Lesson 8: Korean Adverbs, Negative Sentences in Korean

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Jump to:

Korean Adverbs
“When and Where” Adverbs
“To What Degree” Adverbs

Negative Sentences
To not be: 아니다
To not have: 없다
To not like: 싫어하다 and 싫다


Click here for a free PDF of this lesson.



The vocabulary is separated into nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs for the purpose of simplicity.

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use (you probably won’t be able to understand the grammar within the sentences at this point, but it is good to see as you progress through your learning).

A PDF file neatly presenting all of these words and example sentences in addition to common usages and specific notes can be found here.


기계 = machine

기계는 너무 무거워요 = That machine is very heavy
회사는 기계를 대체했어 = The company replaced the machine

대학교 = college, university

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “대학꾜”

Common Usages:
대학생 = university student
대학교를 다니다 = to attend a university
서울대학교 = Seoul National University

저는 서울대학교를 다녀요 = I go to (attend) Seoul University
한국에서 대학교는 고등학교보다 덜 어려워요 = In Korea, University is not as hard as high school
어느 대학교를 다녀요? = Which university do you go to?
어느 대학교를 졸업했어요? = Which university did you graduate from?
저는 10년 전에 서울대학교를 졸업했어요 = I graduated from Seoul University 10 years ago
대학교에 가고 싶다면 열심히 공부해야 해요 = If you want to go to university, you have to study hard
아들이 대학교를 졸업해서 우리는 축하를 해야 돼요 = Now that our son has graduated from University, we need to congratulate him
원래 대학교에 갈 계획이 있었지만 수능을 잘 못 봐서 대학교에 갈 수 없었어요 = I had plans to go to university, but I couldn’t get in because I did bad on the SAT test

트럭 = truck

Korean pronunciation of the English word “truck”

그 고속도로에서 트럭을 운전해서는 안 돼요 = You must not drive a truck on that highway

검은색 = (the color) black

Notes: This is a combination of the adjective “검다” (black) and “색” (color). Put together, the word is a noun that means “the color black,” but is often placed before nouns to describe them (like an adjective) anyways. Therefore, you can often see this (and other words of color) used before a noun to describe it and also at the end of a sentence (attached to 이다).

When Korean people describe something by color in English, they will often say something like “I like the black-colored shirt.” This is the result of them directly translating “검은색 셔츠,” whereas in English we would just say “black shirt.”

At the end of a sentence: 저의 차는 검은색이에요 = My car is black
(Notice 이다 is used because 검은색 is a noun)

Before a noun: 저는 검은색 차를 좋아해요 = I like black cars

흰색 = (the color) white

See “black” above. 흰색 is a combination of “희다” and “색”

흰색 셔츠를 입은 여자가 예뻐요 = The girl wearing the white shirt is pretty
흰색 구두를 신고 있다 = I am wearing white shoes/boots

음료수 = beverage, drink

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “음뇨수”

This is commonly used to refer to drinks like Coke, cider (which is similar to Sprite) and other carbonated beverages.

음료수를 주문할래요? = Shall we order some drinks?
이 뷔페가격은 음료수를 포함해요 = This buffet price includes dinks

외국 = foreign country

Common Usages:
외국인 = foreigner
외국 사람 = foreigner
외국어 = foreign language

저는 1년 동안 영어를 외국에서 공부했어요 = I studied English in a foreign country for 1 year
저는 2년 동안 외국에서 살았어요 = I lived in a foreign country for 2 years

외국인 = foreigner

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “외구긴”

의정부에서 외국인이 많아요 = There are a lot of foreigners in Uijeongbu

고등학교 = high school

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “고등학꾜”

