Follow Through with -거든요

At the level that I am in on spoken Korean… I could probably say phrases or short sentences only.  It’s really difficult when you speak a second language that is not commonly used in your country.   So this post helps in making that short phrases and sentences sounds more natural.

The verb ending -거든요 (-kodeunyo) is used as verb ending for follow thorugh explanation to what has just been said.  This is specifically helpful when you try to give explanation or answer fast and want to make a follow through to that statement.  In using this verb ending, it somehow creates an impression that you want your listener to nod, acknowledge or further undertand what you said.  It’s like saying ‘you see’ at the of the second sentence or phrase.

The -거든요 is added to plain or past bases and rarely on future base. There is no explanation to this on the book but I am guessing since this is a follow through to what you are explaining its a bit awkward to use it for events that are just about to happen .  Verbs that are l-extended retain the -l when this ending is added as such you would hear 살거든요 (salkeodeunyo).  Here are some samples of the use of this verb ending:

  • 나는 맥주를 안 마셔요.  쓴거든요 (Naneun maekjureul an mashyeoyo.  Sseunkodeunyo).  I don’t drink beer.  It’s bitter. [can’t you see]
  • 배가 아파요.  너무 많이 먹었든요  (Baega apayo. Neomu manhi meokeotteundyo)  My stomach is aching. I ate a lot [can’t you see].

Ways to Say: Concerning, About

There are two ways to express what in English means about, with respect to, concerning etc.  This is through the use of the following postpositional phrase:

  • -에 대해서  (-e daehaeseo)
  • -에 관해서 (-e gwanhaeseo)

Of these two, the second one tends to mean more formal or bookish.  I just realized that my other site about my favorite Korean artist is actually using this postpositional phrase  in the tag line 왭사이트 휘성에 관한  at (   I wrote this tagline over a year ago using my dictionary and some early learnings on particles.

Here are some other examples:

  • 어빠는 자동차에  대해서 많이 알고 있어요.  (Oppaneun chadongcha daehaeseo manhi alko isseoyo.)  My brothers knows a lot about cars.
  • 필리핀사람들은 언제나 정부에 관해서 이야기를 해요.  (Pilipinsaramdeuleun onjena jeongbue gwanhaseo iyagi haeyo.)  The Filipinos always talk about the government.

Exaggeration with Descriptive Verb Infinitive + -서 죽겠어요

This expression is very handy for someone who wants to add lively mood to describe a mental  state or physical sensation.  A descriptive verb is added to the expression죽겠어요 (literally means I could die) and its equal to the English expression I feel so…I could die or I am incredibly or terribly so…so…

Here are some examples on the use of this expression:

  • 아버지가 보고 싶어서 죽겠어요.  (Abojiga bogo shipeoseo chukkesseoyo).  I miss my father terribly.
  • 배가 아바서 죽겠어요. (Baega apaseo chukkesseoyo)  I have a terrible stomach ache.
  • 기분이 나빠서 죽겠어요. (Kibuni nappaseo chukkesseoyo).  I’m in a foul mood.
  • 내가 너무 슬픈해서 죽겠어요.  (Naega nomo seulpeunhaeseo chukkesseoyo).  I am so sad I could die.

This expression according to the book ,Continuing Korean,  is widely used colloquially.

Expressing Afterthoughts

A lot of people I guess find it more challenging to express themselves orally than written specially when using a language outside of your native tongue.  Unlike in written form, you have all the time to construct your sentences.  Surprisingly Korean has a way of addressing this somehow.  Colloquially in my native tongue this normally started with the word ‘tapos’ or ‘tsaka’.

Few days ago I have learned the -고 verb form  which joins two sentences or phrases into one compound sentence.  This time it’s -고요  (koyo) which can be used after you have said the first sentence and intend to say a follow through or an afterthought.   Here are  some examples:

우리 도서관에 갈게요? 오후에 2시고요? (Uri  doseogwane kalkkeyo? ohue 2 shikayo?)  Are we going to the library? 2 o’clock in the afternoon?

답장이 기다려겠어요. 이메일로 받아고요. (Dapjangi kidaryeokesseoyo. Emailro padakoyo) I will be waiting for your reply.  Send it through email.

지나 그 치마는 드려요. 그 모자가고요. (Jina  sshi ku chimaneun deuryeoyo. Ddo ku mojakakoyo.)  Gina please give me that skirt.  And that hat too (please give it)

Saying I’m Glad That… or Good Thing That…

The combination of verb ending in -서 followed by 좋아요 renders the meaning  [so and so happens] so it is good.  In English this commonly expressed as I am glad that… or It is a good thing that…

This expression is often used in English conversation especially when an event happened which turns out to your favor.  Below are some expressions that make use of this combination:

  • 어머니가 오셔서 좋아요.  (Eomoniga osyeoseo chuayo.) I’m glad that mother came.
  • 새 가방을 사서 좋아요.  (Sae kabangeul saseo chuayo.) I’m glad I bought a new bag.
  • 선생님 더라와서 좋아요.  (Seonsaengnim deorawaseo chuayo.) It’s a good thing that Seonsaengnim came back.

