Korean Lesson 33: I think that…

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여보세요!  오늘의 수업 “의견” 때문에 있어요.

Hello!  Today’s lesson is about ‘opinions’.

Now that we’ve learned some modifiers I can start teaching you about where else to use them, apart from in relative clauses.  In a previous lesson we learned that you can use the present modifier to make sentences such as, ‘the boy who sings in Japanese’ 일번어로 노래 하는 남자 and ‘the girl who goes to school in a red car’. 빨간 차로 학교에 가는 여자.

Now we are going to learn how to use these structures to create sentences about our opinion.

We should be aware by now that Korean has a very formal structure and expressing things like opinion and how other people feel are somewhat crass and rude in normal society.  If you look up ‘think’ in the dictionary you will find: ‘saenggak hada’ [pronounced: saeng-ga k’ada].  If you went around in Korean saying, I think he’s intelligent’ kû-ga jijøgin saram, saengga k’aeyo  그가 지젹인 사람, 생각해요 This would not only be grammatically incorrect but also quite rude.

Expressing your opinion in Korean, particularly in public, must be more subtle.  Koreans therefore use the phrase ‘it appears to me’ instead of ‘think’, but it translates into English the same.

Here’s how to form it:

Take the modifier of the verb you want (in past, present, even future) + køt kat’ayo

Examples: I think he goes jogging everyday / it appears that he goes jogging everyday

mae-il jogging-ûl hanûn køt kat’ayo 매일 족잉을 하는 것 같아요

Take a closer look at the Korean spelling.  køt is spelled with an ‘s’ køs but is pronounced køt.

Further examples:  (Just remember in each case that it can be translated as ‘I think that’ or ‘It appears that’ and the object could be ‘he/she/you/they etc.)

hangugmar-ûn mal hanûn køt kat’ayo – I think (that) he’s speaking in Korean 한국말은 말 하는 것 같아요

chunggug-o-rûl paeunûn køt kat’ayo – I think (that) they are learning Chinese 중국어를 배우는 것 같아요

ajik mae-il t’ellebijøn-ûl ponûn køt kat’ayo – I think (that) they still watch TV everyday 아직 매일 털레비전을 보는 것 같아요

ajik hangungmar-ûn kongbu ha-go innûn køt kat’ayo – I think (that) she’s still studying Korean (right now) 아직 한국말은 공부하고 있는 것 같아요

[N.B. Verb stem (minus the -ta/da) + go 고 + itta 있다 = to be doing something right then] 

With a past modifier:

øje p’ûrangsû-e kan køt kat’ayo – I think that he went to France yesterday 어제 프랑스에 간 것 같아요

haembøgø-rûl møkûn køt kat’ayo – I think that he ate a hamburger  햄버거를 먹은 것 같아요

With a future modifier: 

nae-il p’ûrangsû-e kal køt kat’ayo – I think he’ll go to France tomorrow  내일 프랑스에 갈 것 같아요

haembøgø-rûl møkûl køt kat’ayo – I think that he will eat a hamburger 햄버거를 먹을 것 같아요

This structure works perfectly well for verbs in the past tense too.  You simply put ‘kat’ayo’ in the past, which is ‘kat’assøyo’  This makes it ‘I thought that’ and ‘It appeared that’:

bang-esø cha-go innûn køt kat’assøyo – I thought that he was sleeping in his room                                        방에서 자고 있는 것 같았어요

shinae-esø shop’ing-ûl hanûn køt kat’assøyo – I thought that they were shopping in town 시내에서 쇼핑을 하는 것 같았어요

haembøgø-rûl møngnûn køt kat’assøyo – I thought that he was eating a hamburger 햄버거를 먹는 것 같았어요

[N.B. the PRESENT modifier is used with the main verb, eat, shop, sleep…etc, despite the past ending of kat’assøyo]

If you use the future modifier with this past construction, it means ‘would’, e.g.

i yønghwa-ga chaemi issûl køt kat’assøyo – I thought that this movie would be interesting                              이 영화가 재미 있을 것 같았어요

hangug ûmshig-i mashissûl køt kat’assøyo – I though that Korean food would be tasty                                   한국 음식이 맛있을 것 같았어요

haembøgø-rûl møgûl køt kat’assøyo – I though that he would eat a hamburger  햄버거를 먹을 것 같았어요

What do you think of this lesson?  이 수업이 재미 있는 것 같아요?  Drop me a line and let me know!

안녕히 가세요!

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