The Verb Ending 나요 (nayo)

This post is a fruit of my curiosity.  I have not encountered this from the books that I have been reading but normally hears it in most Korean conversations I have watched.   I basically learned this from my Language Exchage Partner (LEP). 

If you have been into learing Korean, you ought to know they have this verb ending which drives the tone of a sentence.  Verb ending is normally attached to base or infinitive form of a verb of course.   Since I have been hearing -나요 (-nayo) on conversation, i had a feeling that it functions as a verb ending.  My LEP confirmed this.  He said this is used in interrogative sentences (sort of inquisitive, curious or probing). 

From the examples he gave to me, it appears to me that this verb ending is attached to a base form of the verb.  Here is one sample he gave: 들리나요? (Deullinayo? — Can you hear me?) where 들리 (Deulli)  is base form of verb 들리다 (Deullida) which means hear or be audible.

For descriptive verbs which turns to processive by adding 하 (ha),  the verb ending is attached to ha instead of the base form of the descriptive verb.   Here are some examples:

  • 당신은 나를 사랑하나요? (Dangshineun nareul saranghanayo?) – Do you love me?
  • 어머니를 행복하나요? (Eomeonireul haengbokhanayo?) – Is your mother happy?

Maybe my next question is how is this different from verb ending  -니까 (-nikka). I am yet to find out 🙂


6 Replies to “The Verb Ending 나요 (nayo)”

  1. Aaah, finally this 나요 I’ve been questioning ever since I heard it in songs and dramas. 그러면, what if the base form of the verb is ending with consonant? For example, will it be 먹나요 or 먹으나요?

  2. what exactly is “processive verbs”??
    and i LOVE ur site..
    i really learn much..
    i cnt find processive in the dictionary.. nor the net.

    1. Verb is normally called action words. In Hangul or Korean verbs are further classified as processive and descriptive. Processive would mean verbs that normally can take direct object, it’s the verb in its true essence in English ‘action word’. Descriptive verb are actually adjectives in English but they are pertained to as verb also in Korean. As you know verb is very important in a Korean statement, it’s normally the last word in a Korean statement.

  3. There’s a sentence with our friend 나 in Lonely Planet. Seoul: 영어 하실 줄 아시나요? “Do you speak English?” I’m guessing 나 softens the tone of the question. These things are difficult to feel.

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