Common Usages:
고등학생 = high school student
고등학교를 다니다 = to attend a high school

저는 고등학교를 다니고 있어요 = I am attending a high school
우리 딸은 그 고등학교를 다녀요 = Our daughter attends that high school
한국에서 대학교는 고등학교보다 덜 어려워요 = In Korea, University is not as hard as high school
중학교 또는 고등학교를 다녀요? = Do you go to middle school or high school?
고등학교는 한국에서 어려워요 = High school is difficult in Korea
그 선생님은 국립고등학교에서 일하셔요 = That teacher works at a public (high) school

도서관 = library

도서관이 조용해서 거기서 공부하고 싶어요 = I want to study at the library because it is quiet

놀다 = to play

놀다 follows the ㄹ irregular

Common Usages:
놀이공원 = amusement park
놀이터 = playground
물놀이 = to play in water

Although “playing” is usually reserved for kids in English, adults in Korean will also say that they “play” with friends. This typically meets that they met and had a good time.

Example: 저는 어제 친구랑 놀았어요 = I played with a friend yesterday
아이들은 나무 주위에서 고 있어요 = The children are playing around the tree
저는 보통 친구들과 시내에서 놀아요 = I usually play with (meet) my friends downtown

쓰다 = to use

쓰다 follows the ㅡ irregular

Notes: 사용하다 is another common way to say “use”

Example: 제가 이것을 도 돼요? = May I use this?

쓰다 = to write

Common Usages:
편지를 쓰다 = to write a letter
펜으로 쓰다 = to write with a pen

Example: 저는 저의 여자 친구를 위해 편지를 썼어요 = I wrote a letter for my girlfriend
저는 부장님을 위해서 이것을 썼어요 = I wrote this for my boss
저는 여자친구를 위해 편지를 고 싶어요 = I want to write a letter for my girlfriend
저는 펜으로 고 싶어요 = I want to write with a pen
그는 손등에 뭔가를 썼어요 = He wrote something on the back of his hand

실수하다 = to make a mistake

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “실쑤하다”

The noun form of this word (“실수”) translates to “a mistake”

By adding “~하다” you can say “to make a mistake”

범죄자는 그의 실수를 인정했어요 = The criminal acknowledged his mistakes
제 행동은 실수인 것을 깨달았어요 = I realized that my actions (what I did) is/was a mistake

수리하다 = to repair

그는 고장난 컴퓨터를 수리했어요 = He repaired the broken computer

잡다 = to catch, to grab, to grasp

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “잡따”

Common Usages:
자리를 잡다 = to take a place and sit down
손을 잡다 = to hold one’s hand
꽉 잡다 = to hold on tight(ly)

저는 공을 잡았어요 = I caught the ball
그는 직업을 바꿀 수 있는 기회를 잡았어요 = She seized the opportunity to change jobs

읽다 = to read

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “익따”

Common Usages:
책을 읽다 = to read a book

저는 이제 더 기 싫어요 = I don’t want to read anymore
저는 그 책을 고 싶어요 = I want to read that book
저는 1년에 책 열 권을 을 수 있어요 = I can read ten books in one year
어떤 소설을 고 있어요? Which novel are you reading?

내다 = to pay for

Common Usages:

청구서를 내다 = to pay a bill

Notes: 내다 can have many other meanings. See Lesson 14 for more information.

이번에 제가 낼 거예요 = I will pay this time

받다 = to get, to receive, to acquire

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “받따”

Common Usages:
감동 받다 = to be impressed (literally “to receive an impression”)
존경 받다 = to be respected (literally “to receive respect”)

See Lesson 14 for more information

제가 보낸 돈을 받았어요? = Did you get the money that I sent?
저는 을 받았어요 = I received money
저는 나의 여자친구에게서 편지를 받았어요 = I received a letter from my girlfriend
그 문제에 관해 연수를 받았어요 = We/I received training about that problem
저는 당신의 말에 감동 받았어요 = I was impressed with what you said
저는 그 사람이 저에게 줄 선물을 고 싶지 않아요 = I don’t want to accept the gift that that person will give me
만약 제가 선생님이라면 학생들에게 존경을 고 싶을 거예요 = If I were a teacher, I would want to be respected by students

