Long Negatives

Previously, I have posted the use of prefixes 안 (an) and 못(mot) to negate a verb.   When i was reading the book on this lesson, it says that there is another way to negate verb which is called long negatives.  This is done using the following:

  • plain base+지 않아요 or
  • plain base+지 못해요

To illustrate how this is done below are examples:

Q: 기타를 치세요?
Kitareul chiseyo?
Do you play guitar?

A: 아니오, 기타를 치지 못해요
Aniyo, kitareul chiji mothaeyo
No, I don’t know how to play guitar.

Q: 한나 씨, 언니가 결혼했어요?
Hannashi, unnika kyeolhonhaessoyo?
Hanna, is you sister married?

A: 아니오, 언니는 결하지 않아요.
Aniyo, unnineun kyeolhaji anhayo.
No, my sister is not married.

So long negative form uses suspective form of verb. 

Unlike the short negative, 못 occurs both in descriptive and processive verbs.  In short negative 못 cannot be used with descriptive verb so  못 좋아요 (mot chuayo – does not like) cannot occur 좋다 being a descriptive verb. However, this can be said 좋지 못해요 (choji mothaeyo).

Below is a comparison of short and long negative form of verb, the only difference between these two is that the long negative is already a phrase.

Base Meaning Short Negative Long Negative Past Tense
read 안 읽어요 읽지 않아요 읽지 않았어요
come 안 와요 오지 않아요 오지 않았어요
write 안 써요 쓰지 않아요 쓰지 않았어요
심심하 feel bored 안 심심해요 심심하지 않아요 심심하지 않았어요

Short negatives is not commonly used when verb has 3 or more syllables, long negative form is more approriate to use. As such, the word above in red is not likely to occur. Short negative is not likely used as well for complex verb form such as -고 싶.  Therefore 안먹고 싶어요 (anmokko shipoyo – doesn’t want to eat) is an awkward expression, this is rather expressed as 먹고 싶지 않아요 (mokko shipji anhayo).


Command, Suggestion and Past in Formal Style

There are different verb endings for command and suggestion in formal style.  For statement in command tone the verb ending to use is 십시오 (shipshi.o) and 으십시오 (ushipshi.o) for verb ending in vowel and consonant respectively. So 가십시오 (kashipshio) would mean ‘go!’ and 읽으십시오 (ilkushipsio) would mean ‘read!’.  The usual verb ending for command statements are actually 시오 /으시오 (shi.o/ushi.o) however, this is deemed too authoritative thus the use o honorific marker 십 is recommended.

The verb ending for command is often misspelled as 시요, this should be carefully noted as 시오 and not the polite verb ending 요.

To make a statement suggestive the verb ending ㅂ시다/읍시다 (shida/ushida) is added to verb with final vowel and consonant ending respectively.  To summarize the verb endings the i learned, i created the table below for reference:

Type of Statement Vowel Ending Verb Consonant Ending Verb
Statement ㅂ니다 습니다
Question ㅂ니까 습니까
Command 십시오 으십시오
Suggestion ㅂ시다 읍시다

All the verb ending above is attached to base form of the verb except for the past formal style.  As what I previously learned past base of verb is formed by the using the infinitive form plus ㅆ then the verb ending will always be 습니다 as ㅆ is consonant. Here are some examples:

  • 갔습니다 (kassumnida) – went
  • 했습니다 (haessumnida) – did it
  • 앉았습니다 (anjassumnida) – sat

Particle 씩 (sshik)

This particle means per or a piece.  Its use can be compared to what we say in English ‘I work 4 hours per day’ however in a Korean sentence this is expressed as ‘In a day I work 4 hours per’.  The particle goes with the expression of time or quantity. So I work 4 hours per day can be expressed in Korean this way:

하루에 네 시간씩 일합니다 or 일해요 for less formal statement (Haru.e ne shicansshik ilhapnida/ilhaeyo).  Literally this means ‘In a day, I work four hours each’.

This particle is used at the end of numerical expression and usually refers to other element in the sentence like a subject/object or a time expression with the particle 마다 (mada -each/every).  You can find this particles used along with the particle 마다 which somehow means the same. See example below:

어머니랑 날마다 두 시간씩 전화로 이야기합니다 (Omonirang nalmada du shicansshik chonhwaro iyagihamnida).  This literally means ‘With mother every day two hours by means of phone I speak’.  It kinda look odd but this means ‘Everyday, I speak to my mother two hours through the phone.’

