.

    Plain Honorific
    먹다 드시다
    마시다 드시다
    있다 계시다*
    자다 주무시다
    말하다 말씀하시다

    In addition, the verb 드리다 replaces 주다 when giving something to an honored person.

    *계시다 replaces 있다 only in the sense of "to be" or "to exist." The sense of "to have" can be formed using 있으시다. 계시다 is still used when forming the progressive (~ing) form of the verb.

    Other Special Words

    Other words also have their own forms.

    Plain Honorific
    진지
    이/가 께서
    에게
    나이 (age) 연세
    이름 (name) 성함
    생일 (birthday) 생신
    명 (counter)

    Forms of Address

    Korean forms of address are a type of honorific.

    ~씨 is a lower level honorific usually added to somebody's name.

    ~님 is a higher level of addressed usually added to somebody's title or to a relationship term. With relationship terms, there is sometimes a slight change to the original when adding the stem.

    Roots

    • 부 - father (父)
    • 모 - mother (母)
    • 자 - son (子)
    • 동 - same (同)
    • 생 - birth (生)
  • 158756851722.04.2020
    6.186Written25 @ 75%17118/18 ••• Practice
    그러나 · · · 사용하다 · 소리 · 쉬어라 · 쉬지 · 씻다 · 운전하다 · 으며 · 일어나다 · 일어서라 · 전화 · 주문하다 · 지르다 · 택시
    16 words

    Written

    Now we've come to the last of the four most common speech levels in Korean!

    Use

    The speech level we're calling "written" is known in Korean as 해라체. This speech level is fairly formal, but not high on the politeness scale.

    We call it "written" here because this speech level is often used in more formal writing, as it can carry an impersonal connotation lacking in the other levels. Other than in print, 해라체 is also used between friends, by adults to children, and sometimes when making an exclamation or talking to yourself.

    Indicative

    In 해라체 indicative for action verbs ends with ~ㄴ/는다.

    When a verb stem ends in a vowel, add ~ㄴ다. 가다=>간다

    When a verb stem ends in a ㄹ, drop the ㄹ and add ~ㄴ다. 만들다=>만든다

    When a verb stem ends in a consonant, add ~는다. 웃다=>웃는다

    Descriptive verbs simply stay in the infinitive.

    Interrogative

    When asking a question in 해라체, simply add ~느냐 or ~니 to the verb stem.

    For verb stems ending with an ㄹ, drop the ㄹ.

    Imperative

    When giving a command, take the ~아/어 form we had in Casual and add ~라.

    Propositive

    The propositive is just the same as in Casual. Just add ~자 to the verb stem.

    Conjunctions

    We introduce here a few new conjunctions and interjections used most often in written Korean.

    • ~(으)며 is just the same as ~(으)면서, meaning "while"

    • 그러나 "however" is used much the same as 하지만 or 그래도

    • ~(으)나 "although" is used similarly to ~지만

    Roots

    • 전화 - phone (电话)
    • 사용 - use (使用)
    • 문 - door (门)
    • 병 - bottle (瓶)
  • 158778267525.04.2020
    6.186Numbers 2: Sino-Korean0 @ 100%18118/18 ••• Practice
    공 · · 달러 · 돈 · · · 번호 · 사 · 삼 · · 오 · · 육 · 이 · 일 · · · 칠 · 팔
    19 words

    Sino-Korean Numbers

    Here we have the other half of the Korean number system, the Sino-Korean numbers.

    Usage

    Sino-Korean numbers are used for dates, money, phone numbers, addresses, and in math, as well as in large numbers.

    Six

    The number 6 in Sino-Korean is 육, but is 륙 in North Korean. In South Korea the ㄹ pronunciation was lost and the ㄹ was replaced with ㅇ, but there is still a ghost of ㄹ left behind.

    For the number 16, 십육, the deleted ㄹ reacts with the ㅂ and the word is pronounced 심뉵.

    Phone Numbers

    In Korean the dashes/spaces in a phone number are read as 에. So 010-723-6045 would be read 공일공에 칠이삼에 육공사오.

    Counters

    When Sino-Korean numbers are used with nouns, those nouns often double as counters. Two dollars is 이 달러 not 달러 이 개.

    Big Numbers

    Once you reach 100, Sino-Korean takes over completely from Native Korean. Which is good, since Korean numbers are complicated.

    Korean numbers follow the general East Asian number pattern. Instead of base 1000 like English, the base in Korean is 10 thousand.

    This will take some getting used to, but 100 thousand is actually 10*10,000.

    After 만, we have 억 (100 million) and 조 (1 trillion). Each number has four more zeroes than the number before.

  • 158792012826.04.2020
    6.186Verbs: Past Tense0 @ 100%18218/18 ••• Practice
    · 떠나다 · 미국 · 방금 · · 병원 · 생기다 · 쓰레기 · 아직 · 연습 · 연습하다 · 컴퓨터 · 태어나다 · 휴대폰
    14 words

    Past Tense

    Now that we've learned four different ways for form the present tense, here we go into the past.

    Formation

    All Korean speech levels are formed from the 아/어 form we learned in Casual. We then add ~ㅆ to the end of the syllable, giving us 았/었 as the basic past tense verb stem. Vowel harmony ends here, and the double ㅅ is followed by the vowel 어.

    Formal Polite Casual Written
    Statement 했습니다 했어요 했어 했다
    Question 했습니까 했어요 했어 했느냐/했니

    Usage Differences

    There are a number of instances where in English we would use present but in Korean the past. Here we have 생기다 and 오래되다.

    In both these cases, these verbs describe something that has already happened. With exact translation, rather than saying "someone is ugly" Korean translates as "someone was poorly formed" and instead of "something is old" Korean has "something has become old."

    But

    There are two ways to realize "but" in Korean. First we will discuss ~지만.

    • ~지만 is the closest the the English "but." It is attached directly to the verb stem, and indicated a contrast between the two clauses.

    저는 먹지 않지만 마셔요.=>I do not eat, but I do drink.

    Stand alone form: 하지만 (more colloquial)/그렇지만

    • ~는데 is a bit trickier. This conjunction is not quite like any conjunction we have in English. The basic idea is that the first clause introduces background information for the second. Often, this is a contrast, and so we translate it as "but." Sometimes, however, it is simply indicating that the two are connected, and it can be translated as "and." In its stand alone form, it may be translated as "by the way."

    ~는데 is attached to action verb stems and ~은데 to descriptive verbs.

    저는 먹는데 안 마셔요.=> I eat, but I do not drink.

    저는 한국에 갔는데, 재미있었어요=> I went to Korea and it was fun.

    Stand alone form: 그런데/근데 (spoken)

    Roots

    • 병 - disease (病)
    • 원 - place (原)
    • 연습 - practice (练习)
  • 158882879907.05.2020
    6.246Food 2: Restaurant25 @ 75%19124/24 ••• Practice
    메뉴 · 빵집 · 수저 · 숟가락 · · 술집 · 시키다 · 안주 · 양식 · 요리 · 요리사 · 인분 · 일식 · 저기요 · · 젓가락 · 종업원 · 채식주의자 · 카페 · · 패스트푸드 · 포크 · 한식 · 후식
    24 words

    Restaurants

    Korea has an amazing restaurant culture that any visitor has to try. Here we'll give you some of the basic vocab you'll need when going out to eat for a delicious meal.

    Types of Restaurants

    In general, when talking about type of restaurant, you can simply say X 식당, like 파스타 식당 for 'pasta restaurant.' However, more popular is to add either 집 or 점.

    • 집 is less common, with 술집 and 빵집 most common, as well as 찻집 for 'tea house.' Usually 집 follows a dish or type of food.

    • 점 is more common, and is usually used with a type of cuisine (한식점), but may also be used with a dish. Sometimes this is X전문점, an "X specialty restaurant."

    Types of Cuisines

    We often talk about types of cuisine by simply saying "미국 + 음식" or "미국 + 요리," respectively "American food" and "American cooking."

    For types of cuisine common in Korea, there are shortened versions, 한식, 일식, and 양식. 한 and 일 represent Korea and Japan, while 양 means "Western"

    Courses

    *후식 is dessert, literally "after food"

    • 안주 is bar food, food to be eaten with drinks. Many bars in Korea will offer basic 안주 free of charge, but will have a larger menu available. Sometimes it's weird if you don't have something to snack on while you drink.

    Ordering

    When you want to get your waiter's attention at a restaurant, there may be a button on the table that let's them know you need something. If not, simply shout out "저기요!" and they'll come to you.

    • 시키다 means "to order," and means as well to force someone to do something. When you order, you are asking them to make the food for you, so it's 시키다.

    • 주문하다 also means "to order," and is more to request something.

    주문하다 is a bit more humble, so might be used more when talking to the waiter, while 시키다 might be used more with your friend.

    인분

    Many Korean restaurants specialize in one type of food and only have a few options on the menu. For foods like bbq, fried rice, and stir fries there might be a grill on the table, and the whole table will just order one main dish to share. Therefore, you use 인분 to specify how many portions. 인분 acts like a counter word and takes a Sino-Korean number.

    불고기 일 인분=one portion of 불고기

    Table Setting

    Traditional table settings in Korea are metal chopsticks and a spoon with a long handle. There's even an abbreviation of 숟가락 and 젓가락, 수저.

    Food is served family style, and each person will have their own small plate or bowl, plus their own rice. Side soups are usually eaten from a communal bowl and you will usually not take your full serving at once, but will take little bits of food throughout the meal.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    part
    -er
    채식 vegetarian food 采食
    주의 -ism 主义
    -er
    alcohol
    가락 stick of something
  • 158973696317.05.2020
    6.186Gerund25 @ 75%19218/18 ••• Practice
    가르치는 · 걷는 · 계획 · · 닫는 · 벗는 · 쉬는 · 시는 · 신는 · 싸우는 · 쓰는 · 여행 · 오는 · 입는 · · 주는 · 차는 · 타는 · 힘들다
    19 words

    Gerund

    Generally speaking, a gerund is the ~ing form of a verb, a verbal noun.

    Korean has two ways of forming what would be a gerund in English, with overlapping but slightly different uses.

    하는 것

    The most popular form is the present tense modifier (V는) plus 것.

    This form is the more common in speaking.

    하는 것 has a connotation of an ongoing action, not just "doing" but "the act of doing."

    Just like in other circumstances, 것 can be abbreviated or contracted to 거, 건, 게, 걸.

    하기

    The second form is made by taking the verb stem (V) plus 기.

    This form may sometimes be more formal.

    하기 has a more general connotation, "doing," and may be more abstract or impersonal.

    To say "before doing X" we use this form, saying X하기 전에.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    before
    계획 plan 计划
    여행 travel 旅行
    중요 important 重要
  • 159033453424.05.2020
    6.366Time0 @ 100%19336/36 ••• Practice
    그저께 · 나흘 · · 내년 · · 다음 · · 닷새 · 동안 · 마지막 · 매년 · 며칠 · 모레 · 밤 · 부터 · 분 · 사흘 · 새벽 · 시 · 시간 · 아흐레 · 어제 · 어젯밤 · 여드레 · 열흘 · 엿새 · 옛날 · 오전 · 오후 · 올해 · 이레 · 이번 · 이틀 · · 작년 · · 지난 · 초 · 하루 ·
    40 words

    Telling Time

    Here we talk about numbering hours, days, months, and years, but we won't get in to dates or days of the week until later.

    Hours

    Telling time requires a mixture of Sino-Korean and Native Korean numbers.

    • Native Korean is used with the hour, 1:00=한 시

    • Minutes and seconds take Sino-Korean, 2:30= 두 시 삼십 분

    • 오후 (afternoon) or 오전 (before noon) can come before the time to indicate AM or PM

    • Similarly the period of the day comes before the time, 11 at night=밤 열한 시

    • When counting hours, use 시간 with Native Korean numbers

    한 시=1:00 한 시간=1 hour

    Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

    Korean English
    그저께 Day before yesterday
    어제 Yesterday
    오늘 Today
    내일 Tomorrow
    모레 Day after tomorrow
    • When asking for the date, instead of 몇일 it becomes 며칠.

    • "Last night" is 어젯밤. The ㅅ added to the end of 어제 is a common addition to compound words.

    This, Last, Next

    Korean English
    지난 Last
    이번 This
    다음 Next
    마지막 Final

    These qualifiers come before the time period they describe

    Years

    Korean English
    작년 Last year
    올해 This year
    내년 Next year

    해 vs 년

    • 해 is the Native Korean word for "year" and is used in some limited situations, like 올해 (this year) and 그해 (that year)

    • 년 is the Sino-Korean word for "year" and other than the examples above, can also be used in 금년 (this year), as well as the date with Sino-Korean numbers.

    2017년=이천십칠 년

    일 vs 날

    • 일 is the Sino-Korean word for "day" and is usually used in the date, together with Sino-Korean numbers.

    • 날 is the Native Korean word for "day" and is used most often in the names of holidays, with ordinal numbers (둘째 날=2nd day), and when describing a day (좋은 날=good day)

    달 vs 월

    Month has a similar pair, with 달 being Korean and 월 coming from Chinese. When counting months, use Native Korean with 달 or Sino-Korean with 개월.

    Counting Days

    Just to make things fun, Korean has two ways of counting days. The first is just Sino-Korean number+일, which is pretty easy.

    The second way is based on the Native Korean numbers, but it's not so intuitive, so you'll have to memorize them. 하루 is very commonly used, but the higher the number gets the more likely it is to be in Sino-Korean.

    English Korean
    One day 하루
    Two days 이틀
    Three days 사흘
    Four days 나흘
    Five days 닷새
    Six days 엿새
    Seven days 이레
    Eight days 여드레
    Nine days 아흐레
    Ten days 열흘

    부터

    ~부터 is a particle that means 'from.' It is used with dates and times instead of ~에서.

    동안

    동안 means the time period of the preceding noun or phrase. It is usually followed by 에, but also the 에 is usually dropped. 동안(에) can usually be translated to during. When used with a noun, simply put 동안 after the noun and a space. With a phrase will be explained later.

    Note: Nouns that cannot stand alone such as 년, 일, 시, 분, etc. are called bound nouns. A space is required before a bound noun, but there are two exceptions where the space is optional.

    1. Time (NOT a duration)
    2. Numerals
    Correct Incorrect Translation
    백 년, 백년, 100 년, 100년 The year 100
    백 년, 100 년, 100년 백년 100 years

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    hour
    minute
    second
    week
    year
    day
  • 159228573016.06.2020
    6.126Modifiers 2: Past Tense25 @ 75%20112/12 ••• Practice
    간 · · · 마신 · 먹은 · 받은 · · 생각 · 선 · 온 · 준 · 한 · 후
    13 words

    Past Tense Modifiers

    Here we go into how to form modifiers in the past tense.

    Verbs

    Past tense modifiers are only used with action verbs, not descriptive ones.

    We form the past tense modifier the same way we form the present modifier for a descriptive verb.

    1. For a basic verb ending in a consonant we take the verb stem and add ~은.

    먹다=>먹은

    1. For a basic active verb ending in a vowel, you simply add ㄴ at the end of the syllable.

    하다=>한

    1. For an active verb ending in ㅂ, the ㅂ changes to 우, just as we introduced with Polite verbs. The ㄴ is then added to the end of the new stem.

    돕다=>도운

    1. For an action verb ending in a ㄹ, the ㄹ is simply replaced by the ㄴ.

    살다=>산

    Sometimes these past tense modifiers may be the exact same as descriptive present tense modifiers.

    적다 (to be few)=>적은 (few)

    vs

    적다 (to write down)=>적은 (written)

    This form can modifier either the subject or the object of the verb:

    먹은 피자=the eaten pizza 먹은 사람=the person who ate

    This past tense modifier is used in the grammar pattern to mean "after Xing"

    • 먹은 후에=after eating

    Broken

    The word broken in English has pretty broad meaning, when you think of it. Something could be smashed, snapped, shattered, or cracked and be "broken." Korean doesn't have an all encompassing word quite like English. One of the more common ways to say something is broken is a phrase itself "고장이 나다."

    고장 means something like "problem" or "malfunction" and 나다 means "arise" or "grow"

    Based on this, it only has the meaning of something being broken so as not to work, not that something has been shattered or cracked in pieces.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    after
  • 159378685603.07.2020
    6.246Seasons25 @ 75%20224/24 ••• Practice
    가을 · 겨울 · 계절 · 낙엽 · 난로 · · 바람 · 벚꽃 · 봄 · · 새끼 · 수확물 · 스키 · 얼음 · 여름 · 푸른 · 풀 · 피다 · · 해수욕장 · 햇빛 · 호박 · 황사 · 흐르다
    24 words

    Seasons

    Korea has four different seasons. Let's take a look at what those seasons are like.

    Spring

    • 벚꽃-Just like in Japan and Washington DC, cherry blossoms are a thing in Korea. They're beautiful.

    • 새끼-This word is often used to describe baby animals. 새끼 곰 is bear cub, for example. A puppy, though, is 강아지. Don't combine dog+baby, just don't. You'll probably end up in the ER by 5 minutes.

    • 푸른-Blue or green? In the past, the basic terms in Korean didn't differentiate between the two. Just one word, 푸르다, meant the both. Similar to how light blue and dark blue are both blue, but other languages might have separate words. This means that the sky, water, and grass can all be 푸른.

    Summer

    • 황사-Every year in summer clouds of yellow dust blow into Korea from the Gobi Desert in China. It creates a haze and leaves a film on many things. There are good days and bad days, and some with no 황사 at all.

    • 해-We've already seen 해 in Time. The use of 해 as 'year' is based on its original meaning of 'sun'

    • 해수욕장-This is a type of beach, specifically the one where you go to swim or sunbathe

    Fall

    • 낙엽-This comes from Chinese characters and means specifically fallen leaves.

    • 긁다-It makes some sense, but the word for "rake" is also means "scratch." It may be combined with 모이다 to form 긁어모이다 "to rake up"

    Winter

    • 타다-This means specifically that something burns, and not that someone burns something.

    동안

    As explained earlier, 동안 means the time period of the preceded noun or phrase. With a phrase or a sentence, just like when qualifying any other nouns in the present tense, the ending of the verb becomes -는. Note that, while 동안 is usually translated to during or while, it is a noun in Korean. Unlike English, since Korean uses relative tense, the preceding verb is always in the present tense. Descriptive verbs except 있다 and 없다 cannot be used with 동안.

    Example Translation
    여름 동안 during the summer
    사과를 먹는 동안 while eating an apple
    내가 여기에 있는 동안 while I am here

    To Go To

    ~(으)러 means "in order to" and is only used to connect an action with a verb of motion. It indicates that you are going somewhere in order to complete an action.

    ~으러 is attached to verb stems ending in consonants and ~러 to vowels.

    저는 먹으러 식당에 가요.=> I go to the restaurant to eat.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    yellow
    sand
    해수 seawater 海水
    낙엽 fallen leave 落叶
  • 159486362416.07.2020
    6.126Pronouns: Indefinite0 @ 100%21112/12 ••• Practice
    각각 · 각자 · 그래도 · · 대부분 · 데 · 든지 · · 모두 · 모든 · 문제 · 아무 · 아무도 · 이제
    14 words

    Indefinite Pronouns

    Indefinite pronouns are words like someone, anyone, or no one, that take the place of a noun but do not refer to a specific person, place, or thing.

    Everything

    To express "every" we have three words. One is a noun, another is an adjective, and the third is an adverb.

    • 모두: As a noun, 모두 can play any role in the sentence and be used in conjunction with different particles. 모두 may mean either "everything" or "everyone." It may be preceded by another noun in order to specific "every" what.

    우리 모두= We all

    • 모든: As an adjective, 모든 comes before the noun it describes. Obviously it derives from the same root as 모두.

    모든 사람=everyone

    • 다: As an adverb, 다 comes just before the noun. It may be used along with 모두 or 모든

    다 먹다=eat everything

    Anything

    • 아무 means "any" and may be placed in front of nouns just like "any" in English.

