Words and Expressions: This and That

Having to point something or describe location of something is very basic in any language. When a child is learning to speak, adults would tend to say short phrases complemented with gesture or sign language. Like a child who would have difficulty understanding the simplest statement, same goes for someone learning a new language.

Here are some basic words which i would commonly hear in a Korean conversation:

  • 이 (i or ee) – this
  • 그 (geu) – that (nearby)
  • 저 (jeo) – that (remote)
  • 어디 (eodi) – where

The above set of words can transform into a verb expression.  It would be easier to observe the end state pattern than to explain it inductively:

  • 이래요(iraeyo) – does [it] this way / is like this
  • 그래요 (geuraeyo) – does it that way/ is like that
  • 저래요 (jeoraeyo) – does it that [remote] way / is like that [remote] way
  • 어때요 (eottaeyo) – does it how (or why?) / is like what? (is how?)

There is a long explanation on the steps by which this words are formed.  이래요 is from base form 이러 which is instead of making it 이러요 (ireoyo) or 이러해요 (ireohaeyo), by certain rules on abbreviating, the verb ending becomes 래요.  This is the thing with reading books when learning language, questions could pop up in your mind one after another.

Now it made me understand more the common expression 그래요, it sometimes used to mean you agree on something or conclude it was like that.

Expressing Mild Surprise

I am back to reading my Continuing Korean book.  I have been so curious about the -네요 (-neyo) verb ending for the longest time.  I asked about this before from a former Language Exchange Partner (LEP) and I guess there was a different explanation.  Finally there is an answer to this question.

The verb ending -네요 when attached to processive or descriptive verb expresses mild surprise. Its like having ‘oh gee’ or ‘oh my’ in the statement. The verb ending -네요 can be attached to base form of the verb in all tenses – present, past and future.

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I don’t usually eat spicy food but having been introduced to Korean food, I learned to like spicy food since pepper paste and red pepper powder are usually added in their dishes. The expression above 맛있네요! (Mashineyo!) can translate to Oh my…its delicious.

Here are more examples on how the verb ending can be used in different tenses:

  • 한국말을 잘 하시네요! (Hangukmareul jal hashineyo) -You speak Korean so well!
  • 동생이 시를 잘 썼네요! (Dongsaengi shireul sseoneyo) – My younger brother/sister wrote the poem so well.
  • 밥을 사야 되겠네요 (Papeul saya dwikeneyo) – Oh my we will have to buy more food.

I always hear this verb ending in Korean conversation.  Now I know why. Btw, the book says it is inappropriate to use this as a reply to a question.  The use of this verb ending is normally like talking to oneself but in such a way that others notice you are surprised.

Hunger, Eating and Food

Joining the Taste of Korea posted a challenge on how well I know Korean food. I know there are a lot more food to taste and learn. The number of 반찬 (banchan) alone is too many to learn in one cooking session.

In Korean you say 배고파요 (paegopayo) or 배고파 (paegopa) when you want to eat or when you are hungry. The first one is polite way to say it while the next one is the casual way. You will also hear 배고프다 (paegopeuda) when someone declares that he/she is hungry.

I am always amazed by the number of food served in a typical Korean meal. The 반찬 or side dishes are way too much. Just before you know it you are full picking on these banchan even before the main dish is served.

Banchan

 

My good friend Suhyeon treated us to a Korean dinner in one of the restaurants in Sinchon last April.  The picture above shows the side dishes served.  There were around 7 반찬 served.  The 동그랑땡 (donggeurangddaeng – mini beef patties) in stone warmer and the 파전 (pancheon- Korean onion pancakes) were the best.  

Sundubu Jjigae

I specially request for 순두부 찌개 (sundubu jjigae – spicy soft tofu stew) since this is my favorite. Then another set of side dish were served  although some of which are treated as seasoning or spice, I am surprised that another set of 반찬 was served along with the soup.  Instead of the usual plain white rice what went along with the food we had is the 오곡밥 (ogokbap).

Ogobap

Ogokbap is actually sticky rice.  It is made of five grains namely glutinous rice, millet, sorghum, black beans, and red beans.  I heard that this is usually eaten by Korean families during first full moon day in hopes of peace and a good harvest.