Lastly, this particle is used more like in English when the expression means distribution.  친구들한테 담배 한 갑씩 줬어요 (Chingudulhante tambae han kapsshik jwossoyo). Literal translation is ‘To friends cigarette one pack each given’ so it means I gave my friends one pack of cigarette each.

Particles 마다 (mada) and 만 (man)

Two new particles enter my knowledge base of Korean language.  For the past days my posts have been related to numbers and so it’s just timing to learn some particles that somehow relates to numbers, frequency, counting or limiting.

Let’s take the first particle first called 마다 (mada) which is equivalent to each/every.  So when you want to say ‘every morning’ its 아침마다 (achim.mada) or if ‘everyday’ its 날마다 (nal.mada). However, when used in a time expression, this particle takes the function of article a(n).  For example saying 날마다 삼십 분 (nalmada samship pun) would mean 30 minutes a day.

The second particle is 만 (man) which can either mean only or just. It’s actually a particle that restricts the noun expression it follows.  Now I know why one of my favorite Korean songs is translated as ‘Look Only at Me’ and sometimes ‘Just look at me’, the title in Korean is 나만 바라봐 (Naman Parabwa).  When a noun is followed by this particle, the subject particle 이~가 and 을~를 is not normally used.  For example:

연필만 있어요 (Yonpil issoyo) would mean – There are only pencils, it’s unusual to say 연필을 있어요 (Yonpireul issoyo).  Another application would be expressing ‘doing the same thing’ as in ‘Lately all I do is study’.  In Korean, this is expressed as 요즘 공부만 해요 (Yojum gongbuman haeyo).  This particle can also be used with a proper noun (as in persons name) or korean pronoun equivalent (as in 나, 저, etc.) In cases you want to say ‘Only Jane knows’, this can be expressed as 제인 씨만 알아요 (Jane sshiman arayo).

As i usually mention when discussing particles, these form part of the word so the pronunciation is seamless or without a pause.

Classifiers – Markers for Counting

I have been mentioning about markers on my previous posts regarding numbers.  This is one characteristics of the Korean Language.  They use certain markers to classify what is being counted.  They are normally called Classfier, Counter or Marker.  Today, I am posting about these markers and some of the rules to follow in using it.

It’s really hard to explain the counterpart in English as some do not have any equivalent.  Like when you want to say 5 dogs, that is it in English but in Korean it can be expressed as  개 다 마리 (kae da mari) which is directly translated as dog 5 mari.  Mari is the classifer which do not have an English counter part.  As mentioned in my previous post on Native Korean numerals, mari is used to indicate that animals or fish is being counted.

Below are Classifiers used with Native Korean Numbers, note that those preceeded with (-) cannot used independently as noun the other therefore can be used as a stand-alone noun if needed:

For the above mentioned classfiers, Sino-Korean numbers can also be used for numbers 20 and above, therefore, one can encounter 60 bottles as either 예순 병 (yesun byong) or 육십 병 (yokship byong).

Below are Classifiers used with Sino Korean Numbers:

It’s good to note that in both cases the classifier -분  can be used with Native or Sino-Korean number, the meaning (minutes or esteemed person) can be derived based on the content of the sentence.

Sino-Korean Numbers

Given that the native Korean numbers are just up to 99, the numbers borrowed from Chinese called Sino-Korean Numbers are therefore widely used purely or in combination with Native Korean numerals.  Check the link to know the Sino Korean Numbers.

Sino Korean numbers are generally used to express the following:

  • Dates (시월 십일 – shiwol ship-il or October 10)
  • Money (이천 원 – ichon won or 2000 WON)
  • Foreign loan words
  • Minutes and Seconds (hours are expressed using Native Korean numbers)

Years are normally counted using the Sino-Korean numbers followed by marker 년 (-nyon) which means year, an example would be 삼년 (samnyon) – 3 years.  Counting years in Native Korean number is acceptable although it is a common practice to use this numeral up 2 years and it is followed by marker 해 (hae) instead of inyon. 

Native Korean Numbers

On this post, I wanted to focus more on the Native Korean numerals which is surprisingly up to 99 only.  As mentiond in the Korean Number section for numbers above 99 the Sino-Korean are used.   The formula is also provided in that page.

There are peculiarities in using the Native Korean numbers.  하나 (hana), 둘 (dul), 셋 (set) and 넷 (net)  which are 1..2..3…4 respectively drops the last sound before the word it counts.  Note that the character ㅅ in 셋 (set) and 넷 (net) are pronounced as ‘t’ when it occurs as final consonant.  As an example, instead of saying 하나 잭 hana chaek , you will only hear ha chaek which means one book.  This goes the same for 둘, 셋 and 넷 which will be written and pronounced du, se and ne.  This rule applies to count number 20 스물 (seumul) which drop the sound ‘l’ as well when used right before the word that its counting.

