Lesson 9: Conjugate 이다 (할 것이다)

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Vocabulary

Conjugating 이다
이다 Present Tense
Informal Low Respect
Informal High Respect
Formal High Respect

이다 Past Tense
Informal Low Respect
Informal High Respect
Plain Form
Formal High Respect

Conjugating Verbs/Adjectives USING 이다

이다 in the Future

 

Vocabulary

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 these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
공장 = factory

Common Usages:
공장에서 일하다 = to work at a factory
공장 노동자 = a factory worker
공장에서 만들어진 제품 = products made in a factory

Example:
저는 큰 공장에서 일해요 = I work in a big factory

= fever

Common Usages:
열이 나다 = to get a fever
열이 내리다 = for a fever to go down

Example:
저의 아들은 이 났어요 = My son had a fever

극장 = theater

Common Usages:
극장에서 연극을 보다 = to watch a play in a theatre

Example:
대학로 근처에 극장이 많아요 = There are a lot of theatres near 대학로
표를 예매하러 극장에 가고 있어요 = I am going to the theatre to buy the tickets (in advance)

회사 = company

Common Usages:
회사원 = a regular company worker
회사장 = the CEO of a company

Example:
우리 회사는 새로운 회사원을 찾고 있어요 = Our company is looking for new workers
내가 회사에 가지 않은 날에 병원에 갔어 = On the day I didn’t go to work, I went to the hospital
작년에 우리 회사의 수입은 200만원이었어요 = Our company’s income last year was 200만 won
저는 그 회사에서 5월까지 일할 거예요 = I will work at that company until May
저는 회사를 위해 열심히 일할 거예요 = I will work hard for the company
회사
는 기계를 대체했어 = The company replaced the machine
나는 개인적 문제로 회사를 그만두었다 = I quit the company due to personal problems
저는 일을 구하려고 그 회사에 이력서를 냈어요 = I submitted my resume to that company with the intention of applying for that job

장소 = place/location

Examples:
장소는 공원이 될 것이다 = This place will become a park
장소가 너무 위험해서 가지 마세요 = That place is very dangerous, so don’t go
경찰관들이 그 장소에 파견되었어요 = Police officers were dispatched to the area

간판 = a sign

Notes: This refers to the signs that hang outside stores or other places of businesses, not the traffic signs on the road.

Example:
한국에는 노래방간판이 많아요 = There are a lot of no-rae bang signs in Korea

직업 = job

Common Usages:
직업을 바꾸다 = to change one’s job
직업을 구하다 = to look for a job

Example:
직업이 뭐예요? = What is your job?
직업은 안전해서 좋아요 = This job is good because it is safe
그는 직업을 바꿀 수 있는 기회를 잡았어요 = He seized the opportunity to change jobs
그것은 저의 직업이 아닙니다 = That (thing) is not my job

수업 = a class (that you 'take' or 'teach')

Common Usages:
수업 시간 동안 = during class time
수업료 = class fees
보충 수업 = supplemental class

Example:
저는 오늘 네 개의 수업을 가르쳤어요 = I taught four classes today
저는 두 달 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took an Korean class for two months
수업시간 동안 종이를 던지지 마세요 = During class, don’t throw paper please
제가 가장 좋아하는 수업은 체육이에요 = My favorite class is P.E.
수업이 4시쯤에 시작될 예정이에요 = The class is scheduled to start at about 4:00pm
수업은 우리의 마지막 수업이에요 = This is our last class
수업은 오늘 저의 열 번째 수업입니다 = This is my tenth class today
수업은 2 분 후에 끝날 거예요 = Class will finish 2 minutes from now

고기 = meat

Common Usages:
돼지고기 = pork (literally “pig meat”)
소고기 = beef (literally “cow meat”)
오리고기 = duck (literally “duck meat”)
물고기 = fish (literally “water meat”)

Examples:
고기는 돼지고기입니다 = This meat is pork
저는 어제 고기를 두 번 먹었어요 = I ate meat twice yesterday
우리가 지난 번에 돼지고기를 먹었어요 = We ate pork last time
부모님은 고기를 가위로 잘랐어요 = The parents cut the meat with scissors

돼지 = pig

The counter for animals is “마리”

Common Usages:
돼지고기 = pork
돼지갈비 = pork ribs
돼지김치찌개 = pork and kimchi stew

Example:
동물원에 돼지가 많았어요 = There was a lot of pigs at the zoo

돼지고기 = pork

Common Usages:
돼지고기를 먹다 = to eat pork

Example:
저는 돼지고기를 먹고 싶어요 = I want to eat pork
저는 지난 번에 돼지고기를 먹었어요 = We ate pork last time
이 고기는 돼지고기입니다 = This meat is pork

