Verbs in Nominalizer Form 기

Sometimes it pains to understand the terms used in the book to describe certain parts of speech as a result of adding certain particles or post-positioning.  Today is one of them as the lesson 17.5 of the book (Continuing Korean) is about verb in nominalizer form by adding -기 (ki).

First of all I have never heard of term nominalizer in my English subject but judging by the word it self taken from the root word nominal, it is an adjective that means ‘supposed’.  The explanation of nominalizer form in the lesson is that, it results to a noun-like word that means ‘the act of doing’ if added after a processive verb and ‘state of being’ if added after a descriptive verb.

How does it work?  -기 is added on plain, past or future bases form of verb just like -고 (-ko).  For -ㄹ extending verb like 살 (to live) and 팔 (sell), it is attached to the extended form so these verbs become 살기 (salki) and  팔기 (palki) respectively.

So when it is added on past form the meaning becomes ‘the act of having done’ or ‘state of having been’.  For example  놀다 (nolda) which means to play becomes 놀았기 (norattki), this now translates to having played.

Similarly when -기 is attached to future base form of the verb, the meaning becomes ‘the act of going to do’ or ‘the state of going to be’.  So in the case of our example above , play in future form becomes 놀겠기 – the act of going to play.

Here are more examples in various tenses of the where 기 is added on base form:

Plain Base Past Base
Future Base
마시기 (mashigi) 마셨기 (masyeottki) 마시겠기 (mashikettki)
가기 (kagi) 갔기 (kattki) 가겠기 (kakettki)
하기 (hagi) 했기 (haegi) 하겠기 (hakettki)
잘하기 (jalhagi) 잘했기 (jalhaetki) 잘하겠기 (jalhakettki)

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