More on -고 있어요

If you have read the post before this one,  you are aware that -고 있어요 (-go isseyo) is used to express an action in progress something similar to ‘verbing‘ like eating, dancing etc.

This verb ending can also be tensed (past progressive).  So if 쓰고 있어요 (Sseugo isseoyo) means ‘is writing’ then 쓰고 있었어요 (Sseugo isseosseoyo) means ‘was writing’.  Please note that the tense is applied not on the base of the verb but to the ending 있.

Negative expression can also be made in either on the verb used or on the  entire expression itself.  Using the example above, if you want to say is not writing then you can say 쓰고 있지 않아요 (Sseugo ittji anayo).  Sounds familiar right?  This has been discussed in my previous post on negating verbs.  This is the long negative form.   Now if you want to say something like ‘manage to get by without writing’ or ‘not writing at this time’ then you can say 쓰지 않고 있어요 (Sseuji ango isseoyo).

Is doing… using 고 있어요

This is another way of expressing actions.  The simple phrase ‘먹어요’ (meokeoyo) in a conversation can mean:

  • I am eating
  • is eating
  • let’s eat or
  • simply eat

Instead of the plain phrase above it can be stated this way — 먹고 있어요 (moekko isseoyo) with a subject or an object this phrase can mean is eating or still eating.   This verb endig can only be used in pair with a processive verb and it denotes an action in progress.  So it’s the base form of the processive verb +고 있어요 as cited in the example above, 먹, which is the base of the word 먹다 (meoktta- to eat). Other examples are as follows:

  • 가고 있어요 (kago isseoyo – is going)
  • 자고 있어요 (jago isseoyo – is sleeping or still sleeping)

Please note that this verb ending when attached to -ㄹ extending verb keeps the ㄹ instead of dropping it.  So for the word 살다 (saltta), which means to live, becomes 살고 있어요 (salko isseoyo).  Note how this verb ending behaves, it is  just like -고 싶어요 (-ko shipoyo) which has been discussed in my previous post.

To make the verb ending honorific, just change 있어요 with 계세요 (kyeseyo).  As we know 있다 (itta – dictionary form) or 있어 (isseo – infinitive form) means to exist or to stay this is the plain verb,  the honorific one is 계 (kye).   Reminds you of 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi kyeseyo) use to say goodbye to someone who is ‘staying’.

Probable Future with (으)ㄹ 거에요

Done with the present and past expression now its time to learn how to say things or events which you intend to do in the future or will probably do in the future.

The verb ending  -(으)ㄹ 거에요 [-(eu)l keoeyo can be added to plain base or honorific base to mean will probably <verb>.  Let’s take the word 바쁘다 (pappeuda – to be busy ) as an example.  The base word is  바쁘 (pappeu) so 바쁠 거에요 (pappeul koeyo) means ‘will probably be busy’ or ‘is going to be busy’.   So if you say 내일 내가 바쁠 거에요 (Naeil naega pappeul keoeyo), it means I will (probably) be busy tomorrow.

In earlier post, creating honorific base for of verb has been discussed.  This is done by adding -시 on the plain base form of the verb.  As such 바쁘 becomes 바쁘시 (pappeushi) in honorific form.  Remember you don’t use honorific verb in pertaining to your own actions, it is used when speaking to an esteemed person (someone older or of higher status than you — to show respect).  Therefore, you wouldn’t say 내일 내가 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil neaga pappeushil koeyo).  The first form discussed is more appropriate.   내일 당신이 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil dangsini pappeushil keoeyo) is saying ‘you will (probably) be busy tomorrow’ to an esteemed person.

This verb ending can also be added to past base form of verb.  It’s a bit weird that a verb in past form is added with a verb ending that is indicative of something that you will do in the future.  Anyway, in my previous post, changing verb in to past form is done by adding  -ㅆ어 (-sseo) to the infinitive form of the verb.  I know it’s a bit complex so i suggest you read the post on base and  infinitive forms of verb.   So let’s use the word 가 (ka)which means go, as an example.  This verb is base and at the same time infinitive in form, 갔어 (kasseo) is the past base form.  To use this verb in probably future form, simply add the verb ending to get this form 갔얼 거에요 (kasseol keoeyo).

For the plain base, verb ending in consonant should take the -을 거에요 (eul keoeyo).  This applies to verbs like 읽 (ik) which is base of the word 읽다 (iktta) which means to read.  To say ‘i will read this book’ you can say 이 책이 읽 거에요 (I chaeki ikeul keoeyo).  Same transformation can be performed for base verbs like 먹 (meok –  means eat) and 앉 (anj- sit).  Their probable future form  would be 먹을 거에요 (meokeul keo eyo) and 앉을 거에요 (anjeul keoeyo) to mean  ‘will eat’  and ‘will sit’  respectively.

Note:  을 거에요 will not happen for honorific form and past base form of verb as verbs will always end in 시 and -ㅆ어 which are both vowel.