= cow

The counter for animals is “마리”

Common Usages:
소고기 = beef
소갈비 = beef ribs

Example:
농부들은 를 키워요 = Farmers raise cows

소고기 = beef

Common Usages:
소고기를 먹다 = to eat beef

Example:
우리 엄마는 소고기만 먹어요 = Our mom only eats beef

= flowers

The usual counter for flowers is “송이” which is like a “bushel” of flowers

Common Usages:
꽃을 피우다 = for a flower to be blossoming
꽃을 가꾸다 = to grow flowers
꽃을 심다 = to plant flowers
불꽃 = flame
불꽃놀이 = fireworks

Examples:
저는 아내한테 을 줬어요 = I gave flowers to my wife
나는 나의 여자 친구를 위해 을 샀어 = I bought flowers for my girlfriend

= price

Common Usages:
집값 = price of houses
기름값 = price of oil
값이 싸다 = cheap
값이 비싸다 = expensive

Examples:
한국에서 집 은 비싸다 = Housing prices in Korea are expensive
은 세금을 포함해요 = This price includes tax

땅콩 = peanut

Common Usages:
땅콩 버터 = peanut butter
땅콩 껍질 = peanut shell

Example:
캐나다 사람들은 땅콩을 많이 먹어요 = Canadians eat a lot of peanuts
저는 땅콩 두 개를 먹었어요 = I ate two peanuts

축구(하다) = (to play) soccer

Common Usages:
축구공 = soccer ball
축구장 = soccer field
축구선수 = soccer player

Example:
축구를 잘해요? = Are you good at playing soccer?
축구를 얼마나 잘 해요? = How well do you play soccer?
미식축구공은 둥글지 않아요 = The American football ball isn’t round
저는 오늘 축구를 두 번 할 거예요 = I will play soccer twice today
우리 아들은 친구들보다 축구를 더 잘해요 = Our son is better than (his) friends at soccer
그는 축구선수인 만큼 달리기를 잘해요 = He runs as well as a soccer athlete/player

야구(하다) = (to play) baseball

Common Usages:
야구공 = baseball (ball)
야구장 = baseball field
야구선수 = baseball player

Example:
저는 어렸을 때부터 야구를 좋아했어요 = I’ve liked baseball since I was young
야구선수는 공을 세게 던졌어요 = The baseball player threw the ball hard
저는 야구를 잘해요 = I play baseball well
야구는 좋은 스포츠야 = Baseball is a good sport
우리는 야구를 1시에 할 거예요 = We will play baseball at 1:00
우리 셋째 아이는 야구를 좋아해요 = Our third child likes baseball
저는 어제 한 시간 동안 야구를 했어요 = I played baseball for an hour yesterday

여권 = passport

Common Usages:
여권사진 = passport photo
여권을 신청하다 = to apply for a passport
전자 여권 = electronic passport

Example:
이것은 여권이에요 = This is a passport
그것은 저의 여권이 아닙니다 = That (thing) is not my passport
여권
을 가져 와야 돼요 = You must bring your passport
여권은 저의 세 번째 여권이에요 = This is my third passport
저는 이 여권을 1월 2일에 받았어요 = I received my passport on January 2nd

수건 = towel

Common Usages:
수건으로 닦다 = to wipe with a towel

Example:
저는 수건으로 몸을 닦았어요 = I wiped my body with a towel

체육 = physical education

Common Usages:
체육 수업 = P.E. Class
체육과 = P.E. Department
체육선생님 = P.E. teacher

Example:
제가 가장 좋아하는 수업은 체육이에요 = My favorite class is P.E.
저는 처음에 체육 수업을 싫어했어요 = At first I didn’t like P.E. class

지하철 = subway

Common Usages:
지하철을 타다 = to ride/take the subway

Notes: 지하 means “underground.” 철 means “train.” In theory this word means “underground train,” but it is often used to refer to the metro system in general.

