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.

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Still on Common Expression

As a Korean Language enthusiast, I sometimes find my self uttering some of Korean expressions or words.  Like the word 아이구 – aigoo or 아이씨 just comes out when I am a little irritated, dismayed or disappointed.  Watching Korean dramas and movies makes you notice these common expressions that people would use in regular conversation.

From one drama to another this expression without even looking at dictionary or consulting my super helpful Korean friends, the word 깜짝이야 (kkamjjagiya) is an expression of surprise.

I hear it a lot of times although it’s a bit too long for an expression of surprise compared to my native language.  Here is a video of how it is said, the video is taken from posts of learnkoreanwithlily from Youtube.

In Filipino language when we are surprised, we typically utter random words like kalabaw (cow), huh, susmaryosep, etc but Koreans actually have the word for it 🙂