    아무 고기=any meat

    • ~(이)나: Starting with 아무, then add a noun, and attach ~(이)나 to the noun. This makes it like "whatever" in English. ~이나 follows a consonant and ~나 a vowel.

    아무 고기나=whichever meat

    To say "at anytime" or "anywhere" you use 때 and 데, respectively.

    아무 때나=at any time 아무 데나=anywhere

    Whatever

    ~(이)나 may also be attached to question words.

    언제나 means "whenever" 무엇이나 means "whatever"

    • ~(이)든지: Similar to ~(이)나, you may add ~든지. Most commonly, this is with question words.

    The differences between ~이나 and 이든지 are very subtle and even Koreans may have a hard time explaining the difference. However, one example is that 언제나 may have a little bit more of an "all the time" connotation, compared with 언제든지.

    Nothing

    • 아무도 means "nothing." When you want to be specific about the "thing" in "nothing" add the noun in the middle.

    아무 고기도=no meat

    Something

    When you want to talk about "something" you simply use the question words.

    저는 무엇을 먹었습니다=I ate something.

    You can also use 어떤 followed by a noun.

    저는 어떤 것을 먹었습니다=I ate something.

    Each

    각각 and 각자 both mean "each" and are used similarly to "each" in English. 각각 is more general, while 각자 is used more specifically with people.

    Most

    대부분 means "most" or "most of" and usually comes after a noun.

    우리 대부분=most of us

    이제

    We've already learned 지금 for "now", so what is this new word 이제?

    이제 has added emphasis that something has changed, and is often used with ~까지 or ~부터 to mean "up to now" or "from now on"

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    each
    individual
    문제 problem 问题
    대부분 big-division 大部分
  • 159557028324.07.2020
    6.126Adverbs 3: Frequency0 @ 100%21212/12 ••• Practice
    가끔 · 갑자기 · 결코 · 고슴도치 · 금붕어 · 도마뱀 · 보통 · 일찍 · 자주 · 전혀 · 항상 · 햄스터
    12 words

    Frequency

    Adverbs of frequency work just like other adverbs, usually coming just before the verb.

    List

    Korean English
    가끔 sometimes
    자주 often
    보통 usually
    항상 always

    Never

    Never is not included in the list above because it doesn't work in Korean quite like the others.

    There are two options that roughly translate as "never." Both are only used along with some form of negation on the verb.

    *결코: literally "at all". Might be translated as something along the lines of "no matter what." This acts the most similarly to English "never."

    • 전혀: literally "completely." It may sometimes be translated as never, but also just emphasize the "no-ness" of the sentence.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    gold
    붕어 carp 鮒魚
    snake
    보통 usually 普通
  • 159608545330.07.2020
    6.186Objects0 @ 100%22118/18 ••• Practice
    거울 · 고장 · 그림 · 기계 · 나다 · 냄비 · · 밥솥 · 볼펜 · 색연필 · 손가방 · 스피커 · 실크 · 엘리베이터 · 자전거 · 잡지 · 장 · 종이 · 줍다 · 지갑 · 지우개 · 펜 · 플라스틱 · 형광펜
    24 words

    Objects

    Here we learn the vocab for a few everyday objects that you will hopefully find useful!

    Broken

    The word broken in English has pretty broad meaning, when you think of it. Something could be smashed, snapped, shattered, or cracked and be "broken." Korean doesn't have an all encompassing word quite like English. One of the more common ways to say something is broken is a phrase itself "고장이 나다."

    고장 means something like "problem" or "malfunction" and 나다 means "arise" or "grow"

    Based on this, it only has the meaning of something being broken so as not to work, not that something has been shattered or cracked in pieces.

    Pick Up

    The verb 줍다 means to "pick up" but it has more of a connotation of gathering up or collecting. Think trash, seashells, leaves, etc.

    Silk

    We introduce the word 실크 here. Of course, having been along the Silk Road there is already a Korean word for silk. In fact, there are many. 비단, 생사, 명주, 견포. Raw silk, silk thread, silk fabric. But, sometimes, in modern Korean when talking about silk in a more abstract way, rather than about a piece of silk thread or fabric, you can just use 실크.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    self
    roll
    vehicle
    볼펜 ballpoint pen
    machine
    equipment
    형광 florescent 螢光
    지우다 erase
    -er
    cauldron
  • 159641264603.08.2020
    6.186City0 @ 100%22218/18 ••• Practice
    거리 · 건너다 · 경찰서 · 고층 · 교외 · 다리 · 도시 · 동네 · 마천루 · 백화점 · 복잡하다 · 소방서 · 수도 · 시 · 시내 · 시청 · 아파트 · 터널 · 편의점 · 횡단보도
    20 words

    City

    Here we learn a little bit of the places you may find around the city.

    The City

    Korean has a few words relating to "city" that are useful to know.

    Korean English Explanation
    도시 city
    ~시 City this is a prefix that comes after the city's name
    수도 capital
    시내 downtown literally "city+inside", referring to the city center
    시외 outside the city literally "city+outside," referring to things outside the city. We'll see this more in a later skill

    Through and Across

    The verbs 건너다 and 지나다 mean to "go across" and to "pass." Both can be used in combination with other verbs of motion to talk about "going across" or "coming across," "going past" or "coming past." 지나다 can be used sometimes as "to pass through."

    지나가는 사람 means a "passerby", literally a "person who goes past"

    Crowded

    The descriptive verb 복잡하다 literally means "complicated" but if often used to describe somewhere that is crowded. It really is complicated navigating a crowded place!

    Stores

    • 백화점 "department store", literally a "hundred things shop." Korea has a lot of department stores, in some cases with so many sections and so many stalls inside that they could just as easily be entire malls all on their own.

    • 편의점 "convenience store" Every street corner in Korea has a convenience store, with a few more located in between for good measure. You can buy just about anything in a convenience store, including a full meal at decent quality.

    Skyscraper

    • 마천루 is the literal work for skyscraper, a sky-high building

    • 고층 means "high rise" and can be used with 건물 to be a "high-rise building" or 아파트 to be "high-rise apartment"

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    city
    inside
    outside
    횡단 cross 横断
    보도 path 步道
    high
    floor
    hundred
    thing
    store
    편의 convenience 便宜
    office
    마천 sky-high 摩天
  • 159751042215.08.2020
    6.306Body0 @ 100%22330/30 ••• Practice
    가슴 · 감각 · 귀 · 눈 · 눈물 · 다리 · · 머리 · 머리카락 · 몸 · 무릎 · 미각 · 바닥 · · 발가락 · 발꿈치 · 배꼽 · · 손가락 · 수염 · 시각 · 어깨 · 얼굴 · 이 · 입 · 청각 · 촉각 · 코 · 콧수염 · · · 팔꿈치 · 피부 · 허리 · 후각
    35 words

    Body

    In this lesson we'll learn some of the basic body parts. We'll get into more detail in the skill Medicine.

    Hair

    The Korean word for "hair" is 머리카락, with 머리 meaning "head." However, in everyday speech where it is clearly understood, people just say "머리." So 머리 깎았네! is "You've had a haircut" and not "You've trimmed your head."

    Bones

    The basic word for bone is 뼈. If you're talking about a bone you'd give a dog or a piece of meat on the bone, you'd probably use a different word, 뼈다귀.

    Teeth

    Korean has 3 words for teeth. 이, 치아, and 이빨. 이 is the basic word, 치아 is more formal and sounds more medicinal, while 이빨 is less formal and may often be used when talking about animals.

    꿈치, 가락, 바닥

    English can get complicated when talking about hands and feet. Fingers vs toes. Palm vs sole. Korean has some compound words that make it a bit easier to know what you're talking about.

    If you add 손 or 발 to the following words (and in one case 팔) you create compounds that are easy to understand.

    Korean Explanation
    가락 A "stick". Fingers and toes
    바닥 "floor". Palm and sole
    꿈치 bony joint. 팔꿈치 "elbow" and 발꿈치 "heel"
    "nail." Toenail and fingernail
    "neck" 손목 "wrist" and 발목 "ankle"

    Korean words sometimes change when used in a compound. When a word used as a prefix ends in a vowel it sometimes has an added ㅅ at the end. So 코 "nose" as a prefix becomes 콧.

    In North Korean writing they don't add the ㅅ, but the sound is still there.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    피부 skin 皮肤
    sense
    smell
    feeling
    flavor
    listen
    touch
    see
  • 159781309419.08.2020
    6.186Phrases20 @ 100%23118/18 ••• Practice
    건배 · 그냥 · 나중 · 대박 · 뵈다 · 부탁하다 · 생일 · 아싸 · 아이고 · 안녕히 · 오랜만 · 우아 · 위하여 · 이따 · 인사 · 제발 · 진짜 · 처음 뵙겠습니다 · 천만에요 · 축하하다 · 파이팅
    21 words

    Phrases Part Two

    In this lesson we'll learn a few more set phrases, some words common in conversations, and some exclamations.

    Please

    As we've already seen, Korean doesn't need a separate word for please, you can just politely ask someone to do something using ~주세요. However, there is 제발, which is the literal translation of please. It's use is much more limited than the English, as it seems a bit like you're pleading.

    There is also 부탁하다 which means to "request" or to "ask a favor."

    Cheers

    There are two popular toasts in Korean.

    • 건배: Cheers, the usual thing to say when clinking together your glasses.

    • 위하여: "Here's to", more of a toast. It's common to just say 위하여, but you can add whatever you're toasting to before the 위하여. This comes from the verb 위하다 "to do for the sake of"

    Goodbye

    안녕 can mean "hi" or "bye", but if you want to say a more formal "goodbye" there are two different ways, depending on who's going and who's staying.

    • 안녕히 가세요: Both are based on 안녕히 "safely." 안녕히 가세요 is said to someone who is leaving, literally "go safely"

    • 안녕히 계세요: This is said to someone who is staying behind, literally "stay safely"

    처음 뵙겠습니다

    A common way of saying that you're glad to have met someone, this literally means something along the lines of "I saw you first."

    뵈다 is a formal way of saying "to see" and can also be used in a formal "see you later" as 나중에 봬요.

    Later

    We introduce here two ways of saying "later"

    • 나중에: This is a more generic word for "later" and is used much the same as in English.

    • 이따가: This could be "later" but also "in a little while." It cannot be used with past tense. It usually indicates something that will be done within the next few hours.

    Exclamations

    Korean English
    아싸 yeah!
    대박 great! often said with the 대 extended
    아이고 ah! I've heard little old ladies going down the stairs saying this with every step
    우아 wow!
    그냥 just because
    화이팅 good luck! you can do it! literally "fighting"
    진짜 really
  • 159850592127.08.2020
    6.246Occupations0 @ 100%23224/24 ••• Practice
    감독 · 건축가 · 경력 · 고용인 · 고용주 · 군인 · 노동자 · 대통령 · 모델 · 벌써 · 변호사 · 실업자 · 엔지니어 · 의사 · 이미 · 일 · 작가 · 적 · 제빵사 · 조종사 · 직업 · 직장 · 출장 · 퇴직 · 화가
    25 words

    Jobs

    Let's get to work!

    Work

    Think about all the different meanings of "work" in English. It can be you job, the things you do at your job, or the place where you do your job.

    Korean is a little more discrete. All of the below words could be "work" or "job" in English, but have more concrete meanings in Korean. Not all are taught in this lesson, but we include them in this list for completeness.

    Korean English
    work, a thing to be done. also used in 집안 일 "housework"
    직업 career/profession
    직장 place of work
    업무 task
    일자리 position

    적 is a noun that doesn't translate well into English on its own, but is used in phrases to talk about having done something.

    The phrase is constructed as follows:

    Past modifier of verb + 적이 + 있다

    or

    Past modifier of verb + 적이 + 없다

    For example:

    저는 고래를 본 적이 있습니다=I have seen a whale.

    저는 한국에 간 적이 없습니다=I have not been to Korea.

    Already

    Korean has two words that both mean already, 이미 and 벌써.

    What is the different between the two? 이미 is more generic, while 벌써 indicates an aspect of surprise.

    Going to Work

    We have three verbs here with the root 근.

    • 출근하다 is to go in to work for the day

    • 퇴근하다 is to finish work for the day

    • 근무하다 is to work. This verb may be used with ~에 instead of ~에서 as it means more closely "to be on duty" than "to work." It is more formal, and therefore used most frequently in writing, but also in the military.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    duty
    profession
    노동 labor 劳动
    -er
    건축 architecture 建築
    soldier
    master
    undertake
    lose
    근무 service 勤務
    withdraw 退
    painting
    leave
  • 159880372730.08.2020
    6.246School25 @ 75%24124/24 ••• Practice
    강당 · 고등학교 · 고등학생 · 교시 · 교실 · 교장 · 담임 · 명부 · 반 · 분필 · 성적표 · 수학여행 · 숙제 · 시험 · 운동장 · 유치원 · 자리 · · 점수 · 졸업 · 중학교 · 중학생 · 체육관 · 초등학교 · 초등학생 · 칠판 · 학급 · 학년
    28 words

    School

    School is in session!

    In this skill we introduce some of the basic vocabulary needed to talk about school. The course currently doesn't include much about college, but we have some of that planned for our eventual Tree 2.0

    Schools and Students

    Korean English
    유치원 kindergarten/preschool
    초등학교 elementary school
    중학교 middle school
    고등학교 high school

    We introduce here the names of four levels of school, with translations based (more or less) on the American school system. Different countries, and sometimes different school districts within a country, use different names for these, so please report missing translations.

    To talk about the students going to one of these schools, replace ~교 with ~생. For kindergarteners, you can just add ~생 to the end of 유치원.

    Teachers

    We've already seen 선생님, the general term for teacher, with the honorific ~님 built right in.

    You can add the school, the subject, or other descriptors before 선생님 to specify type of teacher. For example, 초등학교 선생님 would be an elementary school teacher, while 영어 선생님 would be an English teacher.

    Two common descriptors followed by 선생님 are 담임 and 교장.

    • 담임 comes from 한자 that mean "to be in charge" and refers to the "homeroom" or "head teacher", often in contrast to administrators, aides, or special subject teachers that do not oversee a specific group of young learners.

    • 교장 comes from 한자 that mean "school" and "leader", referring to the principal or headmaster.

    Classes

    English can be very vague when we use the word "class." Is it the space? the time period? the material being learned? or the people?

    Korean is not vague. Let's take a look at some of the words that may be difficult to parse at first.

    Korean English
    학년 grade/year in school
    homeroom
    학급 class/group of students
    교시 class period
    교실 classroom
    수업 lesson

    Each school has several 학년, numbered 1학년 and up. (The numbers start over again from 1 in middle and high school). At anything other than a very small school, each 학년 will have several 반, numbered 1반 and up, of students in different homerooms with different 담임 선생님.

    학급 is more abstract, but the best to describe it would be "collection of students."

    For the other words, each day has several 교시, each 교시 you have a 수업 in a 교실.

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    early
    level
    dust
    pen
  • 159941509406.09.2020
    6.186Future Tense0 @ 100%24218/18 ••• Practice
    가르칠 · 갈 · 거 · 걸을 · 고향 · 들을 · 마실 · 만날 · 만들 · 먹을 · 보낼 · · · · 없을 · 예정 · 올 · · 있을 · · 할
    21 words

    Future

    The time has finally come to learn the last of Korean's three verb tenses, the future tense.

    Forming the Future

    Unlike present and past, the future tense in Korean is a compound tense, formed using more than one word.

    The basic idea is that the future tense is formed by taking the future verbal modifier (explanation below) and then adding 것 and the copula ~이다.

    As we've seen before, 것 has various forms and contractions. With the future tense, the two most common are 것 and 거. While 할 것입니다 (will do) might be more common in writing, 할 겁니다 is common in speaking without necessarily decreasing the politeness or formality of your sentence.

    Future Verbal Modifier

    Future tense verbal modifiers have several forms, all of which end with ~ㄹ.

    1. For verb stems ending with a vowel, simply add ㄹ to the final syllable. 하다=>할

    2. For verb stems ending with a consonant, add 을. 먹다=>먹을

    3. For verb stems ending with a ㄹ, do nothing, just use the stem. 만들다=>만들

    4. For ㄷ special case verbs, those where the final ㄷ becomes a ㄹ, add 을 to the end of the stem. 듣다=>들을

    It's as simple as that.

    저는 한국어를 공부할 것입니다=I will study Korean.

    Honorific

    If you're wondering where to add the honorific in the future tense, it is always on the future tense verbal modifier. You do not need to add the honorific ~시다 to the copula following 것.

    Planned Future

    There is a second form of the future, using 예정. This is formed much the same way as the main form of the future tense, although 것 is replaced with 예정.

    This form of the future is for something you are planning to do, somewhere along the lines of "I'm going to..." in English.

    저는 편의점에 갈 예정입니다=I'm going to go to the convenience store.

  • 160023677116.09.2020
    6.186Calendar25 @ 75%25118/18 ••• Practice
    금요일 · 내기 · 달력 · · 동갑 · 마다 · · 목요일 · 백일 · 수요일 · 요일 · · 월요일 · 일요일 · 잔치 · 주말 · 토요일 · 평일 · 화요일 · 환갑
    20 words

    Calendar

    년 and 년도

    Both 년 and 년도 refer to a year but they are used in different contexts. 년 is rather a year number counter whereas 년도 refers to a year as a period. If someone asks you in what year you were born, the answer is, for example, 1993년. On the other hand, 1993년 refers to the whole period such as a budget year, fiscal year, school year etc. and as far as we know no one was born over the course of one year from Jan 1 to Dec 31. Further, 년 can also be used for simply counting years e.g. 삼 년 동안 for three years. This distinction may look bizarre to English speakers, but is found in other languages as well, such as French (an vs. année).

    Year, Month, Day

    English Korean (Sino-Korean)
    year 해(년/연)
    month 달(개월/월)
    day 날(일)

    The native Korean words 해, 달, and 날 and Sino-Korean words 년, 월, and 일 are usually paired with other native Korean words and Sino-Korean words, respectively. For example, one year is 한 해 or 일 년, and one month is 한 달 or 일 개월. 년 and 개월 are bound nouns and thus must be preceded by a number whereas 연 and 월 are stand-alone words. 월 is also found as part of the names of the months, which we introduce below. 년도 does not have its native Korean counterpart.

    January, February, …

    We Korean speakers have a hard time remembering the names of the months when we learn English because we have totally different names for them. In other words, you will also need a long time and hard work to get yourself familiar with their Korean names. Here is the list‎:

    English Korean
    January 일월(1월)
    February 이월(2월)
    March 삼월(3월)
    April 사월(4월)
    May 오월(5월)
    June 유월*(6월)
    July 칠월(7월)
    August 팔월(8월)
    September 구월(9월)
    October 시월*(10월)
    November 십일월(11월)
    December 십이월(12월)

    *These are not spelt 육월 and 십월.

    Days in the Lunar Calendar

    We introduced how to count days in native Korean before, and they are also used in the lunar calendar (with the exception of 하루; the first day of the month is called 초하루). For example, 유월 열아흐레 means the 19th of the sixth month in the lunar calendar, though this usage sounds very old-fashioned. The fifteenth day and the last day of the month, of course in the lunar calendar, are called 보름 and 그믐, respectively. It is not surprising that 보름달 and 그믐달 mean the full moon and the old moon, respectively.

    Day Name
    1 하루
    2 이틀
    3 사흘
    4 나흘
    5 닷새
    6 엿새
    7 이레
    8 여드레
    9 아흐레
    10 열흘
    11 열하루
    15 열닷새/보름
    20 스무날
    21 스무하루
  • 160103014125.09.2020
    6.306Medicine0 @ 100%25230/30 ••• Practice
    간호사 · 감기 · 건강 · 고통 · 내과 · · 마비 · 메스 · 바이러스 · 복용 · 사망 · 소아과 · 수술 · 수술대 · 심장 · 아픈 · 아픔 · · 약국 · 약사 · 외과 · 죽음 · 진단 · 치과 · 치료 · · · 환자
    28 words

    Medicine

    The doctor is in!