Example:
저는 지금 지하철을 타고 있어요 = I am on the subway now
저는 벌써 지하철을 타고 있어요 = I am already riding the subway
저는 사람들이 지하철을 급히 타는 것을 싫어해요 = I don’t like people getting on the subway in a rush
지하철을 놓쳤기 때문에 택시를 타야 돼요 = I missed the subway, so I must take a taxi

Verbs:
되다 = to become

One of the usages of 되다 is to make a verb change to the passive voice. This is introduced in Lesson 14. For example:
점심이 학교에 준비되었어요 = The lunch was provided by the school

In addition to this, there are many ways 되다 can be used. This is just a small sample:

To indicate that one becomes something:
미래에 저는 의사가 고 싶어요 = I want to be a doctor in the future
저는 언젠가 선생님이 고 싶어요 = I want to become a teacher someday

To indicate that you have been doing something for a certain amount of time:
밥을 먹은 지 5분 됐어요 = I have been eating for 5 minutes
운동한 지 오래 됐어요? = Have you been exercising for a long time?

To indicate that something that something is “ready” or “done” or “finished”
밥이 아직 안 됐어요 = The rice isn’t ready yet
저는 갈 준비 됐어요 = I am ready to go
Wifi가 잘 안 돼요 = The WiFi doesn’t work well

To indicate that one can or cannot do something:
지금 가도 돼요? = May I go now?
안 가도 돼요 = You don’t have to go

시작하다 = to start

Common Usages:
~기 시작하다 = to start to do a verb (see Lesson 29)

Example:
그는 밥을 벌써 먹기 시작했어요 = He started eating already
수업이 4시쯤에 시작될 예정이에요 = The class is scheduled to start at about 4:00pm
저는 아무 때나 일을 시작할 준비됐어요 = I am ready to start working any time

행동하다 = to act

The noun form of this word (“행동”) translates to “an action.”

Notes: This meaning is not “to act” in the sense of an actor or actress. Instead, this meaning is similar to somebody doing something, for example: “act responsibly”.

Example:
부모님 앞에서 그렇게 행동하지 마세요 = Don’t act that way in front of your parents
저는 과거에 그런 행동을 많이 했어요 = I acted like that a lot in the past
그는 실망스럽게 행동했어요 = He acted disappointingly (in a disappointed way)
그 사람은 가난한 사람인 것처럼 행동했어요 = That person acted like a poor person
행동은 실수인 것을 깨달았어 = I realized that my actions (what I did) is/was a mistake

소개하다 = to introduce

Common Usages:
소개팅 = a blind date
소개시키다 = to introduce somebody to somebody else

Example:
저는 여자친구를 가족한테 소개했어요 = I introduced my girlfriend to my family

발견하다 = to discover, to find

The noun form of this word (“발견”) translates to “a discovery.”

Common Usages:
발견자 = discoverer

Example:
벤자민 프랭클린은 전기를 발견했어요 = Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity
옛날 사람들은 불을 발견했어요 = People from a long time ago (ancient people) discovered fire

방문하다 = to visit

Example:
저는 친구를 방문하러 한국에 갔어요 = I went to Korean to visit my friend
나는 너를 다음 번에 방문할 거야 = I will visit you next time

잃다 = to lose

Common Usages:
잃어버리다 = to lose, but with a stronger negative emphasis
길을 잃다 = to get lost (literally “to lose the road”
정신을 잃다 = to go crazy (literally “to lose one’s mind”)
기억을 잃다 = to lose one’s memory

Example:
저는 열쇠를 잃어버렸어요 = I lost my keys
사람 네 명은 목숨을 잃었다 = four people lost their lives (four people died)

잃어버리다 = to lose

Sometimes you will find two verbs connected by “~아/어”. This grammatical principle is fairly complex and isn’t discussed in great detail until Lesson 70.

A basic explanation for now is that “~아/어” essentially has no real meaning, and that the meaning of both verbs comes out. “버리다” is probably the most common verb that you will find after a verb and ~아/어. Constructions in this format “(verb + ~아/어 + 버리다) add emotion to a sentence. The emotion is as if something was “thrown away” or done without any real thinking of the consequences. Some quick examples:

끄다= to turn off
꺼 버리다= to turn off (with that added emotion)

가다= to go
가 버리다= to go (with that added emotion)

잊다= to forget
잊어버리다= to forget (with that added emotion)

Notice that 잃어버리다 and 잊어버리다 are actually independent words – whereas the other examples include a space (two verbs with a grammatical principle separating them)

Examples:
저는 열쇠를 잃어버렸어요 = I lost my keys
저는 아이를 잃어버려서 걱정이 되었어요= I was worried because I lost the baby)
저는 친구의 집에서 열쇠를 잃어버렸어요 = I lost my keys at a friend’s house

