Last modified on 22 December 2013, at 11:26

Korean/Lesson I1

Learn Korean (Introduction)Reading and writing
Conversation
1급: Beginner1. Greetings2. Forming sentences3. Connective forms and negation4. Colors5. Recreation / In a taxi6. Family7. Around the house8. Using the telephone9. School10. Shopping11. Onomatopoeia
2단계: High beginner3단계: Low intermediate4단계: High intermediate5단계: Low advanced6단계: Advanced
Grammar

Korean Conversation, Level I, Lesson 1: GreetingsEdit

Welcome to the first conversation lesson for learning Korean. By now you should be familiar with hangeul (the Korean writing system) and how to form syllables. If you are not yet familiar with hangeul, see Korean/Alphabet. It is highly recommended that you know these basics before you embark on learning how to make sentences and commencing dialogue.

In this first section, we will introduce basic Korean sentence structure, basic vocabulary, and greetings in Korean. Note that the following dialogue uses the formal, very polite -습니다/습니까 verb endings, which are appropriate for introduction into the Korean language, however, is seldom used within everyday conversation in Korea, save for several set phrases, such as thank you, excuse me, etc.

시작할까요?
(Shall we start?)

DialogueEdit

The simple dialogue below is between Korean native 찬호 and Joseph (조세프) from America. Joseph is interested in Korean culture and language, and was able to meet 찬호 through a program in his school. Here, they meet for the first time:

찬호: 안녕하십니까, 조세프 씨?
조세프: 예. 안녕하십니까, 찬호 씨?
찬호: 만나서 반갑습니다.
조세프: 저도요. 저는 집에 갑니다.
찬호: 예. 안녕히 가십시오.
조세프: 안녕히 계십시오.

OverviewEdit

The conversation began with 찬호 asking this:

찬호: 안녕하십니까, 조세프 ?

Here, we learn our first bit of Korean. "안녕하십니까?" is a common formal greeting in Korean. It literally means "Are you at peace?". "씨" is a title which means "Mr". Joseph replied like this:

조세프: . 안녕하십니까, 찬호 씨?

"예" means "yes". Then Joseph asked 찬호 the same question. Typically, the response to "안녕하십니까?" is "예", but it is not necessary to respond that way, as we learn from 찬호's response:

찬호: 만나반갑습니다.

"만나서 반갑습니다" means "Nice to meet you." This can also be shortened to "반갑습니다", but since 찬호 and Joseph have first met, it is best to be as polite as possible. "만나서" means "because we've met".

조세프: 도요. 저는 갑니다.

Here, we learn some important things about making a Korean sentence. "저" means "I," and "저도요" means "Me too". Then Joseph says: "저는 집에 갑니다." This means "I go home." We'll dissect this sentence more in just a moment. First, let us finish analyzing the conversation:

찬호: 예. 안녕히 가십시오.
조세프: 안녕히 계십시오.

Look carefully at how each says "Good bye" to each other. 찬호 says "안녕히 가십시오" while Joseph says "안녕히 계십시오" Why do their replies differ from each other? Well, Joseph is leaving, while it is assumed that 찬호 is staying. So, 찬호 tells Joseph to "Go in peace" (like spock!) and Joseph tells 찬호 to "Stay in peace." It may sound funny, but that's how it works in Korea. Remember these two carefully and try not to mix them up!

Grammar: "I go home."Edit

The short sentence 저는 집에 갑니다 ("I go home.") reveals a great deal of usable grammar:

갑니다 .
I (topic) house (location) go .

Let's discuss 는, 에, and 갑니다. As mentioned above, 저 means "I". In Korean, "는" marks the primary topic of a sentence. Joseph is talking primarily about himself, so he says "저는". Note that if the primary topic ends in a consonant, "는" changes to "은" so it's easier to pronounce. So, if Joseph wanted to talk primarily about his house (집) instead of himself, he would say "집은".

"에" is in a similar class of elements (called "particles"), but it marks the location, such as "to school (학교에), to the bathroom (화장실에)," and so forth. However, if Joseph wanted to say "to me", he would say "저에게", not "저에." The difference is that "에" means "to that thing or place" and "에게" (the dative particle) means "to that person." This is an important distinction to remember, but even if you make a mistake, a Korean will probably still understand.

