Korean Lesson 14: Basic sentences

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어서 오세요!

It occurred to me that I have been going a bit nuts with the grammar and haven’t covered enough of the basics.  I need to go a little backwards before we can go forwards!

In this lesson we will look at basic sentences and pay special attention to their word order.  We will also look at particles again and tenses too.

Basic sentences order in English is: Subject + Verb + Object (I like reading)

In Korean (and Japanese) it is: Subject + Object + Verb (I reading like) [저는 독서를 좋아해요 – chø-nûn toksø-rûl choa haeyo]

Did you notice the additional words? nûn and rûl?  We always need to mar which words are the subjects and objects in a Korean sentence.  Here I chose -nûn for emphasis but I could have used -ga.  This marks the subject (the thing doing the action)

The -rûl marks the object, the thing having the action done to it.

The verb is in the present tense.

NB: It is popular and acceptable to completely omit the subject in Korean when it is obvious.

Further examples:

1) Ke-ga kogi-rûl møgøyo – The dog eats meat

게가 고기를 머거요

Lit. Dog food eats

2) chø-nûn abøji-hante che terebijøn-ûl chuøssøyo – I gave my TV to Dad

저는 아버지한데 테레비전을 주었어요

Lit. I father to TV gave

(‘hante’ means “to a person”)

3)  Kim sønsaengnim-i maeûn ûmshig-ûl yuri haeyo – Mr (teacher) Kim cooks spicy food

김선생님이 매은 음식을 유리해요

NB I could have said ‘Kim sønsaengnim-nûn’ which is equally correct.

Now it’s your turn!  Put these sentences in the right order: (The first few have the particles in the right place but later that’s also your job!) Good luck!

a) ilgøyo / chaeg-ûl / chø-nûn = I read a book

b) ke-ga / an møgoyo / maeûn ûmshig-ûl = The dog doesn’t eat spicy food

c) k’omp’yut’a-rûl / Kim sønsaengnim-nûn / ssøyo = Mr Kim uses the computer

d) p’urint’a / -ûn / ssøyo / James / -rûl = James uses the Printer

e) turø wassøyo / chib-e / nûn / chø = I came into (entered) the house

f) -ga / mul / koyangi / mashyøssøyo / -ûl = The cat drank water

g) nûn / -ûl / tûrøssoyo / Jaemin-ssi / ûmak = Miss Jaemin listened to music

Answers at the bottom!

Words taking a particle which end in the letters k/t/l/p need to change to g/d/r/b

(Bonus points to correct the spelling!)

a) chø-nûn chaeg-ûl ilgøyo

b) ke-ga maeûn ûmshig-ûl an møgøyo

c) Kim sønsaengnim-nûn k’omp’yut’a-rûl ssøyo

d) James-ûn p’urint’a-rûl ssøyo

e) chø-nûn chib-e tûro wassøyo

f) koyangi-ga mur-ûl mashyøssøyo

g) Jaemin-ssi-nûn ûmag-ûl tûrøssøyo

How did you do?!  Well I hope!  If not just go back to the section on particles and top up.

See you soon!

안녕히 겨세요!

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