Other Meaning of 봐요

Before anything else. Today is February 5 and it’s a special day for my favorite Korean artist, no less than the very talented Wheesung.  휘성 씨 생일 축하해요! 행복하세요…

Anyway today another clouded verb which is known to me as to see or looks became clearer on its other meaning.  보다 (dictionary form for this verb) has other uses aside from the act of looking or seeing something.  Surprisingly just like 해요 and 있어요, this verb can be used an auxiliary verb and when it is preceeded by a verb in infinitive form its meaning becomes ‘tries doing’.  It’s not an attempt to but rather tries to. 

In our class my professor would normally say 여기 보세요 (yeogi poseyo). which of course means look here.  Then he would also use 보세요 in expressions like 읽어 보세요 (ilko poseyo).  This time I am wondering why not say 주세요 (juseyo) when he wants us to read something. Now its clear because of this. 

Here are some practical applications of this auxiliary verb:

  • 한국말로 이메일을 써 봐요.  (Hangukmalro imaireul sseo bowayo). I am trying to write email in Korean.
  • 김치를 먹어 봤어요? (Kimchireul meokeo bowasseody?) Have you tried eating kimchi?
  • 서울에 가 보셨어요? (Seoure ka bowasyeosseoyo?) Have you been to Seoul?

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