도착하다 = to arrive

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “도차카다”

우리가 목적지에 거의 도착했어요 = We have almost arrived at our destination
우리가 내일 도착할 예정이에요 = We are scheduled to arrive tomorrow
저는 학교에 도착했어요 = I arrived at school
저는 8월 15일에 도착할 거예요 = I will arrive on August 15th

여행하다 = to travel

The noun form of this word (“여행”) translates to “a trip”

Common Usages:
신혼여행 = honeymoon (newlywed travel)
배낭여행 = backpacking

저는 6개월 동안 여행했어요 = I traveled for 6 months
저는 하루 동안 여행했어요 = I traveled for 1 day
여행했을 때 사진을 많이 찍었어요 = When I traveled, I took a lot of pictures
여행은 길게 느껴졌어요 = That trip felt like a long time
저는 한국 어디나 여행하고 싶어요 = I want to travel everywhere in Korea
가장 여행하고 싶은 나라는 뭐에요? What country do you want to travel to the most?
여행할 때 옷을 많이 챙길 필요가 없어요 = I don’t need to pack a lot of clothes when you travel

완벽하다 = to be perfect

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “완벼카다”

The noun form of this word “완벽” translates to “perfection”

Common Usages
완벽주의자 = perfectionist

그녀는 완벽한 선생님이에요 = She is a perfect teacher
그 단어로 완벽한 문장을 만들어 주세요 = Make a perfect/complete sentence using that word, please
그것은 완벽한 식사였습니다 = That was a perfect meal
저의 여자 친구가 완벽해서 저는 그녀를 사랑해요 = I love my girlfriend because she is perfect

아프다 = to be sick, to be sore

Common Usages:
배가 아프다 = for one’s stomach to be sore
아픈 척하다 = to pretend to be sick

This is used to indicate that you are sick (with a cold or something similar), and to indicate that a part of your body is sore.

어제 운동을 해서 오늘 저의 팔이 아파요 = my arms are sore because I exercised yesterday
제가 너무 아파서 많이 먹을 수 없어요 = I can’t eat much because I am very sick
목이 아파요 = I have a sore throat
저의 몸이 너무 아파서 못 가요 = I can’t go because my body is so sore
저는 너무 많이 걸어서 지금 발이 아파요 = My feet are sore because I walked so much
할머니는 어제 아파서 입원했어요 = Grandma checked into the hospital yesterday because she was sick

똑똑하다 = to be smart

Common Usages:
똑똑한 학생 = smart student

우리 학교에는 똑똑한 학생들이 많아요 = There are a lot of smart students at our school
그 사람은 착하고 똑똑해요 = That person is kind and smart
여자들이 예뻐도 똑똑하지 않으면 매력이 없어요 = Regardless of how pretty girls are, if they are not smart, they have no charm
선생님들은 학생들보다 더 똑똑해요 = Teachers are smarter than students
저는 똑똑한 여자들만 좋아해요 = I only like smart girls
공부하지 않는 학생들은 똑똑하지 않아요 = Students who do not study are not smart
저는 저의 남동생보다 훨씬 똑똑해요 = I am way/much smarter than my brother

중요하다 = to be important

Common Usages:
중요성 = importance

그 개념은 중요하지 않아요 = That concept is not important
가족은 가장 중요해요 = Family is the most important
학생들한테 영어회화는 중요하지 않아요 = English conversation isn’t important to Korean students
학생들이 영어를 배우는 것은 중요해요 = It is important for students to learn English
이 문제는 시민보건에 아주 중요한 것 같아요 = That problem is probably very important to the health of the citizens

젊다 = to be young

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “점따”

그녀는 다른 사람보다 젊어 보여요 = She looks younger than other people

늙다 = to be old

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “늑따”

This is typically only used when somebody is actually old, not when somebody is comparatively older than somebody else.