    This lesson teaches some vocab related to getting sick and getting treated.

    Pain

    In this lessons we have two words for pain, 아픔 and 고통.

    • 아픔 is a general native Korean word for "pain" or "soreness" or even "sickness"

    • 고통 is a more specific Sino-Korean word, that means "pain" or "agony." It may be more formal or place more emphasis.

    ~음

    아픔 might look familiar. That's because it's related to the adjective 아프다 (to be sick/to be in pain). Many nouns may be formed from adding ~음 or ~ㅁ to the end of a verb or verbal adjective.

    Another example is 죽음 "death", from the verb 죽다 "to die".

    A lot of times, these form nouns that may be used independently. However, sometimes this forms part of a grammar pattern without an easy to translate noun. We won't see any of that here though now.

    ~과

    The ending ~과 serves a dual purpose when talking about medicine. Usually formed from Sino-Korean roots, much like Latin roots in English medical terms, much medical terminology ends with ~과.

    This may be translated as a field of medicine, such as 치과 "dentistry". However, this may also be translated as "department of dentistry." All medical terms ending with ~과 function the same way.

    We can also add ~학 at the end of one of these words. Usually adding ~학 doesn't change the English meaning, but it can be understood as "the study of X"

    So a 내과의사 (doctor of internal medicine) works in the 내과 (department of internal medicine) and studied 내과학 (internal medicine).

    Roots

    Korean English Character
    심장 heart 心臟
    마비 paralysis 痲痺
    medicine
    inside
    outside
    department
    teeth
    table
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    34 words

    마루

    We will translate 마루 as floor in the course, but it refers to a specific kind of wooden floor usually found in traditional Korean houses.

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    18 words

    Qualifiers

    Here we introduce two ways of making adjectives/adverbs out of nouns.

    -적

    -적 is a suffix that is added after a noun, meaning "related to". It is usually used in the form of "-적인" (-related), "-적이다" (is …-related), or "-적으로" (in a …-related way).

    Korean Phrases English Translations
    과학 science
    과학적(인) 방법 a science-related method, a scientific method
    방법이 과학적이다. The method is scientific.
    과학적으로 scientifically

    대하다 vs 관하다

    대하다 means to set as a target or an object and 관하다 means to set as an object of one's speech or idea. 대하다 is broader, but in practice there is little difference. These verbs usually function as adjectives (대한, 관한) or adverbs (대하여, 관하여). Note that 에 comes before them.

    Korean Phrases English Translations
    경제 economy
    경제에 대한/관한 an economy-related book, a book about economy
    경제에 대하여/관하여 쓴 책 a book that (one) wrote about economy, a book about economy
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    가게 · 가격 · 가치 · 계산대 · 계산서 · 교환 · 비밀 · 사이즈 · 상표 · · 서점 · 쇼핑 · 슈퍼마켓 · 시장 · 식료 · 신용 · · 영수증 · 유로 · 장바구니 · · · 지불 · 카드 · 카트 · 탈의 · 판매 · 품 · 할인 · 현금
    30 words
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    간장 · 갈비 · 고구마 · · 국자 · 도마 · 따르다 · · 뚜껑 · · · 무침 · 배추 · 복숭아 · 소스 · 식용 · · 양 · 양념 · 오븐 · 오이 · 요리법 · 요리책 · 유 · 재료 · 전자 · 정육 · 조리대 · · 찌개 · · 파 · 필요 · 휴지통
    34 words
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    가뭄 · 강하다 · 구름 · 그림자 · 기후 · 눈보라 · · 무지개 · 번개 · 불다 · 비 · 빛 · 서리 · 안개 · 열기 · 예보 · 예보관 · 온도 · 온도계 · 우박 · 일기 · 주의 · 천둥 · 추천 · 태풍 · 폭풍 · 한파 · 홍수
    28 words
  • 160377750827.10.2020
    6.246Indirect Quotation0 @ 100%28124/24 ••• Practice
    거짓말 · 검사 · · 교수 · 기자 · 냐고 · 다고 · 동급생 · 동료 · 동반자 · 동업자 · 라고 · 면접 · 믿다 · 방송 · · 소개 · 연구 · 우체부 · 원 · · 자고 · 조련 · 조사 · 주인 · 추측 · 형사 · 회사
    28 words

    Indirect Quotation

    In English indirect quotations are usually done with to-infinitives or that-clauses. When what you want to quote is a question, question words or whether(if)-clauses are also used. In Korean there are four way to quote indirectly.

    Quotation Endings Usage Examples
    -다고 After a declarative sentence except 이다 철수가 선생님이 미국에 있다고 해요. *Cheolsu says the teacher is in the US.
    -냐고 After an interrogative sentence 철수가 영희가 어디에 있냐고 해요. Cheolsu asks where Yeonghui is.
    -자고 After a propositive sentence 철수가 미국에 가자고 해요. Cheolsu suggests that we go to the US.
    -라고 After 이다 in the declarative form 저는 철수라고 해요. (They) say I am Cheolsu./My name is Cheolsu.
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    감독 · 경기 · 경주 · 골 · 공격수 · 궁수 · 권투 · 네트 · 농구 · · · 득점 · 마라톤 · 바둑 · 배구 · 선수 · 수비수 · 수영 · 스포츠 · 승마 · 양궁 · 용품 · 응원 · · · 축구 · 코치 · 코트 · 탁구 · 태권도 · 테니스 · · 하키 · 화살 · · 훈련
    36 words

    Sports

    Sports! From the beautiful game of football/soccer to the European sport of tennis, this skill will cover many of the sports enjoyed by people around the world.

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    감정 · 고집 · 기쁨 · 긴장 · 내다 · 놀라다 · 눈치 · 느끼다 · · 신물 · 실수 · 안전 · 자랑 · · 졸리다 · 질투 · 짜증 · 참다 · 화 · 확실
    20 words

    부끄럽다

    부끄럽다 means to be shameful, but it comes with a topic. In short, what one feels ashamed of is the subject, and the person feeling ashamed is the topic.

    Korean English
    나는 네가 부끄럽다. To me, you are shameful. / I feel ashamed of you.
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    교통 · 기사 · 기차 · 놓치다 · 대중 · 도로 · · 막차 · 면허 · · 버스 · 보행자 · 사거리 · · 선장 · 순항 · 시외 · 신호 · 양보 · · 오토바이 · 우대석 · 우회전 · 운전자 · 인도 · 정류장 · 조종 · 좌회전 · · 지하철 · 직진 · 터미널 · 항구 · 항해 · ·
    36 words
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    강 · 계곡 · 고원 · 골짜기 · 깊다 · 나라 · 동굴 · 들판 · · 모래 · 빙하 · 사막 · 얕다 · 언덕 · 연못 · 지역 · 초원 · 풍경 · 해변 · 해안 · 협곡 · 호수
    22 words
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    19 words
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    기억 · 끝 · 냄새 · 닫혔다 · 대답 · 땀 · 먹이지 · 안겼다 · 안아요 · 알려 · 열 · 열려 · 이해 · 잘려요 · 잠겼다 · 잡혔습니다 · 제공 · 준비 · 포함
    19 words

    Passive

    Here we introduce verbs that have passive meanings as well as passive suffixes.

    나다

    나다 in the literal sense means to grow or to happen. This is often attached to nouns and turn them into verbs. You say it when the event happens on its own and it is not under your control. When it is under your control and you are making it happen, you say 내다.

    Examples Translations
    end
    끝나다 to end, to be over
    끝내다 to end (it)
    기억 memory
    기억나다 to remember

    되다

    되다 literally means to be done. You can make the passive voice by replacing 하다 with 되다.

    Examples Translations
    준비하다 to prepare
    준비되다 to be ready
    포함하다 to include
    포함되다 to be included

    Passive Suffixes

    There are four passive suffixes in Korean. They are attached to stems of original verbs. These suffixes often have emphasis on the agent i.e. what caused it to happen.

    Suffixes Notes Examples
    -이 Usually comes after vowels, ㅍ, ㅌ, ㅎ 보이다 to come in sight
    -히 Usually comes after ㄱ, regular ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ 닫히다 to close
    -리 Usually comes after irregular ㄷ, ㄹ 열리다 to open
    -기 Usually comes after ㄴ, ㅁ, ㅅ, ㅊ 안기다 to be hugged

    For reference, there are no verbs or adjectives (descriptive verbs) whose stems end in ㅇ or ㅋ. In this skill, you will be given active voice sentences as well as passive voice sentences so that you can naturally compare them.

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    공항 · 권 · 기록 · 도착 · 면세 · 모험 · 방문 · 비자 · 비행 · 비행기 · 세관 · 수속 · 수하물 · 신청 · 안내 · 안내서 · 여권 · 연장 · 예매 · 입국 · 짐 · 출국 · 출발 · 탑승 · · 항공사
    26 words
  • 161133400722.01.2021
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    23 words
0.033

Alphabet updated 2018-10-25

Welcome to the Korean for English speakers course!

Hangeul

The Korean script, Hangeul, may seem intimidating, but don't worry; it's actually a lot like the alphabet we use in English, a small set of characters representing the sounds of the language. Of course, it's not perfect, but in general it matches spoken Korean better than English does.

Syllable Blocks

Unlike English, written Korean is organized into syllable blocks. Each block represents a single syllable and consists of two to four letters. The Korean word for ‘hello,’ 안녕하세요, is composed of 12 letters organized into five syllable blocks. Annyeonghaseyo!

Both letters and syllable blocks are written from left to right and from top to bottom.

Basic Vowels

We begin with the six basic vowels of Korean: ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, and ㅣ. Their names are 아, 어, 오, 우, 으, and 이, respectively, where the letter ㅇ, or ieung, remains silent, acting as a place holder. In the same way, you may just add an ㅇ to get the name of any other vowel. Note that ‘ㅏ,’ ‘ㅓ,’ and ‘ㅣ’ are written to the side of the initial consonant while ‘ㅗ,’ ‘ㅜ,’ and ‘ㅡ’ are written beneath the initial consonant.

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
a /a/ Bach
eo /ʌ/ gut
i /i/ bee
u /u/ boo
o /o/ go
eu /ɯ/ ugh

‘어’ is a short ‘o’ sound, difficult for many American English speakers, similar to the ‘u’ ‘cup’ or to the o in yogurt for British speakers.

‘으’ is also difficult, being rare in English, although it is a short ‘u’ something close to the uh in uh-oh.

Iotized Vowels

By adding an additional dash we get a y-sound.

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
ya /ja/
yeo /jʌ/
yu /ju/
yo /jo/

Diphthongs

Korean has two way of forming diphthongs. The first is to add an ㅣ to the base vowel.

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
ae /ɛ/ bed
e /e/ bed
ui /ɰi/ we
yae /jɛ/
ye /je/

Due to recent sound changes, 애(얘) and 에(예) are pronounced the same in most Korean dialects.

의 is usually pronounced something like "we" on its own.

The second set of diphthongs is formed by adding an ㅗ or an ㅜ.

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
wa /wa/
wae /wɛ/
oe /ø/ or /we/
wo /wʌ/
we /we/
wi /wi/

Due to sound changes, 왜, 외, and 웨 sound the same in most modern Korean dialects.

NOTE: You will sometimes be asked to translate a word or two here. Hover over the words and you will see their translations.

Alphabet 2 updated 2018-10-25

Basic Consonants

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
m /m/
n /n/
ng /ŋ/ (no sound at start of syllable)
g /g/ or /k/
b /b/ or /p/
d /d/ or /t/
l/r /ɾ/or /l/
j /ʨ/ jam
s /s/ or /ɕ/

ㄱ, ㅂ, and ㄷ represent both voiced and unvoiced sounds (g/k, b/p, and d/t), depending on the surrounding sounds. With these sounds, there should be no air coming from your mouth.

ㄹ is like Spanish r, where the tip of the tongue strikes the palate very briefly. When it is a final consonant introduced below, it is pronounced like an l.

ㅅ in most situations sounds like an s, but before ㅣ or "iotized" vowels it sounds more like "sh".

Aspirants

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
k /kʰ/
p /pʰ/
t /tʰ/
ch /tɕʰ/
h /h/

Aspirants are consonants followed by a puff of air. Hold a small sheet of paper in front of your mouth. Notice that the paper moves when you pronounce the English words ‘pen’ and touch’ due to the aspiration.

Tense Consonants

한글 Romanization Pronunciation
kk /k͈/
pp /p͈/
tt /t͈/
jj /t͈ɕ/
ss /s͈/

Tense consonants are pronounced with extra emphasis. Sometimes regular ㄱ, ㅂ, ㅈ, ㅅ, and ㄷ sound become tense in the middle of words, especially for younger speakers.

Final Consonants

Korean only have a few possible sounds at the end of a syllable, so many consonants' pronunciations change.

Final Sound Letters
ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ
ㄷ ㅌ ㅅ ㅆ ㅈ ㅊ ㅎ
ㅂ ㅍ

When two consonants appear in the final position, only one of them is pronounced:

Final Sound Letter Pairs
ㄳ ㄺ
ㄵ ㄶ
ㄼ ㄽ ㄾ ㅀ
ㄿ ㅄ

When followed by a vowel, final consonants (except ㅇ and ㅎ) move to the start of the next syllable. Consonants revert back to their original pronunciations and pairs are split, allowing both to be pronounced. ㅇ does not move, and ㅎ disappears before a vowel. Tense consonants (ㄲ, ㅆ) are not pairs.

Written Pronunciation
독일 도길
웃음 우슴
영어 영어
관용어 과뇽어
놓이다 노이다
닭이 달기
많이 마니
엮음 여끔

Assimilation

Many consonants change their pronunciations when a consonant at the end of one syllable influences or is influenced by the consonant at the start of the next.

Situation Pronunciation Example
ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ+nasal ㅇ+nasal 국물 [궁물]
ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ+ㄹ ㅇ+ㄴ 낙뢰 [낭뇌]
ㄷ ㅌ ㅅ ㅆ ㅈ ㅊ ㅎ+nasal ㄴ+nasal 꽃말 [꼰말]
ㅂ ㅍ+nasal ㅁ+nasal 입니다 [임니다], 없는 [엄는]
ㅂ+ㄹ ㅁ+ㄴ 법률 [범뉼]
ㄹ+ㄴ ㄹ+ㄹ 실내 [실래]
ㄴ+ㄹ ㄹ+ㄹ 신라 [실라], 물난리[물랄리]
nasal (except ㄴ)+ㄹ nasal+ㄴ 성립 [성닙]

Nasal sounds: ㄴ, ㅁ, final

Alphabet 3: Loan Words updated 2018-10-25

Loan Words

Before we wade into Korean grammar and vocabulary, let's get some more alphabet practice with some words you should already know.

Anglicization vs Korean

We introduce two of the most famous Korean companies, Samsung and Hyundai. Don't be surprised that some companies and given names don't fit the romanization we're using.

Korean has had several standard systems of romanization over the years, with Revised Romanization currently the official system in use by South Korea and in this course. It came about in the 90s, so proper nouns and words that had previously entered English often make use of one of the older systems.

This gives us Samsung and Hyundai rather than "samseong" and "hyeondae".

Transliteration

Transliteration into Korean is based on Korean approximation of English pronunciation.

Sometimes sentence final 'r' is dropped, subsumed into the vowel, like in British pronunciation.

Sometimes single syllables become split since Korean doesn't really do consonant clusters, so 3 syllable United becomes 5 syllable 유나이티드.

Of course, non-English words may be transliterated based on native language pronunciation, as in 파리 for Paris.

Basics 1 updated 2021-04-04

To Be

In this lesson we're going to learn how to make some sentences using the verb ~이다, corresponding to the English verb to be. Let's get started!

Nouns

Korean nouns do not decline for number, case, or gender. The noun is the noun. Period. Simpler than English.

However, Korean is an agglutinating or agglutinative language. Rather than changing the base noun depending on its use in a sentence, extra pieces called particles are added to introduce more meaning. In general these pieces are added to the end of the word.

While that may seem scary, agglutinating languages usually have very clear rules so that people don't get confused when a basic word becomes buried inside a larger piece. The same is true for Korean. This means that you don't have to worry about memorizing exceptions to the rules, like we do in English!

The and A(n)

Korean does not have articles, and only context tells you whether you would need a "the" if said in English. The article "a(n)" is not used.

And

One common piece is and. Unlike in English where there is one word for "and" that can function in all situations, Korean has several. We introduce three here; all of which are used with nouns.

Korean Example Usage
~하고 남자하고 Common in speaking
~와 남자와 Common in writing, after a vowel
~과 소년과 Common in writing, after a consonant
Topic and Subject

The most common, and trickiest, particles represent the topic and the subject of a sentences. These two particles represent two different, but overlapping, ideas.

  • The subject marker shows who is doing the action.
Korean Example Usage
~이 소년이 After a consonant
~가 남자가 After a vowel
  • The topic marker shows what the speaker is talking about.
Korean Example Usage
~은 소년은 After a consonant
~는 남자는 After a vowel

Note: 는 is often contracted to -ㄴ in spoken language. (남자는 → 남잔)

The topic marker adds emphasis, contrast, or limits what is being talked about. 저 (meaning "I") becomes 제 before the subject particle 가.

Usage Example Explanation
Limited topic 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) Irrelevant of anyone else, I am a woman. (May imply that someone else might be as well.)
Contrasting topic 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) Unlike the others, I am a woman.
Subject 여자입니다. (I am a woman.) I am a woman. (May imply that out of the given options, I am the one who is a woman.)

은/는 can be used with general statements as well because you only want to talk about the notion as a group, and nothing else.

Usage Example Explanation
General topic 음식입니다. (Bread is food.) Bread, for one, is food.
General subject 음식입니다. (Bread is food.) Out of the given choices, it is bread that is food.

A sentence may have several topics. Why a topic is not considered as a special case of a subject will be explained later.

Copula

The verb ~이다 is the only verb that is agglutinative.

English Korean
(It) is X. X입니다.*
Y is X. Y가/는 X입니다.

In the speech level (more about that later) we're using at this point in the course, this verb will always be realized as ~입니다 for a statement.

To Not Be

Korean has a separate verb, 아니다, which means "not to be." This verb is not agglutinative, and it comes after the thing that the subject is not, or a complement. The complement particle is also 이/가. At this point, this will always be realized as 아닙니다.

English Korean
(It) is not X. X가 아닙니다.*
Y is not X. Y가/는 X가 아닙니다.

PLURAL MARKER 들

There is a plural suffix, , but using is often optional. It can be omitted if plurality is implied within the sentence, and is otherwise necessary for animate nouns/people but uncommon with inanimate nouns.

들 is not used when making a general statement.

Korean English Usage
남자는 사람입니다. Men are people. General statement
남자들은 사람입니다. The men are people. Referring to actual, specific men

As an exception, 의 as a particle (meaning of) can also be pronounced 에.

Where is the subject?

When the subject (or any other sentence component) is well implied in the context, you may freely drop it in Korean, though you will mostly see and be asked to submit full sentences here since translation exercises do not come with any context. If you come across an incomplete sentence in this course, then the dropped component is probably people in general (often translated to one or you) or something very obvious even without context. Otherwise we accept every possible pronoun for the omitted components.

Basics 2 updated 2018-10-25

Existence

Korean has a set of basic verbs that indicate existence. Two of the most common verbs, they form a class of their own and are used in many compound verbs and phrases.

있다 and 없다

The two verbs are 있다 and 없다.

Korean English
있다 there is/to exist/to be located
없다 there is not/to not exist/to not be located

In our current speech level, these verbs become 있습니다 and 없습니다.

