Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

(아/어/여)서, (으)니까 (reason, cause, result)

려고 하다 is a grammar construct that is showing future action, and is similar to (ㄹ/을)래요 but in this case more like ‘going to do’ and is not just an ending; it acts more like a conjunction because unlike the other future forms, the ending 하다 can be treated just as any other verb. To make this ending, we conjugate the verb into present tense using 아/어/여, then we add 서 to the end. For (으)니까, we conjugate the verb with 으 if the ending is a consonant and add 니까 to the end. We can either use these as endings, or connect other sentences to them to show the logical connection.

V + (아/어/여)서

1. (아/어/여)서 is similar to using 그래서 to join sentences, except it is attached to the end of the verbs themselves, and can also be used as an ending by itself if the sentence is enough to show the reason. You can think of the sentence using (아/어/여)서 as explaining the reason behind something, and then following it up with the next sentence. (아/어/여)서 cannot be used in imperative sentences.

V + (으)니까

2. (으)니까 is similar to (아/어/여)서, except the connection is more direct and the sentence containing (으)니까 explains the reason more clearly. (으)니까 can be used in imperative sentences whereas (아/어/여)서 cannot. (으)니까 can also be shortened to (으)니 in colloquial speech.

N + (으)니까
N + (이)라서/(이)어서

3. Both can be used with nouns too. (으)니까 is just appended to the noun, but (아/어/여)서 has to become (이)라서 or (이)어서, with 이 appended if the noun ends in a consonant and either 라서 or 어서 added.


요즘에 바빠서 친구랑 못 만나요. – I was busy recently so I couldn’t meet my friends.

미국에 와서 뭐 할 거예요? – You came to USA, so what are you going to do?

친구니까요! – Because I’m your friend!

외국사람이라서 한국어 잘 못 해요. – I’m a foreigner, so I cannot speak Korean well.

저 지금 바쁘니까 나중에 전화할게요. – I’m busy right now so I’ll call you later.

Grammar Lesson 4 Korean

(ㄴ/는)다,(아/어)라,니,냐,자 (intimate and plain forms)

In Korean there are different levels of politeness that one needs to be aware of.
We use the polite form usually with strangers (using 요 at the end of every sentence), and also we learned about the deferential form which we use for seniors and elders.
Now it’s time to learn two other forms, the intimate and plain forms.
The intimate form ending (called 반말) is easy. We just take the ‘요’ off of any polite sentence ending and that’s the intimate form!
We use the intimate form with anyone whom we consider either lower in age (like a child), or someone who we are close with (like a close friend or lover).
Now that we got the intimate form out of the way, the rest of this article will talk about the plain form.

1. What is the plain form? The plain form is used mostly in writings, and sometimes when speaking. When writing, the formality doesn’t matter, and when speaking, it is on roughly the same level as the intimate form, and is often used with close friends or family.

V + (ㄴ/는)다
DV + 다

2. The standard way of making a plain form statement is to replace the verb stem with ‘ㄴ/는’ 다 (ㄴ for vowel endings, 는 for consonant endings), but only for action verbs. Adjectives (descriptive verbs) don’t change at all, they use the dictionary 다 form. When speaking, the statement form can be used to draw attention to something.

나는 보통 7시에 아침을 먹는다. – I usually eat breakfast at 7am.

난 집에 가야 된다. – I have to go home.

V + 느냐?
V + 니?
V + 냐?

3. When asking a question in writing with the plain form, the ending is -느냐?, but when speaking in plain form, the question ending is either ‘-니?’ or ‘-냐?’, with the latter slightly more intimate.

커피를 좀 마시고싶니? – Do you want to drink some coffee?

혹시 난 널 사랑하냐? – Perhaps I love you?

AV + (아/어)라!

4. When making a request or imperative statement in plain form, we conjugate with -아라 if the verb’s last vowel ends in ㅏ,ㅗ, and -어라 otherwise.

김치 먹어라! – Eat some Kimchi!

AV + 자!

5. As mentioned before, -자 is the plain/intimate ending for making a suggestion.

같이 가자! – Let’s go together!