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).


Using -지만 (-jiman)

Previous post is on creating suspective form of verb by adding 지 (ji) to its base form.  This post relates to how suspective form of verb is used in an expression. Moreso, this also shows how two sentences can be connected using  <any base of a verb>+지만 (jiman). 

In English contrast is usually expressed using the word ‘but’.  When you want to say ‘such and such but’ this is the format to use, see sample sentence below on its use:

언니는 있지만  오뻐는 없어요. (Unnineun issojiman oppaneun opsoyo)  I have a sister but do not have a brother.  This of course is said by a girl as denoted by the use of unni (elder sister) and oppa (older brother) in establishing relationship.  Note that when a guy is speaking noona and hyung should be used. From this example, two statements have been joined into one ( I have a sister. I don’t have a brother)

Another example would be: 

나는 나한에 여행했지만 서울에만 가봤어요. (Naneun namhane yohaenghaettjiman Seoureman kabwassoyo).  I have travelled to Korea but went to see Seoul only.

You can also find in English statement that starts with but, on the contrary, on the other hand or however.  In Korean, the word 그렇지만 (kurohjiman) corresponds to this.   To illustrate how this is used:

I am thinking of going to school later to meet a friend. However, I am sick.   나중에 친구 만나려 학교가 갈께 해요. 그렇지만 나는 아픈이에요. (Najunge chingu mannaryo hakkyo kalkeyo. Kurohjiman naneun apuenieyo). Literally, this sentence is translated – Later to meet friend I am going to school. However I am sick.

Note:  갈께 해요 (kalkeyo) is verb for word ‘go’ formed by using (으)ㄹ께 해요  to denote intention to do something.  Thus, 갈께 해요(think of going to). I will discuss this in my suceeding posts.

Verbs in Suspective Form -지 (ji)

I have posted so many topics related to verbs, this time it’s how to create verb in suspective form.  For the longest time, I have been thinking what suspective verb means.  I have never encountered such in English so using ‘common-sense’, suspective is from the word suspect which is synonymous to think, imagine, expect etc.  

Reading my Elementary Korean Book, I think that this form is used in several expressions.  For now, I would like to think that the reason why there is a suspective form of verb is because of these expressions requiring verb to be in that form.

It’s easy to create verb in suspective form, this is just base+지, as for the past tense form 지 is added in the past base form.



Past Suspective


하 (ha) 하지 (haji) 했지 (haettji) to do
자 (ja) 자지 (jaji) 잤지 (jattji) sleep
보 (bo) 보지 (boji) 봤지 (bwattji) look
쓰 (ssu) 쓰지 (ssujji) 썼지 (seottji) write
먹 (meok) 먹지 (meokji) 먹었지 (meokji) eat

Uses of verbs in this form will be in suceeding post.