Menu Close

Lesson 105: Small Grammar Points!

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

Jump to:


~아/어지다 vs. ~아/어뜨리다
~ification: 화 (化)
Adding 이 to Names
Adding ~아/어 하다 to Adjectives
Formal Subject Marker ~께서(는)




You may have learned some of those words already. I am using these words as part of the explanations in this lesson.

무너지다 = to be collapsed
무너뜨리다 = to collapse something
헝클어지다 = to be tangled
헝클어뜨리다 = to tangle something
부서지다 = to be smashed/crushed
부서뜨리다 = to smash/crush
부러지다 = to be broken/fractured
부러뜨리다 = to break/fracture
흐트러지다 = to be messy/untidy
흐트러뜨리다 = to make messy/untidy
구부러지다 = to be bent
구부러뜨리다 = to bend
터지다 = to explode
터뜨리다 = to make explode
서구 = western
서구화 = westernization
현대 = modern
현대화 = modernization
일반 = general
일반화 = generalization
합리 = rationality
합리화 = rationalization
대중 = mass/popular
대중화 = popularization
평준 = standard
평준화 = standardization
다양 = diversity
다양화 = diversification
산업 = industry
산업화 = industrialization
상업 = commerce
상업화 = commercialization
가속 = acceleration
가속화 = acceleration
차별 = differentiation
차별화하다 = differentiate
간소 = simplicity
간소화 = simplification
활성 = vitality
활성화 = vitalization
표준 = standard
표준화 = standardization

For help memorizing these words, try using our mobile app.




The title of this lesson is: Grammatical principles that I can’t believe I haven’t taught you yet – and I better teach them to you now before we get too deep into more difficult grammatical principles in Unit 5. In this lesson, you will learn a variety of smaller grammatical principles that you absolutely need to know to be able to speak/read/understand Korean.

In the summer of 2014, I had a few weeks off from work and set a goal for myself to read a Korean novel in a week. I did this for two reasons. One, I wanted to challenge myself and benefit from the vocabulary increase and reading practice I would get from reading the book. Two, I wanted to see if, in that entire book, there were any grammatical principles that I hadn’t introduced in my lessons yet. From start to finish, there were only a handful of grammatical principles that I hadn’t introduced by this lesson. All of the grammatical principles that I haven’t introduced yet will be in upcoming lessons.

However, there were some small things that, when reading them, I realized I hadn’t spent a large amount of time describing. I would like to take the opportunity in this lesson to teach you them formally.


~아/어지다 vs. ~아/어뜨리다

In the vocabulary list of Lesson 38 you can find the words 떨어지다 and 떨어뜨리다. Words ending in ~아/어지다 are often intransitive words (which means they can’t act on nouns) that have a transitive (meaning they can act on nouns) ~아/어뜨리다 equivalent. Note that this is not the grammatical principle ~아/어지다 that gets added to adjectives – for example: 나쁘다 + ~아/어지다 = 나빠지다).

Words ending in ~아/어지다 indicate that something occurs – usually without indicating who/what caused the action to occur. For example:

병이 탁자에서 떨어졌다 = The bottle fell from the table

However, words ending in ~아/어뜨리다 have a subject (which is usually a human, but not always) that actually does the action to the object. For example:

나는 병을 떨어뜨렸다 = I dropped the bottle

Now, here is a host of other words that I would like to introduce you to that follow this same pattern:

쓰러지다 = for something to collapse
쓰러뜨리다 = to collapse something

건물이 쓰러졌다 = The building was knocked down
바람은 건물을 쓰러뜨렸다 = The wind knocked down the building


무너지다 = for something to collapse
무너뜨리다 = to collapse something

건물이 무너졌다 = The building collapsed
그 폭발은 건물을 무너뜨렸다 = That explosion collapsed the building

I was once confused with the difference 쓰러지다 and 무너지다, as the essentially mean the same thing. 쓰러지다 is used when something were to fall over, like a tree getting blown down. 무너지다 is used when something collapses within itself and doesn’t topple over, like when somebody purposely implodes a building to collapse on itself to prevent debris from hitting the next building. The end result is the same – that both structures have been leveled to the ground, but the process of them falling is slightly different.


