Menu Close

Lesson 97: Abbreviated Conjugations: 갖다 and 머물다

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.
This Lesson is also available in Español

Jump to:


An abbreviation of 가지다: 갖다
Because: ~아/어 가지고
머무르다 (머물다), 서두르다 (서둘다) and 서투르다 (서툴다)




국민 = people of a country/citizen
독학 = self-study
옆집 = next door
이웃 = neighborhood, neighbor
이웃사람 = neighbor
변화 = change
중심 = center/heart/middle of something
진실 = truth
정상 = top
전체 = whole/entire thing
용기 = courage, guts, bravery
시기 = time
최종적 = final, last

힘내다 = to cheer up, to get cheered up
알려지다 = to become known
추측하다 = to guess
도박하다 = to gamble
내려다보다 = to look down
머물다 = abbreviated form of 머무르다
서두르다 =  to rush
서둘다 = abbreviated form of 서두르다
서투르다 = to not be good at something
서툴다 = abbreviated form of 서투르다

끔찍하다 = to be terrible
난처하다 = to be embarrassed

Adverbs and Other Words:
년대 = year
마침내 = finally, at last

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



In this lesson, you will learn about the word 갖다, which is an abbreviation of the word 가지다. The Korean language has evolved in such a way that 갖다 can now be thought of as a word, but due to the fact that it is actually an abbreviation, it has atypical grammatical rules. I will break these rules open for you. Let’s get started!


An abbreviation of 가지다: 갖다

First things first – let’s remember what the word 가지다 means and how it is used. Though it can be used in a variety of situations, it always has a translation of “to have,” “to possess” or something similar. It is most commonly used with 있다 to indicate that one “has” an object. For example:

그 나라의 국민들은 다 여권을 가지고 있어야 돼요
= That country’s people all need to have a passport

옆집에 사는 할아버지는 우리 열쇠를 가지고 있어요
= The grandpa living next door has our keys

그 변호사가 진실이 쓰여 있는 서류를 가지고 있어요
= That lawyer has the document with the truth written on it

In practice, the word “있다” can change to another verb to indicate that one does something while possessing an object. For example:

술을 가지고 영어관에 입장해도 돼요?
= Am I allowed to enter the cinema with alcohol?

교과서를 가지고 도서관에서 독학했어요
= I studied alone at the library with my textbook

저는 카메라를 가지고 산 정상에 올라갔어요
= I went to the top of the mountain with my camera

갖다 can replace 가지다 in all of these cases. For example:

그 나라의 국민들은 다 여권을 갖고 있어야 돼요
옆집에 사는 할아버지는 우리 열쇠를 갖고 있어요
그 변호사가 진실이 쓰여 있는 서류를 갖고 있어요

술을 갖고 영어관에 입장해도 돼요?
교과서를 갖고 도서관에서 독학했어요
저는 카메라를 갖고 산 정상에 올라갔어요

갖다 is an abbreviated form of 가지다. Because of this, it actually follows some strange rules that aren’t followed by other words, aside from a few other abbreviated words.

Notice how the last vowel in the stem of 가지다 is ㅣ, which means that when adding ~아/어 to it, one must add ~어 because the last vowel in the stem is not ㅏ or ㅗ. This is consistent with the rules taught all the way back in Lesson 5.

Notice that in the abbreviated form 갖다, the last vowel in the stem is ㅏ. So… when adding ~아/어, what should we add to it? ~아 or ~어?

갖아 makes sense, because the final vowel in the stem is ㅏ, and
갖어 makes sense, because the final vowel in the stem of the actual word 가지다 is ㅣ

We’ve got a bit of a conundrum here.

To add to the confusion, the stem of 가지다 ends in a vowel, whereas the stem of 갖다 ends in a consonant. Therefore, when adding grammatical principles that change based on whether the stem of a word ends in a vowel or consonant – what should we do?

For example, if we were to add ~(으)면 to 갖다:

갖으면 makes sense, because the final letter in the stem is ㅈ, and
갖면 makes sense, because the final letter in the stem of the actual word 가지다 is a vowel

This conundrum has led to a fairly strange rule.

It is incorrect to add any grammatical principle starting with a vowel, or with the option of adding a vowel, to 갖다.