At this point, 제가 배고파요… I am getting hungry looking at the Korean food I got to taste in the past. What I wanted to have right now is the 김치볶음밥 (kimchibokkeumbap – kimchi fried rice).  To say I want to eat kimchibokkeumbap in Korean, this pattern can be used <food>을/를 먹을 거에요.  김치볶음밥을 먹을 거에요 (Kimchibokkeumbapeul mokeul koeyo – I want to eat kimchibokkeumbap). Depending on what letter or sound the food name ends you can simply attach 을 -eul for consonant ending food name  and 를 -reul for vowel. 

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I got to taste this kimchibokkeumbap from Yoogane in Myeongdong last April.  It was one of the best Korean fried rice I ever had. I got mine mixed with chicken and it was a super complete meal on its own.  The pan above it humongous, I can’t imagine I would be able will finish it ~ but I did LOL!

I have never into spicy food until I became hook with Korea.  Maybe it was a natural thing, me liking the country and the culture led me to liking the food as well.  Honestly it is not that I like every Korean food I had before but I get to appreciate the taste itself and I slowly grew fond of spicy dishes.   How about you?  What is your favorite Korean food? 

Another Way to Express Hopes and Wishes

One of the first expressions I learned in Korean is the verb+고 싶어요 (-go shipeoyo).   This expresses wish to ‘verb’  just like how 보고 싶어요  (bogo shipeoyo) would mean I wish to see you or in most cases would mean I miss you.

This lesson I just read reminds me of the first days I tried having a Language Exchange Partner (LEP).  He told me how 좋겠어 (chokesseo) in the end of the sentence would also mean expressing hopes and wishes.  I didn’t understand back then.  He must have had a hard time explaining it to me because i don’t really understand Korean grammar then (well at least now  I have better idea).

The format I have learned now is 으면 좋겠어요 (eumyeon chokesseo).   좋겠어요 corresponds to would/will be good or nice while the 으면 refers to if something is blank blank so this expression means it would be good or nice if something exists or happens.

여름이 가지 않으면 좋겠어요 (Yeoreumi kaji aneumyeon chokesseoyo)-  I wish summer would stay.  It literally mean if summer didn’t go, it would be good.

새 옷 많이 하면 좋겠습니다 (Sae ot manhi hamyeon chokessumnida) – I wish i have many new clothes.

Lastly, this is something I really wish for my self.  한국말을 잘 하면 좋겠어요. (Hangukmareul jal hamyeon chokesseoyo).  It would really be good if I speak Korean well.

Having this post, I suddenly missed 진명.  I wonder where he is right now.  He was my first LEP.  진명이 서울에 만나면 좋겠어요!

At the Latest and At Least in Korean

I just learned how say ‘at the latest’ and ‘at least’ in Korean.  There are two descriptive verbs when added with 어도 gives that maximum and minimum meaning.

  • 늦어도 (neujeodo) –  at the latest (even though it is late)
  • 적어도(chokodo) – at least (even though its few or small)

It’s like an idiomatic expression because 늦어 means to be late and 적어 means to few or small.  Here are some examples patterned from this lesson:

  • 여기부터  공항까지 적어도 2시간은 걸리겠어요.  (Yeogibuto gonghangkajji chokodo 2shiganeun keollikesseoyo) – From here to the airport must take at least 2 hours.
  • 제가 늦어도 11시까지는 집에 가야. (Chega neujeodo 11shikkajineun jipe kaya) – I need to be home by 11pm at the latest.

Use of Simple Modifier

So i have learned that the simple modifier (으)ㄴ can be easily done by attaching it to base for of the verb.  USing this modifer allows creation of noun phrse or a clause that modifies a noun.  The simple modifier has two meanings.  With an adjective  it means that is or equals noun.

  • 큰 가방 (keun kabang) 크 descriptive verb meaning large added with simple modifier ㄴ and 가방 meaning bag.  This noun phrase means large bag or a bag that is large.
  • 좋은 아침 (choeun achim) good morning or morning that is good
  • 예쁜 여자 (yeppeun yoja)  beautiful lady or a lady that is beautiful

This simple modifier when added to a processive (action) verb, it has the past meaning like has done or that someone did or has done.  The tense is the difference compared to the use of simple modifier with descriptive verb.