Furthermore, 셋 (3)  and 넷 (4)  are pronounced as sok and nek respectively if the noun or counter it follows begin with ㄷor ㅈ.

There are also counters that is being used along with Native Korean numbers.  Counters are like identifiers of the item being counted, its hard to tell the counterpart for in some there is non.  Like we can say 3 chickens or 3 head of chicken in English but in  Korean its just 3 chicken –>닭 세 마리 (dal se mari) literally this is chicken (닭) 3 (세, remember the rule drop the last sound).  Now 마리 (mari) is actually a counter or classfier. This is something which do not have counter part in English maybe comparable to school as in school of fish or herd of cows etc.  This classifier is used for counting animals and fish.

There are a lot of classifiers or counters that goes with Native Korean numerals I will discuss this in my next post.

Ways to say ‘Like’

This post is all about ways to say ‘like’ or similar to make it clear.  Like as in ‘I like you’ is expressed as 좋아해요 (choahaeyo).  There are two way to say like<something>, where something pertains to a noun actually in the Korean structure the order is <something>like or <noun>like.

The two new words for today is 처럼 (cheoreom) and 같이 (kati). So the formula is <noun>처럼 or 같이.  So when you want to say like a man, this phrase can be said two ways 남자처럼 or  남자같이. 

Now that is easy, however to express ‘be like a noun’ the word used is 같아 (kata) or 같아요 (katayo).  Here is an example:  Our teacher Ms.Lee is like a singer.  이 선생님은 가수을 같아요 (Lee Seonsaengnim is like a singer)

Expressing ‘I want to be…’

My previous post is on the use of the descriptive auxilliary verb -고 싶어 (-go shipo). As I mentioned it’s used to express own desires, wishes or wants.  Exemptions are mentioned in the post, it cannot be used to express other’s people’s wishes.  Another exemption is what I am posting today.

When you want to say ‘I want to be a pilot’,  this auxilliary verb cannot be used along with the copula 이에요 (i-e-yo).  This copula as mentioned in my previous post could mean to be like or establish existence.  So you can’t say  초종사가 하고 싶어이에요 (chojongsaga hago shipoieyo).  Instead, to express I want to be or to become <noun>,  the verb 되 should be used (dwe which means to become).  Therefore,

나는 초종사가 고 싶어요 (Nanun chojongsaga dwego shipoyo) is the right way to say I want to become a pilot. Removing Nanun would still mean the same, as subject can be removed is Korean statements.

Expressing Wants using 싶어 (Shipo)

This is one of the most useful words in Korean.  싶어 is an auxilliary verb in the infinitive form, the base is 싶.  When used it is usually follows this pattern base form of a processive verb with -고 (go) attached to it and then  싶어 (shipo).  In formula its like:

base form of verb+고<space> 싶어

A classic example is 보 (bo) which means ‘see’ it’s commonly used with 싶어.  This phrase 보고 싶어 (bogo shipo) means want to see, it likewise means I miss you.  You might be wondering where is ‘you’ in that phrase, as you know in Korean subject in a sentence can actually be dropped such that 보고 싶어  is already an intimate way of saying I want to see you or I miss you.  Add 요 (yo) then the statement becomes in  polite form, 보고 싶어요 (bogo shipoyo) that is.  

  • 살고 싶어 (salko shipo means want to live or wish to leave)
  • 하고 싶어 (hago shipo mean want to do or wish to do in this case the verbal noun or noun marked by particle 를/을 should preceed 하고 )

싶어 is used in a sentence to express 1st person (I/we want) wants, desires or wishes and can not be used to express want or desires of another person.  It  can be used in though 2nd person (do you want..) questions. 

To use this auxilliary verb for 3rd person statements or questions (he,she, they, it) the pattern should be <base form of processive verb>+고 then followed by 싶어요.  Instead of 싶어, the verb takes the form 싶어하.

Always remember descriptive verb cannot be directly attached to 고. As discussed previouslt descriptive verb are those that are non-separable.  By saying non-separable, it means the verb cannot be transformed to pattern verb+object particle 을/를 followed by 해요 (haeyo is the versitile processive verb which means does or performs something). Most importantly this is used to express ONE’s wish or desire.

I’ll be posting more on this auxilliary verb…