Denying Obligation

Last time I learned how to express obligation by using the particle -야 (-ya) and 해요 (haeyo).   Now I learned how to deny such obligation something like the English expression ‘you don’t have to’ or ‘you may not’ or ‘you need not’.

This is not something really offensive, the tone is rather it’s all right even if <verb>.  The expression is formed by using a particle I just recently post, 도 (do) that is, added to a negative verb followed by 좋아요 (choayo), 돼요 dwaeyo) or 괜잖아요 (gwaenchanayo).   So it’s necessary to know first how negative verbs are formed to be able to make use of this new expression.

A quick recap verbs are made negative by adding 안 in front of it this is the short cut or the longer way which is verb+지 (ji)  않아요.

Here are examples of the practical use of this expression:

  • 밥을 안먹어도 괜잖아요. (Bapeul anmokodo gwaenchanayo) – It’s alright if you don’t eat the rice.
  • 내일 집에 가지 않아도 돼요.  (Jipe kaji anado dwaeyo).  You don’t have to go home tomorrow.
  • 아무선물을 가져오지 않아도 좋아요. (Amuseonmureul kajyeo.oji anado choayo).  It’s okay even if you don’t bring any gift.

More Use of (으)ㄹ 수 있어요/없어요

The expression plain base+ㄹ 수 있어요 or 없어요 which means can or cannot <verb> also corresponds to the meaning of plain verb expression whether positive or negative.  Only, the pattern conveys possiblity and or ability.

The expression ㄹ 수 없어요  (-l su opseoyo) also means the same as the negative expression 못 followed by verb as in the case of 갈 수 없어요 (kal su opseoyo) is the same as 못 가요 (mot kayo); the first expression meaning cannot go and the second one emphatically means cannot go (sure that the person cannot go).

Here are some applications of this verb ending:

1.  내일 후에 시험  집에 갈 수 있어요. (Naeil hue shiheom jipe kal su isseoyo).  I can go home tomorrow after the exam.

2.  오늘 아침 도서관에 올 수 있어요? (Oneul achim dosogwane ol su isseoyo?) Can you come to the library this morning?

3.  새 가방이 볼 수 있어요? ( Sae kabangi bol su isseoyo) Can i see the new bag?

4.  동생이  파티에 갈 수 없어요. (Dongsaengi pati.e kal su opseoyo) My younger brother cannot go to the party.

5.  내가  바뻐서, 이메일 답장을  보낼 수 없어요. (Naega papposo, email dapjangi bonael su opseoyo)  I cannot send my email reply because I am busy.

Expressing Doesn’t Have To

Few days ago I learned how to express ‘ have to’ or ‘ I must do’ which is in the form of  infinitive form of verb+ 야 해요.  This time it’s about saying ‘I don’t have to’.  It was not as simple as using the negative verb + 야 해요, instead for this expression, the negative verb + 도 is used.  Using one of my favorite verbs,  먹다 (meokda – to eat) here are examples:

  • Short negative – 안 먹어도 (an meokeodo)
  • Long negative – 먹지 않아도 (mokji anado)

The above examples both mean even if I don’t eat.  The final verb can be used are  돼요 (dwaeyo), 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo) or  좋아요 (choayo)  to complete the thought — it doesn’t matter, it’s alright or it’s okay.  Using the verb above here is a sample sentence construction:

오늘 밤에 먹지 않아도 괜찮아요.  (Oneul bame mokji anado gwaenchanayo). Even if I don’t eat late tonight, it doesn’ t matter.

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.

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).

Negating a Verb – The Short Form

I just learned how to form a negative verb…the short way and i am just about to find out how is it done the long way.  These words easily turn verb into negative:

  • 안 (an…)  – this is derived from the word 아니오 (ani-o) or 아니 (a-ni)
  • 못 (mot…) yes its mot not ‘mos’ while ㅅ is equivalent to the sound of letter s, when its a final consonant it is not released (swallowed as the book says) so its sound is ㅌor ‘t’ instead.  However if its followed by a verb that start with i or y sound then it is pronounced at niy or nny.

So how is 안 different from  못? the first one simply means none, not and the latter tends to be more emphatic as in cannot, not possible or absolutely cannot.  Example:

  • 잘 안 자요 (jal an jayo) – means not able to sleep well
  • 잘 못 자요 (jal mot jayo) – means cannot sleep well

From the example above you will notice that this words are placed immediately before the verb regardless if the verb is formed by adding ~하.  So you won’t say 좋아 안해요 (chuha anhaeyo –> if you want to say don’t like) instead it should be 안 좋아해요 (an chuahaeyo).

The example below sets the difference in tone of the statement as you use 안 or 못.

  • 커피를 안 마셰요 (kopi-reul an masyo-yo) this means ‘don’t drink coffee’
  • 커피를 못 마셰요 (kopi-reul mot masyo-yo) would mean ‘ can’t drink coffee’

The first states the person is not drinking the coffee while the second one is more applicable when one cannot drink coffee simply because the person is not allowed or does not like coffee.

Another difference is that 못 cannot be used before a descriptive verb like 예쁜 (yeppeun which means pretty), 기쁜 (gippeun which means glad or pleased), etc.