Menu Close

Lesson 93: ~지 and ~죠

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

Jump to:


Turn a Statement into a question using ~지/~죠
Of Course!
Using ~지/~죠 with ~아/어야 하다/되다




Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use. Use these sentences to give yourself a feel for how each word can be used, and maybe even to expose yourself to the grammar that you will be learning shortly.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

= bird

Common Usages:
새똥 = bid poo
새집 = bird’s nest

새가 날아갔는가 보네 = I guess the bird flew away/It looks like the bird flew away
새는 구름 위에 날고 있어요 = The bird is flying above the clouds

새들이 작은 떼로 모여서 다 같이 날아갔어요
= The birds gathered in a small group and then all flew away together

제가 새를 싫어해서 우리 가족은 앵무새를 키우지 않았어요
= I don’t like birds so my family never had a pet parrot (never raised a parrot)

= poo

Common Usages:
똥을 싸다 = to go poo
똥을 밟다 = to step on poo (or often used as an idiom when something bad happens)
똥이 마렵다 = to have to go poo

애기가 똥이 마렵다고 해서 빨리 집에 가야 돼요
= The baby says he has to go poo, so we have to go home quickly

어제 벌어진 일은 똥 밟았다고 생각하고 잊기로 했어요
= I thought think of what happened yesterday as stepping on poo, and I’ve decided to forget it

향기 = good smell/fragrance

Common Usages:
꽃향기 = the smell of flowers

몇몇 사람들은 가지의 특유의 향기 때문에 가지를 못 먹어요
= Some people can’t eat eggplant because of the unique smell it has

슬기가 몸을 쭈그려서 예쁜 꽃의 향기를 맡아봤어요
= Seulgi crouched over and smelled the (fragrance of) the beautiful flowers

집에 돌아와서 샤워를 하고 내가 가장 좋아하는 바디로션을 발랐다. 달콤한 향기에 기분이 좋아지는 로션이다. 내일은 또 다시 바쁜 하루가 시작되겠지만 오늘 하루 열심히 충전을 했으니 내일이 두렵지 않다!
= After coming back home, I showered and then put on my favorite body lotion. The lotion makes me happier because of the sweet scent. Tomorrow, another busy day will start, however, now that I have recharged for a day, I am not afraid of tomorrow!

재산 = wealth/fortune

Common Usages:
재산세 = tax on one’s assets
재산 증식 = increasing one’s wealth
재산을 물려주다 = to give one’s wealth
재산을 물려받다 = to receive one’s wealth

많은 사람들이 재산 증식의 한 방법으로 부동산을 구입해요
= One of the ways that people increase their wealth is by purchasing real estate

미래에 부모님께 물려 받을 재산이 많기 때문에 저는 따로 일을 하지 않아도 되요
= I won’t need to work in the future because I will receive a great fortune from my parents

남녀 = men and women/couple

Common Usages:
남녀평등 = equality for men and women
남녀차별 = treating men and women differently

요즘에는 남녀 모두가 공평하게 집안일을 나눠서 해요
= These days house chores are divided evenly between men and women

직장에서 남녀 차별 없이 일을 할 수 있는 기회는 생각보다 많지 않아요
= There aren’t as many opportunities as I thought to work in a place that treats both men and women equally

사장 = boss of company

새로운 예산이 사장한테 거절되었어요
= The new budget was rejected by the CEO

회사장은 많은 시위자들로부터 드디어 빠져 나왔어요
= The CEO finally escaped (came out of) the crowd of protesters

우리가 사장님 없이 이 회사를 계속 운영할 수 있느냐고 물어봤어요
= I asked if we could run/manage this company without the boss/C.E.O/president

이 설문조사를 끝내고 자료를 정리한 후에 사장님에게 보고해야 돼요
= After finishing this survey and organizing the data, you need to report it to the boss

그 친구의 아버지가 회사 사장이기 때문에 그 친구의 취업은 보장되어 있어요
= That person’s father is the president of the company, so his/her getting a job is guaranteed

부사장 = vice president

Notes: 부사장 refers to the vice president of a company, not a nation. 사장 (or 회사장) is used to refer to the president of the company. 부 (副) refers to the “sub” or “assistant” of something.

