Spoken Korean: Lesson 11
The verb to express preference is “좋아하다.” There is a slight difference between “좋다” and “좋아하다” – the former states something is good for you, while the latter has a stronger sense that you like something. How did you say you liked Korean, using “좋다”?
저는 한국어가 좋습니다.
In the sentence above, the particle is –가 because you are saying it in an indirect way that something is good, as if “it pleases me.” But when you like something, it needs an object, marked with –을/를. The polite form of 하다 is 합니다. How would you say you like Korean?
저는 한국어를 좋아합니다.
But, be careful: when you use this latter form with respect to a person, that usually means you are in love in with the person. The formal form of “you” applicable here is “당신.” How would you say, “I love you?”
저는 당신을 좋아합니다.
Still, “좋아하다” literally means “to like.” Another word, a more equivalent with “love” is 사랑. “사랑” is a noun, so how would you make it a verb?
Now, try to confess love in Korean:
저는 당신을 사랑합니다.
A few words are necessary with respect to the word 당신. The general rule is to avoid using it whenever it is possible, as Korean generally does so. The direct reference to the second person is very much avoided in all situations, and using this word to the superiors can often be perceived as rude. In the context above, it seems that it is quite necessary to say who you are in love with, but even here this can be omitted altogether. Try saying it without any pronouns.
And the personal pronouns are simply understood in the context. You should stop yourself rigidly translating the personal pronouns unless it can cause confusion otherwise, and this is one of the keys to sound idiomatic in Korean.
Let us try saying “I want.” The basic form is –고 싶다. The –고 form was discussed in the previous lessons, and you’re literally saying “I want and do something.” How did you say that you study at home and eat at a restaurant?
집에서 공부하고 식당에서 밥을 먹습니다.
Then, try saying that you want to study at home. The polite form of 싶다 is 싶습니다.
집에서 공부하고 싶습니다.
And that you want to eat at a restaurant?
식당에서 밥을 먹고 싶습니다.
There is no reason why you cannot say the two kinds of –고 in one sentence. Try saying that you want to study at home and eat at a restaurant. In English, the word “want” is employed only once and you will do likewise in Korean. Since this is the main verb, it has to be placed at the end of the sentence.
집에서 공부하고 식당에서 밥을 먹고 싶습니다.
Note that -고 as in 공부하고 is used to serialise two verbs, while the –고 in 먹고 is used in the construction “to want.” Try saying you want to speak Korean.
한국어를 하고 싶습니다.
And you are getting there. This is the end of lesson 11.
Spoken Korean: Lesson 12
How did you say that you study Korean?
With what do you study Korean? This introduces another particle, -으로. It has two main functions, one of which is to denote the instrument. The word for “book” is “책”, and how would you say “with a book”, that is, “using a book”?
Now, try saying that you study Korean in a school using a book.
학교에서 책으로 한국어를 공부합니다.
What kind of book? Well, let’s just say a good book. As discussed above, the adjective proper does not exist in Korean and the so-called “adjectival verbs” will take a gerund form, equivalent to –ing in English. The word for “to be good” was 좋다, and the equivalent to –ing in Korean is –은. The infinitive ending –다 is dropped out and replaced by this gerund ending. Try saying “good book.” Adjectives come before the noun in Korean.
We had another adjectival verb of this kind before, 푸르다. Using the same logic, it should be “푸르은” but two “ㅡ” in sequence contract into one, yielding “푸른.” Try saying “blue sky”:
Try saying that you like blue sky, using the verb “좋다”
푸른 하늘이 좋습니다.
Try saying you want to study using a good book.
좋은 책으로 공부하고 싶습니다.
The Korean word for “under” is “아래”, and unlike the English which is a preposition, the Korean equivalent behaves like just like any other noun, and can take any particle. Try saying “under the blue sky”:
푸른 하늘 아래
If you mean something you do under the blue sky, then you would need a particle for the location. How would you do it?
푸른 하늘 아래에서
Let us combine the two sentences together. Try saying “I want to study with a good book under the blue sky” – remember that the word order is reverse in Korean.
푸른 하늘 아래에서 좋은 책으로 공부하고 싶습니다.
And this sentence represents a wish or a desire. How would you say that you like doing so? Before we get there, try to make a gerund form of 하다, equivalent to “doing”
The word for “thing” is “것” in Korean, and this is used very often in many constructions in Korean. “Studying” as a noun in Korean is literally “study-doing-thing,” how would you say it?
And how would you like it? Try using “좋다.”
공부하는 것이 좋습니다.
And this expresses that you like the idea of studying in general. This is the end of lesson 12.
Spoken Korean: Lesson 13
Let us begin this lesson by constructing a rather long sentence. “I like studying with a good book under the blue sky”? Use the form “좋다.”
푸른 하늘 아래에서 좋은 책으로 공부하는 것이 좋습니다.
And the same sentence again, using the form “좋아하다.”
푸른 하늘 아래에서 좋은 책으로 공부하는 것을 좋아합니다.
The former with “좋다” means that you like the idea in general. You may never have done it, and given the choice you would do so. On the other hand, the latter expresses that you like doing so and you actually do so. Now, can you remember the past form of “하다”?
The form is created by inserting “었” between the two syllables of “하다”, and “하었다” contracts to “했다.” The “었” adds the perfect aspect of the sentence, and the word above literally means “have done” – the simple past proper lacks in Korean. By reduplicating this, you can make it pluperfect: “had done.” Try it.
Try saying that you have studied Korean:
And since this is the equivalent to the present perfect in English, you are retaining what you have learned in your previous endeavour. Then try forming the same sentence using the pluperfect:
And as its equivalent with the past perfect in English, your results of your past endeavour may not continue to exist in the present time. This is what you would say that you once studied, but now largely forgot the language.
Let’s try to say something was good. Here, you would not use the familiar “었” but “았” instead. They are simply variants of one another, and this form appears mostly when the stem has the vowel ㅗ. 좋다 has this vowel, so the perfect form is:
By reduplicating this, we get the pluperfect. But since 았 does not contain the vowel ㅗ, we will be adding the normal 었 instead of 았. How would you do it?
This would take a few practices to get used to it. Here are five verbs, some of which are already familiar to you: 보다 (to see), 하다 (to do), 먹다 (to eat), 있다 (to be, to exist) and 주다 (to give). Try forming the perfect forms of each.
보았다, 했다, 먹었다, 있었다, 주었다.
Some speakers would contract the first and the last ones as 봤다 and 줬다. The choice to do so is optional, but with 했다 it is mandatory. This is one (among others) of the problems which confuses the learners, as there is no clear rule to distinguish where the contraction is mandatory and where it is not.
You might have noticed that all of them took –었 except 보다, which contains the vowel ㅗ in its stem. Try making the pluperfect forms of them all:
보았었다, 했었다, 먹었었다, 있었었다, 주었었다.
To go back to the opening sentence of this lesson, try saying that you had liked studying with a good book under the blue sky:
푸른 하늘 아래에서 좋은 책으로 공부하는 것을 좋아했었습니다.
And it implies “not anymore.” This is the end of lesson 13.