Grammar Lesson 1 Korean

아/어/여 (present tense)

V + 아/어/여

When we want to speak in present tense, we conjugate korean verbs by removing the verb stem ‘다’ and replacing it with either 아,어 or 여.

1. When the verb’s last vowel ends in ㅏ or ㅗ, we replace the stem with ‘아’.

2. When the verb’s last vowel does not end in ㅏ or ㅗ, we replace the stem with ‘어’.

3. When the verb ends in 하다 or 이다, we replace it with ‘여’.

4. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but we’ll cover those later on.

5. We add 요 to the end for the polite marker (we’ll cover this more later), which is most often used.


가다 + + 요 = 가요 – go

먹다 + + 요 = 먹어요 – eat

좋아하다 + + 요 = 좋아해요 – like

어디 요? = Where are you going?

지금 뭐요? = What are you doing?

먹어요! = Eat!

Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

(ㄴ/은),운,(적)인 Adjectives

In Korean there is a very simple way to make an adjective.

DV + (ㄴ/은)

1.You take a descriptive verb, remove the ‘다’ base, and if it ends in a vowel, you add ㄴ to the bottom, and if it ends in a consonant, you append 은, and place it in front of the noun you want to describe. That’s it.

작다 = to be small. 작 + 은 = 작은 = small.

행복하다 = to be happy. 행복하 + ㄴ = 행복한 = happy.

예쁘다 = to be pretty. 예쁘 + ㄴ = 예쁜 = pretty.

DV + 운

2. For verbs that end in ‘ㅂ’, you remove the ‘ㅂ’ and append ‘운’ instead.

아름답다 = to be beautiful. 아름다 + 운 = 아름다운 = beautiful.

N + 적 + 인

3. You might see the word ‘적’ attached to some nouns. This is the equivalent of adding ‘-ness’ to a noun, but to make it actually modify a noun, you have to append ‘인’ in addition to ‘적’.

사교적인 = 사교 (social) + 적 (social-ness) + 인 = sociable.


예쁜 여자 있어요! = There’s a pretty girl!

그는 진짜 조용한 사람이에요. = He’s a really quiet guy.

For a list of common descriptive verbs, there’s a list here.

DV + (아/어/여)지다

3. Attaching (아/어/여)지다 to a descriptive verb (adjective) means ‘to become + DV’.


예뻐졌어요! = (It) became prettier!

Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

기,는 것,ㅁ/음 (verb into noun)

In Korean there are several ways to turn a verb into a noun.
In English, we often use ‘-ing’ to do this; I like eating = I like the act of ‘to eat’.
I enjoy listening to music = I enjoy the act of ‘to listen to music’. And so forth.
There are three ways to do this in Korean.

V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)것
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)건
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)게
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)걸

1. The most straightforward and common way is to replace the ‘다’ stem of the verb with -는 것. This is equivalent to saying ‘the act of doing [verb]’. This new verb-noun form can then be used as a topic (-는 건), as an object (-는 걸), or the subject (-는 게).
You can also use it by itself (-ㄴ/는/-ㄹ 거) when you want to express the act of doing [verb].

운전하는 걸 좋아해요 = I like driving.

일하는거나 공부하는것도 괜찮아요. = Working or Studying are ok.

V + 기
V + 긴
V + 기가
V + 길

2. The second way is to replace the ‘다’ stem of the verb with ‘기’. This is more equivalent to appending ‘-ing’ in English to the verb, but it is more natural with some verbs than others. ‘듣기’, ‘쓰기’, ‘읽기’ are some of the common verbs that usually appear in this form, but it just depends. You will see it with some verbs more often than others, it is less general than ‘는 것’. You can use it as a topic (-긴), as an object (-길), or as the subject (-기가).
You can also use it by itself (-기) when you want to express the act of doing [verb].

노래 듣길 좋아해요? = Do you like to listen to music?

영어 쓰긴 아주 어려워요. – Writing English is very difficult.

V + ㅁ/음

3. The third way is the least general way of making a noun out of a verb, and it is only used with certain verbs. The way is to remove ‘다’ stem of the verb, and either add ‘ㅁ’ to the bottom if it ends in a vowel, or append ‘음’ if it ends in a consonant. Again, this only works with some verbs like 잠 = sleep, 웃음 = laughter, 춤 = dance, etc and the verb is not treated as the ‘-ing’ form like the other methods but rather as a formal noun in itself. Many verbs are used with this form together like 춤을 추다, 꿈을 꾸다, etc.
It is also used as an ending (-ㅁ/음) when the level of politeness (반말,존댓말) is unknown.

좋은 꿈을 꾸세요! = Dream a good dream!

춤을 잘 춰요! – You can dance well!