For example, while any of these would be correct:

가지다 + ~아/어 = 가져
가지다 + ~았다/었다 = 가졌다
가지다 + ~(으)면 = 가지면
가지다 + ~ㄴ/은 = 가진

None of the above could be added to 갖다.

Notice that the reason this rule is in place is because people wouldn’t know which form to add – one that corresponds to rules of 가지다 or one that corresponds to rules 갖다.

However, it is acceptable to add grammatical principles that apply to both 가지다 and 갖다 in the same way.

For example, any of these would be correct:

가지다 + ~고 = 가지고
가지다 + ~는 = 가지는
가지다 + ~지~ = 가지지~

And any of these would also be correct:

갖다 + ~고 = 갖고
갖다 + ~는~ = 갖는
갖다 + ~지~ = 갖지~

As you can see, adding grammatical principles to 갖다 is only acceptable if there would be no change to the grammatical principle if it were attached to 가지다. I actually find this rule quite interesting, and if you do too, it is safe to say that you are now a Korean grammar nerd! Let’s see some of this nerdiness in actual sentences:

용기를 갖고 힘내세요!
용기를 가지고 힘내세요!
= Get some courage, and good luck!

It is very hard to translate 힘내다 to English. It is usually combined with an imperative ending, and used essentially to say “Cheer up!” or “Good Luck!” or something similar.

이 문법 현상에 관심을 갖는 사람이 없어요
이 문법 현상에 관심을 가지는 사람이 없어요
= There is nobody interested in this grammatical phenomenon

저는 지난 주에 읽던 책을 마침내 갖고 왔어요
저는 지난 주에 읽던 책을 마침내 가지고 왔어요
= I finally brought the book that I was reading last week

최종적으로 아무도 그녀에게 관심을 갖지 않았어요
최종적으로 아무도 그녀에게 관심을 가지고 않았어요
= In the end, nobody had any interest in her

옆집에 사는 이웃사람이 엄마에게 준 컴퓨터를 제가 갖는다고 했어요
옆집에 사는 이웃사람이 엄마에게 준 컴퓨터를 제가 가진다고 했어요
= I said that I am going to keep the computer that the neighbor living next door gave to mom

지금까지 아주 끔찍한 시간인 것을 알고 있지만 조금 더 힘내고 자신감을 갖고 다시 나가 보세요
지금까지 아주 끔찍한 시간인 것을 알고 있지만 조금 더 힘내고 자신감을 가지고 다시 나가 보세요
= I know it has been a very terrible time so far, but try to cheer up a bit, get some confidence and go outside again


In Lesson 88, you learned how to use ~다(가). This is commonly added to 갖다 to indicate that one possesses an object and then does something with it. For example:

휴지를 갖다 주세요
= Give me a tissue, please (Please get a tissue, and then give it to me)

펜을 갖다 주세요
= Give me a pen, please (Please get a pen, and then give it to me)

쓰레기를 갖다 버리세요
= Throw out the garbage (Please take the garbage, and then throw is out)

커피를 갖다 드릴까요?
= Would you like some coffee? (Would you like it if I got a coffee and gave it to you?)

영수증을 갖다 줄게요
= I am going to go and get your receipt (Would you like it if I got a receipt and gave it to you?)

The pronunciation of 갖다 can often be confused with 갔다, where ~았 + ~다(가) is attached to 가다 (also taught in Lesson 88). You should use 갔다 to indicate that one goes somewhere and comes back. You should use 갖다 to indicate that one possesses something and does an action with it. For example:

지금 갔다 올게요 = I will go and come back (if that is okay with you)
지금 갖다 줄게요 = I will get it and give it to you (if that is okay with you)



Because: ~아/어 가지고

As we are already discussing 갖다 and 가지다, I would like to take this time to introduce you to another meaning of 가지다. 가지다 can also be used as a grammatical principle to mean “because”. In order to do this, ~아/어 가지다 is added to the end of one clause that indicates the reason for the next clause. The word in the first clause can be a verb, adjective or 이다. For example:

어제 늦게 끝나 가지고 집에 못 갔어요
= Because I finished late yesterday, I couldn’t go home

우리가 너무 일찍 와 가지고 오랫동안 기다렸어요
= Because we came so early, we had to wait for a long time

오늘 날씨가 너무 더워 가지고 약속을 취소했어요
= Because the weather is so hot today, I cancelled my plans

