Looking for a guideline or a Korean grammar list to follow? We got you covered! In this post, will walk you through all the essential grammar points you need to know before diving into the detailed rules. If you are ready for that and more, then let’s get started!
The first part of Korean grammar is perhaps learning the Korean alphabet. You cannot learn a foreign language if you do not have mastery of the basics, including Hangul. Even though the alphabet does not necessarily fall under the category of Korean grammar, it is essential to understand the Korean alphabet to delve into the other complex grammar concepts.
The basic English grammar structure follows the Subject + Verb + Object order. But in the case of Korean sentence structure, it follows a Subject + Object + Verb structure. Below are some examples.
- 농굴을한다 (Geuneun nong-guleulhanda) He + basketball + plays
- 그녀는 한국말을 한다 (Geunyeoneun hangugmal-eul handa) She + korean + speaks
- 그녀는 사과를 먹는다 (Geunyeoneun sagwaleul meeogneunda) She + apple + eats
In the case of simple sentences, it has the same sentence structure as English grammar, for example, Subject + Verb:
- 그는 연주한다 (Geuneun yeonjuhanda) He + plays
- 그녀는 말한다 (Geunyeoneun malhanda) She + speaks
- 그녀는 먹습니다 (Geunyeoneun meogseubnida) She + eats
Korean pronouns are considered to be complex. You should know about the Korean personal pronouns and interrogative pronouns; The first-person pronouns are of six different types.
Most Korean people like to avoid the second-person pronouns “you” because they consider it disrespectful, so they use specific titles for the person they are talking to, like “noona” for older sister ( used by males ) or “ajumma” for an aged woman.
Korean pronouns also have two kinds, formal and informal, if you talk to someone elder or at a higher position. You have to use appropriate and formal pronouns. Otherwise, you can use informal pronouns in your daily conversation.
Nouns are considered to be most essential when it comes to structuring a sentence. A noun is a word that almost identifies everything. Korean does not have noun cases. The Korean language also does not have noun gender, articles, and plural noun forms. This is the reason why Korean nouns are easier to learn. Let’s take a look at basic Korean nouns.
Nouns For Time
There are different nouns in the Korean language for time and date. Let’s look at the most common nouns for time.
- 낮 naj Days
- 개월 gaewol Months
- 년도 nyeondo Years
Verbs are the most important part of the sentences. The verb in Korean is written as 동사. They have many different rules and four different categories. These include Action Verbs, Stative Verbs, Existential Verbs, and Copulative Verbs. Korean verbs at least have one suffix, and many have different pronunciations due to the final addition of the suffix. Each Korean verb has two-part word stems and a suffix. Here is a list of some common Korean verbs that are used in daily conversation :
- 배우다 (baeuda): To learn
- 쓰다 (sseuda): To write
- 일하다 (ilhada): To work
- 주다 (Juda): To give
- 청소하다 (cheongso hada): To clean
- 가다 (gada): To go
- 춤추다 (chumchuda) : To dance
- 운동하다 (undong hada): To exercise
- 타다 (tada): To ride
Korean has three tenses: present, past, and future. With the help of Korean verb conjugation, we can find out the tenses.
Korean Present Tense
To express Korean verbs in the past tense, we remove the verb endings and add Verb stems like 아요, 어요, 여요. Let’s look at some examples given below:
- 먹다 (to eat) becomes 먹어요.
- 공부하다 (to study) becomes 공부해요.
- 청소하다 (to clean) becomes 청소해요
Korean Past Tense
To express Korean past tense, we add Verb stems like 았어요, 었어요, 였어요. Let’s look at some examples below:
- 살다 (to live) becomes 살았어요.
- 읽다 (to read) becomes 읽었어요.
- 청소하다 (to clean) becomes 청소했어요.
Korean Future Tense
To express future Korean Verb, we add Verb stems like (으)ㄹ 거예요. Let’s look at some examples below:
- 가다 (to go) becomes 갈 거예요. 만나다 (to meet) becomes 만날 거예요.
Korean adverbs can be tricky for beginners. Even Korean themself consider these adverbs difficult. Like verbs and adjectives, Korean adverbs are also formed by removing ending words and adding stems. The adverb always comes before the Verb. Some adverbs exist in the form of adverbs in the first place. Let’s look at some examples below:
- 화나-게 (hwana-ge) Angrily
- 다르-게 (daleu-ge) Differently
- 어렵-게 (eolyeob-ge) Difficultly
- 빠르-게 (ppaleu-ge) Fastly
- 슬프-게 (seulpeu-ge) Sadly
- 느리-게 (neuli-ge) Slowly
Check out a list of 100+ Korean adverbs to have your ultimate Korean adverbs guide.
