Grammar Lesson 4 Korean

(지다,이/히/리/기,되다) Passive Verbs

What are passive verbs? A passive verb is a word that indicates that an action was done in the past. In English, we say something is/are/was done to make it passive. In Korea, there are several ways to make a passive verb. Keep in mind that while passive verbs are used often, it is often more natural just to use the active form of a verb. For example, to find rather than is found, to close rather than is closed, etc. Also, passive verbs also can mean the possibility of taking that action.

AV + (아/어/여)지다

1. When used with an action verb, (아/어/여)지다 turns the verb into a passive verb.

주다 (to give) + (아/어/여)지다 = 주어지다 = to be given = can be given

자르다 (to cut) + ㄹ라 (irregular) + 지다 = 잘라지다 = to be cut = can be but

AV + 이/히/리/기다

2. Generally, when the verb ends in ㅎ, 이다 is the ending.
When the verb ends in ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ 히 is the ending.
When the verb ends in ㄹ, 리 is the ending.
When the verb ends in ㄴ,ㅁ,ㅅ,ㅊ 기 is the ending.

놓다 (to put down) + 이 = 놓이다 = to be put down = can be put down

먹다 (to eat) + 히다 = 먹히다 = to be eaten = can be eaten

밀다 (to push) + 리다 = 밀리다 = to be pushed = can be pushed

씻다 (to wash) + 기다 = 씻기다 = to be washed = can be washed

AV + 되다

3. Only 하다 verbs use this ending. 하다 verbs become 되다 verbs when they become passive.

이용하다 (to use) – change into 되다 = 이용되다 = to be used = can be used

연구하다 (to research) – change into 되다 = 연구되다 = to be researched = can be researched