벗다 = to take off one's clothes

Common Usages:
옷을 벗다 = to take off one’s clothes

Notes: The word 벗기다 is used when you are taking the clothes off of somebody else

Example:
저는 저의 옷을 벗었어요 = I took off my clothes
한국 사람들은 집에 들어가기 전에 신발을 벗어요 = Korean people take off their shoes before entering one’s house

웃다 = to laugh

Common Usages:
웃음 = laughter, a smile
웃게 해 주다 = to make somebody laugh

Example:
지 마세요! = Please don’t laugh!
그 여자가 하나도 안 웃었어요 = That girl didn’t laugh at all

Adjectives:
부끄럽다 = to be shy

부끄럽다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Notes: This word is more common than you would think. Korean people are generally very shy and thus, this word is used a lot. It is an irregular adjective. See Lesson 7 for more information.

Example: 제가 너무 부끄러워서 발표를 못해요 = I can’t do presentations because I am so shy

The addition of ~아/어하다 is commonly done when the speaker is not the person who is shy. This grammar is explained in Lesson 105

부끄러워하지 마세요 = Don’t be shy!

건강하다 = to be healthy

The noun form of this word (“건강”) translates to “health.”

Common Usages:
건강에 좋다 = healthy
건강에 나쁘다 = unhealthy
건강 검진 = health check up
건강보험 = health insurance

Example:
담배는 건강에 나빠요 = Cigarettes are bad for your health (unhealthy)
저의 아버지는 건강한 사람이었어요 = My dad was a healthy person
저는 내일부터 건강한 음식만 먹을 거예요 = From tomorrow, I am going to eat only healthy food
그 음식은 건강에 나쁜 것 같아요 = That food seems to be unhealthy
스파게티를 많이 먹는 것이 건강에 좋은지 나쁜지 몰라요 = I don’t know if eating a lot of spaghetti is good or bad for you

예쁘다 = to be pretty

예쁘다 follows the ㅡ irregular

Common Usages:
예쁜 여자 = pretty girl

Example:
그 여자가 너무 예뻐요 = That girl is very pretty
저의 여자 친구는 귀엽고 예뻐요 = My girlfriend is cute and pretty
그 여자의 구두가 예뻐요 = That girl’s boots are pretty
여자 친구는 얼마나 예뻐요? = How pretty is your girlfriend?
그 여자들은 예뻐요 = Those girls are pretty

Adverbs:
미래 = future

Example:
저는 미래에 의사가 될 거예요 = I will be a doctor in the future
저는 미래에 외국어를 많이 배우고 싶어요 = I want to learn a lot of foreign languages in the future

이제 = now

Example:
저는 이제 갈 거예요 = I’m going now
우리 애기는 이제 2살이에요 = Our baby is now 2 years old
저는 이제 더 읽기 싫어요 = (Now), I don’t want to read anymore

현재 = now/present

Common Usages:
현재까지는 = until now

Notes: Generally a wider length of time than “지금” or “이제”

Example: 현재 날씨는 평소보다 조금 추워요 = The present/recent weather is colder than normal

 

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Conjugating 이다

In earlier lessons, you learned a lot about conjugating verbs and adjectives. Exactly three things can be conjugated in Korean: verbs, adjectives and 이다. The conjugation of 이다 is different than verbs and adjectives. Actually, there are many times where 이다 behaves differently than verbs and adjectives – which you will learn in future lessons. In this lesson, you will learn how to conjugate 이다, and you will see how the conjugation differs from verbs and adjectives. The sentence below shows the plain form, present tense conjugation of 이다, which you have seen in lessons up to this point:

나는 선생님이다 = I am a teacher

If the last letter of the noun before 이다 ends in a vowel, you can eliminate 이. For example:

나는 의사다 = I am a doctor
나는 의사이다 = I am a doctor

Both of the above can be seen as correct. Here, the pronunciation of “이” is merging with the pronunciation of the vowel in the noun. If you pronounce the two sentences above, you can see that there is very little difference.

Conversely, if the last letter of the noun before 이다 is a consonant, this merging cannot happen. For example:

나는 선생님이다 = I am a teacher (correct)
나는 선생님다 – incorrect

This merging of 이다 does not happen because it has nothing to merge with. Furthermore, if you try to pronounce “선생님다”, it just doesn’t flow properly. It is hard to get your mouth to move from the “ㅁ” sound immediately to the “ㄷ” sound. This same principle occurs in other conjugations of 이다, but it is a little bit more complex.

