Korean grammar rules may seem complicated, but we cannot deny that it is important to learn if you plan to master the Korean language truly. In this article, we will walk you through the basic grammatical rules that can help you construct simple sentences instantly. These rules will guide you at every step since they target almost all aspects of Korean grammar. So let's get started!
While learning Korean grammar, the first question which might pop up in your brain would be, "is learning Korean grammar difficult?". The answer to your question is "not really... but could be." Korean grammar is rich, which makes a lot of things to learn, but the main element which makes Korean grammar easy is its regularity.
Most of the rules in Korean are regular, which means that the Korean language does not have as many exceptions as other languages like English or French. If you have grown up learning the English language, then you do not have to think about regular and irregular issues.
For a non-English speaker, learning English becomes very hard. Compared to that, Korean is relatively easy. If you know the Korean alphabet and Korean sentence structure, then Korean grammar knowledge will help you make complex sentences of intermediate level.
Let's learn basic Korean grammar rules:
The Korean alphabet is formed using vowels, consonants, and double consonants. It has more complexities, but these are the must-know basics. A block form is used to write words in the Korean language. Every single syllable of a Korean word must have at least one vowel and one consonant to be formed.
The words are formed by writing the consonant and vowel from either top to bottom or left to right. The Korean word 학교 (haggyo) means "school" has both types of block patterns in it.
The compound words in Korean are formed using some specific patterns in which the words of two similar or different types of words. Let's look at some very common patterns.
The first important rule which needs to be learned before delving into the complexities of Korean grammar is learning the word order. The word order in the Korean language is Subject-object-verb order.
This shows the importance of overall Korean culture on the connections between subject and object. An example of this is 나는 편지를 씁니다 (naneun pyeonjileul sseubnida) which means, "write a letter".
In the subject-object-verb pattern, the sentence structure is made up of these components only.
In the subject and noun pattern, the subject is followed by a noun.
In a subject-verb pattern, the subject is followed by a Korean verb conjugation in a sentence.
In the subject-adjective pattern, the subject in a sentence is followed by an adjective. Let's look at some examples.
English has different rules about plurality. To make a word plural in English, we have to learn different regular (adding s and es) and irregular rules. In Korean, you do not have to worry about any of that.
The Korean language is quite flexible in this regard. In Korean, one word suffices for many different meanings. For example, the word 고양이 (goyang-i) is generally used for cat, the cat, a cat, some cats, the cats, and cats.
Some people might argue then what is the particle 들 (deul) used for. 들 (deul) is generally used to make a word plural. However, its use is usually confined to the written form script only. In regular speech, people tend to omit using 들 (deul).
The nouns have certain positioning in a sentence. Let's learn about some of the most common ways to position a noun.
Look at this sentence. 닥터 마크는 영국 의과대학 학생입니다 (dagteo, makeuneun yeong-gug uigwadaehag hagsaeng-ibnida) means "Doctor, Mark is an English Medical school student." Given below are the different ways of a noun's positioning in this sentence:
Here is a list of some sentences which you can use to practice Korean grammar:
The Korean verbs in Korean grammar are placed at the end. This is why the word order of Korean sentences is the SOV order. All the verbs are added at the end using their proper tenses.
An example of this is 나는 나의 일을 했다 (naneun naui il-eul haessda) which will mean "I have done my work". However, this literally translates to "I my work have done" which might not make any sense in English but has a perfect grammatical sense in Korean.
Another example of this is 너 좋아해 (neo joh-ahae.) which means I like you. Even in this sentence, the first word is I, and the last word is a verb. This sentence does not have an object which takes us to our next rule. Let's look at some examples
|Korean Sentences||Romanized Korean||English Translations|
|나는 내 일을 했다.||naneun nae il-eul haessda.||I did my work.|
|나는 내 일을 한다.||naneun nae il-eul handa.||I do my work.|
|나는 나의 일을 했다.||naneun naui il-eul haessda.||I have done my work.|
|내가 당신을 좋아.||naega dangsin-eul joh-a.||I liked you.|
|내가 당신을 좋아.||naega dangsin-eul joh-a.||I liked you.|
|나는 당신을 좋아했습니다.||naneun dangsin-eul joh-ahaessseubnida.||I have liked you.|
|이 작업을 수행해야 합니다.||i jag-eob-eul suhaenghaeya habnida.||You should do this.|
|선생님, 이렇게 하셔야 합니다.||seonsaengnim, ileohge hasyeoya habnida.||Sir, you should do this.|
|나는 외출을 좋아한다.||naneun oechul-eul joh-ahanda.||I like going out.|
|나는 나가지 않는다.||naneun nagaji anhneunda.||I don't go out.|
The pronouns in the Korean language are often omitted. This is because the context is given importance in the Korean language. Korean people tend to know who is the object of a conversation and therefore omit saying it. For instance, you are an object which is often omitted.
Korean people also exclude the subject in most of the places where the subject is pretty obvious. One example of such a rule could be 학교에 간다 (haggyoe ganda) this means "I go to school" but the literal meaning would be "go to school," which does not make sense to the English speakers.
There are different endings in Korean. You cannot learn Korean grammar rules without learning about the rules of endings. In the Korean language, there are three main types of endings. Let's learn about each.
The sentence-final endings usually depend upon the six speech levels you should know about.
In Korean grammar, honorifics are given due importance and there are different types of speech levels which you must know about. That includes the differential, polite, blunt, familiar, plain, and intimate speech. Let's learn more about these below.
Differential: Differential speech is used in public and/or formal communication settings. The differential level of Korean speech has 습니다/ㅂ니다 (sbnida/bnida) sentence ending for declarative sentences.
Polite: The polite level of speech is used in all situations which demand politeness. Such kind of speech is necessary especially while talking to a high figure authority or someone older than one. The polite level of speech has 어요/아요 (eoyo/ayo) sentence ending for declarative sentences.
Blunt: The blunt level of Korean speech is the one in which the people don't mind being rude to each other. this could be when the people are either mad at each other or extremely informal. The blunt level of Korean speech has (으)오 (eu)o sentence ending for declarative sentences.
Familiar: The familiar level of Korean speech is used when two people are familiar with each other. The people who know each other tend to use familiar speech with each other. The familiar level of Korean speech has 네 (ne) sentence ending for declarative sentences.
Intimate: The intimate level of Korean is used when two people are extremely close to each other. The intimate level of Korean speech has 어/아 (eo/a) sentence ending for declarative sentences.
Plain: The plain level of the Korean language does not imply anything besides the meaning of the sentences. The plain level of Korean speech has (느)ㄴ다 (neu-nda) sentence ending.
In Korean grammar, there are no articles. Unlike English which has definite articles (the) and indefinite articles (a and an), Korean grammar has words only without any such articles. For instance, "this is a book" will be "이것은 책입니다" (igeos-eun chaeg-ibnida) in Korean, which can be translated to "This is book."
Another example of this rule will be "this is the person I was telling you about" which will be 이 사람이 내가 당신에게 말했던 사람입니다. (i salam-i naega dangsin-ege malhaessdeon salam-ibnida) which will mean "this is the person I was telling you about."
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