Korean Lesson 23: The Plain Present Tense (informal)


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Annyóng haseyo!

I just wanted to resolve an issue if, like me, you are listening to Korean songs regularly, watching Korean programs or reading Korean newspapers. The thing is, this Present tense that I’ve taught you is only one or a few depending on whether the person with whom you are speaking is higher or lower or equal in “status” than you.

There are 6 basic ways of expressing the present tense.  These are displayed with the verb “to do” – Hada

Highest esteem: Hashimnida

Formal: Hamnida

Very polite: Haseyo

Polite: Haeyo

Neutral: Handa

Informal: Hae

We will address just the Informal in this lesson.

It is the form used between family members, close friends, school friends and to children from those older.  You use the same sound rules as for the Polite present tense (see earlier lesson: Present Tense) and drop off the -yo part.

i.e. mógda – to eat = mógóyo = mógó

salda – to live / reside = sarayo = sara

Let’s use it in some sentences:

1) ch’aeg-úl sa = I am buying a book

2) chib-e ka – I am going home

3) k’ompyut’a-rúl ssó – I am using the Computer

4) T’ellebijon-úl bwa – I am watching the TV

5) T’oyoir-e-nún chaju úmag-úl turo – I often listen to Music on Saturdays

There are, however, special forms for the question and command forms.  Observe:

-ni / -na? – Question.

-ra! – Do it!

-ja? Let’s…

e.g. 6) Chum-úl chu-ra! – Dance! (Chum-úl chuda – to dance)

7) Kae-ga úmshig-i mog-na? – Is the dog eating its food?

8) Kongwon-e ka-ja? – Shall we go to the park?

Try these for yourself.  What are they in English?:

1) Ch’aeg-úl chaja (chatta – to look for)

2) T’oyoir-e-nún k’ompyut’a-rúl ssó

3) Woryoir-e-nún rajio-rúl tur-ra!

4) Puok’esó úmshig-úl mok-ja?

1) Let’s look for a book

2) On Saturdays I use the Computer

3) On Monday listen to the radio!

4)Shall we eat the food in the kitchen?

How did you do? (óttok’e haessóyo?)

Well? (Chal?)

Annyonghi kaseyo!

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