Korean Verbs

When most people begin learning the Korean language, they usually focus on learning vocabulary. This is a great way to learn the building blocks of the language in order to improve your conversational skills. However, there is much more to the learning process. Learning Korean verbs is essential in order to fully comprehend the language. Click here to see our Korean Verb Conjugation Chart.

Sentences must contain verbs in order to be complete. By learning Korean verbs and how they are used in sentences, you will understand how objects are clarified in sentences or how static objects are put into motion. The verb indicates when an action will occur or has already occurred, and helps the listener to understand the narrative of a sentence much more clearly. As a result, by improving your understanding of verbs, you will be able to communicate more clearly, listen to others with greater clarity, and read Korean text with a greater amount of understanding.

Korean verbs are always last in a clause. For instance, instead of the English sentence, “I like candy,” the sentence would be structured as “I candy like” in the Korean language.

In Korean, verbs fit into four different categories: stative, action, copulative, or existential. Stative verbs are also commonly referred to as Korean adjectives. As the name suggests, action verbs are words that involve some form of action. Copulative verbs allow words that aren’t typically used as verbs to take on a verbal ending. An example of a copulative verb is i ta 이다, which means “to be.” Existential verbs clarify the existence of an object or the presence of something in a certain location. Existential verbs were created specifically for the verb iss ta있다, which means “to exist” in the Korean language. Eps ta 없다, which means “to not exist” is also an existential verb that indicates the lack of presence of something.

When learning verbs, it is also important to learn how to conjugate a verb. Each verb root must be conjugated in a sentence in order to properly convey your meaning. In Korean, verbs are not conjugated based on agreement with the subject of the sentence, which is common in most European languages. Instead, verbs are conjugated based on the verb tense, the aspect of an action, whether the voice is passive or causative, and the relationship between the speaker and listeners (or the subjects). Learning the root of many basic Korean verbs and then learning to properly conjugate these verbs will greatly enhance your comprehension of the language.