Presenting Options Using ‘Or’

This post is about two simple Korean words I learned which allows you to present two options.  This is similar to the English word ‘or’. These two words are 또는 (ddoneun) and 아니면 (animyeon).  Here are sample phrases:

  • 커피 또는 우유 (kopi ddoneun uyu)
  • 커피 아니면 우유 (kopi animyeon uyu)

Both phrases mean coffee or milk, the difference is that when you use 또는 you are presenting two contrasting ideas therefore  one of the choices will be excluded unlike 아니면 which presents two ideas that are both acceptable.

These words can occur at the beginning of the sentence.  As in the example below:

  • 기차로 갈까요?  아니면 택시로 갈까요?  (Kicharo kalkkayo? Animyon tekshiro kalkkayo?) Should we take the train? Or (else) shall we take a taxi?  In this sample, both options is of course acceptable to the speaker.
  • 영화관에 가지 않았어요. 또는 음악희에도 가지 않았어요. (Yonghwagwane kaji anasseoyo. Ddoneun eumakhui.edo kaji anasseoyo.) I have not been to movie theater [and I don’t like movies anyway]. Nor have I been [on the other hand] to any concert [and I do like concert].   This statement plainly states not being able to go to movie theater the second statement is the same  but with the use of 또는 in the beginning of the second statement the thought enclosed is considered in the overall context of the statement as such the second statement means not being able to go but would like to go.

More on -고 있어요

If you have read the post before this one,  you are aware that -고 있어요 (-go isseyo) is used to express an action in progress something similar to ‘verbing‘ like eating, dancing etc.

This verb ending can also be tensed (past progressive).  So if 쓰고 있어요 (Sseugo isseoyo) means ‘is writing’ then 쓰고 있었어요 (Sseugo isseosseoyo) means ‘was writing’.  Please note that the tense is applied not on the base of the verb but to the ending 있.

Negative expression can also be made in either on the verb used or on the  entire expression itself.  Using the example above, if you want to say is not writing then you can say 쓰고 있지 않아요 (Sseugo ittji anayo).  Sounds familiar right?  This has been discussed in my previous post on negating verbs.  This is the long negative form.   Now if you want to say something like ‘manage to get by without writing’ or ‘not writing at this time’ then you can say 쓰지 않고 있어요 (Sseuji ango isseoyo).

Is doing… using 고 있어요

This is another way of expressing actions.  The simple phrase ‘먹어요’ (meokeoyo) in a conversation can mean:

  • I am eating
  • is eating
  • let’s eat or
  • simply eat

Instead of the plain phrase above it can be stated this way — 먹고 있어요 (moekko isseoyo) with a subject or an object this phrase can mean is eating or still eating.   This verb endig can only be used in pair with a processive verb and it denotes an action in progress.  So it’s the base form of the processive verb +고 있어요 as cited in the example above, 먹, which is the base of the word 먹다 (meoktta- to eat). Other examples are as follows:

  • 가고 있어요 (kago isseoyo – is going)
  • 자고 있어요 (jago isseoyo – is sleeping or still sleeping)

Please note that this verb ending when attached to -ㄹ extending verb keeps the ㄹ instead of dropping it.  So for the word 살다 (saltta), which means to live, becomes 살고 있어요 (salko isseoyo).  Note how this verb ending behaves, it is  just like -고 싶어요 (-ko shipoyo) which has been discussed in my previous post.

To make the verb ending honorific, just change 있어요 with 계세요 (kyeseyo).  As we know 있다 (itta – dictionary form) or 있어 (isseo – infinitive form) means to exist or to stay this is the plain verb,  the honorific one is 계 (kye).   Reminds you of 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi kyeseyo) use to say goodbye to someone who is ‘staying’.

Probable Future with (으)ㄹ 거에요

Done with the present and past expression now its time to learn how to say things or events which you intend to do in the future or will probably do in the future.

The verb ending  -(으)ㄹ 거에요 [-(eu)l keoeyo can be added to plain base or honorific base to mean will probably <verb>.  Let’s take the word 바쁘다 (pappeuda – to be busy ) as an example.  The base word is  바쁘 (pappeu) so 바쁠 거에요 (pappeul koeyo) means ‘will probably be busy’ or ‘is going to be busy’.   So if you say 내일 내가 바쁠 거에요 (Naeil naega pappeul keoeyo), it means I will (probably) be busy tomorrow.