사장 다음으로 높은 사람은 부사장이에요
= The next highest person after the president is the vice president

이 회사에서 부사장이 되기 위해 10년 넘게 열심히 일했어요
= I worked hard for more than 10 years in order to become the vice president at this company

동사 = verb

Common Usages:
보조동사 = auxiliary verb – Examples of auxiliary verbs in Korean are 보다 in ~아/어 보다 and 주다 in 아/어 주다.

한국어는 동사를 마지막에 말해야 지!
= In Korean, you need to say the verb last!

영어를 배울 때 명사, 동사, 주어를 구분할 줄 알면 더 쉽게 문법을 공부할 수 있어요
= When you learn English, if you know how to distinguish between nouns, verbs and subjects you can study grammar easier

명사 = noun

Common Usages:
고유명사 = proper noun
의존명사 = bound noun, or “pseudo noun.” Examples in Korean are 수 in 할 수 있다, 적 in 한 적이 없다.

명사와 고유명사를 구분하는 것은 영어를 배울 때 중요해요
= Distinguishing between nouns and proper nouns is important when learning English

영어를 배울 때 명사, 동사, 주어를 구분 할 줄 알면 더 쉽게 문법을 공부할 수 있어요
= When you learn English, if you know how to distinguish between nouns, verbs and subjects you can study grammar easier

부사 = adverb

부사의 위치는 문장에 따라 문장 앞에 올 수도 있어요
= The position of an adverb depends on the sentence, and can even come at the beginning of a sentence

부사를 적절히 잘 사용하면 문자의 의미를 더 명확하게 전달 할 수 있어요
= If you use adverbs appropriately, you convey the meaning of your sentence more precisely

형용사 = adjective

형용사는 명사 앞에서 명사를 꾸며주는 말로 씌여요
= Adjectives are used in front of nouns to “decorate” them

영어 시험에 가끔 부사와 형용사를 구분하는 질문이 나오곤 해요
= Often on English exams there are questions where one needs to distinguish between an adverb and an adjective

위원회 = committee

Common Usages:
징계위원회 = disciplinary committee
위원회를 소집하다 = to call a committee

위원회가 내일 모일 거죠? = The committee will meet tomorrow, right?
오늘 발생한 일을 처리하기 위해 징계위원회가 소집될 거예요 = In order to deal with the events that happened today, we will call a disciplinary committee

일반적 = usual

저는 일반적으로 그 사람을 직장에서 보지 못해요
= I generally don’t see that person at work

일반적으로 운동을 하는 사람들이 그렇지 않은 사람들보다 건강해요
= Usually people who exercise are healthier than those who do not

단계적 = in phases, step-by-step

Common Usages:
단계적 조치 = step-by-step measures
단계적 변화 = step-by-step changes

단계적으로 계획을 짜고 꾸준히 이행하면 누구나 목표를 이룰 수 있어요
= If you make plans step-by-step adn stick to them, anybody can achieve their goals

운동을 매일 하다 보니 몸에 단계적 변화가 느껴져서 점점 더 운동을 즐기게 돼요
= After exercising everyday, I felt my body making step-by-step progress and I gradually began to enjoy exercise more

태우다 = to pick up (in a vehicle)

Common Usages:
승객을 태우다 = to pick up passengers
손님을 태우다 = to pick up guests

버스운전사는 승객들을 버스에 서울역에서 태웠어요
= The bus driver took riders at Seoul Station

손님을 태운 택시가 과속으로 달리다가 사고가 나고 말았어요
= The taxi, with passengers, was speeding and then ended up getting into an accident

태우다 = to burn something

Common Usages:
담배를 태우다 = to smoke a cigarette
쓰레기를 태우다 = to burn garbage

매일 아침 뒷산에서 쓰레기를 태우는 냄새 때문에 눈이 매워요
= Everyday, because of the smell of burning garbage from the mountain in the back, my eyes water

집앞에서 담배를 태우는 사람들 때문에 창문을 열 수 없어서 답답해요
= Because of the people who smoke in front of the house, I can’t open the window and I feel stuffed

안내하다 = to guide

The noun form of this verb “안내” translates to “guidance.”