늙은 아주머니는 넘어졌어요 = The old lady fell over

나이가 많다 = to be old

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “나이가 만타”

Notes: This literally translates to “a lot of age”

Common Usages:
나이가 더 많다 (older)

저의 여자 친구는 저보다 나이가 더 많아요 = My girlfriend is older than me

나쁘다 = to be bad

나쁘다 follows the ㅡ irregular

Common Usages:
나쁜 사람 = bad person
건강에 나쁘다 = for something to be unhealthy

그것은 건강에 나빠요 = That is bad for your health
그 사람의 상황은 나빠요 = That person’s situation is not good
그 학생의 태도가 나빠요 = That student’s attitude is bad
담배는 건강에 나빠요 = Cigarettes are bad for your health (unhealthy)
공기가 나빠서 저는 숨을 못 쉬어요 = I can’t breathe because the air is bad
소식이 있어요 = There is some bad news
나쁜 짓을 왜 했어요? = Why did you do that (bad action)?
친구는 나쁜 학교에 가고 있어요 = My friend is going to the bad school

바로 = immediately

바로 can be used to indicate that something happens immediately (in terms of time) or that something is “immediately” close to something (in terms of space.

저는 바로 갔어요 = I left immediately
우리는 집에 와서 바로 잤어요 = We came home and went to sleep immediately
저는 책을 읽고 바로 잤어요 = I read the book and then slept immediately

은행이 학교 바로 옆에 있어요 = The bank is right (immediately) next to the school

즉시 = immediately

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “즉씨”

Notes: 즉시 can only be used to indicate that something happens immediately (in terms of time). It is less common than 바로.

저는 그 무서운 것을 보고 즉시 뛰어갔어요 = I ran away immediately after I saw that scary thing

빨리 = quickly/fast

Notes: This is the adverb form of “빠르다”

빨리 가자! = Let’s go quickly!
왜 너무 빨리 먹었어요? = Why did you eat so fast?
저는 너무 빨리 먹었어요 = I ate really fast
열심히 공부한 후에 실력은 빨리 늘었어요 = After studying hard, my skills have been increasing quickly
저는 어젯밤에 잠이 빨리 들었어요 = Last night I fell asleep quickly
우리 엄마는 집에 와서 빨리 요리했습니다 = Our/my mom came home and quickly cooked

자주 = often

저는 서울에 자주 가요 = I go to Seoul often
한국어를 얼마나 자주 공부해요? = How often do you study Korean?
저의 할머니가 여기에 자주 안 오셔요 = My grandmother doesn’t come here often
저는 저의 친구를 자주 만나요 = I meet my friend often
여자 친구를 얼마나 자주 만나요? = How often do you meet your girlfriend?
저는 자주 옷을 충동적으로 사요 = I often buy clothes impulsively

가끔 = sometimes

Notes: In English, we would never say “very sometimes,” but in Korean “아주 가끔” is commonly used to stress that something happens “only sometimes.”

저는 서울에 가끔 가요 = I go to Seoul sometimes
저는 가끔 너무 많이 먹어요 = I eat too much sometimes

많이 = many/a lot of

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “마니

This is the adverb form of “많다”

저는 저의 여자 친구에게 선물을 많이 줬어요 = I gave my girlfriend a lot of presents
저는 밥을 많이 먹었어요 = I ate a lot of rice
저는 야채를 많이 먹겠습니다 = I will eat a lot of vegetables
우리는 이번 시간에 많이 배웠어 = We learned a lot this time
저는 친구들로부터 사랑을 많이 받았어요 = I received a lot of love from friends
저의 친구의 한국어 실력이 많이 늘었어요 = My friend’s Korean (skills) really increased/got better
돈을 얼마나 많이 가져갈 거예요? = How much money will you bring?