In earlier post, creating honorific base for of verb has been discussed.  This is done by adding -시 on the plain base form of the verb.  As such 바쁘 becomes 바쁘시 (pappeushi) in honorific form.  Remember you don’t use honorific verb in pertaining to your own actions, it is used when speaking to an esteemed person (someone older or of higher status than you — to show respect).  Therefore, you wouldn’t say 내일 내가 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil neaga pappeushil koeyo).  The first form discussed is more appropriate.   내일 당신이 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil dangsini pappeushil keoeyo) is saying ‘you will (probably) be busy tomorrow’ to an esteemed person.

This verb ending can also be added to past base form of verb.  It’s a bit weird that a verb in past form is added with a verb ending that is indicative of something that you will do in the future.  Anyway, in my previous post, changing verb in to past form is done by adding  -ㅆ어 (-sseo) to the infinitive form of the verb.  I know it’s a bit complex so i suggest you read the post on base and  infinitive forms of verb.   So let’s use the word 가 (ka)which means go, as an example.  This verb is base and at the same time infinitive in form, 갔어 (kasseo) is the past base form.  To use this verb in probably future form, simply add the verb ending to get this form 갔얼 거에요 (kasseol keoeyo).

For the plain base, verb ending in consonant should take the -을 거에요 (eul keoeyo).  This applies to verbs like 읽 (ik) which is base of the word 읽다 (iktta) which means to read.  To say ‘i will read this book’ you can say 이 책이 읽 거에요 (I chaeki ikeul keoeyo).  Same transformation can be performed for base verbs like 먹 (meok –  means eat) and 앉 (anj- sit).  Their probable future form  would be 먹을 거에요 (meokeul keo eyo) and 앉을 거에요 (anjeul keoeyo) to mean  ‘will eat’  and ‘will sit’  respectively.

Note:  을 거에요 will not happen for honorific form and past base form of verb as verbs will always end in 시 and -ㅆ어 which are both vowel.

Pointing Object or Subject

This is something that I learned in Korean 1 at the University that I am currently enrolled with.  How to express location.

  • 이 (i) mean this, used when pointing objects near the speaker
  • 그 (ku), means that, used when pointing objects far from the speaker
  • 저 (cho), means that over there, used when pointing objects that is a bit far from both the speaker and the listener.

This is normally used followed by a noun. So using the word 사람 (saram) which means person:

  • 이 사람 제 친구입니다 or 친구예요 (I sarami che chinguimnida/I saram.i che chinguyeyo) – This person is my friend
  • 그 사람 제 친구입니다 or 친구예요 (Ku sarami che chinguimnida/ Ku sarami che chinguyeyo) – That person  is my friend.
  • 저 사람 제 친구입니다 or 친구예요 (Cho sarami che chinguimnida/ Cho sarami che chinguyeyo) – That person overthere is my friend.

In red is the subject particle added to the word 사람 it is pronounced as saramee (‘i’ sounds like east).  This is used to mark subject in a sentence 가 (ka) if the subject ends in vowel. See previous post about subject particle.

Verb Ending -(으)ㄹ래요

I am introduced to a new verb ending today which is -(으)ㄹ래요 or [eu/l-raeyo].  This verb ending means any of the following expression:

  • I wanna <verb>
  • feel like <verbing>
  • I’d prefer to <verb>

Attached to base of verb with final consonant is -을래요 (eulraeyo) and for based of verb with final vowel -ㄹ래요(lraeyo).  Example woul be:

  • 나는 서울에 갈래요 (Naneun Seoure kalraeyo; this means I wanna go to Seoul)
  • 나는 비빔밥을 먹을래요 (Naneun bibimbapeul mokeulraeyo; this means I want to eat bibimbap)

This verb ending is preferred when asking question rather than -고 싶어 which forces the answer to be yes or no.  It likewise serve as gentle suggestion.  Please also note that this verb ending is attached to the unextended ‘l’ verb such as 살래요 (salraeyo) which can either mean want to buy or want to live.  In such cases the meaning of the verb can be derived based on context.