Korean English
빵이 있습니다. There is bread.
빵이 없습니다. There is no bread.
제가 공원에 있습니다 I am in the park
제가 공원에 없습니다 I am not in the park

When used with place, the place is always marked with .

To Have

있다 and 없다 are the most common verbs used to translate "to have" and "not to have" into Korean, respectively. There are other verbs that mean "to possess," "to own," or "to hold," but those are usually more formal and less frequently used. Instead, most Koreans use 있다 and 없다.

The basic sentence is similar to the ones above, with the item marked with 이/가, the owner marked with 은/는, and the location marked with 에.

Korean English
저는 차가 있습니다. I have a car.
저는 차가 없습니다. I do not have a car.
저는 집에 신문이 있습니다. I have a newspaper at home.
저는 집에 신문이 없습니다. I do not have a newspaper at home.

Grammatically the word order does not matter as long as proper markers are used and the verb is at the end. However, the order shown in the examples above is the most common, and what is emphasized tends to come later in the sentence when you change the order.

있다 Adjectives

있다 and 없다 can be used to create a wide range of compound adjectives in Korean. This is similar to adjectives ending in -ful or -less in English.

These compound adjectives can be broken down into their respective parts and still function the same way.

Korean English Split
맛있다 delicious, tasty (flavorful) 맛이 있다
맛없다 not delicious, disgusting (flavorless) 맛이 없다

Common Phrases updated 2018-10-25

Phrases

Here we will introduce some of the most basic pleasantries you will use while speaking the Korean language. We'll introduce more later in the course as we delve further into Korean grammar.

Speech Level

Korean has 7 speech levels.

Don't let it scare you away!

Now that that fact has sunk in a little, let me alleviate your fears. Only 4 of the levels are common in daily speech today. You only hear some of the others among the older generation or in historical movies/dramas.

Unlike in some languages where different speech levels use different words, Korean speech levels mainly just affect the endings of the verbs and the pronouns that go along with them.

We'll introduce each level in due time. For now we're using 합쇼체, one of the most common levels. This is what you'd use talking to a stranger, when doing public speaking, among coworkers, to a teacher, and to customers/clients. In some dialects, including some popular in North Korea, this form is even common in more casual conversation, especially among men.

Throughout these Tips&Notes, we usually talk about verbs in the infinitive, which always ends with ~다. Everything that comes before ~다 is the verb stem.

More on this form in Verbs 1.

Chinese Loanwords

Korean, like most languages in East Asia, has a lot of loanwords from Chinese.

Chinese loanwords, Sino-Korean, are very pervasive. They make up about half of the Korean vocabulary. However, similar to the overwhelming amount of Latin/French based vocabulary in English, many of these words are uniquely Korean, either because of a change in meaning or because two Chinese roots were put together to make a new Korean word.

Unlike in Japanese, where one Chinese character (한자) may have multiple pronunciations, in Korean it is more standardized. Each 한자 usually has one pronunciation and the conversions between Chinese and Korean follow a logical system. If you speak some Chinese, you may soon be able to guess the meanings of some Korean words.

안녕 for example, comes from ānníng, with 안녕하세요 meaning "be safe!" 안 has kept the Chinese pronunciation while 녕 has slightly changed. Most borrowings that include pinyin -ing have become .

It should be noted that most of these words were initially borrowed hundreds of years ago, so they don't match Mandarin pronunciation 100%. Sometimes the Korean is closer to Cantonese or Shanghainese.

Phrases

Most pleasantries (hello, thank you, excuse me, etc) in Korean are a single word. You don't need to form a whole sentence when the listener knows what you mean, and so often just the verb is used

Thank You

A few words on thank you. We have two versions here in Phrases 1, 고맙다 and 감사하다.

In most cases, the two are interchangeable. When there is a difference, 감사하다, a Sino-Korean word, has a more formal connotation and is used more in public speaking (with notable exceptions including the news) while 고맙다, a native Korean word, is less formal. In the speech level we're using now that's not an issue, but when you drop to a lower level 고맙다 often takes precedence.

Also 감사하다 literally means "to thank," while 고맙다 is "to be thankful," so that can also lead to some differences in usage.

Sorry and Excuse Me

죄송하다 is a more formal form of apology. We'll introduce the other form later on in the course when we get to the next speech level.

실례하다 is the word you'd use if you're trying to get past someone on a crowded subway or if you bump into someone. 실례합니다 literally means "I am being rude," so in other situations there are other alternatives that we will be teaching later on.

Nice to Meet You

Nice to meet you, 만나서 반갑습니다, is a set phrase that literally means "Glad to have met."

Regular Verbs updated 2018-10-25

Verbs

It's time to learn how to make sentences using more than just "to be." We'll start off in Lesson 1 with simpler sentences and then build up to more complicated sentences.

Declarative

In 합쇼체, all verbs end with -ㅂ니다/-습니다 in the declarative mood. (As you might have already noticed, you can get the stem by dropping -다, or -다 is the ending for the base form of any verb.)

Infinitive Verb 합쇼체 Explanation
가다 갑니다 Verb stem ending in a vowel + -ㅂ니다
웃다 웃습니다 Verb stem ending in a consonant + -습니다

Word Order

English word order is Subject-Verb-Object (SVO), while Korean is Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). SOV word order can be difficult for an English speaker at first, but eventually you get used to it.

Because of the particles that are added onto the nouns, it is sometimes possible to rearrange those parts of a sentence and still be grammatically correct, although the emphasis of the meaning may be slightly changed. The verb, however, is always at the end.

Topic

If the subject is the topic (like in Basic 1), the subject disappears. Otherwise, 이/가 may still be present along with 은/는 in the same sentence. 은/는 is translated to "regarding."

Sentence Translation
(topic and subject) 여자입니다. Regarding me, I am a woman. The subject and topic coincide. See Basic 1.
(topic) 차 (subject) 있습니다. Regarding me/To me, a car exists. (I have a car.) See Basic 2.
여자 좋습니다. To me, women are likeable. (I like women.)
사과 많습니다. To me, there are many apples. (I have many apples.)
남자 큽니다. To the man, the height is big. (The man is tall)

And vs With

In Basic 1, we learned that 와/과 and 하고 mean "and," but they have another usage, "with."

소년하고 소녀가 같이 갑니다.

The boy and the girl go together.

소년이 소녀하고 (같이) 갑니다.

The boy goes with the girl.

While 같이 means "together," it often comes after 와/과 or 하고 when it is used as "with."

Korean Usage
같이 Slightly more colloquial
함께 Slightly more written

To and From

In Lesson 2 we introduce some verbs of motion along with the particles that go with them.

Korean English
~에 to (implies destination)
~에서 from
~으로 (after a consonant except ㄹ) to/toward (implies direction)
~로 (after a vowel or ㄹ)
~까지 up to (implies some sort of boundary/limit)

In general the word order with these sentences is Subject-From-To-Verb.

Direct Objects

The object of the verb is marked with ~을/를.

Korean Example Usage
~을 소년을 After a consonant
~를 남자를 After a vowel

Note: 를 is often contracted to ㄹ in spoken language. (남자를 → 남잘)

Instrumental

In addition to toward, ~으로/로 can also mark instrumental. When used after a place and with a verb of motion, it is "toward," but in other cases it is often translated as "with."

Korean Example Usage
~으로 손으로 (by hand) After a consonant except ㄹ
~로 영어로 (in English) After a vowel or ㄹ

At

Similar to ~으로, ~에/에서 can have another meaning when not used with a verb of motion.

Both ~에/에서 in this case mean in or at.

Particle Usage
~에서 where an action takes place
~에 where something static is happening

If you are interested, you can read Ash-Fred's comment here for further explanation:

Link

Speaking a Language

When talking about speaking a language, there are two options, ~를 하다 and ~로 말하다.

Korean English
한국어를 하다 To speak Korean
한국어로 말하다 To speak in Korean

Compound Verbs

A lot of verbs can be broken up into two pieces. For example, 노래 means a song, and 하다 means to do, and they form a new word "노래하다", "to sing." You can, of course, say 노래를 하다 (lit. to do a song). There are some special verbs that repeat the same things.

Verb (broken into) English
잠자다 잠을 자다 to sleep (a sleep)
춤추다 춤을 추다 to dance (a dance)
꿈꾸다 꿈을 꾸다 to dream (a dream)

자다 can stand alone without 잠, but 추다 or 꾸다 always needs an object.

Negative

Korean has two ways to negate a verb.

Korean Explanation
An adverb that comes before the verb; compound verbs are usually broken, like 잠을 안 자다
-지 않다 Another verb that comes after the main verb with -지 attached to it

They are almost the same, but do not use 안 before 있다 or 없다. In other cases, you can safely ignore the differences at this level and use either at any time.

Indirect Object

These particles are used as to/from in the sense of giving things to or getting things from someone.

Korean English
~에게 to
~에게서 from

Descriptive Verbs updated 2020-06-24

Adjectives

Verbs are more dominant in Korean than they are in English. In fact, for the most part adjectives don't really exist in the language. Instead, there are descriptive verbs. In most speech levels, including the one that we're using now, these verbs act exactly the same as all other verbs.

Korean English
갑니다 goes
나쁩니다 is bad
먹습니다 eats
좋습니다 is good

As you can see, unlike in English, where we have to add other words in order to form a full thought using an adjective, Korean descriptive verbs are already fully loaded with "is."

Adjectives

But what about using adjectives without "to be?" Using the verbal roots, there is a way to transform all Korean verbs into modifiers, which we'll introduce in the Modifiers unit. Action verbs and descriptive verbs can all undergo this process, but they do so in slightly different ways.

Height

There is not really a direct translation of "tall" or "short" into Korean. However, there is an easy work around.

높다 means high and 낮다 means low. When talking about buildings, trees, mountains, and so on, it is possible to say that something is high/low rather than tall/short.

When talking about people, you reference their height directly along with big/small. This is usually done by marking the person in question as the topic, following by as the subject and then the descriptive verb, for something like this:

저는 작습니다.- I am short. (Literally something like: "As for me, height is small.")

When the meaning is understood, it is sometimes possible to drop the and just say 저는 작습니다.

Not

In a previous skill we met the negative verb 않다. Here we meet it's adverbial sibling .

The usage of 안 is much simpler than 않다. Put it right in front of the verb, and you're done!

Meaning-wise, the two are virtually indistinguishable, but 안 is used more often in speech, especially when speaking casually.

않다 English
저는 안 갑니다. 저난 가지 않습니다. I do not go.
저는 안 아릅답습니다. 저는 아름답지 않습니다. I am not beautiful.

Demonstratives updated 2020-06-25

Demonstratives

In this lesson we're going to focus on Korean demonstratives, those words we use to specify whether we're talking about this one or that one.

Three Way Split

Korean has a three way split in demonstratives while English only have two, which can be confusing at first, but is easy once you get the hang of it.

Korean English
this, close to the speaker
that, close to the listener
that (over there), far from both speaker and listener

저 roughly corresponds to yonder.

This and That

이, 그, and 저 are the basic demonstratives, used just like this and that in English.

Korean English
이 개 this dog
그 개 that dog (close to the listener)
저 개 that dog (over there)

Note

Since Korean has no corresponding word for the, it is sometimes (actually very often) impossible to tell whether it is an apple or the apple that they are talking about, from the context. Then chances are it is "an" apple, as it is normal to use in lieu of "the" in such cases.

Korean English
bread/the bread
그 빵 that bread (close to the listener)/the bread
저 빵 that bread (over there)

이, 그, and 저 are used in compound words to express other ideas. When combined with 것, this compound is a noun that corresponds to "this/that one" in English. It combines with particles just like any other noun.

Korean English
이것 this one
그것 that one
저것 that one (over there)

Here and There

For here/there, there is a slight change in the stems, but the basic meaning stays the same.

Korean English
여기 here
거기 there (somewhere close to the listener)
저기 over there

Note 여기, 거기, and 저기 are nouns. Most of the time, you need an adverbial particle 에 after them, but it is usually omitted. When they are used as nouns, they can be translated to this place, that place, and that place (over there), respectively.

Hot and Cold

Hot

Korean Explanation
뜨겁다 a hot thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything hot to the touch
덥다 something that makes you feel hot, like a summer day, a sauna, or a fever

Cold

Korean Explanation
차갑다 a cold thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything cold to the touch
춥다 something that makes you feel cold, like a winter day or a freezer

Roots

Korean English Character
building
thing/object
thing/item

Formal Moods updated 2018-10-25

Formal Moods

Moods in Korean include declarative, which we have already been using, imperative, propositive, and interrogative. While English often forms these using extra words, Korean packs this information into the endings of the verbs.

Imperative

The imperative mood is used to give orders. In 합쇼체, this is formed by taking the verb stem and adding -(으)십시오. There is no word corresponding to please in Korean. Both answers with or without please will be accepted, and you may ignore please in reverse translations.

Stem Ending Example
Ending in a vowel -십시오 가다 → 가십시오
Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -십시오 만들다 → 만드십시오
Ending in a consonant bar ㄹ -으십시오 앉다 → 앉으십시오
(negative) -지 마십시오 가다 → 가지 마십시오

The negative imperative mood is formed by adding -지 말다 to the verb stem before conjugation, giving us 가지 마십시오, 만들지 마십시오, and 앉지 마십시오, here in 합쇼체.

Propositive

The propositive mood is used to make suggestions, similar to "Let's…" in English. In 하오체, this mood is formed by adding -(으)ㅂ시다 to the verb stem.

Stem Ending Example
Ending in a vowel -ㅂ시다 가다 → 갑시다
Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -ㅂ시다 만들다 → 만듭시다
Ending in a consonant bar ㄹ -읍시다 앉다 → 앉읍시다
(negative) -지 맙시다 가다 → 가지 맙시다

The negative propositive mood is similar to the negative imperative.

Interrogative

The Interrogative mood is used to ask questions. In 합쇼체, this mood is formed by adding -(스)ㅂ니까 to the verb stem.

Stem Ending Example
Ending in a vowel -ㅂ니까 가다 → 갑니까
Ending in ㄹ, with ㄹ deleted -ㅂ니까 만들다 → 만듭니까
Ending in a consonant -습니까 앉다 → 앉습니까
(negative) -지 않습니까 가다 → 가지 않습니까

The negative interrogative mood is not formed with -지 말다, but with -지 않다 like the negative declarative mood.

Note

While 않다 is simply the negation of a verb, 말다 means the speaker does not allow the listener(s) to do something. You may consider the propositive mood as the first person plural imperative mood here.

Questions Words

Unlike in English, word order does not have to change when asking a question. Question words can simply go into the sentence where the word they replace would have been. Just like declarative (or any other) sentences, it is possible to move the question words for emphasis.

Korean English Note
언제 when
어디 where Unlike English, 어디 is not an adverb itself, but a pronoun. Thus it is often used with 에 or 에서.
누구 who 누구 and 가 (subject particle) are usually contracted to 누가 in spoken language.
무엇 what (pronoun) 무엇 is often contracted to in spoken language. As 를 is also often contracted to ㄹ, you may say 뭘 for 무엇을.
무슨 what (determiner) As in "what animal" or "what country"; 무슨 is sometimes contracted to in spoken language.
어떤 what kind of 어떤 replaces an adjective.
어느 which
어떻게 how Formed from 어떻다 meaning to be how
why

See Ash-Fred's comment here:

Link

Forms of Address

Korean has a complicated system for forms of address. You should not call a stranger, superior, or an elder only by their name. 당신 is commonly used in translations, but is not common in spoken Korean. People will usually use the title or status of the person as a form of address, followed by -님 (without a space). For example, in a store, customers are often referred to as 손님 (customer/guest + -님). When the person is much older than you, you could also say 선생님 (lit. teacher; not just in a store but at any time). When speaking to someone politely in a situation where their name must be used, such as in a store or airport calling someone by name over a loudspeaker, it is common to add 님 after their name (with a space).

In short, you can't really translate you into Korean; you could be mom, teacher, driver, pastor, or anything. Furthermore, some nouns, such as singer (가수), sound weird when followed by -님. As you may or may not imagine, there are really some times when we Koreans avoid talking just because we don't know how to address someone. Anyway, since it is practically impossible for us to add every single title or status as an accepted answer for you, only title-neutral pronouns such as 당신, 선생님, 너 (introduced later), etc. will be accepted in English-to-Korean exercises. (You will eventually have to get used to how to call someone outside Duolingo or any online materials.) In Korean-to-English exercises, if a title is used in lieu of the second person pronoun, translate it as you.

Roots

Korean English Character
-히 -ly
drama
space/place
ample/plentiful
요리 food/dish/cuisine 料理
writing
every
day
heart

Polite Speech updated 2018-12-26

Polite Speech

In this lesson we will introduce another speech level in Korean, 해요체.

해요체

해요체, which we'll translate as polite speech, is our second speech level. It's potentially the easiest. Many Korean textbooks focus on 해요체 for good reason. You can use this form in a wide variety of situations. It is less formal than 합쇼체, but still polite, so you can use it with strangers, especially those your age or younger. It is also used in conversations between classmates and coworkers, and sometimes between friends. Many travel phrasebooks use 해요체, so feel no fear using this level with taxi drivers, waiters, and tour guides.

Regular Verbs

With regular verbs, start with the stem and add -아요 or -어요, and that's it!

Ending Final Vowels
-아요 ㅏ ㅑ ㅗ ㅘ ㅛ
-어요 (the rest)

Simply add the ending that matches the final vowel in the stem. Note that ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅗ, ㅘ, and ㅛ end in ㅏ or ㅗ pronunciation-wise. The other vowels (vowels that do not end in ㅏ or ㅗ) match with -어요. (No verb stem has ㅛ as its final vowel in contemporary Korean.) When the verb stem ends in a vowel, a further contraction may be needed. Final ㅏ or ㅓ does not repeat itself, and final ㅡ is dropped. When ㅡ is dropped, the second vowel from the right becomes the new final vowel and then -ㅏ요 or -ㅓ요 comes accordingly. (If the stem consists of only one syllable, -ㅓ요 is used.) Final ㅣ + -어요, final ㅗ + -아요, and final ㅜ + -어요 can be contracted to ㅕ요, ㅘ요, and ㅝ요, respectively. (오다 is always contracted to 와요.)

Verb Stem 해요체
먹다 to eat 먹- 먹어요
막다 to block 막- 막아요
가다 to go 가- 가요
잠그다 to lock 잠그- 잠가요
크다 to be big 크- 커요
내리다 to get off 내리- 내리어요/내려요
보다 to see 보- 보아요/봐요
오다 to come 오- 와요
주다 to give 주- 주어요/줘요

Irregular Verbs

There are a fair number of irregular verbs in this speech level, but they are each fairly regular.

ㅂ-Irregular Verbs

When a verb stem ends with ㅂ, the ㅂ disappears and is replaced with 우. Apart from regular verbs, there are only two exceptions where ㅂ is replaced with 오, one of which is 돕다 to help. 우-/오- + -어요/-아요 is always contracted here.

Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
어둡다 to be dark 어둡- 어두우- 어두워요
돕다 to help 돕- 도오- 도와요
잡다 to hold 잡- (regular) 잡아요

ㄷ-Irregular Verbs

Only found among action verbs. When a stem ends in ㄷ, the ㄷ is replaced with ㄹ. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions.

Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
듣다 to hear 듣- 들- 들어요
받다 to receive 받- (regular) 받아요

ㅅ-Irregular Verbs

When a stem ends in ㅅ, the ㅅ is replaced with 으. Remember that when ㅡ is dropped, the second vowel from the right becomes the new final vowel. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions. No further contraction can be done.

Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
짓다 to build 짓- 지으- 지어요 (Not 져요)
낫다 to get well 낫- 나으- 나아요 (Not 나요)
웃다 to laugh 웃- (regular) 웃어요

ㅎ-Irregular Verbs

Only found among descriptive verbs. 좋다 is the only regular descriptive verb whose stem ends in ㅎ. The ㅎ disappears, and final ㅏ/ㅓ + -아요/-어요 becomes ㅐ요 for all verbs found in this course. Exceptions are rare.

Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
이렇다 to be like this 이렇- 이러- 이래요
좋다 to be good 좋- (regular) 좋아요

르-Irregular Verbs

When a stem ends with 르, the 르 is replaced with ㄹㄹ and the first ㄹ is attached to the end of the previous syllable. Apart from regular verbs, there are no exceptions.

Verb Stem 1 Stem 2 해요체
다르다 to be different 다르- 달ㄹ- 달라요
따르다 to follow 따르- (regular) 따라요

여-Irregular Verbs

All verbs that end in 하다 are 여-irregular verbs. -아요 becomes -여요 which gives 하여요. 하여요 is usually contracted to 해요.

Verb Stem 해요체
하다 to do 하- 하여요/해요

~이다

~이다 to be is ~이에요 in 해요체. ~이에요 can be contracted further to ~예요 if it comes right after a vowel.

Example Translation
is bread 빵이에요
is an apple 사과예요

You can technically use ~이에요 after a vowel, but no one does.

잠그다

잠그다 means to lock, but in Korean it is only used with an object that is directly locked. You cannot lock a room but a door of the room. The door can be locked, but you cannot be locked.

낫다

In English, you recover from a disease. In Soviet Korea, a disease recovers from you; the disease is the subject, and the patient is usually the topic. You can drop the subject if you don't have to specify what the disease is.

Examples Translation
저는 병이 나아요. I recover from the disease.
저는 나아요. I get well.

Transliteration

Link

Roots

Korean English Character
disease

Food updated 2020-06-22

Food

Time to learn a little bit about the very important topic of Food!

Object Particle

It is time that we learned the next of Korean's all important particles - 을/를.

This particle pair is used to mark the direct object of the verb. What is the direct object? It is the thing that the subject does the verb to. Think about it like this: Who verbs what? The "what" is the object.

As in the case of other particles, whether to use 을 or 를 depends on what sound it is following. 을 always follows a consonant and 를 always follows a vowel.

Sentence Translation
제가 피자를 먹습니다. I eat pizza. vowel + 를
제가 과일을 먹습니다. I eat fruit. consonant + 을

Rice, , is a staple in Korean cuisine. In fact, it isn't uncommon to say 밥을 먹어요 to mean simply "to eat" rather than "to eat rice." Rice has been so important that Korean has multiple words for rice where English has only one. 밥 means specifically cooked rice.

Fish

Fish is very popular in Korea, and Koreans can be very specific about what fish they are eating. In general, 물고기 is used to talk about fish as an animal and 생선 is the fish you'd find in the grocery store.

Eggs

Koreans love eggs. Not just chicken eggs, but also quail eggs and fish eggs are popular in Korean dishes. Here we've taught two words, 달걀 and 계란. Both refer specifically to chicken eggs, being combinations of chicken and egg. 계란 is originally from Chinese, and there has been a push in some circles to prioritize native Korean 달걀.

Korean Foods

We know that Korean food has become more internationally well known in recent years, so you'll want to know all you need to get by at your favorite Korean restaurant. This lesson serves only as the first step, so we have just introduced a few of the most common basics.

  • 라면: ramen. You can easily find instant 라면 in any grocery store, but even better is to go to a restaurant where the chef expertly creates a delicious bowl full of noodles, meats, and vegetables with a savory broth.

  • 불고기: bulgogi, thinly sliced beef, seasoned, and often cooked at the table.

  • 김밥: kimbap/gimbap, white rice and fillings rolled up inside sheets of 김 (seaweed laver). Unlike sushi, 김밥 fillings are usually cooked and rarely include fish, aside from canned tuna. Common ingredients include egg, daikon, carrot, cucumber, crab stick, and ham. Some more inventive 김밥 includes bulgogi, tuna salad, and spicy chicken.

  • Note Since the Korean alphabet does not match one to one with the English alphabet, it is difficult to spell some Korean foods. When multiple spellings exist, we will accept all common spellings.

English Transliteration

As Korean generally does not have consonant clusters, English words with clusters have the vowel 으 added when needed, like in 밀크셰이크. This also happens also when a word ends with a consonant, although ch and j sounds often wind up as 치 or 지 instead, like in 오렌지.

Sometimes the letter R is simply dropped, more British style, as in 햄버거.

Hot and Cold

English has one word for hot and one for cold. Korean, on the other hand, makes a distinction between several different words.

Hot

Korean Explanation
뜨겁다 a hot thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything hot to the touch
덥다 something that makes you feel hot, like a summer day, a sauna, or a fever

Cold

Korean Explanation
차갑다 a cold thing, usually foods and drinks, but might also be anything cold to the touch
춥다 something that makes you feel cold, like a winter day or a freezer

Roots

Korean English Character
alcohol
chicken
noodle

Pronouns updated 2018-10-25

Pronouns

Let's take a closer look at Korean pronouns!

I

"I" in Korean can be translated as either or . 저 is more formal, more humble, and is commonly used with 합쇼체 and with 해요체.

나 is less formal and is sometimes used with 해요체, especially when talking politely to an acquaintance or somebody younger.

You

is the you-form of 나. It would be best to avoid using it except when being informal. In all formal scenarios, simply use somebody's title.

너희 is a plural form of 너. 너네 is also used.

당신 is

  1. you in 하오체 (Quite obsolete; this course does not cover this formality level.)

  2. you to call one's spouse, in a respectful manner

  3. you in written language, in a respectful manner

  4. you while arguing, in a disrespectful manner

  5. he or she in an extremely respectful manner

He and She

Korean does not commonly use he/she in sentences. When necessary, especially in translations, Koreans will use 그는/그가 and 그녀는/그녀가 to mean he and she.

In a normal Korean conversation, once you have established the topic, you no longer need to have a subject, so you can drop the he/she completely.

서로

서로 means "each other" and usually comes right after the noun.

자기 자신

자기 and 자신 both mean "oneself," but have slightly different usages.

  • 자기 is used in general, usually as an object.

  • 자신 is used similar to 자기, but can also be used as after the subject for emphasis, as in 저(의) 자신 "I, myself" and it can means "for oneself"

The two can be used together as 자기 자신, which can be used in all of the above circumstances.

Possessives

For both I and you the pronouns take a special form in two cases: possessive and with the particle 이/가.

Pronoun Possessive Subject
제가
내가
네가

Since 네 and 내 sound very similar thanks thanks to sound changes, some speakers, especially younger people, say 니/니가 instead of 네/네가, though it's not the standard language.

Generally speaking, the possessive form is interchangeable with the un-contracted version. However, in most cases 제 is much more common than 저의. However, 저가 is never acceptable as a subject.

Can you say 나 in 합쇼체 (-ㅂ니다)?

Definitely yes. 저 is for lowering oneself, and -ㅂ니다 is for raising the listener. If you are higher than the listener, you can raise them by using -ㅂ니다, but you don't have to lower yourself. On the other hand, it is weird to lower yourself and at the same time not raise the listener.

Animals updated 2018-10-25

Animals

Time to learn some animal related vocab.

To Ride

타다 in Korean means "to ride." This is the same for an animal as it is for a vehicle. It can also be translated as "to take" as in "I take the bus to school."

To Find

찾다 can be both "to find" and "to search/to look for." Generally, it can be understood from context which of the two is meant. One hint that works some of the time is simple present vs present progressive (찾아요 vs 찾고 있어요) something like "to find" vs "to be finding."

Korean Animals

We introduce two animals here that are not as well known as some of the others:까치 and 너구리.

까치 is a magpie, a type of black and white bird similar to a raven or a crow. They are fairly common throughout Korea, even in urban areas.

너구리 is a tanuki/mangut/raccoon dog, depending on the translation. They are small raccoon-like animal more closely related to the fox that can be found throughout East Asia. Sometimes 너구리 may also be used to mean simply raccoon.

~이

There are many animals in Korean that end with ~이.

This happens in part because of another piece of Korean grammar. Nouns ending with ~이 are similar to nouns ending in -er in English, meaning "the one that does X." For example 개구리 comes from 개굴+이, which would be like if the word for "frog" was "ribbit-er."

An exception is 거북이, which was formed by the 이 as from 이/가 becoming permanently attached to the original form of the noun, possibly. Both 거북 and 거북 are still in common usage.

Rat/Mouse

Languages group things differently. One example in Korean is , which can mean both rat and mouse. If you want to be more specific, 생쥐 means "mouse" only.

is a gender-neutral term for a single animal of the bovine species. Ox, cow, and bull are all accepted as a translation.

부엉이

Just like rat/mouse in English, Korean has two words for owl. 부엉이 is an owl with ear tufts, like Duo. 올빼미 is an owl without tufted ears.

Fish

Unlike in English, where fish can be both the animal and the meat, Korean has two different words. However, it isn't as cut and dry as the difference between "cow" and "beef".

생선, which we've already learned, means "fish" in terms of food. This may be a piece of cooked fish, a whole fish, or even a live fish waiting to be sold from a tank at a fish market.

물고기 (literally "water" + "meat") refers to a fish as a living animal, usually not as something intended to be eaten.

은/는

The topic particle 은/는 can also come after an adverb or an adverbial phrase.

Example Translation
서울에 사람이 많다. There are many people in Seoul.

은/는 still means regarding though it would be ungrammatical in English to say regarding in Seoul. Since regarding Seoul would also work fine, you may just say "서울 사람이 많다."

The word is another way to make a negative sentence, indicating the inability to do something.

운동을 안 하다/운동을 하지 않다= Not to exercise

운동을 못 하다=To be unable to exercise/cannot exercise

못 may imply that the inability is due to the person's own inferiority, that they are simply not up to the task of completing the verb.

Often 못 is used together with 잘, as in 저는 노래를 잘 못해요. "I cannot sing well"

There is another way to say "unable" that we will introduce later.

Roots

Korean English Character
개굴 croak/ribbit
부엉 hoot
nose
dragon
fish
agriculture
tiger
sheep

Verbal Modifier: Present updated 2018-10-25

Verbal Modifiers

Let's learn how to use verbs to create modifiers for nouns.

Modifiers

As we've mentioned before, verbs play a significant role in Korean. So far we've focused on sentences like "The man goes." or "The man is bad." In this skill we'll learn how to say "The man who goes" and "The bad man."

These verbal modifiers are created using the verb stem and usually go in front of the noun, like adjectives do in English.

The process is similar, though slightly different, for descriptive and action verbs. Action verbs have three different forms (past, present, and future) and descriptive verbs have two (future and present). Here we'll focus on the present tense.

Descriptive Verbs

First we'll tackle descriptive verbs. (있다, 없다, and verbs that end with 있다 or 없다 are exceptions. They conjugate like action verbs here; see below.)

  1. For a basic descriptive verb ending in a consonant we take the verb stem and add -은.

작다 → 작은

  1. For a basic descriptive verb ending in a vowel, you simply add -ㄴ at the end of the syllable.

나쁘다 → 나쁜

  1. For a descriptive verb ending in a ㄹ, the ㄹ is simply replaced by the ㄴ.

달다 → 단

  1. For a ㅂ-irregular descriptive verb, the ㅂ changes to 우, just as we introduced in Polite Speech skill. The ㄴ is then added to the end of the new stem.

쉽다 → 쉬운

Verbs

Action verbs as well as 있다 and 없다 are much more straightforward to turn into modifiers than descriptive verbs. Simply take the verb stem and add -는.

  • 가다 → 가는

  • 먹다 → 먹는

  • 있다 → 있는

  • 맛없다 → 맛없는

A verb stem ending in ㄹ will drop the ㄹ.

  • 날다 → 나는

This modifier can be translated in multiple ways in English, often as "doing" or "who/that/which is doing."

  • 먹는 사람: The eating person/The person who is eating

However, it could be literally anything. In English we have which, who, where, when, whose, with which, etc., but they all can be translated to -(으)ㄴ or -는. If a sentence in the present tense modifies a noun, you can use it.

  • 제가 먹는 샌드위치: The sandwich which I am eating

  • 음식이 맛있는 한국: Korea where food is delicious

  • 손이 큰 남자: A man whose hand is big

  • 밥을 먹는 그릇: A bowl with which (one) eats rice (or A bowl that eats rice (?))

가장

n. having a higher or stronger degree than anything/anyone else

가장 is used to make the superlative form of a descriptive verb, and is usually translated to the most. However, there is a slight difference between English and Korean here. By definition, only one of the group can receive the honorable title "가장". If there are two tallest people in the world of the exactly same height, there is no 가장 tall person.

Roots

  • ~ㅇ아지 - diminutive form (mostly for baby animals)

Conjunctions updated 2018-10-25

Conjunctions

Conjunctions are the pieces that link two parts of a sentence together. In Korean, these linking pieces are not stand alone words, but are added to the ends of verbs.

When starting a sentence with a conjunction, the suffix is usually added to a form of 그렇다 to create a stand alone word.

And

We're already learned 와/과 for and, but that pair only works to link nouns. When you want to link verbs, Korean has the suffix ~고.

~고 is attached to the stem of the verb.

저는 먹고 마셔요=> I eat and drink.

Stand alone form: 그리고.

And then

Another suffix that can be translated as "and" is ~서. Unlike ~고, ~서 implies sequence of events. It can also be translated as "and so" or "and then."

To attach ~서, take the 해요 form of the verb, drop the 요 and attach ~서.

저는 먹어서 마셔요.=> I eat and drink/I eat and then I drink.

Note: This form is not attached to a verb conjugated for tense. The tense is indicated by the final verb.

Stand alone form: 그래서

If

"If" in Korean is marked by ~(으)면. This suffix is added to the base verb stem. ~면 follows stems ending in a vowel or a ㄹ. ~으면 follows stems ending in a consonant.

저는 먹으면 마셔요.=> If I eat, I drink.

When

"When," "while," or "as" is marked by ~(으)면서. ~(으)면서 is attached to the stem in the same way as ~(으)면 above.

In formal writing, ~(으)면서 may be realized as ~(으)며.

저는 먹으면서 마셔요.=> I drink when/while/as I eat.

But

There are two ways to realize "but" in Korean. First we will discuss ~지만.

  • ~지만 is the closest the the English "but." It is attached directly to the verb stem, and indicated a contrast between the two clauses.

저는 먹지 않지만 마셔요.=>I do not eat, but I do drink.

Stand alone form: 하지만 (more colloquial)/그렇지만

  • ~는데 is a bit trickier. This conjunction is not quite like any conjunction we have in English. The basic idea is that the first clause introduces background information for the second. Often, this is a contrast, and so we translate it as "but." Sometimes, however, it is simply indicating that the two are connected, and it can be translated as "and." In its stand alone form, it may be translated as "by the way."

~는데 is attached to action verb stems and ~은데 to descriptive verbs.

저는 먹는데 안 마셔요.=> I eat, but I do not drink.

저는 한국에 갔는데, 재미있었어요=> I went to Korea and it was fun.

Stand alone form: 그런데/근데 (spoken)

Also

~도 is a particle that is used most often with nouns to mean "also" or "too". It replaces the subject/object particle.

To Go To

~(으)러 means "in order to" and is only used to connect an action with a verb of motion. It indicates that you are going somewhere in order to complete an action.

~으러 is attached to verb stems ending in consonants and ~러 to vowels.

저는 먹으러 식당에 가요.=> I go to the restaurant to eat.

Polite Moods updated 2018-10-25

Polite Moods

Moods in 해요체 are much simpler than in 합쇼체. Let's get started!

Imperative

To form the imperative in 해요체 you need to start with the verb stem and add (으)세요.

As you may now be used to, how this works depends on whether the stem ends with a vowel or a consonant.

  • After a vowel, add -세요: 가세요
  • After a consonant except ㄹ, add -으세요: 웃으세요
  • When the last consonant is a ㄹ, drop it and add 세요: 만드세요

By dropping the ㄹ, verbs like 살다 and 사다 have the same imperative form, 사세요. The meaning is therefore derived from context.

Note: The usual declarative ending -아요/-어요 can be used in lieu of -(으)세요, but it is less formal.

Propositive

To make a proposition in 해요체 the same basic form is used as making a statement. It is common to add 같이 before the verb, basically saying "let's...together"

Note: Optionally you can say 우리 as the subject. Particles are usually not used with 우리 in this sense unless for emphasis.

Interrogative

When asking a question, the verb form does not change.

다니다

The primary meaning of the verb 다니다 is "to go," but it implies the person goes to the place regularly or frequently and has something to do there. Figuratively you can say 다니다 for your workplace or school. "저는 학교에 다닙니다." would most likely mean you attend school (as opposed to you just go there frequently), and you can also say that when you are asked what your job is. This verb can be transitive and intransitive, and it takes 을(를) and 에 as a particle after the place, respectively.

원하다

The Korean word 원하다 is used specifically for wanting something, not wanting to do something. We'll teach how to say that you want to do something sooner than later.

How Much

In Korean 얼마 means "how much." It can be used with the copula to ask "how much is it?" or as 얼마나 plus an adjective to mean "how much," "how long," etc.

Adverbs: Degree updated 2019-05-05

Adverbs of Degree

As such a verb heavy language, Korean has a large number of adverbs. We've split them between several skills, here focusing on adverbs of degree.

Adverbs

Korean adverbs come before the verb.

When given the option between an adjective describing a noun or an adverb on the verb, Korean will use the adverb more often than we do in English. For example, to say "He reads many books" rather than the direct translation "그는 많은 책을 읽어요," the correct sentence would be "그는 책을 많이 읽어요"

Emphasis

There are various words used to give emphasis, like very in English. Here we are introducing a couple of them.

Words Translations
매우, 아주, 굉장히 very, so, greatly, highly, exceedingly
정말(로), 진짜(로), 참(으로) really, truly, indeed, (non-standard) very, so
특히 in particular, particularly, especially, specially
상당히 considerably, fairly, rather, quite
quite, fairly, rather, pretty
엄청 overly, too, excessively, awfully
너무 too, overly, excessively, awfully, so Read more

There aren't really one-to-one translations for these, so here we accept what's listed above.

Superlative

The superlative form in Korean is formed using 가장 or 제일 plus the adjective/descriptive verb. Both can be used interchangeably, but 가장 means "the most," and 제일 means "number one."

Usually the phrase is 제일/가장 + Modifier form + Noun.

For example, 제일 맛있는 음식=the most delicious food

When forming a superlative in English, the noun is not always used, for example "This book is the best." In Korean, you would translate that as 이 책은 제일 좋은 책이에요 "This book is the best book" or 이 책은 제일 좋은 것이에요 "This book is the best one." Unlike in English where we actively seek to avoid repeating the noun, it is completely okay in Korean.

Link

Comparative

Comparative in Korean is introduced with the particle 보다. 보다 can be translated as "than" and attaches to the end of the noun to which the first noun is being compared and usually comes right before the descriptive verb.

이 사과는 바나나보다 맛있어요.

This apple is more delicious than the banana.

Just using 보다 is enough to indicate the comparative form, but 더 is sometimes added before the descriptive verb for emphasis. Like English, the 보다 part can be omitted and simply adding 더 before the descriptive verb is enough.

이 사과가 더 맛있어요.

This apple is more delicious.

Note: Of course, you can change the word order. Since the topic normally comes first, when 보다 comes first instead, the other noun is usually followed by 이(가) rather than 은(는). Whether the word order is changed or not, 이(가) emphasizes the noun before it.

*Negative

There are some interesting adverbs that have a negative meaning in Korean that deserve special mention.

  • 별로 means "not really/not particularly" and is usually used alongside the negated form of the verb.

별로 안 좋아요.=It is not too good/It is not very good.

별로 없어요.=There is not much.

  • 거의 means "almost" and can be used either negatively or positively. It is mentioned here to contrast with 별로 above.

거의 없어요=There is almost nothing.

