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)

Doing Favors with 줘요(주어요)

When telling about a favor done for someone, the compound verb consisting of verb in infinitive form + the verb give –either 줘요 (juwoyo) or 드려요 (deuryeoyo) for someone esteemed can be used.

  • 누나에게 선물을 부쳐 드렸어요.  (Nunaeke seonmureul buchi deuryeosseoyo).  I sent my older sister a present.
  • 좀 시간 기다려 줘요?  (Chom shican kidaryeo juwoyo?) Can you wait for me for a little time?
  • 선생님한데  사진을 보여 드렸어요 (Seonsaengnimhante sajineul boyeo deuryeosseoyo) Did you show teacher the pictures?

To specify who the person for whom the favor is done the particle 한데  (hante) or 에게 (eke) is added in the name to indicate the person as indirect object.  If the person is someone esteemed it should be 에께 (ekke).

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?

Compound Verbs with 있어요

Yesterday the compound verbs I got to confirm and learn has something to do with  가 ( ka) and 와 (wa).  This time its one of my overly used verb 있다 (itta) the dictionary form which means to exist, is or stays.  

Just like yesterday’s lesson, it’s verb + this verb, 있어요 (isseoyo) equals resultant state.  Here are some examples of compound verbs where 있어요 acts as auxiliary verb to arrive in a resultant state:

앉아 (anja) sit 앉아 있어요 (anja isseoyo) Is seated 
닫혀 (dachyeo) close 닫혀 있어요 (dachyeo isseoyo) Is closed
들어 (deuro) enter or go into 들어 있어요 (deuro isseoyo Is contained
열려 (yeollyeo) open 열려 있어요 (yeollyeo isseoyeo) Is open

These compound verb expressions can be turned into negative by adding 지 않아요 (-지 않아요) to 있다 (Note:  Remembering the long negatives) So the expression ‘is not seated’ will be 앉아 있지 않아요 (anja ittji anayo). 

Examples in sentence use:

  • 약국이 아직도 닫혀 있어요? ( Yakkuki ajikdo dachyeo isseoyo?) Is the pharmacy still closed?
  • 언제 새 도서관이 열려 있어요?  (Onje sae dosogwani yeollyeo isseoyo?) When is the new library open?

I love how useful the word 있다.  A caution is provided in the book, it says there is a different pattern when the resultant state ha something to do with wearing.  instead of the verb + 있어요,  the -고 form is used + 있어요. As such to say ‘Father is wearing a necktie’  one would say 아버지가 넥타이를 매고 있으세요 (Abeojika nektaireul maego isseuseyo).

Compound verbs with 가요 and 와요

Reading the lesson 17 puts a smile on my face.  While reading descriptive +해요  verbs, which was my previous post,  it was like confirming my hunch before that there are verbs in Korean which are combination of two verbs.  Today, I have discovered 2 main processive verbs  which when combined with another verb makes them an auxiliary verb to show direction.

Here are some compound verbs formed with  가 (ka) and 와 (wa) :

Verb Meaning Compound Verb/Expression Compound Verb Meaning
도-ㄹ (do-l) Turn (around) 돌아가요 (dorakayo)돌아와요 (dorawayo) Goes backComes back
드-ㄹ(deu-l) Enter 들어가요 (deureokayo)들어와요 (deureowayo) Goes inComes in
나 (na) Exit 나가요 (nakayo)나와요 (nawayo) Goes outComes out
걸 (keol) Walk 걸어가요 (keoreokayo)걸어와요 (keoreowayo) Walks (there)Walks (here)
오르 (oreu) Ascend 올라가요 (ollakayo)올라와요 (ollawayo) Goes upComes up
내리 (naeri) Descend 내려가요(naeryeokayo)내려와요naeryeowayo) Goes down Comes down

I remember the first Korean song that I liked from Se7en (a popular artist in Korea) which was 와줘 (Wajuwo) which carried an English title Comeback.  In the chorus of the song the word 돌아와줘 (Dorawajuwo) is repeatedly said.  One of my language exchange partners then told me it means comeback.  I asked him how come the title of the song is 와줘?  He said it’s the same with some nuances on use and that 와줘 in reality just means come.  Now I know what the nuance is… because 와 can be used plainly to say comeback and may depend on the scenario when it is said but to say 돌아와 would exactly mean comeback and may not be applicable when you just plainly want to mean come.

The beauty of Korean language continues to amaze me.

Compound Verbs

So there is something called compound verbs in the Korean Language.  I am guessing that there is such as I have encountered some verbs which seems to be a formation of 2 stand alone verbs.  The versatile 하 (ha) verb which carries a meaning of does it or  thinks turns some descriptive verb into a processive one,  similar to what I have posted yesterday.

When 하 or 해요 is added to verbs like 좋아 (choa)  and 고마워 (komawo) these becomes a compound verb expressions which means  likes and grateful for respectively.  The infinitive verb + the verb 해 equals to a compound verb.

The 하 in this way becomes as auxiliary verb which completes the expression whether to make it negative or positive.  It is also in the auxiliary verb that the honorific marker is attached. Tenses likewise happens in the auxiliary verb.  Here are some examples:

  • 부러워해요 (bureowohaeyo) to be envious
  • 부러워 안 해요 (bureowo anhaeyo) is not envious
  • 부러워했어요  (bureowohaesseoyo) envied

Same can be applied to verb 행복요 (haengbokhaeyo) which means to be happy.  Manipulation happens in the auxiliary verb 해요.

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).