당신이 이 것을 읽어서 좋아요 ^^

Difference Between (으)러 and 서

One of the first verb endings I learned is the purposive type (-으)러.  When i was starting to learn Korean I was so curious on how statements can be constructed because I am always reminded by the fact that verb is the most important part of it.  I was asking my self what if  i need to use two verbs?   The use of the purposive verb for that moment relieved me with such problem.  Now two verbs can exist in a sentence .  

The purposive verb (으)러 and the recent verb ending I learned which is -서 are almost the same in use.  This is how I found out the difference: 

  1. 친구를 만나러 상가에 갔어요. (Chingureul manareo sagange kasseoyo.)  I went to the mall with the purpose of meeting a friend.
  2. 상가에 가서 친구를 만났어요. (Sagange kaseo chingureul  mannasseoyo.) I went to the mall and met a frined or I went to the mall to meet a friend.

The two sentences seems to mean the same on the onset but if you carefully check on it you will notice that the first statement doesn’t tell you if the purpose has been done or accomplished.  Unlike the second sentence which emphasized more on meeting the friend than going to the mall.

I am beginning to love Continuing Korean more, i like it that the uses of these verb endings are given more details now.

Difference Between -고 and -서

Last week I learned two useful verb ending that will help connect phrases or thoughts. These are the verb endings -고 and -서 . These two verbs ending is almost the same in function but have difference in meaning. Difference can be noted in the example below:

  1. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kago yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy and bought medicine.
  2. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kaso yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy so as to buy medicine.

The first sentence where -고 is used, going to the pharmacy and buying of medicine is merely a declaration of two. The second sentence on the otherhand shows purpose/result sentence construction.

So in an English point of view -고 is used to connect phrases to resemble these thought pattern– ‘ and (then afterwards)‘ or  ‘and (also in addition). While -서 goes by the thought patterns ‘so‘ or ‘so as to’, it can also mean ‘and then afterwards’ but with emphasis on purpose-result sentence pattern.  This means the two phrases or ideas are more linked as sequence of events.

Happy Birthday Song

My collegues know how passionate I am in learning Korean so whenever there are birthday celebration in the office, they would tease me to sing the Happy Birthday Song in Korean.

It’s i think one of the basic songs that you can learn in Korean which goes like this:

새일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida


생일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida


사랑하는 <이름/ >

Saranghaneun <name-i/sshi>


생일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida

The tone is of course the same as the happy birthday song in English.  Funny that 축하합니다 actually means congratulations if you translate it directly and people wouldn’t normally say congratulations on your birthday at least in our culture and some other country’s culture.  Some think its rude to say congratulations to a person who is actually aging or adding a year on his age.  

한국어 음악을 아주 좋아해요.
그리고 한국어 잘 하고 싶어서 가사을 이해하겠어요.

Verbs in Infinitive and Particle 서

When I was attending formal classes in learning Korean, I once dropped the term ‘verb in infinitive form’ in our class.  Our teacher is not using this term but rather emphasized on the base form of verb which cannot be used in a conversation unless transformed to end in ㅓ or ㅏ.

This post deals with particle that is attached to a verb in the infinitive form.  I made a post about this, more than a year ago perhaps , when I was starting to learn Korean.  The rule is base form of the verb + either ㅏ or ㅓ.  Verb in the infinitive form can only end in these two hangul character, of course if the base form ends in ㅏ or ㅓ then there is no need to add another one.

The particle 서 (seo) is attached to the infinitive form of the verb.  As I always keep on mentioning particles are pronounced without pause.  It is as if the particle is part of the original word.  

So how is this particle used?  Most of the particles I learned functions as grammatical marker in the sentence like the subject particle 가/이 (ka/i) and object particle 을/를 (eul/reul).   This time around, 서 added in a verb in the infinitive form denotes two meanings:

First is to show cause and result similar to English word so (incidentally the particle is 서 romanized as seo but pronounced as so just like the English word).  Here is an example:

시간이 없어서 아침을 먹지 않았어요.   (Shigani opseoseo achimeul meokji anasseoyo).  시간이 없어서  I did not have time so  먹지 않았어요 i skipped eating breakfast.  Although  the sentence direct translation is time i don’t have so breakfast i did not eat, the lack of time made me skip my breakfast.  The lack of time being the cause and the result would be not eating breakfast.

The second use of this particle is to show sequence similar to ‘so as to’ or ‘did and then’.  This way the sequence of event is emphasized.  The 1st and 2nd clause usually has the same subject. Here is an example:

서울에 가서 한강을 봤어어요.  (Seoure kaso hangangeul bowasseoyo).  서울에 가서 I did went to Seoul so as  한강을 봤어어요 to see Han River.  The purpose is to go to Seoul and the result is being able to see Han River.

Note that in the two sentences, verbs  to which 서 is attached are in the present infinitive form, its the verb at the end of the sentence that drives the tense.   This is the same case as that of verb in -고 form the verbs to which it  is attached is not tensed.   So what I learned is that 서 is never compatible with past-infinitive or future-infinitive form of the verb.