방금 = a moment ago

그는 방금 나갔어요 = He just left
저는 방금 뭔가(를) 봤어요 = I just saw something a minute ago

= place

에 사람이 없어요 = There is no people at that place

동시에 = same time

모든 학생들은 동시에 교실에서 나왔어요 = All the students came out of the classroom at the same time

= night

Common Usages:
오늘 밤 = tonight
어젯밤 = last night
내일 밤 = tomorrow night

오늘 에 뭐 할 거예요? = What are you doing tonight?
저는 아침부터 까지 공부만 했어요 = From morning to night, I only studied
저는 에만 운동해요 = I only exercise at night
오늘 에 뭐 하고 싶어요? = What do you want to do tonight?

어젯밤 = last night

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “어제빰”

Notes: When two nouns are combined together to make one noun, and the first noun does not end in a consonant, the consonant ‘ㅅ’ is added purely for ease of pronunciation.

우리는 어젯밤에 밥을 많이 먹었어요 = We ate a lot last night
저는 어젯밤에 잘 잤어요 = I slept well last night
저는 어젯밤에 이상한 꿈을 꿨어요 = I had a strange dream last night

갑자기 = suddenly

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “갑짜기”

그 사람은 갑자기 밖에 나갔어요 = That person suddenly left

매년 = every year

저는 매년 한국에 가요 = I go to Korea every year

다시 = again

Common Usages:
다시 한 번 = one more time

저는 시험을 다시 봐야 될 것 같아요 = I will probably have to write the exam again
제가 어제 만난 사람은 저를 다시 만나고 싶어요 = The person I met yesterday wants to meet me again
저는 밥을 벌써 먹어서 다시 안 먹어도 돼요 = I don’t need to eat again because I already did

혼자 = alone

“혼자서” is often used as well

저는 혼자 살아요 = I live alone
저는 엄마가 밥을 왜 혼자 먹은지 몰라요 = I don’t know why mom ate by herself (alone
우리 아들은 자기 일을 항상 혼자 하고 싶어요 = Our son always wants to do his work alone
저는 운동을 혼자 할 수 있어요 = I can exercise by myself

= daytime

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “낟”

Common Usages:
낮잠을 자다 = to take a nap (day sleep)

그 사람은 일을 안 하고 에 자기만 해요 = That person doesn’t work and just sleeps during the day
저는 커피를 에만 마셔요 = I only drink coffee during the day

= East

Common Usages:
동양 = the East
동양문명 = Eastern Civilization

토론토는 동양시장이 많아요 = Toronto has a lot of Eastern (Oriental) markets

= South

Common Usages:
남아메리카 = South America
남극 = South Pole
남극대륙 = Antarctica

부산은 한국 에서 있어요 = Busan is in the south of Korea

= West

Common Usages:
서양 = the West
서양문명 = Western Civilization

서양사람들은 동양사람들과 달라요 = Western people are different than Eastern people

= North

Common Usages:
북아메리카 = North America
북극 = North Pole
북극곰 = polar bear
북한 = the name of “North Korea” to South Korean people

의정부는 서울 쪽에 있어요 = Uijeongbu is north of Seoul

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Korean Adverbs

To this point, you have studied Korean verbs and adjectives in great depth, but you have yet to learn much about Korean adverbs. First of all, what is an adverb? Adverbs are words in sentences that tell you when, where, or to what degree something is being done.

When: I went to work on Tuesday
Where: I am inside the house
Degree: I opened the door quickly

In this lesson, you will learn how to use adverbs in Korean sentences. Let’s get started!


When and Where

Anytime you put a word in a sentence that indicates when or where something is taking place, you must add the particle 에 to the end of that word. Keep in mind, however, that 에 is not the only particle that can go at the end of words of position or time. There are other particles that can go at the end of these words to indicate from when/where something occurred, until when/where, etc. For now, though, lets just talk about 에.