In almost every case, you can conjugate 이다 differently depending on if the noun it is being attached to ends in a vowel or consonant. The reason they are conjugated differently is similar to the example above with 의사다 vs. 의사이다. Here, the pronunciation of “이” is being merged with something, and can therefore disappear. You will learn about each conjugation specifically, but I will give you an example here to prepare you for all the future explanations. Try not to worry about the meanings of these sentences, and just focus on what I am presenting.

As you will learn later, when conjugating 이다 into the past tense in the plain form, “었다” is added to the stem of “이다” (이). This is actually quite simple for you to understand, because every other verb and adjective follows this same rule. For example:

의사이었다
선생님이었다

However, the pronunciation of 이었다 can merge to “였다” when the noun that it is being attached to ends in a vowel. For example, both of these are correct:

의사이었다
의사였다

Pronounce both of those, and listen to how little of a difference there is between the two. Not only that, the pronunciation of both of those is very easy and it flows off the tongue.

Conversely, 이 and 었다 cannot merge when the noun it is added to ends in a consonant. For example:

선생님이었다 – correct
선생님였다 – incorrect

Pronounce both of those and listen the difference. Not only that,‘선생님였다’ is hard to pronounce. It is difficult to move your mouth from the ㅁ sound directly to the 여 sound. It is much easier to pronounce it like this: 나는 선생님-이-었-다.

Although I am only talking about the past tense plain form in this example, this same rule applies in many situations. If you keep this in mind when learning the conjugations in this lesson, they will be much easier to grasp.

 

 

이다 Present Tense

Conjugating 이다 to the present tense is relatively confusing compared to the past tense because new syllables are added with no real logic behind them. Whereas past conjugations are simply done by connecting the stem “이” to the typical past tense addition of “었다”, present tense conjugations have additions that are not seen with any other verb or adjective. Let’s talk about these first.

 

Informal Low Respect

Add ~이야 to a word ending in a consonant, or ~(이)야 to a word ending in a vowel:

나는 좋은 학생이야 = I am a good student
그것은 책이야 = That thing is a book
나는 선생님이야 = I am a teacher
이것은 여권이야 = This is a passport

그것은 사과야 = That thing is an apple
나는 의사야 = I am a doctor
야구는 좋은 스포츠야 = Baseball is a good sport

When conjugating “아니다” in this respect, you simply add “~야” to “아니다:”

나는 학생이 아니야 = I am not a student
그것은 책이 아니야 = That thing is not a book

 

Informal High Respect

Add ~이에요 to a word ending in a consonant, or ~예요 to a word ending in a vowel:

그것은 사진이에요 = That thing is a picture
저는 선생님이에요 = I am a teacher
저는 좋은 학생이에요 = I am a good student

이 사람은 저의 누나예요 = This (person) is my sister
저는 의사예요 = I am a doctor
저것은 사과예요 = That thing is an apple

When conjugating “아니다” in this respect, you simply add ~에요 to 아니다:

저는 학생이 아니에요 = I am not a student

Note that Korean people are often confused if they need to add “~예요” or “~에요” to 아니다. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see somebody use “아니예요.”

 

Formal High Respect

Add ~입니다 (~이 + ~ㅂ니다) to words ending in a vowel or consonant:

저는 의사입니다 = I am a doctor
그 사람은 저의 형입니다 = That person is my brother
저는 선생님입니다 = I am a teacher
저는 좋은 학생입니다 = I am a good student
이 고기는 돼지고기입니다 = This meat is pork

With words ending in vowels, you can eliminate ~이 and attach ~ㅂ니다 directly to the word. This is more commonly done in conversation, and not usually written.

When conjugating “아니다” in this respect, you must add “~ㅂ니다” directly to “아니다.” For example:

저는 의사가 아닙니다 = I am not a doctor
저는 학생이 아닙니다 = I am not a student
그것은 저의 직업이 아닙니다 = That (thing) is not my job
그것은 저의 여권이 아닙니다 = That (thing) is not my passport
그 건물은 극장이 아닙니다 = That building is not a theater

.

.

 

이다 Past Tense

Conjugating 이다 to the past tense is simple, and is done by connecting ~이 to ~었~. When the last syllable in a word ends in a vowel, ~이 + ~었 can combine to make ~였.

 

Informal Low Respect

Add ~이었어 to all words. If the word ends in a vowel, ~이었어 can contract to ~였어.

나는 바쁜 선생님이었어 = I was a busy teacher
나는 학생이었어 = I was a student
나는 선생님이었어 = I was a teacher

나는 나쁜 애기였어 = I was a bad baby
나는 나쁜 의사였어 = I was a bad doctor

 

Informal High Respect

This conjugation is the same as above (Informal Low Respect), except for that “~요” is added to the end of ~이었 or ~였. That is,  you should add ~이었어요 to all words. If the word ends in a vowel, ~이었어요 can contract to ~였어요.