Tentative Questions in Future Form (으)ㄹ까 해요

Previously, i have learned the use of the verb ending -(으)ㄹ까요.  This post is about its cousin in the form ㄹ까 해요 [(eu)lkka haeyo].  This verb ending involving 까 means thinking of doing thus-and-so.  See example below:

  • Question – 요즘 피곤해요? (Yojeum pigonhaeyo?  – Are you tired lately?)
  • Answer – 네, 시골에 좀 쉬러 갈까 해요 (Ne, shigore chom swiro kalkka haeyo. – Yes, I am thinking of going to the countryside for a rest)

해 (hae) being versitile can mean ‘does’ and sometimes as an auxilliary verb ‘is’ can also mean thinks.  See examples below:

  • 세 시쯤에 먹을까 해요 – (Se shijjeume meokeulkka haeyo) I am thinking of eating at around three o’clock.
  • 서울에 갈까 해요 – (Seoure kalkka haeyo) I am thinking of going to Seoul.
  • 테니스를 칠까 해요 – (Tennisreul chilkka haeyo) I am thinking of playing tennis.

This way (으)ㄹ까 해요 can be regarded as the equivalent of I’m thinking or shall I {verb}.

Suggestions and Tentative Questions (으)ㄹ 까(요)

Today, I have learned a new verb ending which is  (으)ㄹ 까 (요).  This two shaped verb ending is attached to base verb in this manner:

  • -ㄹ까(요): -lkka(yo) attached to verb ending in vowel, i.e 갈까요 (가 – ga for go), 슬까요 (스-su for write)
  • 을까(요): -eulka(yo) attached to verb ending in consonant, i.e 먹을까요 (먹 – mok for eat), 읽을까요 (읽 – ilk for read)

This verb ending is consist of prospective modifier in the form of -(으)ㄹ and post modifier 까 which means it is a question of [verb].  So using the example above 갈까요 (Kalkkayo) this would mean ‘shall well go?’  and 슬까요 (seulkkayo) would then mean ‘shall we write?’

A tip is given on tricky verbs such as 구 (Gu which means to broil) and 더 (Deo which means hot) these verbs while they end in vowel instead of attaching -ㄹ까요, transformation is 구까요 (Gu-ulkkayo) and 더울까요 (Deoulkkayo) respectively.  These verbs which are considered w-verb takes 울 prospective modifier.

More on Particle 도 (do)

As mentioned in my previous post, 도 (do) is a particle attached to a noun or noun expression that would mean also, too or and.  This particle may also be found twice in a sentence.  In such cases it is used just as how these English words are:

  • either – and (for affirmative sentences – both choices is okay)
  • neither – nor (for negative sentences)

Here are some examples:

  • 못 가요. 돈도 시간도 없어요. (Mot kayo.  Dondo shicando opsoyo) – I can’t go.  I have neither the time nor the money.
  • 네 갈께요. 나는 버스도 택시도 태워 줘요 (Ne kayo. Naneun bosudo taekshido taewo juwoyo) – Yes I will be going.  I will either take a bus or taxi.

Note that for 도 to function as above, you have to say the same thing about the two nouns involved otherwise use -지만 to show contrast.  (Please see previous post for more on its use).

Negative Commands and Suggestion 마-ㄹ (ma-l)

The polite verb ending 요  is versitile that it can be used to express statement, question, command or suggestion. The classic example, 가 (Ga which mean go) have the same form when used in varying form of expression.

  • 가요 (Gayo) – Let’s go
  • 가요? – Let’s go?
  • 가요! – Let’s go!

So in negative expression, 가  can be formed and would mean not going in these ways:

  • Both would mean ‘not going’
    • 안 가요 (an gayo)
    • 가지 않아요 (gaji anhayo)
  • All below would mean aren’t you going?
    • 안 가세요? (an gaseyo? — used with esteemed person)
    • 안 가요? (an gayo?)
    • 가지 않으세요?   (gaji anhuseyo?)
    • 가지 않아요? (gaji anhayo?)

However in a negative command, it is not right to say 가지 않아요!  A negative command or suggestion uses an auxilliary verb 마-ㄹ (ma-l), an L-extending verb.  As such to say don’t go would be:

  • 가지 마세요 (Gaji maseyo, drops ㄹ when followed by consonant) used with esteemed person
  • 가지 말아요 (Gaji marayo)
  • 가지 마십시오 (Gaji mashipshiyo) honorific formal style – command
  • 가지 마십시다 (Gaji mashipshida) honorific formal style  – suggestion, note that removal of 십 will make the statement very authoritative.