Korean Lesson 32: Formal (yet simple) sentences


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여보세요!  오늘위 수업 ‘입니다/습니다’ 때문에 있어요.

Today’s lesson is about ‘imnida/sûmnida’.

This is the formal polite ending which we use in formal settings such as news reports, speeches, business meetings and used intermittently by males to sound more ‘masculine’.  Let’s learn how to use it and then look at some examples.

In all cases you take the -ta/da off the verb and add the following endings.

Verbs ending in vowels: imnida  ㅂ니다

Verbs ending in consonants: sûmnida  습니다

Nouns: imnida 입니다

Some examples:

kada – to go >  kamnida  갑니다

oda – to come > omnida  옵니다

møkda – to eat > møksûmnida  먹습니다

mashida – to drink > mashimnida  마십니다

an(j)ta – to sit > an(j)sûmnida  앉습니다

ilkta – to read > ilksûmnida  읽습니다

haksaeng – student > haksaengimnida – to be a student  학생입니다 (I am a student, you are a student, etc)

Jon > Jonimnida – to be Jon  전입니다 (I am Jon, he is Jon, etc)

kasu > kasuimnida – to be a singer  가수입니다 (I am a singer, she is a singer, etc)

i(s)tta – to be > isssûmnida  있습니다  (Also: to have.  Ke du mari-ga issûmnida – I have 2 dogs  개 두 마리가 있습니다 )

op(s)ta – to not be > opssûmnida  없습니다  (Also: to not have.  Ke se mari-ga øpsøyo – I don’t have 3 dogs  개 세 마리가 없어요 )

This is one of the highest forms of politeness in Korean, therefore we don’t tend to use it when talking to children or about animals  (In the example above we mentioned animals but we were talking about ourselves, what pets WE have, so that’s ok).  We use the casual and intimate form for that (the form without -yo at the end) e.g. ødi kani? 어디 가니? – Where are you going? (to a child)  ke-ga inna? 개가 있나? – Do you have a dog?  (To a child)  [N.B. question forms in the casual form take -ni or -na.]

We use it especially when introducing ourselves for the first time:  Annyong haseyo?  Gareth-imnida.  Hello, I’m Gareth.  안녕하세요?  Gareth입니다.

As I said before, it is used in news and weather broadcasts: onûl pam-e nun omnida – Tonight there is snow   오늘 밤에 눈 옵니다.

You may have noticed the strange pronunciation.  In Korean we write -ipnida  입니다.  This is difficult to say so we say -imnida 입니다 instead.

Hope that gives you a better idea how this form works.

Try to form these verbs yourself >

ch’a(j)ta – to look for

chum-ûl chuda – to dance

norae hada – to sing

chada – to sleep

cho(h)ta – to like

ch’a(j)ta – to look for > cha(j)tsûmnida  찾습니다

chum-ûl chuda – to dance > chum-ûl chumnida  줌을 줍니다

norae hada – to sing > norae hamnida  노래 합니다

chada – to sleep > chamnida  잡니다

cho(h)ta – to like > cho(h)sûmnida  좋습니다

How did that go?  The letters in brackets are silent but I put them in to help you choose which ending to use.  You don’t need to pronounce that letter.

Annyonghi kaseyo!

안녕히 가세요!

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