그것은 큰 비밀이었어요 = That was a big secret
저는 선생님이었어요 = I was a teacher

저는 의사였어요 = I was a doctor
저는 나쁜 애기였어요 = I was a bad baby

 

Plain Form

Same as above, but you should add the regular “~다” ending instead of “~어요.” That is,  you should add ~이었다 to all words. If the word ends in a vowel, ~이었다 can contract to ~였다.

나는 선생님이었다 = I was a teacher
나는 의사였다 = I was a doctor

 

Formal High Respect

add ~이었습니다 to all words. If the word ends in a vowel, ~이었습니다 can contract to ~였습니다다.

저는 선생님이었습니다 = I was a teacher
저는 의사였습니다 = I was a doctor

In all situations in the past tense, 아니다 is conjugated just like any other word. An example of each respect:

나는 학생이 아니었어
나는 학생이 아니었다
저는 학생이 아니었어요
저는 학생이 아니었습니다

The weird thing is that Korean speakers sometimes would use these:

나는 학생이 아니
나는 학생이 아니
저는 학생이 아니어요
저는 학생이 아니습니다

Just going by the rules of the language, I’d have to assume that the first set is correct. I base this on the fact that in no other word do we add “~였~” to a stem. In other words, “~였~” is created from “이 + 었,” but it is never added as a stand-alone thing.

 

 

How to actually conjugate verbs/adjectives to the Future Tense

In Lesson 6, you learned how to conjugate words to the future tense by adding 겠어/겠어요/겠다/겠습니다 to the word stem. Though adding ~겠~ to a word stem is one way to conjugate words to the future, there is a more common way to conjugate to do this!

Before learning how to do to this, you needed to learn more grammar first (namely, how to conjugate 이다 properly). Either way, ~겠~ is still used in Korean, but not as much as the method you are about to learn.

For verbs or adjectives, when conjugating into the future tense, you must first add ~ㄹ/을 to the stem of the word.

When you add ~ㄹ/을 to a word stem, ~ㄹ gets attached directly to stems ending in a vowel, and ~을 gets added onto stems ending in a consonant. For example:

가다 ends in a vowel, so
가다 + ㄹ = 갈

먹다 ends in a consonant, so
먹다 + 을 = 먹을

There is also one irregular involved with adding ㄹ/을 to a stem. You were introduced to this irregular briefly in Lesson 7, but I could not teach it to you perfectly because you didn’t know about ~ㄹ/을 at that point.
If a stem ends in a final consonant that is ㄹ, when adding ~ㄹ/을, you actually don’t add anything. That sounds weird, but it is true. Check it out.

갈다 is a word where the stem ends in a consonant, so you would normally add 을:

갈 + 을 = 갈을
But saying this is weird. Try to pronounce that: 갈을.
Instead, it is way easier to just say 갈.
Anyways, that’s it for the irregular.

——————-
This is going to sound extremely complicated (and it is): adding ~ㄹ/을 to the stem of an adjective changes it to a word that can describe a noun in the future tense. For example:

행복한 사람 = happy person
행복할 사람 = a person that will be happy

Similarly, (this is where it gets complicated) adding ~ㄹ/~을 to a stem of a verb turns it into a word that can describe a noun in the future:
먹을 음식 = the food that will be eaten.
——————-

If you can’t understand the explanation between the lines – don’t worry. That level of grammar is very difficult to grasp at this stage of learning. That grammar will be discussed very deeply in Lessons 26 – 29. If you want to jump ahead to those lessons, feel free. However, the mechanics within the grammar are not important to you yet.

– Adding ~ㄹ/~을 to the stem of an adjective allows that adjective to describe a noun in the future tense
– Adding ~ㄹ/~을 to the stem of a verb allows that verb to describe a noun in the future tense
– Because these newly formed words can describe nouns, they must be followed by a noun

What does all this have to do with conjugating into the future?

When Korean people conjugate to the future, they usually do so by adding ~ㄹ/~을 to a verb/adjective.
This is essentially the same as adding ㄴ/은 to an adjective stem which you already know: (좋다 -> 좋은).
You should know, however, that you cannot end a sentence like this:

나는 좋은

Because 좋은 is an adjective that modifies a noun, a noun must follow 좋은:

나는 좋은 사람

Now, to end the sentence, you need to add 이다 to the noun:

나는 좋은 사람이다 = I am a good person.