헝클어지다 = for something to be tangled
헝클어뜨리다 = to tangle something

줄이 완전히 헝클어졌어요 = The string is completely tangled
애기가 케이블을 헝클어뜨렸어요 = The baby tangled up the cable


(부서지다 = to be smashed/crushed – already introduced in Lesson 63)
부서뜨리다 = to smash/crush something

내 핸드폰이 부서졌어 = My phone is/was smashed
나는 내 핸드폰을 부서뜨렸어 = I smashed my phone


(부러지다 = to be broken/fractured – already introduced in Lesson 63)
부러뜨리다 = to break/fracture something

높은 데에서 넘어져서 뼈가 부러졌어요 = I fell from a high place, so I broke my bone
제가 화가 많이 나서 연필을 부러뜨렸어요 = I was so mad that I broke the pencil


흐트러지다 = to be messy/untidy/scattered
흐트러뜨리다 = to make something messy/scatter things around

오랫동안 앉아 있어서 자세가 흐트러졌어요 = I sat for so long that my posture got messed up
친구가 제 머리를 일부러 흐트러뜨렸어요 = My friend deliberately messed up my hair


구부러지다 = to be bent
구부러뜨리다 = to bend something

옷걸이가 완전히 구부러져 있어요 = The clothes hanger is completely bent
저는 옷걸이를 완전히 구부러뜨렸어요 = I completely bent the clothes hanger


누그러지다 = for somebody’s heart to soften/melt
누그러뜨리다 = to soften/melt somebody’s heart

친구의 편지를 받아서 마음이 누구러졌어요 = I received my friend’s letter and my heart melted
친구의 편지가 제 마음을 누구러뜨렸어요 = My friend’s letter melted my heart


(터지다 = to explode – already introduced in Lesson 36)
터뜨리다 = to explode something

풍선에 물을 많이 넣어서 풍선이 터졌어요 = Too much water was put into the balloon and it exploded
칼로 풍선을 터뜨렸어요 = I popped/exploded the balloon with a knife






~ification: 화 (化)

화 is a Hanja character that is found in many Korean words to mean “change.” Some very common examples are:

변화 = change
화장실 = bathroom/restroom
화학 = chemistry

If you have been keeping up with your Hanja studies, you should know the character for 화 is 化.

화 is often placed after the noun form of a –하다 verb in Korean to indicate that the noun represents some sort of change. The most common way that this changes the translation of the noun is by the addition of ~ification to the English word. For example:

국제 = international/global
국제화 = changing into being international/global… which is better translated to:
국제화 = internationalization/globalization

If you look at the vocabulary list of this lesson, you can see that you can do this to many nouns. In addition, you can add “하다” to the words with ~화 attached to turn them into verbs. For example:

활성화하다 = to vitalize
일반화하다 = to generalize
산업화하다 = to industrialize
상업화하다 = to commercialize
가속화하다 = to accelerate
현대화하다 = to modernize
합리화하다 = to rationalize
차별화하다 = to differentiate
서구화하다  = to westernize
다양화하다 = to diversify
대중화하다 = to popularize
국제화하다 = to globalize
평준화하다 = to standardize
간소화하다 = to simplify

Here are some example sentences of those words being used in sentences:

운동은 피의 순환을 활성화해요
= Exercise vitalizes blood flow

그 상황을 일반화하는 것은 어려워요
= It is hard to generalize that situation

산업화는 경제 성장을 가속화할 수 있어요
= Industrialization can accelerate the development of the economy

우버는 택시 서비스를 상업화해서 성공했어요
= Uber succeeded in commercializing the service of getting a taxi

