Base Words of Verbs – A Review

For the past months, i gained better understanding of Korean words. From my confusion in using the English-Korean Dictionary to how words are used in the different styles or manner of speaking in Korean, i think I have better appreciation now.

I am almost done reading my Elementary Korean book.  After nearly a year and half, I am finally seeing last part of the book’s pages and now looking forward to read Continuing Korean (sequel to Elementary Korean). Since the last portion of the book deals with the more advance verb ending and expressing future events, I decided to make a review of the word formation.  This would likewise give preview on changing verbs into future tense.

Just to recap when looking for words in a dictionary specifically for verbs, you will notice a pattern.  Verbs normally ends in -다 (da). So Korean words for verbs like eat and drink can be found as  먹다 (meokda – pronounced as meoktta) and 마시다 (mashida – pronounced as mashitta).   Removing the 다 leaves you with the regular or plain base of the verb, 먹 and 마시 (meok and mashi).  The plain base form of verb is important, a lot of verb endings are attached to this form.

Infinitive form of the word is derived using some rules but basically verb in its infinitive form either ends in ㅏ (a) or ㅓ (eo).  Consonant ending verbs follows rules on which to add.  For the example above the infinitive form of 먹다 is 먹어 (meogeo).  This is covered by rule that last  vowel of a consonant ending verb will determine which character to add to form the infinitive form. Except for ㅗ andㅏthe rest of vowel takes ㅓ as verb ending.  Now for the other word, 마시다 becomes 마셔 (masyo).  Verb ending in ㅣ takes ㅓ in infinitive ㅣ(ee)+ㅓ(eo) = ㅕ(yeo).   Search for my post on infinitives for the complete rules.  Just remember that the infinitive verb is alreay usable in a conversation on intimate style.  It is also in this form that the polite casual style verb ending 요 (yo)  is attached.

The other base form is the ‘past base’.  This is formed by taking the plain infinitive of the verb plus -ㅆ (ss). Just like the regular infinitive, past infinitive is achieved by adding ㅓsuch that 먹었 (meogeott – past base) becomes 먹었어 (meogeotteo).

The last base word form is the ‘future base’ which is formed by adding 겠 to the plain infinitive form of a verb.  Using our previous example 먹어 (infinitive form)  becomes 먹어겠 (meogeokett) and by adding ㅓ makes the future infinitive for the verb, that is 먹어겠어 (meogeokesseo).

It’s going to be all about the future on the succeeding post.

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One Reply to “Base Words of Verbs – A Review”

  1. janey_bei unni
    먹었어 (meogeotteo) why this word romanize so but
    먹어겠어 (meogeokesseo).
    i pronunce 먹었어 word meogeosseo
    please help me
    thanks

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