So, again, when Korean people conjugate verbs/adjectives to the future, they usually do so by adding ~ㄹ/~을 to the word stem:

나는 행복할
나는 먹을
나는 공부할

But this changes verbs/adjectives into an adjectives that describe nouns. Therefore, (just like 좋은) a noun must follow these words. The noun that is always used in this situation is 것 (thing):

나는 행복할 것
나는 먹을 것
나는 공부할 것

Now, to end those sentences, you need to add 이다 to the noun:

나는 행복할 것이다
나는 먹을 것이다
나는 공부할 것이다

If you try to directly translate these sentences to English, they have the meaning:

I am a thing who will be happy
I am a thing who will eat
I am a thing who will study

But their actual meanings are:

나는 행복할 것이다 = I will be happy
나는 먹을 것이다 = I will eat
나는 공부할 것이다 = I will study

The 이다 can then be conjugated based on the level of politeness or formality. But keep in mind that even though this sentence is conjugated into the future, the 이다 should stay in the present tense. Because the ~ㄹ/을 creates a future sentence, 이다 does not need to be in the future.

것 is also sometimes shortened to 거, for no other reason than it is easier to say and creates a shorter sentence. For example, these two are exactly the same:

저는 밥을 먹을 것이에요 = I will eat rice
저는 밥을 먹을 거예요 = I will eat rice

Notice that ~이에요 is added when (which ends in a consonant) is used and ~예요 is added when (which ends in a vowel) is used. This is the same rule that you learned earlier in the lesson when conjugating 이다 depending on if the final letter of a noun ends in a consonant or vowel.

Note that Korean people are often confused if they need to add “~이에요,” or “~예요” or “~에요” toin these cases. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see somebody use “할 거에요.”

Other examples:

나는 내일 친구를 만날 것이야 = I will meet my friend tomorrow
나는 내일 친구를 만날 거야 = I will meet my friend tomorrow
저는 내일 학교에 갈 것입니다 = I will go to school tomorrow
저는 영어를 공부할 거예요 = I will study English


Irregulars come into play when adding ~ㄹ/을 to a verb or adjective because of the possibility of adding a vowel to a stem. Let’s look at the word “걷다” as an example. 걷다 has a consonant as its final letter, which means that ~을 must be added (instead of ~ㄹ). Therefore, we end up with:

걷을

Because of this, we now have the final consonant “ㄷ” followed by a vowel, which causes the ㄷ irregular to be applied. The correct conjugation of 걷다 + ~ㄹ/을 것이다 is therefore “걸을 것이다.”

Below is a table that shows how ~ㄹ/을 effects each of the irregulars that you learned in Lesson 7.

Irregular Example Word Does this apply? Application
ㅅ Irregular 짓다 (build) YES 지을 것이다
ㄷ Irregular 걷다 (walk) YES 걸을 것이다
ㅂ Irregular 쉽다 (easy) YES 쉬울 것이다
ㅡ Irregular 잠그다 (lock) NO 잠글 것이다
르 Irregular 부르다 (call) NO 부를 것이다
ㄹ Irregular 열다 (open) YES 열 것이다

Here is one example sentence:

저는 문을 열 거예요 = I will open the door (열 + 을 = 열)


 

 

 

Future 이다  – Using 되다

Conjugating 이다 to the future tense is the same as is done above, but it is also possible to use another verb; 되다. 되다 is one of the hardest words in Korean, mainly because it has so many meanings. You will be introduced to each of these meanings as you progress through our lessons, but the first meaning of ‘되다’ is “to become”… which is slightly different than “to be”. Let me introduce the word “되다” to you by showing you examples of it being used in the past tense:

(Note the way 되다 is used. ~이/가 is attached to the noun that the subject “becomes” instead of ~를/을)

저는 선생님이 되었어요 = I became a teacher
Which is slightly different than:
저는 선생님이었어요 = I was a teacher

Very similar, but the difference between “to become” and “to be” (which in this case is in the past tense of ‘was’) is “become” suggests that prior to that time, the situation was different. I’m sure you get it, but let me describe it using English examples:

I became a teacher last year
I was a teacher last year

When you say “I became a teacher last year”, you are indicating that – before last year you were not a teacher – but last year you became a teacher.

When you say “I was a teacher last year”, you are not specifying if you were a teacher before that time as well, or even if you are still a teacher. All you are specifying is that you were a teacher last year, and no other information is given.

