Community Web Version Now Available
Another day of getting no progress :/ Korean has proved to be very difficult for me, I don't want to give up but I am running out of options. Here is why Korean is so hard for me: particles and verb conjugation. There are so many conjugation rules and I have trouble deciding which particle to use. I studied for roughly 2.5hours today and still don't understand. This is very frustrating. Any advice?
Jun 14, 2013 10:21 PM
Answers · 5
What are you studying? There are not many conjugation rules at all. This is a myth (the varying conjugations and difficulty come from varying the level of politeness, which you as a beginning learner and a foreigner have no need to do). Forgetting irregulars, and assuming you're focusing mainly on using an informal polite speech (요 as an ending, as in, 잘했어요) (which you should be, because it's the most common and is acceptable in any context), present tense has ONE RULE. If the verb stem ends in 오 or 아 then it conjugates to 아요. If it is any other vowel, you use 어요. Same with adjectives. Example: verb = 먹다 (to eat) 다 is similar to adding "to" at the beginning of a verb in English and it is called the infinitive. The piece before it,먹, is the stem. The vowel in the stem is not 오 or 아 so it conjugates with the 어요 ending. 먹다 becomes 먹어요. 저는 피자를 먹어요. I eat pizza. What about words with more than one syllable as the stem? Look at the vowel in the final syllable. The place where this gets tricky is with certain vowel combinations, but don't stress about those if you haven't been able to get the basic structure down. Deal with the BIG CONCEPT first, then worry about nuance, challenges and exceptions. It's OK to be wrong sometimes. The only other basic, fundamental rule to Korean conjugation and particle use is knowing whether the word ends in a consonant or a vowel. 을/를 -> If the word you are attaching this particle to ends in a consonant, you need a vowel to follow it, 으 is a vowel, so 을 would follow a consonant. If it ends in a vowel, then it needs a consonant to follow it, as in my example from above, 저는 피자를 먹어요. Two rules. Pretty easy, right?
June 15, 2013
Eh, I have studied Korean for over 2 years and I still don't always get the particles right. Just get over it. It takes a long time to understand.
June 15, 2013
I agree with Mojave. Don't try to learn them all at once cause it will become confusing, learn the ones you feel you're going to be using the most right now and the rest will into place with time. Just don't over do it, because learning Korean will then feel like an unpleasurable chore instead of something to enjoy.
June 14, 2013
Korean is one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. I've had that same feeling you have. Some days bring on nothing but confusion, but then I'll have a day where it all just makes sense. I am having more of those days. Stick with it! Sometimes, it helps to take a break from grammar and study vocabulary. I'd also avoid trying to learn ALL the conjugations and particles and just focus on the important ones you really need to compose basic sentences.
June 14, 2013
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Italian, Mongolian, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Mongolian, Polish