Grammar Lesson 2 Korean

(ㅂ/습)니다 (deferential form)

In Korean there are different levels of politeness that one needs to be aware of.
For most of these lessons we have used the ‘polite’ form, which is the form you will use when speaking with strangers or people your age.
The polite form (called 존댓말) always has ‘요’ as the ending.
Now we will teach you the deferential ending.

V + (ㅂ/습)니다

1. The most polite ending in Korean is the deferential ending (ㅂ/습)니다. You remove the verb stem ‘다’ and add ‘ㅂ’ to the end of the verb if it ends in a vowel, or add ‘습’ if it ends in a consonant. Then you add ‘니다’ to the end.

지금 갑니다. = I’m going now.

만나서 반갑습니다. = Pleased to meet you.

V + (ㅂ/습)니까?

2. When asking a question, it is the form (ㅂ/습)니까, so you add ‘니까?’ to the end instead of ‘니다’. To make it even more polite you can combine this with the honorific particle (으시) to make ‘십니까?’

잘 주무십니까? = Did you sleep well?

V + (으)십시오

3. When making a request or imperative statement, we replace the Verb’s ‘다’ with ‘(으)십시오’.

빨리 오십시오! = Come fast!

V + 시겠어요?
V+ 시겠습니까?

4. When asking someone to do something or in a ‘let’s’ sentence, we can use ‘시겠습니까?’ or ‘시겠어요?’. We’ll learn more about ‘겠’ later.

어디로 가시겠습니까? – Where you would you like to go?

V + 겠습니다

5. When speaking about an intention to do something, or a future action, its better to use ‘겠습니다’ instead of ‘(ㄹ/을)거에요’.

제가 하겠습니다. – I’ll do it.

6. These endings are usually spoken to people much older than you, seniors, bosses, etc. When talking to strangers who you don’t know the status or age, just use the polite ending (요) instead.
These endings are also used commonly with the ‘formal’ versions of some Korean verbs like 드시다 (formal version of 먹다) and 드리다 (formal version of 주다).