되다 can be used in the present tense as well (and again differs slightly from 이다). I’ll save examples for when I’ve presented more grammar principles further into the course. My whole purpose in mentioning it is to explain the application to the future tense. First off, it is awkward to conjugate 이다 to the future tense using ~겠다.

나는 선생님이겠다

If you want to say that something “will be” something in the future, because of the nature of the word “되다” there is no real difference if you use 되다 or 이다. For example:

저는 곧 선생님이 될 것입니다 = I will become a teacher soon
저는 곧 선생님일 거예요 = I will be a teacher soon

Other examples:
나는 미래에 의사가 될 거야 = I will become a doctor in the future
나는 미래에 의사일 거야 = I will be a doctor in the future

한국이 곧 좋은 나라가 될 것이다 = Korea will become a good country soon
한국이 곧 좋은 나라일 것이다 = Korea will be a good country soon

이 장소는 공원이 될 것이다 = This place will become a park
이 장소는 공원일 것이다 = This place will be a park

I just want to point out here that the “” you are seeing above is not the word ““. Rather it is the future conjugation (using the conjugation taught in the lesson) of 이다. 선생님이다 becomes 선생님 + 이다 + ~ㄹ/을 것이다.

As you build vocabulary, you will be able to apply this same format of sentences to create sentences like:

This place will become a park next year
I will become a doctor in a few months

In Lesson 11, you will learn the vocabulary necessary to create those types of sentences. 

The sentences above using 이다 and 되다 in the future tense can be used to make negative sentences as well. When making the negative form of a 되다 sentence, you can just add 안 or ~지 않다 just like with any other verb or adjective. When making the negative form of an 이다 sentence, you should use 아니다. You can change each pair of sentences above to a negative sentence. For example:

나는 미래에 의사가 되지 않을 거야 = I won’t become a doctor in the future
나는 미래에 의사가 아닐 거야 = I won’t be a doctor in the future

한국이 곧 좋은 나라가 되지 않을 거야 = Korea won’t become a good country soon
한국이 곧 좋은 나라가 아닐 거야 = Korea won’t be a good country soon

이 장소는 공원이 되지 않을 거야 = This place won’t become a park
이 장소는 공원이 아닐 거야 = This place won’t be a park

Those sentences, while kind of ridiculous, are all grammatically correct. I can’t think of any time when you would actually want to say a sentence like that, but they are all possible if the right situation came up. Most of the time, there would be a better way to say each of the sentences above. For example, instead of saying:

나는 미래에 의사가 되지 않을 거야 = I won’t become a doctor in the future

It would probably be more natural to say something like “I don’t want to become a doctor in the future.” You will learn how to say this, and other grammatical principles that can make your speech more natural as you progress along with your studies. For now, try to understand what is being done grammatically, and don’t worry too much about when you would actually use a sentence like that.

 

One other quick thing; and I really don’t want to spend too much time on this because I have already overwhelmed you with grammar in this lesson. However, the future conjugation of 이다 is introduced in this lesson and I feel this needs to be talked about here. By using the future ~ㄹ/을 것이다 conjugation on 이다, you can also create a sentence where the speaker is guessing about a certain situation in the present tense. Look at some examples first:

그 사람이 의사일 거예요 = That person is probably/most likely a doctor
그것은 여권일 거예요 = That thing is probably/most likely a passport
문제는 돈일 거예요 = The problem is probably/most likely money

These sentences as well can be said using 아니다 instead of 이다:
그 사람이 의사가 아닐 거야 = That person is probably/most likely not a doctor
그것은 여권이 아닐 거야 = That thing is probably/most likely not a passport
문제는 돈이 아닐 거야 = The problem is probably/most likely not money

Notice that in these cases the speaker is not talking about him/herself. Also, even though the sentence is conjugated into the future tense, the speaker is guessing that something is the case in the present tense. Thus, it is weird to include time indicators in these sentences (for example “next year” or “in a few months from now”) because the speaker is not trying to create this meaning.

The question then becomes – how can I distinguish if somebody is saying one of these “guessing” sentences or saying “something will become something”. You will learn continuously throughout your Korean studies that understanding a Korean sentence is all about context – and the situation almost always makes it clear what the speaker wants to express.

For now, rather than concern yourself with the guessing nuances, I suggest focusing on how to use the ~ㄹ/을 것이다 form to conjugate verbs/adjectives into the future tense – and realize that 되다 can be used instead of 이다 when conjugating to the future tense.

Okay, I got it! Take me to the next lesson! Or,
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