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When to use ㅂ니다

안녕하세요 ^_^

Recently, somebody posted a question asking when to use ㅂ니다.

At first glance, I as already thinking of answering the seemingly simple question by giving the basic explanation of 존댓말 because that is what most learners will have encountered in one of their first Korean lessons.

However, as soon as I thought about it, another very old question popped up in my mind and I thought maybe that is what the other person wanted to know as well.

Is the ending ㅂ니다 also used when you want to describe a state, e.g. I am tired? So far, I have only ever seen it when stating "This/That is ....", but never saw it together with an adjective or adverb.

I can only think of 감사합니다 where ony literally expresses gratitude, but to me that is more of set phrase.

Thank you in advance!!

For learning: Korean
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Here is how it conjugates with verb/adjective as a predicate in a sentence.
    (Only verb/adjective can be a predicate, not adverb in Korean.)
    As you mentioned, that's why adjectives as a predicate, not modifying nouns, are also called "descriptive verb"

    1) Verb stem ending with a vowel
    가다(to go, come) ☞ 가(verb stem) + ㅂ니다 ☞ 갑니다
    오다 ☞ 옵니다
    피곤하다(to be tired) ☞ 피곤하 + ㅂ니다 ☞ 피곤합니다

    2) Verb stem ending with the final consonant, 'ㄹ'
    놀다(to hang out) ☞ 노 + ㄹ + ㅂ니다 ☞ 놉니다
    (the final consonant 'ㄹ' is omitted)
    날다(to fly) ☞ 나 + ㄹ + ㅂ니다 ☞ 납니다
    달다(to be sweet) ☞ 다 + ㄹ + ㅂ니다 ☞ 답니다

    3) Verb stem ending with a final consonant except for 'ㄹ', always ☞습니다
    먹다(to eat) ☞ 먹+습니다 ☞ 먹습니다
    아름답다(to be beautiful) ☞ 아름답 + 습니다 ☞ 아름답습니다

    4) With the past particles, 었/았/였 ☞ 었/았/였 + 습니다
    먹다, 먹었다(ate) ☞ 먹 + 었 + 습니다
    가다, 갔다 ☞ 갔습니다
    아름답다, 아름다웠다 ☞ 아름다웠 + 습니다 ☞ 아름다웠습니다

    I think that's all for the usage of '-ㅂ니다'


    You would use -ㅂ니아 if it is the main verb at the end of the sentence, as in 저는피곤합니다 (I am tired). But, if it is being used to modify a noun in the middle of the sentence, then you would use -ㄴ/ -는 as in 피곤한사람 (tired person).

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