Common Usages:
안내판 = information sign
안내문 = information sign요
길을 안내하다 = to give directions

사장님! 내일 손님을 안내할 거죠?
= Boss! You will guide the guests around tomorrow, right?

요즘은 핸드폰 애플리케이션을 다운받으면 어느 길이든 친절히 가는 법을 안내해 줘요
= These days, if you download an application on your phone, it can kindly give you directions to anywhere

교정하다 = to correct/emend a mistake

The noun form of this verb “교정” translates to “amendment.”

Common Usages:
교정장치 = dental braces
치아/이빨을 교정하다 = to fix one’s teeth
발음을 교정하다 = to correct one’s pronunciation
자세를 교정하다 = to correct one’s posture

어렸을 때 덧니가 심해서 치과에서 바로 교정을 했어요
= When I was young I had a bad snaggletooth so I got it fixed right away at the dentist

아나운서가 되고 싶어서 매일 부정확한 발음 교정을 위해 큰 소리로 책을 읽었어요
= I wanted to be an announcer, so everyday I would read books out loud to correct mispronunciations (of words)

다녀가다 = to stop in (come then go back)

Common Usages:
집에 다녀가다 = to stop in to a house

이 식당은 유명한 사람들이 많이 다녀간 맛집이에요
= This is a famous restaurant that many people frequent

오늘 엄마가 아침에 집에 다녀가서 집이 깨끗해졌어요
= Today mom stopped by the house so it got all clean

결심하다 = to decide

The noun form of this verb “결심” translates to “decision.”

나는 반복되는 일상에서 무언가 새로운 자극이 필요했다. 그래서 나는 여행을 가기로
결심을 했다.
= In my repeating daily life, I needed some new stimulation. So, I decided to go traveling.

그렇게 시간이 흘러 여름 방학이 다가왔다. 나는 방학이 시작하기 전에 그와 꼭 한 번 말을 해 봐야겠다고 결심을 했다.
= Time went by like that, and then summer vacation came/approached. Before vacation started, I decided that, no matter what, I must try to talk to him once.

내일 날씨가 춥더라도 같이 처음 하는 식사일 거라서 여성스러운 원피스를 입어 야 한다. 내일은 화장도 예쁘게 해야겠다고 결심했다.
= Even if the weather is cold tomorrow, it will be the first time we eat together, so I must wear a feminine one-piece (dress). I also decided that I must put my makeup on beautifully tomorrow

허전하다 = to be missing something

Common Usages:
마음이 허전하다 = for one’s heart to be missing something

그때 마음이 조금 허전했죠?
= You were a little bit sad/empty at that time, weren’t you?

딸이 대학교 기숙사로 돌아가니 집이 텅 빈 것처럼 허전해요
= Now that my daughter has returned to her university dorm, the house feels so empty, like it is missing something

합당하다 = to be reasonable

회사의 결정은 누구나 받아들일 수 있는 합당한 선택이었다
= The decision of the company was a reasonable choice that everybody can agree with

그 사람이 과거에 한 행동을 생각하면 지금이라도 벌을 받는 것이 합당해요
= What that person did in the past, when you think about it, even now it would be reasonable for them to receive a fine

Adverbs and Other words:
정시= a set time

Common Usages:
정시 입학 = to get accepted into a university at the normal time. The opposite of this is 수시 입학, which is when one can get accepted into university early. Both of these terms are very common in Korea.

그럼 내일 12시 정시에 보는 것을 잊지마! 내일 만나!
= So, tomorrow, don’t forget we will see each other tomorrow, at 12! See you tomorrow!