Finally, we see the verb, "갑니다." Now, if you were to look up "go" in a Korean dictionary, it would probably say "가다." This is the verb's unconjugated dictionary or "base" form. "가" is the actual root of the verb, or "Verb Stem" (VS). When we put the verb into a Korean sentence, it must be conjugated. The standard, polite statement conjugation in Korean is {VS + ㅂ/습니다}. What does this mean? This means we take the verb stem (가) and add "ㅂ니다" if the stem ends in a vowel and "습니다" if the verb stem ends in a consonant. In this case, "가" ends in a vowel, so we slip the ㅂ under it (갑) and add "니다" = "갑니다". If the verb was "먹다 (to eat)" then we would add "습니다" because the verbstem ends in a consonant (먹). Thus, we have "먹습니다." A special thing to remember about this is, when conjugated, the verb is actually pronounced "감니다" like there's a ㅁ on the bottom. This is because of a special pronunciation rule called "nasalization" which we won't discuss here, but keep it in mind.

In order to make a question, the form is {VS + ㅂ/습니까}. An astute student would see something like that in "안녕하십니까", which is actually a question. So, if 찬호 wanted to ask "Do you go (are you going)?" he would ask "갑니까?" (Remember pronunciation: "감니까"). Armed with this information, we can now make a statement or a question with almost any verb.

ReviewEdit

Vocabulary: 어휘Edit

Grammar: 문법Edit

  • VS + ㅂ니까 - Question, use when VS ends in vowel (e.g.: 가 -> 갑니까)
  • VS + 습니까 - Question, use when VS ends in consonant (e.g.: 먹 -> 먹습니까)
  • VS + ㅂ니다 - Statement, when VS ends in vowel (e.g.: 가 -> 갑니다)
  • VS + 습니다 - Statement, when VS ends in consonant (e.g.: 먹 -> 먹습니다)
  • N + 은/는 - Topic particle (은use when N ends in consonant, 는use when N ends in vowel)
  • N + 에 - Location particle (to that thing/place)
  • N + 에게 - Dative particle (to that person)

Practice: 연습Edit

Conjugate the following verbs into statement form (VS + ㅂ/습니다) and question form (VS + ㅂ/습니까?). Click "▶" to check your answers:

Korean: 가다 (to go)

Stem: 가 (ends in a vowel)

  • Statement: 갑니다.
  • Question: 갑니까?
Korean: 먹다 (to eat)

Stem: 먹 (ends in a consonant)

  • Statement: 먹습니다.
  • Question: 먹습니까?
Korean: 자다 (to sleep)

Stem: 자 (ends in a vowel)

  • Statement: 잡니다.
  • Question: 잡니까?
Korean: 좋아하다 (to like)

Stem: 좋아하 (ends in a vowel)

  • Statement: 좋아합니다.
  • Question: 좋아합니까?
Korean: 배우다 (to learn)

Stem: 배우 (ends in a vowel)

  • Statement: 배웁니다.
  • Question: 배웁니까?


Determine whether the topic marker should be "은" or "는":

Korean: (I)

나는

Korean: (house)

집은

Korean: 학교 (school)

학교는

Korean: 컴퓨터 (computer)

컴퓨터는

Korean: 라면 (ramen)

라면은


Determine whether the particle should be "에" or "에게":

Korean: (house)

집에

Korean: 조세프 (Joseph)

조세프에게

Korean: 아버지 (father)

아버지에게

Korean: 시장 (market)

시장에

Korean: 한국 (Korea)

한국에

Learn Korean (Introduction)Reading and writing
Conversation
1급: Beginner1. Greetings2. Forming sentences3. Connective forms and negation4. Colors5. Recreation / In a taxi6. Family7. Around the house8. Using the telephone9. School10. Shopping11. Onomatopoeia
2단계: High beginner3단계: Low intermediate4단계: High intermediate5단계: Low advanced6단계: Advanced
Grammar