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Lesson Transcript

Tim: 안녕하세요, Tim here. And I am joined in the studio by…. 두두두두
Debbie: Debbie. 반갑습니다, 여러분 데비입니다 Debbie here! Basic Korean Grammar. So Tim, what is today’s topic?
Tim: Hmm…Today's topic is a bit heavy – it’s “all about basic Korean Grammar”. Before we start, let me ask you a question… When you hear the word, ‘Grammar’, what are the words that come to your mind?
Debbie: Well, “Boring”, “memorizing”, “rules”, and “boring” again…
Tim: Yes… That’s the same for me, and maybe many listeners too… but, in reality, after understanding some grammar rules, learning a new language becomes so much fun!
Debbie: That's true - it's a good feeling when people are able to understand you!
Tim: I'm sure that I... no, WE... can make this lesson very interesting for many listeners. I’m counting on you, Debbie!
Debbie: Counting on me? Okay Tim, let’s make it interesting for our listeners.
Tim: That’s what I’m talking about! Are you ready?
Debbie: Yes, I am! Let’s begin!
Tim: In today’s lesson, we're going to cover “6 basic Korean Grammar points”. They are
Debbie: Sentence structure, tenses, gender and plural, measure words and articles, pronouns, and lastly conjunction.
Tim: Okay, Debbie, let’s start with the sentence structure first!
Debbie: Sounds great!
[ Basic Korean Grammar #1 – Sentence Structure ]
Debbie: Tim, one of the most common questions from many listeners is about the difference between English and Korean in terms of sentence structure. What is the order in which you place words to form a sentence?
Tim: Oh… great question! I think they mean the sequence of subject, verb, and object, right?
Debbie: Yes, Tim. In English, most sentences have a structure that has – “a subject” (for example, “I”) and then use “a verb” (for example, “study”), and when it’s necessary, there will be “an object” (for example, “Korean”). So, it becomes…?
Tim: ""I study Korean”, which is ‘SVO’ sentence structure. But in Korean, “the verb” is always at the end of the sentence.
Debbie: Hmm.. which means that in Korean, the order would be...I” (the subject) + “Korean” (the object) + “study” (the verb) = “I Korean study"". SOV order. Am I correct, Tim?
Tim: Yes!
Debbie: Hmm… So that means that if someone speaks Korean to you, you have to listen until the end of the sentence…
Tim: Why is that?
Debbie: Because the entire meaning of the sentence can be changed, depending on what kind of verb is being used at the end of the sentence.
Tim: That’s a good point! Listeners, always remember this – in Korean sentences the verb is…where, Debbie?
Debbie: At the very end of sentence!
Tim: Right.
[ Basic Korean Grammar #2 – Tenses ]
Debbie: Now, let’s talk about Korean tenses. Tim, English has many tenses like, past, present, present perfect, present progressive, future, and more…
Tim: Yes…There are a lot! I remember when I first studied them... it was crazy!
Debbie: 하하 By the way Tim, how many tenses are used in Korean?
Tim: Hmm… Korean has three main tenses – Past, Present and Future.
Debbie: Only three? That’s really simple! So it should be easier in Korean to form different tenses since there is less amount of conjugation that the speaker has to do.
Tim: Right. Listeners, remember this – Korean has ONLY three tenses – Past, Present and Future!
Debbie: Okay, and next?
[ Basic Korean Grammar #3 – Gender and Plural Forms ]
Debbie: It’s time to talk about the usage of gender and plural forms. Tim, English words are often changed to reflect ‘gender and plural forms’.
Tim: Yes. However, Korean is very different.
Debbie: Right. One of the easy things about Korean is that Korean words are rarely changed to reflect gender and plurals. And, what’s more, to make a noun plural, we simply add one letter at the end of the noun.
Tim: One letter? Can you tell us the letter?
Debbie: It’s…들.
Tim: So… to sum it up...?
Debbie: Well, in English, you need to add either ‘s’ or ‘es’ depending on how the noun is pronounced, however, in Korean, simply add “들”right after the noun regardless of its sound.
Tim: That’s easy! Okay, and now our next point.
[ Basic Korean Grammar #4 – Measure words and Articles ]
Tim: Korean uses measure words, which are called Counting Units.
Debbie: Counting Units?
Tim: Yes. Each noun has a unique measure word or counting unit that goes along with it.
Debbie: Hmm…. So we need to use a counting unit every time we count something?
Tim: Yes! So, “one apple” in English, literally becomes “apple"" 사과 + ""one"" 하나 + ""counting unit for items”개, so ""one apple"" becomes 사과 한 개 in Korean.
Debbie: Hmm…This is a bit complicated! How about “a dog” in English?
Tim: Okay, “a dog” in English would be“dog”개 + “one”한 + “counting unit for animals”마리, so ""a dog"" becomes 개 한 마리 in Korean.
Debbie: Got it. So listeners, remember this – Korean uses measure words called “counting units”.
Tim: And next we have..?
[ Basic Korean Grammar #5 – Pronouns ]
Tim: Debbie, what are ‘Pronouns'?
Debbie: ‘Pronouns’ are words that you use instead of repeating the same exact nouns over and over again.
Tim: For example…?
Debbie: “I”, “you”, “he”, “we”, “they”, “this and that” and etc…
Tim: Yes, how about in Korean? Are they used often?
Debbie: Pronouns are used just as commonly as in English. However…They are often omitted, too, because it’s often very obvious what or whom you are talking about in Korean.
Tim: So in Korean, there is no need to use pronouns over and over again?
Debbie: That’s right! In many Korean sentences, pronouns or subject words are often omitted.
Tim: Ah-ha! So listeners, remember this fact.
Debbie: Don't omit the verb though! And finally, what’s the last one?
[ Basic Korean Grammar #6 – Conjugation ]
Tim: Conjugation! I think…this is the hardest part in Korean.
Debbie: Yes. I agree, Tim. In Korean, both verbs and adjectives are conjugated.
Tim: Yes. That’s right. Do you know when Korean verbs and adjectives are conjugated?
Debbie: Hmm…Korean verbs are conjugated in relation to the politeness levels. So it’s different from English, since English is conjugated depending on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person.
Tim: Hmm, quite different.
Debbie: Yes, it’s very different! Both Korean adjectives and verbs are conjugated depending on the politeness levels or the tone of voice. But listeners, you don't have to worry about this just yet. This will all come later!
Tim: Yes! Okay, that’s all for today’s lesson.
Debbie: Tim, before we go, let’s wrap up today’s lesson.
Tim: That’s a good idea! Okay. Rule #1 – Sentence structure – The verb goes at the end of the sentence.
Debbie: Rule #2 - Tenses – There are only three tenses
Tim: Rule #3 - Gender and Plural - simply add 들 at the end of the noun to pluralize a noun.
Debbie: Rule #4 - Measure words and Articles - use measure words called counting units.
Tim: Rule #5 – Pronouns - pronouns can easily be omitted.
Debbie: And lastly, Rule #6 – Conjugation - Korean adjectives and verbs are conjugated depending on the level of politeness. Okay listeners, that's all for this lesson! Thanks for listening!
Tim: 여러분, 다음 시간에 다시 만나요. See you again!