Korean TOPIK exam prep IV – Saying what something looks like, appears or seems using 듯


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안녕하세요 여러분!  오늘의 수업 ‘듯’ 때문에 입니다.

Hello everyone!  Today’s lesson is about the word ‘dǔt’.

In order to say a sentence such as ‘it appears like / it seems’ in Korean we use the phrase 듯하다

This requires the verb or adjective before it to go into the relative clause form.  For more information see earlier posts > Korean grammar 101: The Adjective and Korean lesson 33: I think that…

Recap: Take away the 다 ending and add the following…

  • Present tense -는 (and the verbs ‘to be’ 있다 and ‘to not be’ 없다)
  • Past tense -은
  • Future tense – 을
  • All adjectives – 은
  • With nouns / the copula (to be ‘이예요’) – 인

먹다 > 먹는 – is eating

있다 > 있는 – is / exists / has

사람 > 사람인 – is a person

여행하다 > 여행할 – will travel

수영하다 > 수영한 – was swimming

Let’s put these into the full construction.

저것은 개인 듯해요 – That thing looks like/seems/appears to be a dog

그 사람은 자고 있는 듯해요 – That person appears/looks like/seems to be asleep

저 외국인 중국사람인 듯합니다 – That foreigner seems to be Chinese (more polite verb form)

정씨는 여항할 듯해요 – Jong seems like/appears to be travelling

제 친구가 수영한 듯해요 – My friend appears / seems to be swimming

Before you get your chance, one last thing to consider.

If the form of the verb 하다 is in the past tense form, it translates better as ‘it seemed/appeared/looked like’.

e.g. 제 친구가 학교에서 공부한 듯했어요 – It seemed like/appeared that my friend was studying in school.

제 친구가 학교에서 공부하는 듯했어요 – It seemed like my friend is studying in school.

Here we can see that the marker on the verb before 듯 can also change depending on your intentions.

Now it’s your turn (Answers at bottom):

e.g. 마시다 (present) > 마시는 듯해요

  1. 먹다 (past) >
  2. 없다 (future) >
  3. 친구 (present) >
  4. 시간 (past) >
  5. 걱정하다 (future) >
  6. 노래하다 (present) >
  7. 비싸다 (present) >

  1. 먹다 (past) > 먹은 듯해요
  2. 없다 (future) > 없을 듯해요
  3. 친구 (present) > 친구인 듯 해요
  4. 시간 (past) > 시간인 듯해요
  5. 걱정하다 (future) > 걱정할 듯해요
  6. 노래하다 (present) > 노래하는 듯해요
  7. 비싸다 (present) > 비싼 듯해요

잘 지냈어요?

How did you do?

Leave your comments below!  감사합니다!


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