Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Basic grammar at a glance

In Korean, unlike other languages ​​, the statement syntax is as follows :

Subject - Object - Verb (Subject - Object - Verb or simply SOV)
(주어 - 목적어 - 동사)

미나 씨 가 책 을 읽어요 Mina reads a book.
 (주어 - 목적어 - 동사)

Using particles, we can determine what the object is , what the subject is etc.The endings of verbs specify the following :

1) Tense. (past , present, future) 

2) Honorifics. (whether the subject of the sentence or the listener is of higher social status) 
3) Formality
4) Mood. (whether the sentence is question , command, suggestion etc.)

미나 씨 가 책 을 읽어요? Does Mina read a book? 

미나 씨 가 어제 책 을 읽었 어요 Mina read a book yesterday. 
미나 씨 가 학교 에 가요. Mina goes to school (Speaker is older or of higher social status from Mina) 
미나 씨 가 학교 에 가세요. Mina goes to school (Mina is older or of higher social status from the speaker)

Here are the basic verb endings of the present tense, based on formality levels.

Base Form
Casual (informal)
가다 갑니다 가요
먹다 먹습니다 먹어요 먹어
만들다 만듭니다 만들어요 만들어

And right now you are probably wondering how we decide between certain endings. That's pretty straightforward and, on a side note, it is usually unknown to native Korean speakers. If you ask them how you differentiate the endings, they have no idea how to explain that~

If you see the base form of the verbs, you will come to realize that they all end in -다. Whatever is  before the -, we will call it verb stem. Now remember we said that Korean alphabet, just like any other alphabet, consists of vowels and consonants? Well, if your verb stem ends in a consonant, we say it has a 받침, which literally means final consonant.

So 가다 (to go) doesn't have a 받침 whereas 먹다 (to eat)  has one.
But what about 만들다? It has a 받침 so why did you use -ㅂ니다 instead of -습니다 ?
Well if you want to find out the conjugation rules, you have to check our next lesson~

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