Turning Descriptive Verbs into Processive Verbs

I previously learned that verbs are classified as descriptive and processive in Korean (well we call descriptive verbs as adjectives in English).  I have learned a handful of descriptive verbs like 좋아 (choa- good or  like), 쉬워 (swiwo – be easy),  우려워  (uryeowo – be difficult), 예뻐 (yeppeo – to be pretty) to name a few.

These type of verbs are normally used in first person sentences or second person questions.  In most of my readings, I have always been reminded to never speak of what another people feels or thinks. The Korean language does not ordinarily allow speaker to state directly what another person feels or thinks.  So when you hear this line:

이것이 좋아요 (Ikeoti chuayo) It means ‘I like this’ .  While the language allows subject to be dropped in a sentence, this will unlikely mean ‘He or She likes this’. ‘

To turn a descriptive verb into processive, 해요 is normally added to it.  This externalizes the emotion and feelings allowing the descriptive verb to be used to refer to someone else’s thoughts.  See example below:

Own emotion – 어머니가 와서 좋아요. (Eomeonika waseo chuayo).  I am happy mother is here.

Someone else’s emotion –  어머니가 와서 좋아해요. (Eomeonika waseo chuahaeyo). [Someone else] is happy that mother is here or Mother is glad to be here.

Note that 해요 is added on the infinitive form of the descriptive verb. This way, the verb becomes processive and can therefore take direct objects see example below where both sentence means ‘I don’t like kimchi’ :

  • 나는 김치싫어요 (Naneun kimchika shireoyo)
  • 나는 깈치 싫어요 (Naneun kimchireul chireohaeyo)

To make this statement as ‘Brother doesn’t like kimchi’ then it would be:

어빠는 김치 싫어요 (Oppaneun kimchireul shireohaeyo)

The expressions are made honorific by adding (으)시 after 하  and not within the base of descriptive verb.  So the last example above can be said this way:

오빠는 김치를 싫어하요. ( Oppaneun kimchireul shirehaseyo).


2 Replies to “Turning Descriptive Verbs into Processive Verbs”

  1. So wait,

    THIS: 어빠는 김치를 싫어하세요.
    is the honorific form of THIS: 어빠는 김치를 싫어해요.
    Did I understand that right? 🙂

    Oh and do you have a post which differentiates the use of ~ga and ~rul as markers? They really confuse me :-s

    1. yup you are right. about the subject marker 가/이 and object marker 을/를. Click on Category Particle. These are the 1st and 3nd particles i wrote about if I am not mistaken.

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