  • 그리 means "so" or "that" and is used with negated or interrogative forms.

그녀는 그리 안 나빠요.=She is not [so/that] bad. 그게 그리 나빠요?=Is it that bad?

Roots

  • 제일 - number one (第一)
  • 특 - special (特)
  • 상당 - quite (相当)
  • 굉장 - imposing (宏壯)
  • -히 - -ly

Numbers 1: Native Korean updated 2018-10-25

Native Korean Numbers

Korean has two sets of numbers, Native Korean and Sino-Korean. Before that scares you away, let's take a closer look at Native Korean Numbers.

Usage

Native Korean numbers are used for numbering things, just as you would any number system. In contrast, Sino-Korean numbers are used in specific cases, such as dates, telephone numbers, addresses, and counting money.

Native Korean can be used for counting as well. When taking pictures, you may hear Koreans say "하나, 둘, 셋!" before snapping the photo.

Native Korean has the numbers 1-10, then 11-19 simply combine 10 and the small number, so 11 would be "ten-one." There are separate words for each of the tens, which are used to create compounds the same way that 10 is.

Some of the tens are derived from their "base" as in English, 여덟/eight=> 여든/eighty, but others have no obvious relationship.

Irregulars

Native Korean has five numbers that take a "short" form before a counter.

Number Base Form Short Form
1 하나
2
3
4
20 스물 스무

Counters

What are these counters we've mentioned? Think of words in English like paper or milk. Usually we cannot say "a paper" or "a milk," except in some limited circumstances. We have to be specific, "a sheet/piece/pack of paper" or "a cup/glass/carton/jug of milk." Now apply that to every noun in Korean.

The most common counter is 개 and can be used in most situations. As a non-native Korean speaker, you can often get away with using 개 in cases where Koreans would use a specific counter. Exceptions include 명 for people, 마리 for animals, and some food terms where more specificity is required.

The general usage is Noun+Number+Counter+Particle in a sentence.

  • 사람 한 명이 있어요=There is one person

Particles can sometimes be attached to the noun instead of the counter.

Usually in writing the number and counter are written separately, with a space, but without a space when using a numeral (두 명 vs 2명).

Other word orders are also possible in some circumstances, but less popular:

  • Number+Noun (한 사람)

  • Number+Counter+의+Noun (한 명의 사람)

  • Noun+Number (사람 하나)

Counter Nouns
General counter
People
Age
마리 Animals
자루 Long thing things
Machines/cars

Age

Age in Korean is marked with the counter 살. 저는 스무 살이에요=I am twenty

In Korea, age is calculated differently than in most other countries. It is based on the traditional Asian lunar cycle. A baby is one when it is born and turns two on New Year's Day. Depending on who you are talking to, this may be either January 1st or Lunar New Year. Therefore, most of us are 1 or 2 years older in Korea than we are at home.

Large Numbers

Although Native Korean was the original number system, it now only goes up to 99 in regular language. Larger numbers are said in Sino-Korean except in some more academic cases, mostly poetry, as the large Native Korean numbers are fairly archaic.

For these numbers of 100, some people may mix the two forms. 150, for example, could be said with 100 in Sino-Korean and 50 in Native Korean. This is more common in speaking than in writing.

It is not uncommon for numbers over 19 to be said in Sino-Korean, especially by children who do not yet have the trickier Native Korean digits memorized.

Number Native Korean
10
20 스물
30 서른
40 마흔
50
60 예순
70 일흔
80 여든
90 아흔

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal Numbers (first, second, third) are created by combining the Native Korean number with 번째. This uses the short form for those numbers that have one, except for 1, which uses 첫 instead of 한, giving us 첫 번째 for "first."

Roots

  • 명 - name (名)

Prepositions updated 2018-10-25

Preposition

Let's learn Korean prepositions!

Prepositions

English prepositions, words like on, in, and between form their own class of words. In Korean they are actually regular nouns, taking particles depending on their use in the sentence.

Generally speaking, "prepositions" in Korean act like postpositions, coming after the noun, usually with the particle 에 or 에서.

  • 집 안에=inside the house

Strictly speaking, there should be an 의 after the first noun.

  • 집의 안에

Grammatically, this means that a direct translation would actually be "at the house's inside" rather than "inside the house." In normal usage, the 의 dropped.

Korean English
in/inside
outside
in front
next to
over/on/above
behind
아래 under/beneath
under/beneath
inside/among
가운데 in the middle
사이 between
근처 near
건너편 across from
왼쪽 left
오른쪽 right

On

means both "on" and "above." In many cases, when the meaning of "on" would otherwise be understood, it is not necessary to use "위." Just the particle "에" would be enough.

"위" is not used for something "on" the wall, since 위 carries the connotation of behind "above" something.

When we want to specifically say "on" vs "over/above" we add 바로, which means directly. 바로 can be used with most of these position words.

Under

While 아래 and 밑 can both be translated to "under", they are fairly different in meaning. 아래 refers to the whole space lower than a standard point which could be anything (e.g. sunshine, moonlight, the sky, the sea level, etc.), but 밑 means either 아래 or the bottom, of a tangible object. 자동차 밑 can mean either "under the car" (=자동차 아래) or "the bottom of the car" which might actually be the upper part if the car is turned over, depending on the context.

  • 하늘 아래 ― Under the sky
  • 물고기가 바다 에 삽니다. ― Fish live at the bottom/lower part of the sea.
  • 물고기가 바다 아래에 삽니다. ― Fish live literally under the sea; in the crust, mantle or core of the earth.
  • 의자 아래/밑에 열쇠가 있습니다. ― There is a key under the chair.

In

Both 속 and 안 are "in(side)" in English, but they are not the same in Korean. 속 means what is inside or surrounded whereas 안 just means the inner space as opposed to the outer space.

  • 달걀 ― inside of the egg or what is inside the egg (as opposed to the shell of the egg)
  • 달걀 ― inside of the egg (as opposed to the outer space of the egg)
  • 건물 ― inside of the building (as opposed to the exterior of the building)
  • 건물 ― inside of the building (as opposed to outside of the building)
  • ― inside of the mountain
  • ― in the mountains

산속 is an exception and is considered as one word.

If you don't know which to use, probably they are interchangeable for the word. How you see the object in your mind may affect the choice.

  • 상자 안/속에 ― inside the box

Table

Korean has a few words for "table". We've already seen 탁자, and here we introduce 식탁. A 식탁 is a dining/kitchen table, composed of the words 식/food and 탁/table.

Roots

  • 상 - box (箱)
  • 의 - chair (椅)
  • 은 - silver (银)
  • 행 - business (行)

Adverbs 2 updated 2020-11-23

Adverbs 2

It's time to learn how to form adverbs in Korean!

-게

Forming adverbs in Korean is extremely easy. For regular adverbs, starting with a descriptive verb simply take the verb stem and add -게, similar to adding -ly in English.

  • 늦다=to be late
  • 늦게=late (adverb)

Some descriptive verbs have both regular and irregular forms. For example, 빠르다 (to be fast) can become both regular 빠르게 and irregular 빨리.

-히 and Others

A number of descriptive verbs, mostly ending in ~하다, take ~히 as their ending as an adverb, after dropping the 하다.

조용하다 (to be quiet) =조용히 or 조용하게 (quietly)

없다 is an irregular case, becoming 없이 (without).

Roots

  • 완전 - complete (完全)

Compound Verbs updated 2018-10-25

Compound Verbs

As we've already seen, Korean verbs have aspects of meaning absent from their English counterparts. Here we'll introduce another level of meaning to improve your Korean fluency.

~주다

First up is ~주다. 주다 (to give) attaches directly to the Casual form of the verb, sometimes called the 아/어 form in grammar books.

Taking it's meaning from "to give", V아/어주다 implies that the action is being done for the benefit of someone else. Sometimes this aspect of generosity is translated into English, but more often than not it isn't.

우리는 남자에게 읽어줍니다=We read to the man.

먹어주세요=Eat it (for me).

~보다

Next we have ~보다. 보다 (to see) attaches to the Casual 아/어 form as well.

Stemming from the meaning of "to see," V아/어보다 has the meaning of to try something out, to see how it is. Both 먹어보다 and 마셔보다 can mean "to try" or "to taste," literally "to see what it's like to eat" and "to see what it's like to drink"

읽어보세요=Read it/Take a look at it

해보세요=Give it a try

~하다

Now let's look at ~하다. While ~주다 and ~보다 can attach to most any word, ~하다 is more restricted. Usually this compound ending attaches to the 아/어 form of descriptive verbs.

In fact, we've already seen this a few times, with words like 좋아하다 and 싫어하다.

Adding V아/어하다 means to treat something a certain way. For example, 좋다 ="good" and 좋아하다="to like" (to treat something like it is good).

It can also mean "to act like..." For example, 슬프다="to be sad" while 슬퍼하다="to act sad." Usually this aspect of ~하다 compound verbs is only used when talking in the third person because it is something that you have observed. When talking about yourself, you would just say that you were sad, not that you were acting sad.

무섭다=to be scary

무서워하다=to fear

~가다/~오다

Finally we have ~가다 and ~오다, which you should recognize as "to go" and "to come."

Coming after V아/어, this pair of endings is usually used with verbs of motion to indicate direction. For example, 내리다="to move downward" so 내려오다="to come down" and 내려가다="to go down."

돌다=to return

돌아오다=to come back

돌아가다=to go back

To Want

We've already taught you 원하다 as "to want something" and now here we have ~고 싶다 "to want to do something."

~고 싶다 attaches to the verb stem (V minus 다), and is treated as a descriptive verb. When talking about a third person, you would only ever use the compound ~고 싶어하다.

저는 가고 싶어요=I want to go

그녀는 가고 싶어해요=She wants to go

Roots

괴 - ghost (怪)

Verb: Continuous updated 2018-10-25

Continuous Verbs

In this lesson we'll do some review of the verbs we already know while introducing the Continuous aspect of Korean verbs.

The use of this verbal aspect is more restrictive than in English, in the present tense focusing only on verbs currently in progress. Even then, in many cases it is used more for emphasis than the English equivalent, with the simple present tense usually taking precedence.

Action Verbs

Let's start off with action verbs. Take the verb stem (root minus ~다) and add ~고 있다. ~고 있다 conjugates just like the 있다 we've already learned, and it's as simple as that!

먹다=>먹고 있다

저는 치킨을 먹고 있어요=I am eating fried chicken

Stative Verbs

Stative verbs like 앉다 or 서다 take the continuous differently. Of course, it is possible to say 앉고 있어요, although this would translate more closely to "I am being seated" than "I am sitting."

To truly say "I am sitting" you would say 저는 앉아 있어요.

The rule here s to take the Casual form and add 있어요. In grammar books this may be written as 아/어 있다.

To Have

We mentioned when introducing the possessive aspect of 있다 that there are other ways to indicate the possessive in Korean. Here we teach the verbs 가지다 (sometimes 갖다) and 들다, with 가지다 the more common of the two.

Both these verbs can be translated as "to hold" or "to carry." 들다 additionally can mean "to pick up" or "to take in hand."

In the continuous aspect, both these verbs become "to have." This is more specific, and restrictive, than using 있다.

While "A는 B가 있다" in general indicated that A possesses B, "A가 B를 가지고 있다" implies that A is carrying around B. This makes sense if it's something in your bag or your pocket, but it makes less sense when you're talking about your house or your friend.

선생님

선생님 means "teacher" in Korean, but is also a common term of respect. It is not uncommon for strangers to call each other 선생님 on the streets in polite conversation when they do not know which other term of address would be most appropriate. Additionally, it is sometimes added to the end of other titles, like doctor, to convey a deeper level of respect.

Students in school generally address their teachers solely as 선생님.

As the term is respectful, there is a more informal version that students use when they are talking to a favorite teacher, 쌤, which is a slang abbreviation of 선(ㅅ)생(새)님(ㅁ).

Colors updated 2018-10-25

Colors

Colors can be tricky in Korean, with a mixture of Native Korean and Sino-Korean color terms.

Native Korean

In Lesson 1 we introduce some Native Korean verbal modifiers.

English Korean
Black 검은
White 하얀
Blue 파란
Red 빨간
Yellow 노란

As you should be able to see, all of these are the Modifier forms of descriptive verbs.

Sometimes these adjectives are followed by 색 "color" with or without ~인, the Modifier form of ~이다.

So for "black cat" you may see:

  • 검은 고양이
  • 검은색 고양이
  • 검은색인 고양이

Sino-Korean

In Lesson 2 we introduce some Sino-Korean colors. Like most borrowings from Chinese, these take the form of nouns in Korean.

English Korean
Orange 주황
Green 초록/녹
Gray
Brown
Purple 보라
Pink 분홍

Usually these are used with 색/색인 to form modifiers in a sentence.

An "orange cat" gives us:

  • 주황색 고양이
  • 주황색인 고양이

Most colors have a Sino-Korean equivalent, but normally Korean colors take precedence, with the Sino-Korean words used as roots in compound words.

Green

Korean colors are a bit more nuanced than the ones we use in English. Many colors have multiple words that can be used to mean the same thing but with different connotations.

The one case where we do introduce both words here is "green." Both 초록 and 녹 mean green, so what's the different?

초록 means "grass green" and may have the connotation of being cleaner or sharper than 녹.

The same is true for 흰 (pure white) and 까만 (jet black). We'll may see some of these colors later in the course, but for know you can just put them out of your mind.

Color Nouns

The Native Korean colors have noun forms based in part on their base verb forms.

English Modifier Noun
Black 검은 검정
White 하얀 하양
Blue 파란 파랑
Red 빨간 빨강
Yellow 노란 노랑

While these may sometimes be used to form modifiers, usually they are used in compound nouns or when talking about the color itself.

One compound we'll see here is 파랑새 (bluebird) compared to 파란 새 (blue bird).

In this skill we also introduce 색깔. 색깔 is used as "color" when standing alone, while 색 is most commonly used as a suffix attached to other words. One exception to this is when asking what color something is, which is usually realized as "X은 무슨 색이에요?"

Descriptive Verbs

The Native Korean colors have descriptive verbs that may used for "to be X-color."

English Modifier Noun Verb
Black 검은 검정 검다
White 하얀 하양 하얗다
Blue 파란 파랑 파랗다
Red 빨간 빨강 빨갛다
Yellow 노란 노랑 노랗다

~ㅎ다 verbs form a special case for conjugation, as we saw in Polite Moods with 이렇다. Drop the ㅎ and the 아 turns into 애. For 하얗다, 야 becomes 얘.

The cat is white=고양이가 하얘요.

When using Sino-Korean colors, or even the Native Korean modifiers, it is common to use ~색이다 to form the descriptive verb.

The cat is gray=고양이가 회색이에요.

Roots

  • 색 - color (色)
  • 주황 - orange (橘黄)
  • 초 - grass (草)
  • 녹/록 - green (绿)
  • 회 - gray (灰)
  • 갈 - brown (褐)
  • 분 - flour/powder (粉)
  • 홍 - red (红)

Honorific updated 2021-04-05

Honorific

The time has come for us to address one of Korean's most (in)famous features, honorifics.

Usage

Every Korean sentence changes based on two factors: the listener and the subject.

The listener dictates the speech level, which we've already seen.

The subject dictates the use of honorifics.

These two are mutually exclusive. Honorifics can be used in any of the speech levels of Korean, creating a very, very wide variety of sentences.

The honorific is usually seen on the verb, just like speech levels, but there are also some special honorific nouns and particles.

Honorifics are usually used when talking about older relatives, people of higher social status, deities, and other respected entities, implying that the speaker is lower in status and therefore showing honor and respect for the subject.

It would be incredibly rude to use this form in any way to refer to yourself.

~시다

Usually the honorific is formed simply by adding ~시다 to the verb stem, after applying the special cases (ie 듣=>들, 덥=>더우, etc).

Form most verbs ending in a consonant, drop ~다 and add ~으시다. 얻다=>얻으시다

With a verb stem ending in a ㄹ, drop the ㄹ as well. 살다=>사시다

ㄷ special case verbs do not drop the ㄹ, but instead act like a regular consonant. 듣다=>들으시다

For a verb ending in a vowel, simply add ~시다. 하다=>하시다

~시다 is slightly irregular, but works similar to other verbs.

하다 하시다
합니다 하십니다
해요 하세요
하셔
한다 하신다

If some of this looks familiar, it's because you've already seen ~시다 in the imperative.

Special Verbs

Rather than simply add ~시다, some verbs have their own honorific forms.

Plain Honorific
먹다 드시다
마시다 드시다
있다 계시다*
자다 주무시다
말하다 말씀하시다

In addition, the verb 드리다 replaces 주다 when giving something to an honored person.

*계시다 replaces 있다 only in the sense of "to be" or "to exist." The sense of "to have" can be formed using 있으시다. 계시다 is still used when forming the progressive (~ing) form of the verb.

Other Special Words

Other words also have their own forms.

Plain Honorific
진지
이/가 께서
에게
나이 (age) 연세
이름 (name) 성함
생일 (birthday) 생신
명 (counter)

Note: Unlike 이름, 성함 technically means a full name.

Forms of Address

Korean forms of address are a type of honorific.

~씨 is a lower level honorific usually added to somebody's name.

~님 is a higher level of addressed usually added to somebody's title or to a relationship term. With relationship terms, there is sometimes a slight change to the original when adding the stem.

Casual updated 2018-10-25

Casual

It's time to learn the third of the four most common Korean speech levels with Casual.

Usage

This speech level is commonly used to talk to close friends and family. It is also used when speaking to children, even when they are strangers.

If you use this to talk to strangers (other than small children) it is usually very rude. Sometimes people use this when they're angry to yell at strangers or other people that would usually be addressed more politely.

해체

Casual speech, 해체 is very easy to form. In most cases, you simply take the Polite form and drop the -요.

먹어요=>먹어

Exceptions to this are the copula ~이다 and 하다.

  • ~이다 becomes ~(이)야. The 이 is only added after a consonant.

개야=It is a dog. 집이야=It is a house.

  • 하다 usually becomes simply 해, just by dropping the ~요 from the Polite form. In some cases, mostly in writing, 해 is replaced by 하여.

  • When using the Honorific, ~시다 becomes 셔, not 세.

Moods

해체 changes very little based on mood.

그것을 해 can be "(They) do it," "Do (they) do it?" or "Do it!"

To form the propositive, drop the ~다 from the infinitive and add ~자. So 하자 means "Let's do it!"

To form a negative imperative sentence, add "-지 마" (NOT "-지 말아") to the stem.

Names

Korean names are usually three syllables total, with a one syllable family name and a two syllable given name. The family name comes first, and the whole name is written with no spaces. So first Korean president Syngman Rhee's name would be written 이승만.

In Casual speech it is not uncommon to use someone's actual name, especially when they are the same age or younger. When addressing someone, it is common to add ~아/야 after the name.

~아 follows a consonant ~야 follows a vowel

서연아!=Seoyeon! 민지야!=Minji!

Roots

  • 지금 - now (只今)

Clothing updated 2018-10-25

Clothing

In this lesson about clothing the grammar and vocabulary are fairly straightforward, though there are some verb issues to contend with. Here we go!

To Put On

Korean has multiple words meaning "to put on," each with their own distinct though potentially overlapping meanings.

Depending on context, these words can mean "to put on," "to wear," or "to be wearing."

Verb Meaning Types of Clothing
입다 To wear/to slip on General clothing
신다 To wear footwear Socks, shoes
쓰다 To wear on the head Hat, glasses
끼다 To wear on the hand Gloves, ring
차다 To wear/clasp Belt, watch, earrings
매다 To wrap/tie Tie, scarf, necklace, shoelaces

Some other verbs may be used in very limited cases, so we will not introduce them here.

To Take Off

In the same way, there are multiple ways to say "to take off." although in a more limited way.

