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Beginners Lesson Three Korean Verbs

Lesson Three introduces Korean Verbs. This page is the best place to start if you can read Hangul, but are not yet able to understand Korean. From this page on, it is assumed you can read Hangul, the Korean alphabet. If not, please look through lessons one and two and then return here. Korean verbs are extremely important. Verbs in Korean sentences are the most important part of the sentence. In fact, it is the only part you need for the sentence to be complete. Korean, unlike English, does not mention the subject of the sentence if it can be assumed from context. For example, in English, one might ask "Are you hungry?" In Korean, if someone could just ask "Hungry?" and people knew who they were referring to, then it is perfectly fine to leave off the "you." You may hear this in English as well, but it is not considered grammatically correct. It is considered grammatically correct in Korean! So, to sum up that paragraph, the verb is the only needed part in a Korean sentence. Everything else is extra. Now I know you are eager to start learning verbs and looking them up in the dictionaries, but we must cover one important piece of grammar first. Korean verbs can take many different forms, depending on who you are talking to. Korean still has social status literally integrated into the language itself. The verb "to be" when speaking to an older person or teacher will be slightly different than "to be" when speaking to your best friend. Most Korean verbs have the same root, regardless of who you are talking to, but you will change the ending of the verb depending on who you are speaking with. is the dictionary form of the verb "to eat." The dictionary form consists of the verb root, in this example, and the ending. Go ahead, look up a few of your favorite verbs here or even better, grab yourself a copy of Declan's Korean Flashcards(contains over 3600 words with audio, arranged in vocabulary sets) to start building a strong foundation of Korean verbs. You will see all forms they list end in . If you remove the ending, you will be left with the verb root. The verb root of is . The verb root by itself has no meaning. You must remove the ending and replace it with a different ending depending on what you want to say and who you want to say it to. In my mind, I see three different, very distinct endings for speaking and writing.Formal , Polite , and Casual . Formal Ending / Polite Ending Casual Ending / /

For now, we will focus on the two most common styles of verbs you will use, polite and casual. As you can see above, there are also two different endings for both polite and casual speech. The way you decide which ending to choose is based on the verb root. If the last vowel in the verb root is or then you choose the (polite) or (casual) ending. If the last vowel in the verb root is anything other than or , then you choose the (polite) or (casual) ending. Look at the following chart of commonly used verbs and compare the verb root to the ending to get a better understanding of this. I will refer to the Formal ending section next. English To Have To Be Good To Go To Not Have To Do Verb Root Dictionary Form 1 Polite Ending Casual Ending Formal Ending

Let's look at a couple. means "to have." is the verb root. The last vowel in is . Since this is not or then we know to choose the / endings depending on whether we will need to be polite or if it is casual speech. (~) has a verb root of . The final vowel in this root is , so we need to choose the / endings. If you look at , this has a verb root of with a final vowel of . So, since that is or , it must take the / ending. Understand the general pattern?

Irregular Verb Patterns Now, as you can see in the chart, there will be some situations that do not follow this exactly. means "to go". If you remove the to get the verb root you are left with . Following this pattern, you would add / to the verb root, and get something like . The real way is just . It has been shortened because otherwise we just say two of the same vowel in a row. Since that is a waste of time and breath, it is simply or . The final verb is the chart above is . This is a very common verb in any language. This one verb is irregular all on it's own. It doesn't follow a pattern, and you just need to memorize the case. It shouldn't be too hard because you will see this all over the place. has a root of . The polite form is and the casual form is . Just take a few minutes right now to memorize this and then you will never have to worry about it again. Done? Ok, let's move on. Below is a table of irregular verbs that follow a pattern. Briefly look over the table and then continue on. English To Drink To Meet To Come To Be Busy To Not Know To Be Hot Verb Root Dictionary Form Polite Ending Casual Ending

