Grammar Lesson 1 Korean

이다, 아니다, 있다, 없다 (to be/not to be, to have/not have)

First, We are going to learn about two very important verbs to know: to be, and to have.

The verb 이다 means to be.
The verb 아니다 means not to be.
The verb 있다 means to have or to be there.
The verb 없다 means to not have or to not be there.

This is our first lesson with grammar. For Korean grammar, please remember that the structure is Subject-Object-Verb. So the Verb goes last in the sentence, and is usually the most important part of the sentence, as the verb endings can change as you will find out. The root form of every Korean verb ends in ‘다’. But when using these verbs, we have to conjugate them. This means, we have to remove the ‘다’ from the end of the verb and replace it with an ending. In these first lessons, we are going to focus on the ‘polite’ ending, which is the form you will use when talking to strangers and acquaintances. For this form, we always use the ending ‘요’ (yo). This ending indicates politeness.

For 이다, when the noun ends in a consonant, the ending 이에요 is used. When the noun ends in a vowel, 예요 is used.
For 아니다, the ending 아니에요 is used.
The polite ending for 있다 is 있어요. The polite ending for 없다 is 없어요.
Korean has different verbs for addressing people of different statuses, as you will find out. In this case, 계시다 is the honorific form of 있다, and is only used when talking to seniors and elders.

From now on, I will use AV to denote Action Verb, DV to denote Descriptive Verb (Adjective), V to denote any verb, and N to denote Noun.

N + 이다
N + 아니다
N + 있다
N + 없다


가방이에요. = It’s a bag.

예요. = It’s me.

학교아니에요. = It’s not a school.

이에요? = Is it water?

커피 있어요? = Do you have any coffee?

사람이 없어요. = There’s no people there.

시간이 없어요. = I don’t have any time.