Another Use of -기 Form

Another use of verb in -기 form is the pattern –> plain base+ 기 시작하-.  This means ‘begins to do’ or ‘begins doing’.  A plain base + 기 form with or without direct object particle 를 and the verb 시작해요 which means begins.  Here are some examples:

  • 비가 오기 시작해요 (Biga ogi shijakhaeyo) It’s beginning to rain.
  • 야재를 먹기 시작했어요 (Yachaereul mokki shijakhaesseoyo) I started to eat vegetables.
  • 한국말은 언제부터 배우기 시작하셨어요? (Hankukmareun onjebuteo baeugi shijakhasyeosseoyo?) [Since]  When did you start learning Korean?

This pattern is used only with processive verbs.   For adjectives or descriptive verbs,  there is another way to say it without using the verb in 기 form.  The formula is to use descriptive verb in infinitive form + auxiliary very  져요 (jyeoyo) which means begins to be.  This will be further discussed in suceeding lessons of the book so I am leaving this topic for now.

Uses of Verbs in -기 Form

Yesterday, I learned a new verb form with the use of -기 also known as verb in nominalizer form.  Such results into a nounlike words and in fact they behave like nouns do as follows:

  • followed by a particle
  • modifying a following noun
  • in adverbial position – in contruction where particle has been dropped

Nominalizer forms allows you take an entire sentence; convert it into one big noun and then use this noun into subject, object or some other part of the larger sentence. Here is an example of incorporation of -기 form into larger sentence:

영행을 하기를 좋아해요. (Yeonghaengeul hagireul choahaeyo) I love to travel.

In the sentence above there are two objects, the one within the -기 clause and one in the -기 clause it self.  One of the object particles can be dropped or both and th sentence would still mean the same as shown below:

  • [영행을 하기]를 좋아해요
  • [영행을 하기] 좋아해요
  • [영행 하기] 좋아해요

So this lesson is another discovery for me on how verbs can be made noun which my former language exchange partner has been telling me but could not articulate it very well.  These are some of the other expressions which make use of the nominalizer form:

  • 듣기 싫어요 (Deudgi sirheoyo) – I hate to listen or I don’t want to hear about it.  This expression also corresponds to ‘What an awful thing to hear’ or ‘Must you say such thing?’
  • 보기 싫어요 (Bogi sirheoyo) – I hate to see that. This expression on the other hand corresponds to ‘How disgusting to see’ or ‘that makes me sick’

Verbs in Nominalizer Form 기

Sometimes it pains to understand the terms used in the book to describe certain parts of speech as a result of adding certain particles or post-positioning.  Today is one of them as the lesson 17.5 of the book (Continuing Korean) is about verb in nominalizer form by adding -기 (ki).

First of all I have never heard of term nominalizer in my English subject but judging by the word it self taken from the root word nominal, it is an adjective that means ‘supposed’.  The explanation of nominalizer form in the lesson is that, it results to a noun-like word that means ‘the act of doing’ if added after a processive verb and ‘state of being’ if added after a descriptive verb.

How does it work?  -기 is added on plain, past or future bases form of verb just like -고 (-ko).  For -ㄹ extending verb like 살 (to live) and 팔 (sell), it is attached to the extended form so these verbs become 살기 (salki) and  팔기 (palki) respectively.

So when it is added on past form the meaning becomes ‘the act of having done’ or ‘state of having been’.  For example  놀다 (nolda) which means to play becomes 놀았기 (norattki), this now translates to having played.

Similarly when -기 is attached to future base form of the verb, the meaning becomes ‘the act of going to do’ or ‘the state of going to be’.  So in the case of our example above , play in future form becomes 놀겠기 – the act of going to play.

Here are more examples in various tenses of the where 기 is added on base form:

Plain Base Past Base
Future Base
마시기 (mashigi) 마셨기 (masyeottki) 마시겠기 (mashikettki)
가기 (kagi) 갔기 (kattki) 가겠기 (kakettki)
하기 (hagi) 했기 (haegi) 하겠기 (hakettki)
잘하기 (jalhagi) 잘했기 (jalhaetki) 잘하겠기 (jalhakettki)

Doing Favors with 줘요(주어요)

When telling about a favor done for someone, the compound verb consisting of verb in infinitive form + the verb give –either 줘요 (juwoyo) or 드려요 (deuryeoyo) for someone esteemed can be used.

  • 누나에게 선물을 부쳐 드렸어요.  (Nunaeke seonmureul buchi deuryeosseoyo).  I sent my older sister a present.
  • 좀 시간 기다려 줘요?  (Chom shican kidaryeo juwoyo?) Can you wait for me for a little time?
  • 선생님한데  사진을 보여 드렸어요 (Seonsaengnimhante sajineul boyeo deuryeosseoyo) Did you show teacher the pictures?

To specify who the person for whom the favor is done the particle 한데  (hante) or 에게 (eke) is added in the name to indicate the person as indirect object.  If the person is someone esteemed it should be 에께 (ekke).

As Soon As with -자 마자

The English phrase ‘as soon as’ is made by attaching -자 (-ja) to plain verb base.  However, the pattern is usually intensified in spoken language with addition of  마자. As such 가자 (kaja) or 가자 마자  (kaja maja) would mean the same ‘as soon as [someone] goes’.

Here is an example: 

내가 학교에 도착하자마자, 바스가  떠났어요. (Naega hakyoe dochakhajamaja, basuga tteonaseoyo.)  The bus left as soon as I arrived in School.

Note that even if the the second clause is past, the verb to which  -자마자 is attached remains to be plain base.  The verb at the end does the work to show it is past.  Here is another example:

숙제를 마치자마자, 집에 돌아갔어요. (Sukjereul machijamaja, chipe dorakasseoyo.)  She went back home as soon as she finished her homework.

Verb: Sequential Form (으) 니까

This suffix when attached to a regular base or past base form of the verb denotes sequence like the way English uses ‘since’ and ‘as’ to connect two clauses.  It denotes close sequence of action.   This is how it is formed:

Since or as

Base Past Base Probable Future*




할 거니까hal konikka

will do





먹을 거니까moekeul konikka

will eat

* i have not posted on this verb form yet.

Verb in sequential form is often used as first clause with the second clause as suggestion. Here is an example:

제인이 만찬에 먹었으니까 지금 맥주를 마십시다 (Jeini manchane meokeoseunikka chikeum maekjureul mashipshida) – Since Jane ate dinner let’s now drink beer.

Another use of this verb form is to express something that happened in the past.  The first clause normally pertains to the speaker ‘I’ and then the second clause can be something (a resulting action) or an action of someone else. Example:

한국어를 공부하니까, 너무 재미 있어요 (Hangugeo kongbuhanikka, nomu chaemi issoyo). – Now that I study Korean, it’s a lot of fun.