한국의 대학 입학은 정시입학과 수시입학으로 나눠진다
= Admissions to Korean universities is divided into 정시 and 수시

간신히 = barely

Common Usages:
간신히 넘기다 = to barely pass a certain goal
간신히 해내다 = to just barely do it
간신히 합격하다 = to barely pass

오늘 야근을 하는 바람에 막차를 타고 간신히 집에 갔어요
= I was working nights, and had to take the last bus so I just barely made it home

친구의 도움으로 간신히 숙제를 제시간에 끝낼 수 있었어요
= With the help of a friend, I was just barely able to finish the homework by the right time

간신히 합격에 필요한 점수를 넘기고 대학교에 합격할 수 있었어요
= I just barely got/crossed the score I needed to pass, so now I can enter university

때마침 = just in time

우선 아침에 일어나서 가볍게 방 청소를 하고 집 앞 카페에 가서 샌드위치랑 커피를 한 잔 마시면서 잡지를 읽어야겠다고 생각했다. 때마침 이틀 전에 주문 해 놓은 잡지가 도착했다.
= After waking up in the morning, then cleaning my room lightly, I thought that I must go to the café in-front of my house to drink a cup of coffee while reading a magazine. Finally, the magazine that I ordered two days ago arrived.

때마침 내가 연락한 친구가 근처에 있다고 해서 점심을 먹기로 했다. 요즘에는 몸이
피곤해서 이곳 저곳 걸어 다니는 게 힘들다. 나도 이제 곧 30 대가 된다.
= Just at the right time, the friend that I contacted said that she was nearby, so we decided to eat together. These days my body is tired, so walking around from place to place (here and there) is difficult. Now, I will soon be in my thirties

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



In this lesson, you will learn how to add ~지 or its formal equivalent ~죠 to the end of a sentence. The meaning that this grammatical form has is usually tricky for foreign learners of Korean to pick up on – but don’t worry, I am here to explain everything to you! Let’s get started!


Turn a Statement into a question using ~/~

By adding ~지/~죠 to the end of a sentence (i.e. attached to a verb or adjective) you can turn a statement into a question. What do I mean by that? Well, I can give you a perfect example.

First off: I am from Canada, and in Canada (much to the humor of Americans) we say “eh” at the end of a sentence to create this same meaning. For example, if I just wanted to say that ‘it is cold,’ I would say:

It is cold

However, by placing ‘eh’ at the end of that sentence, I can turn that sentence into a question. For example:

It is cold, eh? = It is cold, isn’t it?

~지/죠 can be used to have this function in Korean sentences. For example:

날씨가 추워요 = It is cold
날씨가 춥죠? = It is cold, isn’t it?
날씨가 춥지? = It is cold, isn’t it?
Note that ~ is used in informal situations and ~ is used in formal situations.

More examples:

선생님! 바쁘죠? = Teacher! You are busy, aren’t you?
가기 싫지? = You don’t want to go, don’t you?
네가 지금 한국말을 잘하지? = You speak Korean well now, don’t you?
이 향기가 좋지? = This smell/fragrance is nice, isn’t it?
그 사람의 가족이 재산이 많죠? = That person’s family has a lot of wealth/assets, right?

Notice that ~지 and ~죠 get attached directly to the stem of a verb or adjective in every case. No irregulars come into play when attaching ~ㅈ to the stem of words, so it is always easy to use..

You can add ~지/~죠 to sentences in the past tense as well. In these cases, ~지/~죠 gets attached directly to ~았/~었. For example:

어제 학교에 안 갔죠? = You didn’t go to school yesterday, did you?
어제 월급을 받았죠? = You got paid yesterday, didn’t you?
결심을 아직 안 했죠? = You still haven’t decided yet, have you?
똥을 쌌지? = You went poo, didn’t you?
그때 마음이 조금 허전했죠? = You were a little bit sad/empty at that time, weren’t you?