Verb Ending -(으)ㄹ래요

I am introduced to a new verb ending today which is -(으)ㄹ래요 or [eu/l-raeyo].  This verb ending means any of the following expression:

  • I wanna <verb>
  • feel like <verbing>
  • I’d prefer to <verb>

Attached to base of verb with final consonant is -을래요 (eulraeyo) and for based of verb with final vowel -ㄹ래요(lraeyo).  Example woul be:

  • 나는 서울에 갈래요 (Naneun Seoure kalraeyo; this means I wanna go to Seoul)
  • 나는 비빔밥을 먹을래요 (Naneun bibimbapeul mokeulraeyo; this means I want to eat bibimbap)

This verb ending is preferred when asking question rather than -고 싶어 which forces the answer to be yes or no.  It likewise serve as gentle suggestion.  Please also note that this verb ending is attached to the unextended ‘l’ verb such as 살래요 (salraeyo) which can either mean want to buy or want to live.  In such cases the meaning of the verb can be derived based on context.

Tentative Questions in Future Form (으)ㄹ까 해요

Previously, i have learned the use of the verb ending -(으)ㄹ까요.  This post is about its cousin in the form ㄹ까 해요 [(eu)lkka haeyo].  This verb ending involving 까 means thinking of doing thus-and-so.  See example below:

  • Question – 요즘 피곤해요? (Yojeum pigonhaeyo?  – Are you tired lately?)
  • Answer – 네, 시골에 좀 쉬러 갈까 해요 (Ne, shigore chom swiro kalkka haeyo. – Yes, I am thinking of going to the countryside for a rest)

해 (hae) being versitile can mean ‘does’ and sometimes as an auxilliary verb ‘is’ can also mean thinks.  See examples below:

  • 세 시쯤에 먹을까 해요 – (Se shijjeume meokeulkka haeyo) I am thinking of eating at around three o’clock.
  • 서울에 갈까 해요 – (Seoure kalkka haeyo) I am thinking of going to Seoul.
  • 테니스를 칠까 해요 – (Tennisreul chilkka haeyo) I am thinking of playing tennis.

This way (으)ㄹ까 해요 can be regarded as the equivalent of I’m thinking or shall I {verb}.

Suggestions and Tentative Questions (으)ㄹ 까(요)

Today, I have learned a new verb ending which is  (으)ㄹ 까 (요).  This two shaped verb ending is attached to base verb in this manner:

  • -ㄹ까(요): -lkka(yo) attached to verb ending in vowel, i.e 갈까요 (가 – ga for go), 슬까요 (스-su for write)
  • 을까(요): -eulka(yo) attached to verb ending in consonant, i.e 먹을까요 (먹 – mok for eat), 읽을까요 (읽 – ilk for read)

This verb ending is consist of prospective modifier in the form of -(으)ㄹ and post modifier 까 which means it is a question of [verb].  So using the example above 갈까요 (Kalkkayo) this would mean ‘shall well go?’  and 슬까요 (seulkkayo) would then mean ‘shall we write?’

A tip is given on tricky verbs such as 구 (Gu which means to broil) and 더 (Deo which means hot) these verbs while they end in vowel instead of attaching -ㄹ까요, transformation is 구까요 (Gu-ulkkayo) and 더울까요 (Deoulkkayo) respectively.  These verbs which are considered w-verb takes 울 prospective modifier.

Formal Style Verb Ending

Most of the first Korean phrases I learned are actually written in the Formal Style of speaking while my previous entries including examples made use of the polite and intimate or casual style.  The formal style is often used for communications with impersonal relations such as official discussion, business or to someone whom you met the first time.  This is the safest way to communicate in Korean specially if you are not sure of the age or the status of the person you are talking to. 

The verb ending for formal style is ㅂ니다 (pronounced as mnida) for verb ending in vowel and 습니다 (pronounced as sumnida) for verb ending in consonant.  Please note that the final consonant ㅂ is given the ‘m’ sound instead of the usual b/p.  Example would be for verb 가 (Ka which means go) in formal style this verb will be 갑니다 (kamnida) while verb 신 (shin which means to wear shoes or socks) would be 신습니다 (shinsumnida).

However, there is a rule in using this verb ending for  the ㄹ-extending verb.  Those verb that ends with ㄹ, drops it before attaching to the verb ending.  So for the case of the word 살 (sal which means live) when used in formal style this becomes 삽니다 (samnida). 

To make the expression in question form, 다 (da) in the verb ending is replaced by 까 (kka).  Unlike in the polite ending 요 (yo) which can only be discerned as question by means of voice tone.  Let’s take the classic phrase 안녕 (annyeong) which is a Korean greeting meaning ‘hi’ but it literally means ‘be well or be in good state’, in formal style this is expressed as 안녕합니다 (annyeonghamnida) so it’s like saying hi to someone that you don’t know or met the first time.  When used this way ‘안녕합니까?’ it now means ‘how are you?’