  • 떠난 남자 (ddonan namja)  떠나 meaning left and 남자 meaning a man or a guy.  This noun phrase means the guy who left.
  • 읽은 편지 (ilkeun pyeonji) the letter that (I did) read
  • 만난 친구 (mannan chingu) the friend I met

Since the processive verb when added with this simple modifier has the past meaning, it is therefore impossible to put this simple modifier to past base form of the verb like 만났은 친구.

Looks pretty easy for now.  Although there maybe slight difference the way you do it in English, this is the beauty of the Korean language with just a simple addition of ㄴ to a verb followed by a noun you instantly make a noun phrase.

 

Vocabulary: Travel

It’s barely a week before Christmas.  People are busy shopping preparing for gift giving.  But right now my mind is already traveling to South Korea because it’s 10 days to go before i hit South Korea again =)

I love traveling and i won’t be bored or tired going back again and again to South Korea. So i thought of sharing what travel is in Korean, its 여행 (yeohaeng) as noun and 여행하다 (yeohaenghada) as verb that means to travel.

  • 다음 주 서울에 여행할 께요. (Daum chu Seoure yeohaenghal kkeyo)  – I am traveling to Seoul next week.
  •  서울 여행이  좋아요. (Seoul  yeohaeng choayo) -I like traveling in Seoul
  • 나도  서울 여행을 좋아해요. (Nado Seoul yeohaengeul  choahaeyo.) – Me too, I like traveling in Seoul.

Good thing they made it even more easy to go to South Korea by not asking too much document if you are an OECD visa holder.  More so, visa is gratis for Filipino traveling to South Korea for less than 60 days.

다시 한 번  서울에 좋은 시간을 보내고 싶어요. (Dashi hanbon Seoure choeun shiganeul bonaego shipeoyo)  Once again, i want to spend a good time in Seoul.

Vocabulary: To Write

I have downloaded an application from iPAD that allows me to doodle.   It kinda let you practice your Hangul writing without wasting papers and inks. The word 쓰다 (seuda) is the dictionary form of the verb write, so it means ‘to write’.

To use this in a sentence you have to identify the base or infinitive form of the word that is 쓰(seu) and 써 (seo) respectively.  Here are some use that I can think of:

  • 여기에 이름을 써 주세요 (Yeogie ireumeul sseo juseyo) – Please write your name here.
  • 친구에게 편지를 썼어요 (Chinguege pyeonjireul sseosseoyo) – I wrote a letter to a friend.
  • 나중에 블로그 엔트리를 쓸거에요 (Najunge beullogeu enteurireul sseulkoeyo) – I will write ( I have an intention of writing) a blog entry later.

Try the Doodle application in iPAD it’s just cute and nice way to practice Hangul writing. It’s also cool that iPAD has enabled writing on most east asian fonts and that includes Hangul.

Vocabulary : To Think

Are you thinking of something or someone?

생각하다 (Saenggakhada)

The verb  생각하다 (saenggakhada) is in dictionary form which means ‘to think’.  The base form is 생각하 (saenggakha) while the infinitive form is 생각해 (saenggakhae).  These are some of its use that I learned to create:

  • 나도 당신을 생각하고 있어요 (Nado dangshineul saenggakhago isseoyo) – I am thinking of you too.  This is in present progressive form, please note that 고 있어요 is added to the base form of the verb.
  • 당신을 생각했어요 (Dangshineul saenggakhaesseoyo) – I thought about you.
  • 나도 너 맞아는 생각해요 (Nado no majaneun saenggakhaeyo) – I (also) think you’re right.

Some tenses are formed using the base form like the future form -겠어요 (-kesseoyo) while some are formed using the infinitive form like past form, in fact 생각해 (saenggakhae) can be used in a sentence for informal (intimate) style.

Infinitive Form: The Review

This is sort of a continuation of my post yesterday.  If you can determine the base form of the verb from the dictionary entry then its just proper to learn how to get the infinitive form.  I was talking once with a language exchange partner who is studying Korean but is a native Spanish speaker.  He mentioned that he can easily understand the idea of infinitive in verb as this seems to be the case in Spanish.   From Wikipedia it says in studying Spanish and Portuguese,  infinitives end in -ar, -er, or -ir.  In the case of Korean language, verb in infinitive form can end in eitherㅓ (eo) orㅏ (a).