The first one is "To Drink" or . If we remove the dictionary ending, we are left with . Following normal patterns for the polite form, we would have . To make it easier and sound better, the real polite form is . Any verb root that ends in will naturally take the / endings, and we shorten + to . Other verb examples that take this pattern are , - , - . Next we meet (get it?). This one should be easy. We already went over it with . Since the verb root ends in , we shorten to . Also, keep in mind this pattern works with verb roots that end in as well. If it ends in it would naturally take the ending. This would be a double vowel sound so we just shorten it the same way. Other verb examples that take this pattern are - , , - . Next, we come to (ok, I will really stop now, I promise!). The verb root is . This would naturally take the ending, making . Wouldn't it be much easier to combine the and the 2

into ? It sure sounds better and smoother. That is exactly what we do. Whenever a verb root ends in , it will naturally take the ending and because all of you will know this lesson, you will naturally combine the and the to . Other verb examples that take this pattern are - , - . Next, we have . The verb root is . Following normal verb patterns we would figure the polite form would be . Try and say that. Now, try and say . That is the correct way. When a verb root ends in , we drop the , look at the last vowel in the root that is left (not including the ) and add the appropriate ending. For this example, the last vowel would be . So, when we drop the and add the ending, we get . Other verb examples that follow this pattern are - , - , - . The next verb is . The verb root is . You might be thinking, that ends in so wouldn't it follow the above irregular pattern, and become ? Indeed, it would, except Koreans have decided if a verb root ends in (not just ), then we will double up the by adding a second to the end of the syllable before the . And then we drop the . . We added a to and got . We dropped the and got . Together, we have . Other verb examples using this pattern are - , - , - . The final verb in the verb chart above is . You should definitely be good with verb roots by now and instantly know it is . Now, with this irregular pattern, you must remember two things. Often, when a verb root ends in , you should drop the and add . After that, you move to the second step. If it ends in , when we pick a style such as polite style, it should naturally take the ending. This is another pattern where we combine two characters to make it smoother. and combine into . We get in the end. Other verb examples that follow this pattern are , . Now you should know the verb patterns you will run into. You can take a verb out of a dictionary such as Declan's Korean Dictionary, find the root, and put it in either casual language or polite language. But you may still be wondering what exactly that means! Is polite language simply the same thing as if you were to be polite in English? Similar, yes...but not the same. If you want to think of it as the same, then you should just remember to be polite to everyone in Korea or when speaking Korean. Here is the thing, since Korean is still a language with social status still built into the actual language, you mustbe polite with your speech or you will be considered very rude. You should use the polite style with anyone older than you, above you, new to you. A teacher, a parent, a stranger, pretty much everyone except your closest friends! You may use casual language when speaking to someone younger than yourself, your close friends, and your brothers and sisters. Any other time would be considered rude. So, based on this, choose which to use wisely. If you are talking to an adult and they are using casual verbs, that is because you are younger. This does not mean you should use the same verbs when speaking to them. You should be polite. This means that each of you will add different endings to the verbs. Now that you can take a verb from the dictionary, find the root, make it into a casual or polite verb, and actually know whether it should be a casual or polite verb, you are ready to actually use some. Remember how in Korean verbs can be used all alone and the sentence will be grammatically correct? Let's see some examples. If we were to say , what exactly are we saying? We know it is a polite way, and it means "to eat" (don't worry if you haven't memorized the verbs yet. You will be sent to the homework page shortly to do some memorization). But do we know what we are saying when we say to someone? Well, it depends :). You could be saying "I'm eating." Or, you could be saying "you're eating". You could be saying "eat." If someone said "What do you want to do?" You could reply . In Korean you can use the verbs in a much more general manner than in English. Later we will see how to add words such as "I" or "You" if necessary to clear up the meaning of a sentence.

Another example could be . This means To Be Good. If someone asks you how is something, you can say ! Like, "Are my new shoes ok? Do you like them? How are they?" "!". Or, if you are having a casual conversation about something with your friend, and they say something and in English you would just give the reply "Good!" or something, you can just say !(remember, it's a conversation with your friend). This whole concept about the verbs being so general is hard to learn at first. Just try your best! Casual verbs can have even more meanings than other forms! If you say you could be saying I'm going, you're going, someone's going, let's go, are we going?, etc. A lot of Korean is about what can be assumed. If it can be assumed, there is no need to say it in the language. One of the most recommended Korean language products, Rosetta Stone Korean Level 1, makes learning this part a breeze. This wraps up the intro to Korean verbs! It's time for you to memorize a few, and to go back and make sure you know the patterns covered on this page. There will definitely be more to come on verbs later.