K-Grammar Basics

Before you start to understand K-Pop lyrics like the way we Korean people enjoy, here are a few basic things u need to know about Korean Grammar which are very different from English.

After you study, please take quizzes at the bottom. If they are not seen, please visit Kpop Exam Time. Also, If you are interested in Korean tutoring by Skype, please contact my facebook for more information about my hour rate and available time.
1. Korean sentence structure : The verb comes last , so going backward from English is likely to be understood well.
Eng) I study Korean  ( S V O)
Kor) 저는   한국어를   공부해요. ( I Korean study - S O V )

2. We have markers.
1) Topic (Comparison) Marker : 는/ 은  
( When the topic syllable ends in a vowel, add 는 . When ending in a consonant, add 은)
2) Object Marker : 를/ 을
( When the object syllable ends in a vowel, add 를 . When ending in a consonant, add 을)
한국어 공부해요. ( I Korean study)
선생님  운동 해요 ( Teacher exercise does)
3) Subject Marker : 가/ 이
( When the subject syllable ends in a vowel, add  가 . When ending in a consonant, add 이 )
한국 사람이에요. ( I Korean person am)
선생님 미국사람이에요. ( Teacher American person is)
한국사람: Korean person , 미국사람 : American person   ~이에요 : is, am, are~

4-1) Place Markers (in or at) : N 에 / N에서
When the verb of a sentence is a state verb,  N에 is used to mean 'in N' or 'at N '.
학교: school  도서관: library  있어요: exist, (is, am, are)  공부해요: study
Paul이 학교 있어요. -> Paul school at  is -> Paul is at school.
But when the verb is an action verb , which is most of the case, N에서 is used to mean 'in N' or 'at N'
Paul이 도서관에서 공부해요. ->  Paul the library in studies. -> Paul studies in the library.
4-2) Place Markers ( to / from) : N에 / N에서
When there are action verbs like ‘ come’ and ‘go’, N에 means ‘to N’ and N에서 means ‘from N’
학교: school  가요: go  미국: America  왔어요: came
Paul 이 학교 가요. : Paul school to goes. -> Paul goes to school.

Paul이 미국에서 왔어요. : Paul America from came -> Paul came from America ( Also, this means that  Paul is from America)

3. Conjugation of Verbs and Adjectives
Korean verbs and adjectives are conjugated according to tense, politeness level , passive and causative forms, and speech styles. (FYI, Kpop lyrics usually have causal endings and words rather than formal ones.)
Base form ( infinitive form ending in 다)
ex) (  stem  word ending): to go
-> 가요 ( present tense formal ending): go
-> 가    ( present tense casual ending): go
-> 갔어요 ( past tense formal ending): went
-> 갔어 ( past tense causal ending) : went
Ending in 요 means formal speech and there are rules about how to conjugate depending on the  stems.
1) The verb ending in 하다 ( to do) becomes 해요
공부하다 -> 공부해요
to study( to do studying) -> study
2)  If the  stem has ' ㅏ' or 'ㅗ' vowel , add 아요 to the stem to form the present tense
가다 ( to go) -> 가아요 -> *가요 (go)
살다 (to live)  -> 살아요 (live)
보다 ( to see) -> 보아요 -> * 봐요 ( * see)
3) Add 어요 to all other stems to form the present tense
먹다 ( to eat) -> 먹어요 (eat)
마시다 ( to drink) ->마시어요 -> * 마셔요 (drink)
주다 ( to give) -> 주어요-> * 줘요 ( give)
* the usual form when saying it fast
4. Connecting Sentences
1) Use conjunctive adverbs like 그리고 ( and, also) , 그렇지만 ( but) , 그래서 (so/therefore)
2) Use conjunctive endings
For example
1) 저는 한국어를 공부해요. 그리고 Kpop을 들어요.
2)  저는 한국어를 공부하고 Kpop 을 들어요.
한국어: Korean language 공부해요: study 들어요: listen
1) I Korean study. Also Kpop listen (Kor)
2) I Korean study and Kpop listen (Kor)
1)  I study Korean. Also I listen to Kpop. (Eng)
2) I study Korean and listen to Kpop.(Eng)
'고' takes the infinitive stem ( 공부하- )   while '서' takes the  conjugated form (공부해-)  instead of the infinitive form.
1) 저는 한국어를 자주 공부해요. 그래서 단어를 많이 알아요.
2) 저는 한국어를 자주 공부해서 단어를 많이 알아요.
자주 : often  공부해요: study  단어: words  많이 : a lot  알아요 : know
1) I Korean often study. Therefore words a lot know (Kor)
2) I Korean often study so words a lot know (Kor)
1) I often study Korean. Therefore I know a lot of words. (Eng)
2) I often study Korean so I know a lot of words. (Eng)
5. When pronouns are obvious, we usually  don't say them .
Casual talk example)
A: 매일 한국어 공부해? ( everyday Korean study? )  -> Do u  study Korean everyday?
B: . 재미있어 ( Yes. Fun)                         -> Yes. It is fun.

by Eunha Seo


eloy madryn said...

oh boy, this is so helpful! could you share a line or kakao talk ID with me?

Nitta Castell said...

Just a heads up,

''2) I often study Korean so I know words a lot.(Eng)''

is an awkward sentence in English. It would be better structured in the following way:

''I often study Korean so I know a lot of words.''

Thank you so much for your effort, these explanations help me a lot with grammar without throwing me way beyond my level.

11newcon said...

Thank you. I will fix it^^

Danielle said...

I don't understand question 6 on the quiz. Maybe I don't understand what it's asking.

I chose true, because I thought it was asking if 학교 and 가요 meant school and go. The answer was false though. Can someone explain what the question was asking? I'm kinda lost 😆😆

11newcon said...

To Danielle

I went through all the quizzes but there is no question you are talking about. Can you please capture and email me at greenish11157@gmail.com?

11newcon said...

This is a question asking if you can distinguish 에서 and 에.
- 에 가요 means ' go to -'
-에서 가요 means ' go from -'
So "학교에서 가요." means "I go from school."
But we usually say "학교에 가요." (I go to school.)
Therefore you should choose ' flase '

anuradha said...

It helps to impry my korean....... thanks

anuradha said...

Improve my korean...

anuradha said...

Now I'm in korea.for study in korean language.if i have a problem can you help me..

11newcon said...

Please feel free to drop me a question here or you can visit my personal facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/seo.eunha)

Rin said...

Thank you, this is really helpful!!!