요즘에 오래된 도시를 현대화하는 곳이 많아요
= These days there are a lot of old cities that are modernizing themselves

산업화를 빨리 할수록 경제가 더 빨리 성장해요
= The quicker industrialization happens, the quicker the economy develops

그 살인자가 많은 사람을 죽인 것을 자꾸 합리화해요
= That murderer keeps rationalizing all of the people he killed

수학 수업을 할 때 수업 내용을 차별화하는 것이 좋아요
= When you do a math class, it is good to differentiate the contents of the class

중국 정부가 중국을 서구화하는 것을 반대하는 것 같아요
= It seems like the Chinese government is resisting the westernization of China

새롭게 문을 연 식당은 디저트를 다양화해서 유명해졌어요
= The newly opened restaurant got popular because it diversified its deserts (had a lot of deserts)

한국은 태권도를 많은 나라에서 대중화하려고 노력하고 있어요
= Korea is trying to popularize Taekwondo in many countries

요즘에 그 회사가 브랜드를 더 더욱 국제화하려고 하고 있다
= That company is trying more and more to globalize its brand

한국 고등학생의 성적을 표준화하는 것은 학생들의 입학에 도움이 된다
= The standardization of student grades in Korean high schools will help the students enter University

우리 웹사이트의 목표는 한국문법을 간소화해서 쉽게 가르치는 것이에요
= The purpose of our website is to simplify grammar and teach it easily


Adding 이 to Names

If a Korean name ends with a 받침, you will commonly see 이 added between the name and the particles ~는/은, ~이/가 and ~를/을. This is mostly related to pronunciation, and is quite colloquial.

For example, I have a friend named 희연. When I say “희영은” this actually sounds closer to “희여는”, which causes ambiguity as to what the person’s name actually is. Is her name 희여 or 희연? To prevent this, it is common and colloquial to say a sentence like this:

희영이는 이빨을 부러뜨렸어요

This would be the same with all names that end in a 받침. Even though there are a lot of letters in the Korean alphabet, you will probably only ever see the following used as the 받침 on the final syllable of a Korean name: ㄱ, ㅁ, ㄴ, ㅇ, ㄹ, ㅂ. This is not done with names that end in a vowel, as this wouldn’t cause any ambiguity.

Here are some examples:

은혁이가 시험준비를 하고 있어요 = 은혁 is preparing for the exam
기범이는 희영이를 만나러 어제 학교에 갔어요 = 기범 went to school yesterday to meet 희영

In all cases, it’s not necessary to include 이. For example, it would be fine to say the two sentences above without 이 in them. If you ask a Korean person what the difference is, they would say “ahh, it just sounds ‘느끼해’”. “느끼해” is usually the word Korean people use to describe when they eat too much pasta, bread, or something greasy, although it is also used to describe the feeling one gets when they hear something so lovey-dovey that it is corny. It’s hard even for me to completely understand this feeling of “느끼해”, and even if I did understand it, it would be hard to explain in words. You’re better off just using the rule of adding “이” to names ending in a 받침 to be safe, unless you are writing a romance novel and want to sound “느끼해”.


Adding ~아/어하다 to Adjectives

You have probably come across these sets of words before:






… and other adjectives that have ~아/어하다 attached to them.

What is going on here? What is the difference between these two forms?

These adjectives above (and others like them) with ~아/어하다 attached are used in sentences where the speaker is talking about another person and trying to describe what they are feeling. For example:

그는 너무 부끄러워했어요 = He was very shy

Notice the adjectives listed above. What is common among all of those adjectives? They are specifically describing what somebody else is feeling. If you are talking about another person, how can you know what they are feeling? You can call them pretty; you can call them handsome. Those are based on your own opinion. In these cases, where the adjective being used is describing another person’s feelings, it is more natural to add ~아/어하다 to the adjective.