Korean particles are different from English particles in every sense. The most important concept regarding Korean particles might not be present in the difference between topic markers and subject markers. The subject particles which are “은/는” (eun/neun) in Korean grammar need to be used differently as compared to the topic markers which are “이/가” (ee/ga).
There are also other particles in Korean grammar like the object particles, which are “를/을” (eur/reur). You should also know that there are different possessive particles like “-의” (hui).
Another form of Korean particle is additive particles like 도 (do) and 또한 (ttohan). Connective particles “과/와, 하고, 고, and 이랑/랑” (GWA/wa, hago, go, and ilang/lang), place particles “에/에서” (e/seo) and direction particles 으로 (euro)/로 (ro) are also important to know about.
Adjective adds detail to nouns and makes the sentence sound more interesting. Korean adjectives in sentences are used differently: Korean adjectives are used as a verb, and Korean adjectives come before the noun. Let’s get a piece of brief information about either.
Korean Adjectives Are Used As A Verb
Some Korean adjectives take the place of the Verb at the end of the sentences. These are also called descriptive verbs. In the Korean language, some adjectives are written in the infinitive form. Following are some examples given below:
- 느리다 (neulida) to be slow
- 멀다 (meolda) to be far
- 뜨겁다 (tteugeobda) to be hot
- 시원하다 ( siwonhada) to be cool
Korean Adjectives That Come Before The Noun
These adjectives are used before a noun in the sentences. These are formed by adding the consonant or adjective stem “ㄴ” at the end of the words. Let’s look at some examples:
- 큰 집 (keun jib) Big house
- 행복한 소녀 (haengboghan sonyeo) Happy girl
- 예쁜 남자 (yeppeun namja) Pretty guy
Learning 10+ common Korean adjectives can help you get started with the adjectives.
Honorifics are used for older people or people with higher ranks. These are used to show respect and politeness. The use of honorifics also depends upon someone’s age. That is the reason why most Korean people ask about each other age, so they get to know how to address someone concerning their age. Following are some examples of honorifics used in daily life:
- 형제 (hyeongje) Brother
- 언니 (eonni ) Older Sister
- 아줌마 (ajumma) Middle-aged women
While most people are paying more attention to Korean nouns, verbs, and adjectives, they often miss studying the Korean conjunctions, which are also a very important part of the Korean grammar list. Thus the people should also know about them.
Here is a list of the most common coordinating conjunctions in Korean:
- 와 (Wa)/과 (Gwa),
- 그리고 (Geurigo), 지만 (~ Jiman)
- 하지만 (Hajiman)
- 그렇지만 (Geureochiman)
- 그런데 (Geureonde)
- 근데 (Geunde)
- 그래서 (Geuraeseo)
- ~고 (~Go)/ ~이고 (~Igo)
Another common type of Korean conjunctions is subordinating conjunctions. If you master these two types of conjunctions, your sentence structure can improve significantly.
The Korean language consists of four main types: declarative, imperative, interrogative, and propositive. These types are further divided into formal, informal, and standard styles.
Formal style is used in public stations, military, new broadcasting, school administrations, and workplaces, whereas informal style is used daily between friends, siblings, relationships, and family.
Declarative sentences are used to explain something or in response to any question.
Example: 나는 빵을 먹는다 (naneun ppang-eul meogneunda) I eat bread
Imperative sentences are used to make demands or to give advice.
Example: 음식을 먹어주세요 (eumsig-eul meog-eojuseyo), please eat your food.
Interrogative sentences are used to ask questions. You can learn the most common questions words in Korean to make interrogative sentences.
Example: 당신은 가고 싶지 않습니다? (dangsin-eun gago sipji anhseubnida) Do you want to go?
Propositive sentences are used to make any suggestion or to give any suggestion.
Example: 여기서 춤을 추자 (yeogiseo chum-eul chuja) lets dance here.
By now, you must have an ultimate guide to starting learning Korean. All these grammar points are important for you to learn. To stay organized, you can follow the grammar points mentioned in this article to continue studying the Korean language. You can also create a list of your choice with basic Korean grammar rules based on these elements. You can find almost everything about the Korean language on Ling App by Simya Solutions. Ling App is a great place to start learning any language.