Negative Commands and Suggestion 마-ㄹ (ma-l)

The polite verb ending 요  is versitile that it can be used to express statement, question, command or suggestion. The classic example, 가 (Ga which mean go) have the same form when used in varying form of expression.

  • 가요 (Gayo) – Let’s go
  • 가요? – Let’s go?
  • 가요! – Let’s go!

So in negative expression, 가  can be formed and would mean not going in these ways:

  • Both would mean ‘not going’
    • 안 가요 (an gayo)
    • 가지 않아요 (gaji anhayo)
  • All below would mean aren’t you going?
    • 안 가세요? (an gaseyo? — used with esteemed person)
    • 안 가요? (an gayo?)
    • 가지 않으세요?   (gaji anhuseyo?)
    • 가지 않아요? (gaji anhayo?)

However in a negative command, it is not right to say 가지 않아요!  A negative command or suggestion uses an auxilliary verb 마-ㄹ (ma-l), an L-extending verb.  As such to say don’t go would be:

  • 가지 마세요 (Gaji maseyo, drops ㄹ when followed by consonant) used with esteemed person
  • 가지 말아요 (Gaji marayo)
  • 가지 마십시오 (Gaji mashipshiyo) honorific formal style – command
  • 가지 마십시다 (Gaji mashipshida) honorific formal style  – suggestion, note that removal of 십 will make the statement very authoritative.
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