That is not to say, however, that you will never see a sentence like this:

그는 너무 부끄러웠어요 = He was very shy

It would be weird to say the sentence above, but you might be able to find a sentence like that in a novel. In novels, authors need to describe the characters in a book, who most of the time are just figments of their own imagination. Therefore, in this case, it would be acceptable to not use ~아/어하다 because the author knows for certain the emotion that is being elicited by the other person.

As you have learned, 싶다 (from ~고 싶다) is an adjective. It is also used to indicate what somebody wants. It is hard for one person to inherently know what another person wants, so ~아/어하다 is often added to 싶다. For example:

희영이는 밥을 먹고 싶어해 = Heeyoung wants to eat (rice)

In all of the examples above, I indicated that adjective+~아/어하다 can be used when the speaker is not the subject of the sentence, and is specifically used with words that describe a feeling that one experiences. Therefore, these would (typically) be incorrect by themselves:

제가 너무 부끄러워했어요
제가 너무 기뻐했어요

제가 너무 슬퍼했어요
제가 너무 부러워했어요

In the examples above, if I changed the subject to another person, the sentences would be correct.

However, it is acceptable to use the ~아/어하다 form of an adjective when the speaker is the subject of the sentence if there is an object in the sentence. For example, all of these are correct:

제가 가난을 너무 부끄러워했어요 = I am shy about/of my poorness (the fact that I’m poor)
제가 친구의 성공을 너무 기뻐했어요 = I am very happy/glad about/of my friend’s success
제가 친구의 죽음을 너무 슬퍼했어요 = I am sad about/of my friend’s death
제가 남의 성공을 너무 부러워했어요 = I am envious about/of others success

It is actually possible to remove the objects in the sentences above, but only if the object can be immediately assumed from the context. This is essentially the same as changing 좋다 to 좋아하다 and 싫다 to 싫어하다. You couldn’t just walk into a room and say”

“나는 좋아해”

Instead, you need an object to specify what it is specifically that you like. For example:

“나는 과자를 좋아해”

However, if your friends were all talking about 과자, and you were going around the room one by one and saying if they liked it or not, you could respond with just “나는 좋아해”. In that same respect, you couldn’t just say the examples above unless there was some sort of immediate understanding of what object was being referred to.


Formal Subject Marker ~께서(는)

The particle ~께서 is used to indicate the subject of a sentence when the subject is a person who deserves a high amount of respect. For example:

아버님께서 밥을 드셨습니다 = The father ate
이 잡채는 장모님께서 만드신 것이에요 = This 잡채 was made by my mother in law
할아버지께서 옛날에 런던에서 사셨어요 = Our grandfather lived in London a long time ago
지금 교장선생님께서 잠깐 말씀을 하시겠습니다 = Now, the principal will speak for a moment
우리 부장님께서 오늘 오후에 출발할 예정이십니다 = Our boss is scheduled to depart this afternoon

This can be done any time somebody deserves a lot of respect, but it isn’t completely necessary. It is more common in writing, and when speaking in very polite situations. For example, if a vice principal of a school were to introduce the principal to a room of 100 parents, the vice principal would probably use ~께서. Failing to use the honorific ~요 or ~ㅂ/습니다 forms when speaking to somebody who deserves respect would most likely get you thrown out of a room; yet most people wouldn’t care if you failed to use ~께서.

However, very few people would use the subject marker “~께서” on a daily basis. It’s usually reserves for very formal situations.It’s also quite common to see “~는” added to ~께서. It could have no function at all, or it could have one of the many subtle functions that ~는 carries with it. In all cases, it totally depends on the context of the conversation. Nonetheless, all the example sentences above could have “~는” added to “께서” for example:

아버님께서 밥을 드셨습니다 = The father ate
아버님께서는 밥을 드셨습니다 = The father ate (but somebody else, maybe the mother, didn’t)

That’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.

Okay! Click here to take me to the next lesson!