It can also be used in the future tense. For example:

선생님도 갈 거죠? = Teacher, you are going too, right?
밥을 안 먹을 거죠? = You aren’t going to eat, right?
사장님! 내일 손님을 안내할 거죠? = Boss! You will guide the guests around tomorrow, right?
위원회가 내일 모일 거죠? = The committee will meet tomorrow, right?

In all of the examples provided above, the speaker is asking the listener a question. Notice that in all cases (just from the style/feel of the sentence) that the speaker sort of knows the answer to the question, and is almost just re-affirming what he/she thinks of the situation. Again, notice the difference in feel between these two:

날씨가 추워요? = Is it cold?
날씨가 춥죠? = It is cold, isn’t it?

The speaker in the first example probably does not know the answer to the question (hence, the reason why he/she is asking the question). However, in the second example, the speaker might know the answer to the question – but is re-affirming his/her beliefs of the situation.

This same principle can be applied to questions in which the sentence has a question word in it as well. For example:

카드를 어디에 두었죠? = Where did you place/put the card?
그 사람이 어디서 살고 있죠? = Where does that person live?
청구서를 언제 냈죠? = When did you pay the bill?
점심으로 뭐 먹었죠? = What did you eat for lunch?

This is the same phenomenon we saw when ~지/죠 was added to sentences without a question word, but in these cases the addition of “eh?” or “isn’t it?” to the English translation is illogical. For example:

점심으로 뭐 먹었죠? = What did you eat for lunch, didn’t you?
This English translation is illogical

Instead, the four sentences above using “~지/죠” have the same translation of those sentences not using “~지/죠.” Notice the following sentences have the same translation as the four sentences shown above:

카드를 어디에 두었어요? = Where did you place/put the card?
그 사람이 어디서 살고 있어요? = Where does that person live?
청구서를 언제 냈어요? = When did you pay the bill?
점심으로 뭐 먹었어요? = What did you eat for lunch?

While those sentences have the same translation, their meaning is slightly different. As with the sentences without a question word, adding ~지/죠 gives the sentence the subtle difference that the speaker is reconfirming his/her beliefs.

Even though the speaker is asking a question (and therefore, inherently doesn’t know the answer to the question), one would use those examples to ask a question when he/she sort of knows the answer to the question (and by “sort of” I mean that maybe the speaker forgot the answer or something similar).

The only way you could translate those sentences to accurately show this meaning is to add a lot of additional words. For example:

카드를 어디에 두었어요? = Where did you place/put the card? Or “Ah, where did you put that card, again? I could have sworn I saw you put it down somewhere, but I can’t remember where you put it.”

In practice, this same form is often used when people are asking questions to themselves. For example, if somebody lost their card, you might hear them say:

“아~ 카드를 어디 두었지?” = Ah, where did I put my card again?… I just had it and now I can’t remember where I put it.

In Lesson 63, you learned about ~ㄹ/을까 and how it can be used to ask questions to oneself In Lesson 63, you were shown the following sentences:

(내가) 밥을 먹을까? = Should I eat rice?
(내가) 뭐 먹을까? = What should I eat?

Regardless of tense, it is unnatural to use ~지 to ask yourself a question when there is not a question word being used in the sentence. For example:

밥을 먹지? = I am eating, right? – (This is illogical if directed to yourself)
밥을 먹었지? = I ate, right? – (This is illogical if directed to yourself)
밥을 먹을 거지? = I will eat, right? – (This is illogical if directed to yourself)
All of those sentences are logical if directed at somebody else.

Those sentences are illogical because the speaker is asking himself what he is doing.

This is also illogical if the acting agent (the subject) of the sentence is another person. For example:

선생님이 밥을 먹었지? = The teacher ate, right?
(This sentence is perfectly logical if you ask it to another person, but not when asked to yourself)

However, it is very natural to use ~지 to ask yourself a question when there is a question word being used in the sentence. The acting agent of the sentence can either be you or some other person/thing. For example:

내가 뭐 먹었지? = What did I eat again?
선생님이 어디 갔지? = Where did the teacher go?
그 사람이 누구지? = Who is that teacher?
그 사람이 누구였지? = Who was that person?
이 명사를 어떻게 쓰지? = How do I use this noun?
동사와 형용사의 차이가 뭐지? = What is the difference between a verb and adjective?