This is very important. Even though all places (park, house, hospital, school, office, room, kitchen, etc) are also nouns, when they are being talked about as a place, the particle 에 must be attached to them. Notice the difference between the following two sentences:

저는 병원을 지었어요 = I built a hospital
저는 병원에 갔어요 = I went to the/a hospital

In the first sentence, “hospital” is the thing in which you are building – so it is an object, which requires you to use the  을/를 particle.
In the second sentence, the hospital is the place in which you went to – so it is a place, which requires it to have the 에 particle.

However, if you wanted to say where you built that hospital, you could say this:

저는 병원을 공원 옆에 지었어요 = I built a hospital beside the park

In addition to this, any word that indicates when something is taking place, needs have the Korean particle 에 attached to it. For example:

저는 화요일에 가겠어요 = I will go on Tuesday
저는 저녁에 공부했어요 = I studied in the evening
저는 가을에 공원 옆에 병원을 지었어요 = I built a hospital beside the park in the fall

The best part about Korean adverbs is that they can essentially be placed at any place in the sentence. The only place they cannot be placed is at the end of the sentence – because a sentence must always end in an adjective or verb. They could even be placed at the beginning of a sentence:

여름에 저는 공부하겠어요 = I will study in the summer

Korean people don’t add ~에 when using 오늘 (today), 내일 (tomorrow) and 어제 (yesterday):

저는 한국에 오늘 도착했어요 = I arrived in Korea today
저는 도서관에 어제 갔어요 = I went to the library yesterday
저는 내일 한국어를 공부하겠어요 = I will study Korean tomorrow.


To what degree/How much

In addition to “when” and “where” adverbs, many adverbs can tell us to what degree something is being done. These adverbs usually (but not always) end in ‘ly’ in English:

I ran really quickly
I ate fast
I left immediately
I often meet my friend on Thursday
I eat too much sometimes

When adding these types of adverbs to sentences, no particle needs to be attached.
While other adverbs are generally free to be placed anywhere in a sentence, adverbs like this that indicate a degree to which something is done are typically placed immediately before the verb. For example:

저는 저의 친구를 자주 만나요 = I meet my friend often
저는 밥을 많이 먹었어요 = I ate a lot of food (rice)
저는 집에 바로 갔어요 = I went home immediately
저는 숙제를 빨리 했어요 = I did my homework quickly

Also, many of these words are just transferred from their adjective forms to create an adverb. This is done in English as well, for example:

Quick   -> Quickly
Easy     -> Easily
Quiet    -> Quietly

A lot of adverbs in Korean are simply made by adding ‘게’ to the stem of an adjective:

Adjective Adverb
쉽다 = easy 쉽게 = easily
비슷하다 = similar 비슷하게 = similarly
다르다 = different 다르게 = differently

Adjectives that end in 하다 are sometimes changed into adverbs by changing 하다 to 히.  With most adjectives you can either add 게 to the stem or 히 with no difference in meaning. The only thing I can suggest is try to listen to which one is said in a specific situation, because even Korean people don’t know the answer to the question “what is the difference between 조용하게 and 조용히”:

Adjective Adverb
조용하다 = quiet 조용하게/조용히 = quietly
안전하다 = safe 안전하게/안전히 = safely

Finally, some adjectives are changed into adverbs in a different way. When this happens, they are usually very similar to their original adjective form:

Adjective Adverb
많다 = many 많이 = many/a lot*
빠르다 = quick/fast 빨리 = quickly

*많다/많이 essentially have the same meaning aside from the fact that one is an adverb and one is an adjective. Most of the time, the difference between the adjective and adverb form is very clear, but with 많이/많다, the meaning is similar. See the following:

저는 많은 밥을 먹었어요 = I ate a lot of rice
저는 밥을 많이 먹었어요 = I ate a lot of rice.
Now that you know ALL that, using adverbs in sentences is easy as pie!:

저는 조용하게 먹었어요 = I ate quietly
저는 거리를 안전하게 건넜어요 = I crossed the street safely
저는 행복하게 살았어요 = I lived happily