Verb Meaning Types of Clothing
벗다 To take off/remove General clothing, shoes, hats
풀다 To untie/unwrap Scarf, tie, watch, belt
빼다 To pull off/out Gloves, belt, ring, watch

Another one or two verbs, such as 떼다 (to detach) may also be used in other limited cases.

갈아~

By adding 갈아~ in front of 입다 we get 갈아입다 "to change clothes."

갈아~ also works this way for 갈아타다 "to transfer bus/train/plane"

Hanbok

Korean traditional clothing is the hanbok, which originated in the Joseon dynasty. Hanbok is more a style of clothing than an article, usually composed of several pieces with bright colors and simple lines. People today still wear hanbok, although usually on ceremonial occasions such as weddings and certain holidays.

구두 and 신발

So 구두 and 신발 both mean shoes, but while 신발 is a general term, 구두 is more for dress shoes.

Belt

In Korean belt can be either 허리띠 or 벨트, but while 허리띠 is only a piece of clothing, 벨트 can also be a piece of machinery.

Counters

  • 벌 - set of clothing
  • 짝 - one half of a pair
  • 켤레 - a pair

되다

The verb 되다 has many uses and meanings in Korean. It can serve as "to become", "to turn", or "to be."

In this lesson we see X면 안 돼요. This literally means "If you do X, it is not becoming." In plainer English, this would be "doing X is not okay." You can also say this in the positive, X면 돼요 "doing X is okay."

Sometimes we translate this as "it is okay/it is not okay" or "it is allowed/it is not allowed", but also "you should/you should not", "you can/you cannot", or "you may/you may not." This is not imperative, so it will not be translated as "Do not do X."

Roots

  • 양 - Western (洋)
  • 복 - clothing (服)
  • 화 - shoes (鞋)
  • 안 - eye (眼)
  • 경 - lens (镜)
  • 허리 -waist
  • 띠 -belt
  • 손목 - wrist
  • 시계 - clock (时计)
  • 원피스 - one piece (dress)

Family updated 2018-10-25

Family

Family in Korean, like in many Asian languages, is a tricky subject. Depending on age and formality, many words exist where in English there would just be one. We'll try to make it fairly straightforward for you :)

~님

As we saw in Honorifics with grandparent terms, many familial terms take the ending ~님 with a slight change of the root word to add extra respect for the family member.

Plain Honorific
어머니 어머님
아버지 아버님
아들 아드님
따님
누나 누님

Older/Younger

Age is important in determining hierarchy and respect in Korean society.

One example is 우리 for "my." When talking about something important, usually shared in common by a community, like your country, president, or school, Koreans usually say 우리 to mean "my" as a sign of respect. The same is true with parents and older relatives, as well as sometimes children. When you want to emphasis "our" over "my" you just add 들 to erase the confusion.

Another example is siblings, which has 6 words where English would have only 2. The name you use for a sibling depends on your gender, their gender, and who's older.

Speaker's Gender Older Sister Older Brother Younger Sister Younger Brother
Male 누나 (여)동생 (남)동생
Female 언니 오빠 (여)동생 (남)동생

You would only ever call an older sibling 오빠 or 누나, and never their name. The same is true for older cousins and older friends. Which certainly takes some getting used to. If we knew your brother's name then we'd add his name as a translation for 형, but that's sadly impossible, so please write brother as a translation for 형 though in reality you never call your brother brother. The same goes for 누나, and so on.

Two words here, 삼촌 and 사촌, uncle and cousin, share the word 촌. Really they are 3촌 and 4촌.

How does this work?

Starting with yourself, you add a 촌 for every link in the chain of connection. Go up a level and your parents are 일촌, up one more and your grandparents are 이촌, down a level to your uncle and he is 삼촌, and down one more to your 사촌. Other than 삼촌 and 사촌 others are not that common, but if you mention your 구촌 people will understand what you're talking about.

For 사촌, it is common to add one of the sibling terms to specific age/gender. So 사촌 형 is your older male cousin, if you are male.

Aunt and Uncle

Aunt and uncle are tricky words in Korean, again based on age (relative to your parents), but also based on whether they are on your mother's or father's side and whether they are blood relatives or married in. For now we'll just stick with 이모 and 사촌.

On the other hand, all nieces and nephews are simply 조카, although 조카딸 can be used to refer to a niece.

Roots

  • 부 - father (父)
  • 모 - mother (母)
  • 자 - son (子)
  • 동 - same (同)
  • 생 - birth (生)

Written updated 2018-10-25

Written

Now we've come to the last of the four most common speech levels in Korean!

Use

The speech level we're calling "written" is known in Korean as 해라체. This speech level is fairly formal, but not high on the politeness scale.

We call it "written" here because this speech level is often used in more formal writing, as it can carry an impersonal connotation lacking in the other levels. Other than in print, 해라체 is also used between friends, by adults to children, and sometimes when making an exclamation or talking to yourself.

Indicative

In 해라체 indicative for action verbs ends with ~ㄴ/는다.

When a verb stem ends in a vowel, add ~ㄴ다. 가다=>간다

When a verb stem ends in a ㄹ, drop the ㄹ and add ~ㄴ다. 만들다=>만든다

When a verb stem ends in a consonant, add ~는다. 웃다=>웃는다

Descriptive verbs simply stay in the infinitive.

Interrogative

When asking a question in 해라체, simply add ~느냐 or ~니 to the verb stem.

For verb stems ending with an ㄹ, drop the ㄹ.

Imperative

When giving a command, take the ~아/어 form we had in Casual and add ~라.

Propositive

The propositive is just the same as in Casual. Just add ~자 to the verb stem.

Conjunctions

We introduce here a few new conjunctions and interjections used most often in written Korean.

  • ~(으)며 is just the same as ~(으)면서, meaning "while"

  • 그러나 "however" is used much the same as 하지만 or 그래도

  • ~(으)나 "although" is used similarly to ~지만

Roots

  • 전화 - phone (电话)
  • 사용 - use (使用)
  • 문 - door (门)
  • 병 - bottle (瓶)

Numbers 2: Sino-Korean updated 2018-10-25

Sino-Korean Numbers

Here we have the other half of the Korean number system, the Sino-Korean numbers.

Usage

Sino-Korean numbers are used for dates, money, phone numbers, addresses, and in math, as well as in large numbers.

Six

The number 6 in Sino-Korean is 육, but is 륙 in North Korean. In South Korea the ㄹ pronunciation was lost and the ㄹ was replaced with ㅇ, but there is still a ghost of ㄹ left behind.

For the number 16, 십육, the deleted ㄹ reacts with the ㅂ and the word is pronounced 심뉵.

Phone Numbers

In Korean the dashes/spaces in a phone number are read as 에. So 010-723-6045 would be read 공일공에 칠이삼에 육공사오.

Counters

When Sino-Korean numbers are used with nouns, those nouns often double as counters. Two dollars is 이 달러 not 달러 이 개.

Big Numbers

Once you reach 100, Sino-Korean takes over completely from Native Korean. Which is good, since Korean numbers are complicated.

Korean numbers follow the general East Asian number pattern. Instead of base 1000 like English, the base in Korean is 10 thousand.

This will take some getting used to, but 100 thousand is actually 10*10,000.

After 만, we have 억 (100 million) and 조 (1 trillion). Each number has four more zeroes than the number before.

Verbs: Past Tense updated 2018-10-25

Past Tense

Now that we've learned four different ways for form the present tense, here we go into the past.

Formation

All Korean speech levels are formed from the 아/어 form we learned in Casual. We then add ~ㅆ to the end of the syllable, giving us 았/었 as the basic past tense verb stem. Vowel harmony ends here, and the double ㅅ is followed by the vowel 어.

Formal Polite Casual Written
Statement 했습니다 했어요 했어 했다
Question 했습니까 했어요 했어 했느냐/했니

Usage Differences

There are a number of instances where in English we would use present but in Korean the past. Here we have 생기다 and 오래되다.

In both these cases, these verbs describe something that has already happened. With exact translation, rather than saying "someone is ugly" Korean translates as "someone was poorly formed" and instead of "something is old" Korean has "something has become old."

Roots

  • 병 - disease (病)
  • 원 - place (原)
  • 연습 - practice (练习)

Food 2: Restaurant updated 2018-10-25

Restaurants

Korea has an amazing restaurant culture that any visitor has to try. Here we'll give you some of the basic vocab you'll need when going out to eat for a delicious meal.

Types of Restaurants

In general, when talking about type of restaurant, you can simply say X 식당, like 파스타 식당 for 'pasta restaurant.' However, more popular is to add either 집 or 점.

  • 집 is less common, with 술집 and 빵집 most common, as well as 찻집 for 'tea house.' Usually 집 follows a dish or type of food.

  • 점 is more common, and is usually used with a type of cuisine (한식점), but may also be used with a dish. Sometimes this is X전문점, an "X specialty restaurant."

Types of Cuisines

We often talk about types of cuisine by simply saying "미국 + 음식" or "미국 + 요리," respectively "American food" and "American cooking."

For types of cuisine common in Korea, there are shortened versions, 한식, 일식, and 양식. 한 and 일 represent Korea and Japan, while 양 means "Western"

Courses

*후식 is dessert, literally "after food"

  • 안주 is bar food, food to be eaten with drinks. Many bars in Korea will offer basic 안주 free of charge, but will have a larger menu available. Sometimes it's weird if you don't have something to snack on while you drink.

Ordering

When you want to get your waiter's attention at a restaurant, there may be a button on the table that let's them know you need something. If not, simply shout out "저기요!" and they'll come to you.

  • 시키다 means "to order," and means as well to force someone to do something. When you order, you are asking them to make the food for you, so it's 시키다.

  • 주문하다 also means "to order," and is more to request something.

주문하다 is a bit more humble, so might be used more when talking to the waiter, while 시키다 might be used more with your friend.

인분

Many Korean restaurants specialize in one type of food and only have a few options on the menu. For foods like bbq, fried rice, and stir fries there might be a grill on the table, and the whole table will just order one main dish to share. Therefore, you use 인분 to specify how many portions. 인분 acts like a counter word and takes a Sino-Korean number.

불고기 일 인분=one portion of 불고기

Table Setting

Traditional table settings in Korea are metal chopsticks and a spoon with a long handle. There's even an abbreviation of 숟가락 and 젓가락, 수저.

Food is served family style, and each person will have their own small plate or bowl, plus their own rice. Side soups are usually eaten from a communal bowl and you will usually not take your full serving at once, but will take little bits of food throughout the meal.

Roots

Korean English Character
part
-er
채식 vegetarian food 采食
주의 -ism 主义
-er
alcohol
가락 stick of something

Gerund updated 2018-10-25

Gerund

Generally speaking, a gerund is the ~ing form of a verb, a verbal noun.

Korean has two ways of forming what would be a gerund in English, with overlapping but slightly different uses.

하는 것

The most popular form is the present tense modifier (V는) plus 것.

This form is the more common in speaking.

하는 것 has a connotation of an ongoing action, not just "doing" but "the act of doing."

Just like in other circumstances, 것 can be abbreviated or contracted to 거, 건, 게, 걸.

하기

The second form is made by taking the verb stem (V) plus 기.

This form may sometimes be more formal.

하기 has a more general connotation, "doing," and may be more abstract or impersonal.

To say "before doing X" we use this form, saying X하기 전에.

Roots

Korean English Character
before
계획 plan 计划
여행 travel 旅行
중요 important 重要

Time updated 2018-10-25

Telling Time

Here we talk about numbering hours, days, months, and years, but we won't get in to dates or days of the week until later.

Hours

Telling time requires a mixture of Sino-Korean and Native Korean numbers.

  • Native Korean is used with the hour, 1:00=한 시

  • Minutes and seconds take Sino-Korean, 2:30= 두 시 삼십 분

  • 오후 (afternoon) or 오전 (before noon) can come before the time to indicate AM or PM

  • Similarly the period of the day comes before the time, 11 at night=밤 열한 시

  • When counting hours, use 시간 with Native Korean numbers

한 시=1:00 한 시간=1 hour

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Korean English
그저께 Day before yesterday
어제 Yesterday
오늘 Today
내일 Tomorrow
모레 Day after tomorrow
  • When asking for the date, instead of 몇일 it becomes 며칠.

  • "Last night" is 어젯밤. The ㅅ added to the end of 어제 is a common addition to compound words.

This, Last, Next

Korean English
지난 Last
이번 This
다음 Next
마지막 Final

These qualifiers come before the time period they describe

Years

Korean English
작년 Last year
올해 This year
내년 Next year

해 vs 년

  • 해 is the Native Korean word for "year" and is used in some limited situations, like 올해 (this year) and 그해 (that year)

  • 년 is the Sino-Korean word for "year" and other than the examples above, can also be used in 금년 (this year), as well as the date with Sino-Korean numbers.

2017년=이천십칠 년

일 vs 날

  • 일 is the Sino-Korean word for "day" and is usually used in the date, together with Sino-Korean numbers.

  • 날 is the Native Korean word for "day" and is used most often in the names of holidays, with ordinal numbers (둘째 날=2nd day), and when describing a day (좋은 날=good day)

달 vs 월

Month has a similar pair, with 달 being Korean and 월 coming from Chinese. When counting months, use Native Korean with 달 or Sino-Korean with 개월.

Counting Days

Just to make things fun, Korean has two ways of counting days. The first is just Sino-Korean number+일, which is pretty easy.

The second way is based on the Native Korean numbers, but it's not so intuitive, so you'll have to memorize them. 하루 is very commonly used, but the higher the number gets the more likely it is to be in Sino-Korean.

English Korean
One day 하루
Two days 이틀
Three days 사흘
Four days 나흘
Five days 닷새
Six days 엿새
Seven days 이레
Eight days 여드레
Nine days 아흐레
Ten days 열흘

부터

~부터 is a particle that means 'from.' It is used with dates and times instead of ~에서.

동안

동안 means the time period of the preceding noun or phrase. It is usually followed by 에, but also the 에 is usually dropped. 동안(에) can usually be translated to during. When used with a noun, simply put 동안 after the noun and a space. With a phrase will be explained later.

Note: Nouns that cannot stand alone such as 년, 일, 시, 분, etc. are called bound nouns. A space is required before a bound noun, but there are two exceptions where the space is optional.

  1. Time (NOT a duration)
  2. Numerals
Correct Incorrect Translation
백 년, 백년, 100 년, 100년 The year 100
백 년, 100 년, 100년 백년 100 years

Roots

Korean English Character
hour
minute
second
week
year
day

Modifiers 2: Past Tense updated 2018-10-25

Past Tense Modifiers

Here we go into how to form modifiers in the past tense.

Verbs

Past tense modifiers are only used with action verbs, not descriptive ones.

We form the past tense modifier the same way we form the present modifier for a descriptive verb.

  1. For a basic verb ending in a consonant we take the verb stem and add ~은.

먹다=>먹은

  1. For a basic active verb ending in a vowel, you simply add ㄴ at the end of the syllable.

하다=>한

  1. For an active verb ending in ㅂ, the ㅂ changes to 우, just as we introduced with Polite verbs. The ㄴ is then added to the end of the new stem.

돕다=>도운

  1. For an action verb ending in a ㄹ, the ㄹ is simply replaced by the ㄴ.

살다=>산

Sometimes these past tense modifiers may be the exact same as descriptive present tense modifiers.

적다 (to be few)=>적은 (few)

vs

적다 (to write down)=>적은 (written)

This form can modifier either the subject or the object of the verb:

먹은 피자=the eaten pizza 먹은 사람=the person who ate

This past tense modifier is used in the grammar pattern to mean "after Xing"

  • 먹은 후에=after eating

-던

Another form of the past tense modifier is -던. It implies the task was incomplete and is used when one looks back on the past.

Example Translation
내가 먹은 빵 The bread I ate (and it's all gone).
내가 먹던 빵 The bread I was eating (and part of it may be left).
내가 다닌 학교 The school I went to
내가 다니던 학교 The school I used to go to

Of course, 내가 먹던 빵 may also refer to the kind of bread one used to eat when one was little.

-던 may even come after -았-/-었- implying the task was complete. There is no big difference between -던 and -았던/-었던.

Roots

Korean English Character
after

Seasons updated 2019-03-27

Seasons

Korea has four different seasons. Let's take a look at what those seasons are like.

Spring

  • 벚꽃-Just like in Japan and Washington DC, cherry blossoms are a thing in Korea. They're beautiful.

  • 새끼-This word is often used to describe baby animals. 새끼 곰 is bear cub, for example. A puppy, though, is 강아지. Don't combine dog+baby, just don't. You'll probably end up in the ER by 5 minutes.

  • 푸른-Blue or green? In the past, the basic terms in Korean didn't differentiate between the two. Just one word, 푸르다, meant the both. Similar to how light blue and dark blue are both blue, but other languages might have separate words. This means that the sky, water, and grass can all be 푸른.

Summer

  • 황사-Every year in summer clouds of yellow dust blow into Korea from the Gobi Desert in China. It creates a haze and leaves a film on many things. There are good days and bad days, and some with no 황사 at all.

  • 해-We've already seen 해 in Time. The use of 해 as 'year' is based on its original meaning of 'sun'

  • 해수욕장-This is a type of beach, specifically the one where you go to swim or sunbathe

Fall

  • 낙엽-This comes from Chinese characters and means specifically fallen leaves.

  • 긁다-It makes some sense, but the word for "rake" is also means "scratch." It may be combined with 모이다 to form 긁어모이다 "to rake up"

Winter

  • 타다-This means specifically that something burns, and not that someone burns something.

동안

As explained earlier, 동안 means the time period of the preceded noun or phrase. With a phrase or a sentence, just like when qualifying any other nouns in the present tense, the ending of the verb becomes -는. Note that, while 동안 is usually translated to during or while, it is a noun in Korean. Unlike English, since Korean uses relative tense, the preceding verb is always in the present tense. Descriptive verbs except 있다 and 없다 cannot be used with 동안.

Example Translation
여름 동안 during the summer
사과를 먹는 동안 while eating an apple
내가 여기에 있는 동안 while I am here

Roots

Korean English Character
yellow
sand
해수 seawater 海水
낙엽 fallen leave 落叶

Pronouns: Indefinite updated 2018-10-25

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are words like someone, anyone, or no one, that take the place of a noun but do not refer to a specific person, place, or thing.

Everything

To express "every" we have three words. One is a noun, another is an adjective, and the third is an adverb.

  • 모두: As a noun, 모두 can play any role in the sentence and be used in conjunction with different particles. 모두 may mean either "everything" or "everyone." It may be preceded by another noun in order to specific "every" what.

우리 모두= We all

  • 모든: As an adjective, 모든 comes before the noun it describes. Obviously it derives from the same root as 모두.

모든 사람=everyone

  • 다: As an adverb, 다 comes just before the noun. It may be used along with 모두 or 모든

다 먹다=eat everything

Anything

  • 아무 means "any" and may be placed in front of nouns just like "any" in English.

아무 고기=any meat

  • ~(이)나: Starting with 아무, then add a noun, and attach ~(이)나 to the noun. This makes it like "whatever" in English. ~이나 follows a consonant and ~나 a vowel.

아무 고기나=whichever meat

To say "at anytime" or "anywhere" you use 때 and 데, respectively.

아무 때나=at any time 아무 데나=anywhere

Whatever

~(이)나 may also be attached to question words.

언제나 means "whenever" 무엇이나 means "whatever"

  • ~(이)든지: Similar to ~(이)나, you may add ~든지. Most commonly, this is with question words.

The differences between ~이나 and 이든지 are very subtle and even Koreans may have a hard time explaining the difference. However, one example is that 언제나 may have a little bit more of an "all the time" connotation, compared with 언제든지.

Nothing

  • 아무도 means "nothing." When you want to be specific about the "thing" in "nothing" add the noun in the middle.

아무 고기도=no meat

Something

When you want to talk about "something" you simply use the question words.

저는 무엇을 먹었습니다=I ate something.

