Site Feedback

Resolved questions
Constructing sentences in Korean

Can someone give me a guide to making sentences in Korean? And please let me know if and how the verbs need to be conjugated. Thanks! 감사합니다!

For learning: Korean
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Hi! ^^ Basically, the structure of Korean grammar is: S(subject) - O(object) - V(verb) compared to the English grammar that has the S-V-O structure.

    We can understand how each part of the sentence functions by looking at markers/particles & it's verb endings/conjugations. Because verbs/adjectives end with the word -다 in the end (called the "dictionary"form) when it's the root word, you necessarily have to conjugate it by dropping -다 and change it to the right verb ending depending on what you want to convey.

    Verb endings are put immediately after the verb or adjective and provides the following info:

    1. Tense: if the sentence takes place in the past, present or future
    2. Honorifics: subject of the sentence or the listener is of higher social status than the speaker
    3. Formality: conversation takes place in a formal setting(the court etc.) or not
    4. Mood: sentence is a statement, question, command, or suggestion

    We can take this example:
    - - - 미나 씨가 텔레비전을 봐요. (Mina watches TV.)

    If we base it on the one above, we can say...
    1. Tense: Mina is watching TV in the present.
    2. Honorifics: Mina is not of higher status than the speaker.
    3. Formality: Informal polite speech.
    3. Mood: The speaker is asking a question - whether Mina is watching TV.

    If you don't know how to conjugate yet, I can give you the very first thing to learn which if the one for the present tense. We use 아요/어요/여요 (informal polite). You just drop the -다 and add which is appropriate for the verb from the 3 choices.

    The rules for conjugation are:
    1. If the verb stem's last vowel ends with 아/오, you use -아요.
    2. If the verb stem's last vowel ends with anything except -아/오, you use -어요
    3. Only one verb stem, 하다 (to do) uses -여요 which turns into 해요.

    Let's take the verb from the example above which is 보다 (to watch).
    1. Because the last vowel of the stem 보 ends with 오, it will turn into 보+아요.
    2. But instead of pronouncing it as 보아요, it will be better to combine the vowels 오 + 아, then it becomes 와. If you say 보아요 fast, it will turn into 봐요.

    When learning Korean, it is much better to start learning conjugations in the polite language (존댓말). Everything starts out with using it especially when you meet someone for the first time, towards strangers, or aren't friends with yet. If you are able to master how to say everything in 존댓말 then it will be easy to turn it into 반말.

    I hope I was able to answer your questions ^^ If you have something in mind, don't fret to message me. I can help you out. ^-^ Have fun!

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.