공기가 좋지 않은 도심 중심에 살고 있어 가지고 항상 목이 아파요
= Because I live in the middle of a city with bad air, my throat is always sore

너무 높은 곳에 올라가 있어 가지고 무서워서 밑을 내려다보지 못했어요
= Because I went up to a really high place and was scared I couldn’t look down

제일 일이 바쁜 시기에 엄마가 가게 일을 도와 달라 해 가지고 난처했어요
= In the time that I am the busiest with work, mom asked me to help her with some of her store work, so I was a little taken aback

그 사람이 저녁식사를 같이 했을 때 고기를 먹지 않아 가지고 채식주의자라고 추측했어요
= When I had dinner with that person, he didn’t eat meat, so I guessed that he is a vegetarian

그 소문이 마을 전체에 점점 알려져 가지고 결국 그 소문의 주인공은 마을을 떠났어요
= That rumor slowly got more and more known around the whole town, so in the end the person left town

Using ~아/어 가지고 is very colloquial, and therefore, quite common in speech. However, it is not common in written Korean.

It is common for Korean people to pronounce “가지고” as “가주고” or even “가주구.” This is technically an accent that you would here in the south (of South Korea), but I hear 가주구 very commonly, even in Seoul. For example:

오늘 날씨가 너무 더워 가주구 약속을 취소했어요
= Because the weather is so hot today, I cancelled my plans

머무르다 (머물다), 서두르다 (서둘다) and 서투르다 (서툴다)

So far in this lesson, you have learned about the strange rules that apply to 가지다 and 갖다 when grammatical principles are attached to them. Another word that follows a similar rule is 머무르다. Just like 가지다, there is a shortened version of 머무르다 which is 머물다.

머무르다 can be used in any way and with any grammatical principle, but must be used in accordance with the 르 irregular. For example:

우리는 부산 중심에 있는 호텔에서 머물렀어요
= We stayed in a hotel in the center of Busan

부산에서 3일 동안 머무르고 서울로 가는 게 어때요?
= What do you think about staying in Busan for three days and then going to Seoul?

그 나라의 국민들이 한국에서 1900년대에 머물렀어요
= That country’s people stayed in Korean during the 1900’s

한국에서 온 교환학생이 우리 집에서 1년 동안 머물렀어요
= A Korean exchange student stayed at our house for a year

While 머무르다 can be used with any grammatical principle, 머물다 cannot.

Any grammatical principle that starts with a consonant (and there is no option other than that one consonant), can be added to 머물다. For example:

머물다 + ~자 = 머물자 = okay
머물다 + ~고 = 머물고 = okay
머물다 + 겠다 = 머물겠다 = okay
머물다 + ~지 않다 = 머물지 않다 = okay

Any grammatical principle where there is a choice of whether a vowel or consonant needs to be added, then it is also acceptable:

머물다 + ~(으)면 = 머물면 = okay
머물다 + ~(으)면서 = 머물면서 = okay

머물다 acts just like any other verb/adjective where the final consonant is “ㄹ”. All of the grammatical principles above are added to 팔다 (to sell) in the exact same way that they are added to 머물다. For example:


Because the last letter in the stem of 머물다 (and 팔다) is ㄹ, a lot of these additions require the application of the ㄹ irregular. For example:

머물다 + ~ㄹ/을 = 머물
머물다 + ~ㄹ/을래 = 머물래
머물다 + ~(으)시다 = 머무시다
머물다 + ~(으)세요 = 머무세요

Again, all of the above are the same as they would be when adding them to 팔다 or any other verb with ㄹ as the final consonant. For example:


Everything so far seems normal about 머물다, but it differs from most verbs in the following way: if a grammatical principle that is added to 머물다 is a vowel – and there is no other option other than a vowel – then that grammatical principle cannot be added to 머물다. The two most common grammatical principles where this occurs is when conjugating in the past or present tenses. For examples:

머물다 + ~아/어(요) = 머물어(요) – this is incorrect
머물다 + ~았/었어(요) = 머물었어(요) – this is incorrect

This same rule also applies to:

서둘다 (a shortened version of 서두르다 – to rush ), and
서툴다 (a shortened version of 서투르다 – to not be good at something)

Okay, I think that’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.
Click here for Korean Short Stories specifically tailored to learners at this level.

Okay, take me to the next lesson!