You can also use 어떤 followed by a noun.

저는 어떤 것을 먹었습니다=I ate something.

Each

각각 and 각자 both mean "each" and are used similarly to "each" in English. 각각 is more general, while 각자 is used more specifically with people.

Most

대부분 means "most" or "most of" and usually comes after a noun.

우리 대부분=most of us

이제

We've already learned 지금 for "now", so what is this new word 이제?

이제 has added emphasis that something has changed, and is often used with ~까지 or ~부터 to mean "up to now" or "from now on"

Roots

Korean English Character
each
individual
문제 problem 问题
대부분 big-division 大部分

Adverbs 3: Frequency updated 2018-10-25

Frequency

Adverbs of frequency work just like other adverbs, usually coming just before the verb.

List

Korean English
가끔 sometimes
자주 often
보통 usually
항상 always

Never

Never is not included in the list above because it doesn't work in Korean quite like the others.

There are two options that roughly translate as "never." Both are only used along with some form of negation on the verb.

*결코: literally "at all". Might be translated as something along the lines of "no matter what." This acts the most similarly to English "never."

  • 전혀: literally "completely." It may sometimes be translated as never, but also just emphasize the "no-ness" of the sentence.

Roots

Korean English Character
gold
붕어 carp 鮒魚
snake
보통 usually 普通

Objects updated 2018-10-25

Objects

Here we learn the vocab for a few everyday objects that you will hopefully find useful!

Broken

The word broken in English has pretty broad meaning, when you think of it. Something could be smashed, snapped, shattered, or cracked and be "broken." Korean doesn't have an all encompassing word quite like English. One of the more common ways to say something is broken is a phrase itself "고장이 나다."

고장 means something like "problem" or "malfunction" and 나다 means "arise" or "grow"

Based on this, it only has the meaning of something being broken so as not to work, not that something has been shattered or cracked in pieces.

Pick Up

The verb 줍다 means to "pick up" but it has more of a connotation of gathering up or collecting. Think trash, seashells, leaves, etc.

Silk

We introduce the word 실크 here. Of course, having been along the Silk Road there is already a Korean word for silk. In fact, there are many. 비단, 생사, 명주, 견포. Raw silk, silk thread, silk fabric. But, sometimes, in modern Korean when talking about silk in a more abstract way, rather than about a piece of silk thread or fabric, you can just use 실크.

Roots

Korean English Character
self
roll
vehicle
볼펜 ballpoint pen
machine
equipment
형광 florescent 螢光
지우다 erase
-er
cauldron

City updated 2018-10-25

City

Here we learn a little bit of the places you may find around the city.

The City

Korean has a few words relating to "city" that are useful to know.

Korean English Explanation
도시 city
~시 City this is a prefix that comes after the city's name
수도 capital
시내 downtown literally "city+inside", referring to the city center
시외 outside the city literally "city+outside," referring to things outside the city. We'll see this more in a later skill

Through and Across

The verbs 건너다 and 지나다 mean to "go across" and to "pass." Both can be used in combination with other verbs of motion to talk about "going across" or "coming across," "going past" or "coming past." 지나다 can be used sometimes as "to pass through."

지나가는 사람 means a "passerby", literally a "person who goes past"

Crowded

The descriptive verb 복잡하다 literally means "complicated" but if often used to describe somewhere that is crowded. It really is complicated navigating a crowded place!

Stores

  • 백화점 "department store", literally a "hundred things shop." Korea has a lot of department stores, in some cases with so many sections and so many stalls inside that they could just as easily be entire malls all on their own.

  • 편의점 "convenience store" Every street corner in Korea has a convenience store, with a few more located in between for good measure. You can buy just about anything in a convenience store, including a full meal at decent quality.

Skyscraper

  • 마천루 is the literal work for skyscraper, a sky-high building

  • 고층 means "high rise" and can be used with 건물 to be a "high-rise building" or 아파트 to be "high-rise apartment"

Roots

Korean English Character
city
inside
outside
횡단 cross 横断
보도 path 步道
high
floor
hundred
thing
store
편의 convenience 便宜
office
마천 sky-high 摩天

Body updated 2018-10-25

Body

In this lesson we'll learn some of the basic body parts. We'll get into more detail in the skill Medicine.

Hair

The Korean word for "hair" is 머리카락, with 머리 meaning "head." However, in everyday speech where it is clearly understood, people just say "머리." So 머리 깎았네! is "You've had a haircut" and not "You've trimmed your head."

Bones

The basic word for bone is 뼈. If you're talking about a bone you'd give a dog or a piece of meat on the bone, you'd probably use a different word, 뼈다귀.

Teeth

Korean has 3 words for teeth. 이, 치아, and 이빨. 이 is the basic word, 치아 is more formal and sounds more medicinal, while 이빨 is less formal and may often be used when talking about animals.

꿈치, 가락, 바닥

English can get complicated when talking about hands and feet. Fingers vs toes. Palm vs sole. Korean has some compound words that make it a bit easier to know what you're talking about.

If you add 손 or 발 to the following words (and in one case 팔) you create compounds that are easy to understand.

Korean Explanation
가락 A "stick". Fingers and toes
바닥 "floor". Palm and sole
꿈치 bony joint. 팔꿈치 "elbow" and 발꿈치 "heel"
"nail." Toenail and fingernail
"neck" 손목 "wrist" and 발목 "ankle"

Korean words sometimes change when used in a compound. When a word used as a prefix ends in a vowel it sometimes has an added ㅅ at the end. So 코 "nose" as a prefix becomes 콧.

In North Korean writing they don't add the ㅅ, but the sound is still there.

Roots

Korean English Character
피부 skin 皮肤
sense
smell
feeling
flavor
listen
touch
see

Phrases2 updated 2018-10-25

Phrases Part Two

In this lesson we'll learn a few more set phrases, some words common in conversations, and some exclamations.

Please

As we've already seen, Korean doesn't need a separate word for please, you can just politely ask someone to do something using ~주세요. However, there is 제발, which is the literal translation of please. It's use is much more limited than the English, as it seems a bit like you're pleading.

There is also 부탁하다 which means to "request" or to "ask a favor."

Cheers

There are two popular toasts in Korean.

  • 건배: Cheers, the usual thing to say when clinking together your glasses.

  • 위하여: "Here's to", more of a toast. It's common to just say 위하여, but you can add whatever you're toasting to before the 위하여. This comes from the verb 위하다 "to do for the sake of"

Goodbye

안녕 can mean "hi" or "bye", but if you want to say a more formal "goodbye" there are two different ways, depending on who's going and who's staying.

  • 안녕히 가세요: Both are based on 안녕히 "safely." 안녕히 가세요 is said to someone who is leaving, literally "go safely"

  • 안녕히 계세요: This is said to someone who is staying behind, literally "stay safely"

처음 뵙겠습니다

A common way of saying that you're glad to have met someone, this literally means something along the lines of "I saw you first."

뵈다 is a formal way of saying "to see" and can also be used in a formal "see you later" as 나중에 봬요.

Later

We introduce here two ways of saying "later"

  • 나중에: This is a more generic word for "later" and is used much the same as in English.

  • 이따가: This could be "later" but also "in a little while." It cannot be used with past tense. It usually indicates something that will be done within the next few hours.

Exclamations

Korean English
아싸 yeah!
대박 great! often said with the 대 extended
아이고 ah! I've heard little old ladies going down the stairs saying this with every step
우아 wow!
그냥 just because
화이팅 good luck! you can do it! literally "fighting"
진짜 really

Occupations updated 2018-10-25

Jobs

Let's get to work!

Work

Think about all the different meanings of "work" in English. It can be you job, the things you do at your job, or the place where you do your job.

Korean is a little more discrete. All of the below words could be "work" or "job" in English, but have more concrete meanings in Korean. Not all are taught in this lesson, but we include them in this list for completeness.

Korean English
work, a thing to be done. also used in 집안 일 "housework"
직업 career/profession
직장 place of work
업무 task
일자리 position

적 is a noun that doesn't translate well into English on its own, but is used in phrases to talk about having done something.

The phrase is constructed as follows:

Past modifier of verb + 적이 + 있다

or

Past modifier of verb + 적이 + 없다

For example:

저는 고래를 본 적이 있습니다=I have seen a whale.

저는 한국에 간 적이 없습니다=I have not been to Korea.

Already

Korean has two words that both mean already, 이미 and 벌써.

What is the different between the two? 이미 is more generic, while 벌써 indicates an aspect of surprise.

Going to Work

We have three verbs here with the root 근.

  • 출근하다 is to go in to work for the day

  • 퇴근하다 is to finish work for the day

  • 근무하다 is to work. This verb may be used with ~에 instead of ~에서 as it means more closely "to be on duty" than "to work." It is more formal, and therefore used most frequently in writing, but also in the military.

Roots

Korean English Character
duty
profession
노동 labor 劳动
-er
건축 architecture 建築
soldier
master
undertake
lose
근무 service 勤務
withdraw 退
painting
leave

School updated 2018-10-25

School

School is in session!

In this skill we introduce some of the basic vocabulary needed to talk about school. The course currently doesn't include much about college, but we have some of that planned for our eventual Tree 2.0

Schools and Students

Korean English
유치원 kindergarten/preschool
초등학교 elementary school
중학교 middle school
고등학교 high school

We introduce here the names of four levels of school, with translations based (more or less) on the American school system. Different countries, and sometimes different school districts within a country, use different names for these, so please report missing translations.

To talk about the students going to one of these schools, replace ~교 with ~생. For kindergarteners, you can just add ~생 to the end of 유치원.

Teachers

We've already seen 선생님, the general term for teacher, with the honorific ~님 built right in.

You can add the school, the subject, or other descriptors before 선생님 to specify type of teacher. For example, 초등학교 선생님 would be an elementary school teacher, while 영어 선생님 would be an English teacher.

Two common descriptors followed by 선생님 are 담임 and 교장.

  • 담임 comes from 한자 that mean "to be in charge" and refers to the "homeroom" or "head teacher", often in contrast to administrators, aides, or special subject teachers that do not oversee a specific group of young learners.

  • 교장 comes from 한자 that mean "school" and "leader", referring to the principal or headmaster.

Classes

English can be very vague when we use the word "class." Is it the space? the time period? the material being learned? or the people?

Korean is not vague. Let's take a look at some of the words that may be difficult to parse at first.

Korean English
학년 grade/year in school
homeroom
학급 class/group of students
교시 class period
교실 classroom
수업 lesson

Each school has several 학년, numbered 1학년 and up. (The numbers start over again from 1 in middle and high school). At anything other than a very small school, each 학년 will have several 반, numbered 1반 and up, of students in different homerooms with different 담임 선생님.

학급 is more abstract, but the best to describe it would be "collection of students."

For the other words, each day has several 교시, each 교시 you have a 수업 in a 교실.

Roots

Korean English Character
early
level
dust
pen

Future Tense updated 2018-10-25

Future

The time has finally come to learn the last of Korean's three verb tenses, the future tense.

Forming the Future

Unlike present and past, the future tense in Korean is a compound tense, formed using more than one word.

The basic idea is that the future tense is formed by taking the future verbal modifier (explanation below) and then adding 것 and the copula ~이다.

As we've seen before, 것 has various forms and contractions. With the future tense, the two most common are 것 and 거. While 할 것입니다 (will do) might be more common in writing, 할 겁니다 is common in speaking without necessarily decreasing the politeness or formality of your sentence.

Future Verbal Modifier

Future tense verbal modifiers have several forms, all of which end with ~ㄹ.

  1. For verb stems ending with a vowel, simply add ㄹ to the final syllable. 하다=>할

  2. For verb stems ending with a consonant, add 을. 먹다=>먹을

  3. For verb stems ending with a ㄹ, do nothing, just use the stem. 만들다=>만들

  4. For ㄷ special case verbs, those where the final ㄷ becomes a ㄹ, add 을 to the end of the stem. 듣다=>들을

It's as simple as that.

저는 한국어를 공부할 것입니다=I will study Korean.

Honorific

If you're wondering where to add the honorific in the future tense, it is always on the future tense verbal modifier. You do not need to add the honorific ~시다 to the copula following 것.

Planned Future

There is a second form of the future, using 예정. This is formed much the same way as the main form of the future tense, although 것 is replaced with 예정.

This form of the future is for something you are planning to do, somewhere along the lines of "I'm going to..." in English.

저는 편의점에 갈 예정입니다=I'm going to go to the convenience store.

Calendar updated 2021-01-16

Calendar

년 and 년도

Both 년 and 년도 refer to a year but they are used in different contexts. 년 is rather a year number counter whereas 년도 refers to a year as a period. If someone asks you in what year you were born, the answer is, for example, 1993년. On the other hand, 1993년 refers to the whole period such as a budget year, fiscal year, school year etc. and as far as we know no one was born over the course of one year from Jan 1 to Dec 31. Further, 년 can also be used for simply counting years e.g. 삼 년 동안 for three years. This distinction may look bizarre to English speakers, but is found in other languages as well, such as French (an vs. année).

Year, Month, Day

English Korean (Sino-Korean)
year 해(년/연)
month 달(개월/월)
day 날(일)

The native Korean words 해, 달, and 날 and Sino-Korean words 년, 월, and 일 are usually paired with other native Korean words and Sino-Korean words, respectively. For example, one year is 한 해 or 일 년, and one month is 한 달 or 일 개월. 년 and 개월 are bound nouns and thus must be preceded by a number whereas 연 and 월 are stand-alone words. 월 is also found as part of the names of the months, which we introduce below. 년도 does not have its native Korean counterpart.

January, February, …

We Korean speakers have a hard time remembering the names of the months when we learn English because we have totally different names for them. In other words, you will also need a long time and hard work to get yourself familiar with their Korean names. Here is the list‎:

English Korean
January 일월(1월)
February 이월(2월)
March 삼월(3월)
April 사월(4월)
May 오월(5월)
June 유월*(6월)
July 칠월(7월)
August 팔월(8월)
September 구월(9월)
October 시월*(10월)
November 십일월(11월)
December 십이월(12월)

*These are not spelt 육월 and 십월.

Days in the Lunar Calendar

We introduced how to count days in native Korean before, and they are also used in the lunar calendar (with the exception of 하루; the first day of the month is called 초하루). For example, 유월 열아흐레 means the 19th of the sixth month in the lunar calendar, though this usage sounds very old-fashioned. The fifteenth day and the last day of the month, of course in the lunar calendar, are called 보름 and 그믐, respectively. It is not surprising that 보름달 and 그믐달 mean the full moon and the old moon, respectively.

Day Name
1 하루
2 이틀
3 사흘
4 나흘
5 닷새
6 엿새
7 이레
8 여드레
9 아흐레
10 열흘
11 열하루
15 열닷새/보름
20 스무날
21 스무하루

Medicine updated 2020-06-28

Medicine

The doctor is in!

This lesson teaches some vocab related to getting sick and getting treated.

Pain

In this lessons we have two words for pain, 아픔 and 고통.

  • 아픔 is a general native Korean word for "pain" or "soreness" or even "sickness"

  • 고통 is a more specific Sino-Korean word, that means "pain" or "agony." It may be more formal or place more emphasis.

~음

아픔 might look familiar. That's because it's related to the adjective 아프다 (to be sick/to be in pain). Many nouns may be formed from adding ~음 or ~ㅁ to the end of a verb or verbal adjective.

Another example is 죽음 "death", from the verb 죽다 "to die".

A lot of times, these form nouns that may be used independently. However, sometimes this forms part of a grammar pattern without an easy to translate noun. We won't see any of that here though now.

~과

The ending ~과 serves a dual purpose when talking about medicine. Usually formed from Sino-Korean roots, much like Latin roots in English medical terms, much medical terminology ends with ~과.

This may be translated as a field of medicine, such as 치과 "dentistry". However, this may also be translated as "department of dentistry." All medical terms ending with ~과 function the same way.

We can also add ~학 at the end of one of these words. Usually adding ~학 doesn't change the English meaning, but it can be understood as "the study of X"

So a 내과의사 (doctor of internal medicine) works in the 내과 (department of internal medicine) and studied 내과학 (internal medicine).

Roots

Korean English Character
심장 heart 心臟
마비 paralysis 痲痺
medicine
inside
outside
department
teeth
table

Home updated 2018-10-25

마루

We will translate 마루 as floor in the course, but it refers to a specific kind of wooden floor usually found in traditional Korean houses.

Non-Verbal Adjectives updated 2021-04-02

Qualifiers

Here we introduce two ways of making adjectives/adverbs out of nouns.

-적

-적 is a suffix that is added after a noun, meaning "related to". It is usually used in the form of "-적인" (-related), "-적이다" (is …-related), or "-적으로" (in a …-related way).

Korean Phrases English Translations
과학 science
과학적(인) 방법 a science-related method, a scientific method
방법이 과학적이다. The method is scientific.
과학적으로 scientifically

대하다 vs 관하다

대하다 means to set as a target or an object and 관하다 means to set as an object of one's speech or idea. 대하다 is broader, but in practice there is little difference. These verbs usually function as adjectives (대한, 관한) or adverbs (대하여, 관하여). Note that 에 comes before them.

Korean Phrases English Translations
경제 economy
경제에 대한/관한 an economy-related book, a book about economy
경제에 대하여/관하여 쓴 책 a book that (one) wrote about economy, a book about economy

Indirect Quotation updated 2021-04-05

Indirect Quotation

In English indirect quotations are usually done with to-infinitives or that-clauses. When what you want to quote is a question, question words or whether(if)-clauses are also used. In Korean there are four way to quote indirectly.

Quotation Endings Usage Examples
-다고 After a declarative sentence except 이다 철수가 선생님이 미국에 있다고 해요. *Cheolsu says the teacher is in the US.
-냐고 After an interrogative sentence 철수가 영희가 어디에 있냐고 해요. Cheolsu asks where Yeonghui is.
-자고 After a propositive sentence 철수가 미국에 가자고 해요. Cheolsu suggests that we go to the US.
-라고 After 이다 in the declarative form 저는 철수라고 해요. (They) say I am Cheolsu./My name is Cheolsu.

Sports updated 2018-10-25

Sports

Sports! From the beautiful game of football/soccer to the European sport of tennis, this skill will cover many of the sports enjoyed by people around the world.

Feelings updated 2021-04-04

부끄럽다

부끄럽다 means to be shameful, but it comes with a topic. In short, what one feels ashamed of is the subject, and the person feeling ashamed is the topic.

Korean English
나는 네가 부끄럽다. To me, you are shameful. / I feel ashamed of you.

Passive updated 2021-04-05

Passive

Here we introduce verbs that have passive meanings as well as passive suffixes.

나다

나다 in the literal sense means to grow or to happen. This is often attached to nouns and turn them into verbs. You say it when the event happens on its own and it is not under your control. When it is under your control and you are making it happen, you say 내다.

Examples Translations
end
끝나다 to end, to be over
끝내다 to end (it)
기억 memory
기억나다 to remember

되다

되다 literally means to be done. You can make the passive voice by replacing 하다 with 되다.

Examples Translations
준비하다 to prepare
준비되다 to be ready
포함하다 to include
포함되다 to be included

Passive Suffixes

There are four passive suffixes in Korean. They are attached to stems of original verbs. These suffixes often have emphasis on the agent i.e. what caused it to happen.

Suffixes Notes Examples
-이 Usually comes after vowels, ㅍ, ㅌ, ㅎ 보이다 to come in sight
-히 Usually comes after ㄱ, regular ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ 닫히다 to close
-리 Usually comes after irregular ㄷ, ㄹ 열리다 to open
-기 Usually comes after ㄴ, ㅁ, ㅅ, ㅊ 안기다 to be hugged

For reference, there are no verbs or adjectives (descriptive verbs) whose stems end in ㅇ or ㅋ. In this skill, you will be given active voice sentences as well as passive voice sentences so that you can naturally compare them.


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