Learning the infinitive form of the verb in Korean language is important since this form of the verb is where it can already be used in a conversation.   But one must realize that the infinitive form of the verb when used in a sentence without the appropriate style may appear disrespectful when talking to a native Korean.  This is because Korean is spoken in either formal or casual-polite style, verbs normally use a marker to achieve this.  Again this subject may require another post to fully understand.  The style to be used has to be considered with reference to degree of relationship to the person you are talking to.  Likewise there is a concept of honorifics in Korean language.  Aside from the style, verb in honorific form is used if you are talking to someone older or of higher position than you are.  So the infinitive form when used in a conversation without considering the formal or casual-polite style means your relationship to the person is intimate (closer).  This style of speaking is referred to as 반말 (banmal meaning speaking intimately).

There are some rules to follow in deriving the infinitive form and this starts by identifying the base form of the verb.  For vowel ending base verbs these are the things to know:

  • If the base ends with the vowel ㅏ (a), ㅓ(eo) or ㅐ(ae) the infinitive form is equal to the base form.  As such the base form of verb 가 (ka means go),  매 (mae means tie) and 서 (seo means stand) is also it’s infinitive form.
  • For verbs with base form ending inㅣ (i), the infinitive form is made by adding ㅓbut is abbreviated to ㅕ(yeo) so its like ㅣ+ㅓ=ㅕ.  Here are some of the samples under this case, 가르치 (karuchi base form of verb to learn) will become 가르쳐 (karucho) in infinitive form.  Same goes with verb 마시 (mashi – drink) which becomes 마셔 ( masyeo).
  • In the case of base verbs ending in ㅜ (u or oo in some romanization),  the infinitive form is derived by adding ㅓ and abbreviated to ㅝ  (ㅜplusㅓ) .  Here is an example of its application, 주 (ju which means give) becomes 줘 (jwo or jueo). Please note though that verbs ending in ㅝ requires 어 to be added to the base form of the word to get the infinitive form.  This is because there is no abbreviation for ㅝ combined with ㅓ. One sample of this is the word 숴 (sui which means to rest), the infinitive form of this verb is 쉬어 (sui-eo or swi-eo).
  • Applying the same principle for verbs with base ending in ㅗ (o) , ㅏ is added to derived the infinitive form and then abbreviated to ㅘ.  Therefore,  the verb 오 (o) which means to come will become 와 (wa or oa).  Same thing goes for the word 보 (bo which means to see or look), it becomes 봐 (bwa) in the infinitive form.  Just a note that 봐  being one of the mostly used verb can be heard as just 바 (ba) when spoken in Korean.
  • Lastly, for base verbs ending in ㅡ (eu or  short u sound), there is a slight difference in determining the infinitive form.  The ㅡ is dropped and replace by ㅓ. A good example would be the word 쓰 (sseu which means to write), this becomes 써 (seo) in infinitive form.   However when you drop the ㅡ and the ending is a consonant the preceding vowel will be the basis of what will be added to the base to derive the infinitive form.  This means that if the preceding vowel is ㅜ or ㅏ, ㅏ has to be added otherwise its ㅓ.  A example of this case is the word  바쁘  (pappeu which means be busy), it becomes 바빠 (pappa) in infinitive form.

The last rule is something applicable for vowel ending base verbs.  The preceding vowel is indicative whether ㅓorㅏ will be added to form the infinitive.  All consonant ending base verbs ends with  어 (eo) the only exception is if the preceding vowel is 오 or 아 the ending would be 아 instead of 어.  Here are some of the examples the order of the word is dictionary form followed by base form and then the infinitive form:

  • 앉다 –> 앉  –> 앉아 (anja) means sit
  • 읽다 –> 읽 –> 읽어 (ilko pronounced as iko) means read
  • 좋다–>  좋 –> 좋아 (choa or chowa) means like
  • 물다 –> 물 –> 물어  (muleo) means ask

Of course as to any rules there are exceptions.  I may have to make another post for the exceptions but the highlight  is, since verbs in infinitive form can be used in conversation you may hear these verbs as if its a complete sentence when Koreans are engaged  in a conversation.  As simple as 좋아 (choa) would mean something is liked or good  or when you hear 앉아 (anja) it means someone is telling you to take your seat.   This goes the same for a very common verb 괜찮아 (kwaenchna) or expression in Korean.  This means i am okay, it’s okay or are you okay if used with rising tone at the end.