When asking yourself about what you should do, who you should meet, when you should go, where you should go, or how you should do something, you will commonly see the following forms:

뭐 하지? = What should I do?
누구를 만나지? = Who should I meet?
언제 가지? = When should I go?
어디 가지? = Where should I go?
어떻게 하지? = How should I do it?
밥을 뭐 먹지? = What should I eat?
바퀴를 어떻게 갈지? = How should/can I change the wheel?

The last thing I want to say about this usage is that you should notice that using “~지/죠” like this effectively softens the question somebody asks.  Because the usage sort of implies that the speaker also knows (or should know) the answer as well, asking a question with “~지/죠” makes the question less direct and a little bit softer. There may be some situations where you might find “~지/죠” being used, where there no way the speaker could/should know the answer to the question. In these cases, the use of “~지/죠” simply softens the question, and there really isn’t any additional subtle meaning.



Of Course!

Though ~지/~죠 usually takes on the meaning described above, it is also commonly used as an ending that is placed on the end of a verb or adjective as a response to a question. When you respond to a question with the use of ~지/~죠, it gives the response a feeling that one is also saying “of course” or something like that. For example:

내일 갈 거야!? = Are you going tomorrow
갈 거지 = Yeah, I am going (of course I am going tomorrow)
(also notice in this example how ~지/~죠 is added to 이다, or the future conjugation of ~ㄹ/을 것이다)

Other examples:

Person 1: 배고파? = Are you hungry?
Person 2: 배고프지! = Of course I’m hungry!

Person 1: 소득세를 안 내? = You don’t pay income tax?
Person 2: 내지! = Of course I pay (it/income tax)!

Person 1: 내년에 내가 인터넷고등학교로 갈 거야 = I’m moving/going to (an) Internet High School next year
Person 2: 거기서 직접 수업을 안 해요? = Do you not do lessons in person there?
Person 1: 하지! = I do (of course I do!)

In Lesson 79 you learned about the word 당연하다 and how it is often used as ‘당연하지’ to mean ‘of course!’ Instead of responding with the verb that was in the question (as in above with “가다” and “배고프다”), you can simply respond with “당연하다” with the addition of “~지/죠”. For example:

배고파요? = Are you hungry?
당연하지!! = Of course!!

When used like this ~지 is much more commonly used than ~죠. The reason behind this is that it is generally informal to use this conjugation in this way, and it doesn’t make sense to use a formal conjugation in an informal way.

In these cases, the only way to distinguish whether the speaker is asking a question or simply using ~지/~죠 to and a sentence in a normal way is by the context and by the tone of the person’s voice. In most cases, it is clear that the speaker is asking a question because (as in any language) their tone gets higher as they end a sentence.


Using ~/~ with ~아/어하다/되다

In Lesson 46 you learned that you can add ~아/어야 하다/되다 to words to  indicate that one “must” do something. For example:

저는 지금 가야 돼요 = I must go now

~지 (and less commonly ~죠) can actually replace 하다/되다 and the respective conjugation that would be added to that word. For example:

나는 지금 가야지! = I must go now
열심히 공부를 해야지! = You need to study hard!
사람들이 크리스마스에 크리스마스트리를 만들어야지! = People need to put up a Christmas tree for Christmas!

Replacing 하다/되다 with ~지 or ~죠 is fairly colloquial. Therefore, while ~지 is commonly used in this form ~죠 is slightly less common, and only really used if you are in a situation where you are very close to a person, but he/she is older than you so you want to be slightly more formal than just using ~지.
I’m not sure if a textbook would say the same thing, but that is what I have noticed with my experience with the language.

However, the usage that I described earlier in this lesson (where ~지/죠) can be used to change a statement into a question is used very frequently in informal (~지) and formal (~죠) situations.

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, got it! Take me to the next Lesson!