Verbs: Infinitive Form – Part 2

Verbs ending in vowel seems to be more complicated (as it has more rules and variation in making the infinitive form) than the consonant ending one.  These so far are the ways i have learned out of the 8 possibilities mentioned in the book:

  • Verbs with base form ending in 아,어 or 애 has the same infinitive form as its base form.  No wonder I always hear in Korean movies and dramas 가 and 자, which means go and sleep respectively.  Other example would be 서 (stand) and  매 (tie). These verbs have the same base and infinitive form.
  • Verbs ending in 이 is suppose to be added with 어 to have the infinitive form but the ending is abbreviated to 여 instead of -이어. Example is 가르치 (teach) which becomes 가르쳐 instead of  가르치어.
  • Another abbreviation happens for verbs ending in 우, to form the infinitive 어 should be added.  However, instead of yielding a -우어 ending, it will become . As such, 주 is 줘 in infinitive form.
  • The next rule is similar to principle mentioned in consonant ending verbs where the last vowel is ㅗ.  Verbs ending in ㅗ will have its infinitive form by adding 아 BUT this should be shortened to 와. Classic example is the Korean word ‘come’ and ‘look’ which is 오 and 보 respectively.  To get the infinitive form this words become 와 and 봐.
  • For verb ending in 으, either 아 or 어 is added but ㅡ has to be dropped.  So for the verb 쓰 which means write, instead of 쓰어 the infinitive form becomes 써.  The principle of last vowel after dropping ㅡ  will apply. So if the last vowel is either ㅜ or  ㅏ after ㅡ is dropped then should be added instead of 어. An example of this would be the word 바쁘 which means busy.  Since the last vowel when ㅡ is dropped will beㅏ then the infinitive form of this word would be 바빠.

The 3 other ways to form infinitive are a bit complicated.  Its really more of an exception.  This will require more time for me to fully understand.  So far these 5 ways are easy to remember.


The Other Vowels – Dipthongs Part 2

There are other vowels in 한글 that i find complicated.  These are combinations of two vowels to form the sound starting ‘w’. There many combinations but these so far are the common to me:

  • ㅘ – sounds like ‘wa’ of want
  • ㅝ – sounds like ‘wo’ of won’t
  • ㅞ -sounds like ‘we’ weather
  • ㅢ -sounds like ‘wi’ winner

There are Korean words I encountered with these characters  specially on names.  One of my language exchange partner is name 지원 (Jee-won).  One of my favorite songs of se7en is 와줘 (Wa-juo) which is translated as ‘comeback’.

Vowels and Dipthongs

2007년 8월 30일  

The following characters are also considered as vowel in 한글, the sound is very similar to the ‘y’ sound which is a consonant in the alphabet:

ㅑ (ya) as in yak

ㅕ (yo)  as in yolk

ㅛ (yaw) as in yawn

ㅒ(yae) close to yale

ㅖ(ye) as in yesterday

ㅠ (yoo) as in yultide

In my advance reading, there is a concept of postpositioning in words when using in a sentence.  This is when a a character is added in a word to properly identify it as subject or object in a sentence.  The character to be added depends on the final character of the word if consonant or vowel.  So it’s important that these characters be remembered as vowel.

Word for the day is 어머니 (o-mo-ni) . This is how you call mothers in Korea.

Word Pattern and Basic Vowels

In most Korean books I read, the characters are discussed only after the common phrases are introduced. There may be a scientific explanation about this.  When I gained interest in learning Hangul, I immediately checked on the characters and its near equivalent to the alphabet.  Most books say you need to hear how the words are pronounced by native Korean speakers <this is another tough task–to find a native speaker> .  I must say I have memorized the characters at least the basic ones. 

ㅏ (a) as in ant

ㅓ (eo) as hot

ㅗ (aw) as in toe

ㅜ (oo) as in loo

ㅡ (u) short uh sound as in put

ㅣ (i) as in feet

ㅐ (ae) as in apple

ㅔ (e) as in pet

There are other vowels aside from these.  In fact they have more vowels than consonants.  From my readings words seemed to be formed by sound.

Word for the day starts with the ㅏ sound.  아버지 (a-beo-ji) means father.  Note that the word actually starts with the ㅇ  character which is actually classified as consonant in Hangul.  When i was doing initial self study I learned that the pattern per block is Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (C-V-C) and in some cases could be C-V-C-C.  I noticed that if the word has to start with a vowel sound, ㅇ  is present.  Then I learned that this character is actually silent in terms of pronunciation and will only have a sound if its used as final consonant in a word.  In such cases ㅇ  becomes ‘ng’ in sound such as the word 사랑 (sa-rang) then C-V-C pattern still applies.