Korean Grammar 101: The adjective


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Korean adjectives are curious beasts.  They are in fact verbs that need to follow the same rules as all other verbs in the language. Therefore there is no real word for ‘tired’ but instead ‘to be tired’ which is pigon hada 비곤하다.  We recognise the verb ‘hada – to do’ here don’t we?

Using this we can either put it at the end of the sentence as a verb, thus:

pigon haeyo – I am tired / you are tired / he is tired, etc. 비곤해요

Or, we can make a slight change and put it before a noun:

pigon han saram – A tired person 비곤한사람

Notice what the change was?  That’s right, we add -n to the verb stem of ‘hada’ after having taken off the -da/ta

Hada > ha > han

The full rules are as follows:

If the verb ends in a vowel add -n

If the verb ends in a consonant add -ûn

If the verb is itta or opta use these unique forms: innûn / omnûn

Examples:

1) Ending in itta

chaemi itta – to be interesting

chaemi innûn munje – an interesting problem

재미 인는 문저

2) Ending in a vowel

wihøm hada – to be dangerous

wihøm han saram – a dangerous person

위험한사람

3) Ending in a consonant

jakta – to be small

jagûn chip – a small house

작은 집

Again, those pesky verbs ending in -p are an oddity.

Take away the -p then add -un

tøpta – to be hot

tø-un kot – a hot place

도운곳

Try these out for size!

1) A cold day

chupda  /  il

줍다  /  일

2) A busy person

ppapûda  /  saram

빠브다  /  사람

3) A big house

kûda / chip

크다  /  집

4) An inconvenient time

pulp’yon hada / shigan

불편하다  /  시간

Answers below:

1) A cold day

chupda  /  il

줍다  /  일

= chu-un il ( 주운 일  )

2) A busy person

ppapûda  /  saram

빠브다  /  사람

= ppapûn saram  ( 빠븐사람  )

3) A big house

kûda / chip

크다  /  집

= kûn chip (  큰 집  )

4) An inconvenient time

pulp’yon hada / shigan

불편하다  /  시간

= pilp’yon han shigan   ( 불편한 시간   )

Annyonghi kaseyo!

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2 responses to “Korean Grammar 101: The adjective

    • Yeah sure. I’d like that. As long as you put a link to my site and credit me somewhere that’ll be fab. Thanks for the support! Hope that you enjoy the site x

      Like

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