You can, of course, use more than one adverb in a sentence. To look at the list I showed you earlier:

저는 매우 빨리 달렸어요 = I ran really quickly
저는 빨리 먹었어요 = I ate fast
저는 바로 떠났어요 = I left immediately
저는 저의 친구를 목요일에 자주 만나요 = I often meet my friend on Thursday
저는 가끔 너무 많이 먹어요 = I eat too much sometimes

Though you can do that, using two adverbs that indicate the ‘degree of something’ is generally not done in Korean. For example, this would sound awkward:

저는 거리를 쉽게 빨리 건넜어요 = I easily quickly crossed the street (It’s also awkward in English!)





Negative Sentences

There are two ways you can make a sentence negative:

1. By adding 안, which acts as an adverb in the sentence. 안 is typically placed immediately before the final verb or adjective. For example:

그 여자는 안 예뻐요 = That girl isn’t pretty
저는 생선을 안 좋아해요 = I don’t like fish
저는 내일 학교에 안 가겠어요 = I’m not going to school tomorrow

2. By adding ~지 않다 to the stem of the final verb or adjective. 않다 then becomes the verb or adjective in that sentence and must be conjugated accordingly. For example:

그 여자는 예쁘지 않아요 = That girl isn’t pretty
저는 생선을 좋아하지 않아요 = I don’t like fish
저는 내일 학교에 가지 않겠어요 = I’m not going to school tomorrow

Their respective meanings are identical. It is up to the speaker to decide which one will be used. There are times when it will be more natural to use “안” and there will be times when it will be more natural to use “~지 않다.” At this point, you can consider them the same. Throughout your studies you will constantly be exposed to 안 and ~지 않다, and through this exposure you can gradually develop a preference for which one should be used and in which circumstance.

I like to share my observations that I have made through my experiences with the Korean language. I think this can be helpful to learners as they struggle to understand when to use some grammatical principles over others. There are a few things I would like to talk about regarding these negative sentences.

As you know, most verbs ending in ~하다 can be turned into a noun-form of that verb by removing ~하다. For example.

공부하다 = to study
공부 = the noun form of “study”

실수하다 = to make a mistake
실수 = a mistake

여행하다 = to travel
여행 = a trip

When indicating that one “does not do” a ~하다 verb, it is common to separate ~하다 from the noun and place “안” in between them. For example:

저는 공부를 안 했어요 = I didn’t study
Instead of:
저는 안 공부했어요

저는 실수를 안 했어요 = I didn’t make (do) a mistake
Instead of:
저는 안 실수했어요

저는 여행을 안 했어요 = I didn’t travel
Instead of:
저는 안 여행했어요

It would also be appropriate to use the ~지 않다 form with these words. However, in these cases, it doesn’t matter if the noun is separated from ~하다 or not. For example.

저는 공부하지 않았어요 = I didn’t study
저는 공부를 하지 않았어요 = I didn’t study

저는 실수하지 않았어요 = I didn’t make a mistake
저는 실수를 하지 않았어요 = I didn’t make a mistake

저는 여행하지 않았어요 = I didn’t travel
저는 여행을 하지 않았어요 = I didn’t travel

Many adjectives end in ~하다. It is unnatural to remove the ~하다 in these words and place “안” between them. You can’t separate an adjective and “act” on it with ~하다 because they are adjectives. For example, the following would be incorrect:

저는 행복을 안 해요 (This does not mean “I am not happy”)

However, you could use ~지 않다 on a -하다 adjective or place “안” before the verb without separating it. For example:

저는 안 행복해요 = I am not happy
저는 행복하지 않아요 = I am not happy

I have had people ask me about the word order of sentences using an adverb and the negative adverb “안”. One learner asked me if this sentence would be okay:

저는 빨리 안 공부했어요

While it might be understood, this sentence sounds very awkward in Korean. The reason is probably due to the fact that there are two adverbs being used. In this sentence, both “빨리” and “안” act as adverbs that indicate the degree to which the studying was done. As I mentioned earlier, this usually isn’t done in Korean. Instead, if you wanted to express that meaning, you can use the ~지않다 negative addition instead. By doing this, you effectively remove one of the adverbs and are left with:

저는 빨리 공부하지 않았어요 = I didn’t study quickly

Even still, though. This sentence could still be a little awkward in Korean – because when would you ever say “I didn’t study quickly”? In most cases, it would be more natural to simply use an adverb that has the opposite meaning. For example, this sentence:

저는 밥을 빨리 먹지 않았어요 = I didn’t eat (rice) quickly

Would be more naturally said as:

저는 밥을 천천히 먹었어요= I ate rice slowly



To not be: 아니다

아니다 (to not be) is the opposite of the word 이다 (to be), but they are used a little bit differently. Remember that 이다 is always attached directly to a noun. For example:

나는 선생님이다 = I am a teacher
나는 대학생이다 = I am a university student

However, when using 아니다, the particle ~이/가 is attached to the noun, and 아니다 is used as a separate word:

나는 선생님이 아니다 = I am not a teacher
나는 대학생이 아니다 = I am not a university student

Below are some examples, with possible conjugations of 아니다. You have learned how to conjugate verbs and adjectives, but you still haven’t learned how to conjugate 이다 and 아니다. You will learn this in the next lesson.

나는 선생님이 아니다 = I am not a teacher
(저는 선생님이 아니에요)

나는 너의 친구가 아니다 = I am not your friend
(나는 너의 친구가 아니야)

나는 대학생이 아니다 = I am not a University Student
(저는 대학생이 아니에요)




To not have: 없다

Just like how 아니다 is the opposite of 이다 – 없다 is the opposite of 있다. In Lesson 5, you learned some ways to use 있다. 없다 can indicate that one “does not have” something or that something “wasn’t at a particular location.” For example:

To not have:
저는 돈이 없어요 = I don’t have money
저는 시간이 없어요 = I don’t have time
우리는 차가 없어요 =  We don’t have a car

To not be in a location:
저의 친구는 지금 한국에 없어요 = My friend is not in Korea now
사람이 없었어요 = There was no people


To not like: 싫어하다 and 싫다

While we are talking about negative words, I want to talk about 싫어하다 quickly. “싫어하다” is a verb that is used to indicate that one dislikes something. 싫어하다 is the opposite of 좋아하다 (to like). For example:

저는 과일을 싫어해요 = I dislike fruit
저는 과일을 좋아해요 = I like fruit

In Lesson 3, you learned how 좋다 and 좋아하다 are different. I explained that 좋다 is an adjective (meaning “to be good”), and thus cannot act on an object. For example:

그 선생님은 좋다 = That teacher is good
이 학교는 좋다 = This school is good

The adjective form of 싫어하다 is 싫다. However, contrary to what you probably expect, 싫다 is not used to mean “to not be good.” In order to indicate that something is “not good” (i.e. “bad”), the adjective 나쁘다 is commonly used. Instead, 싫다 is often used to indicate that one dislikes something (just like 싫어하다). For example:

저는 과일이 싫어요 = I dislike fruit

Notice that because 싫다 is an adjective, it cannot act on an object, so the particles ~이/가 are attached to the noun. This type of sentence is a little bit too complex right now, so I don’t want to dig too deep into it. I discuss this more deeply in Lesson 15.

Be careful to not make double negative sentences. Although technically grammatically correct, this one reads funny:

저는 과일을 싫어하지 않아요 = I don’t dislike fruit

There are 1250 example sentences in Unit 1.
All entries are linked to an audio file. You can download all of these files in one package here.

That’s it for this lesson! I don’t think this one was very hard. I went easy on you!

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