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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!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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3. S+O+V

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 09:03 PM
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Hello 유라,

Good sentence! As you did, you can omit subject when it's obvious.

Enjoy your study and feel free to let us know if you have any inquiries!

Kind regards,

Hyeon Yeong Seo

Team KoreanClass101.com

Wednesday at 05:04 AM
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안 녕,

텔레비전을 봤어요.

Thank you,


KoreanClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:45 PM
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Hi Ian,

Thanks for posting.

'들' is usually used to refer to people or animals (things that are alive), and should be used in referring to the plural form of people/animals. Colin gave a good answer to your question...usually counters are not omitted. And as there are various counters, the best way would be to memorize them. :flushed:

Thanks Colin, for helping Ian out!



Team KoreanClass101.com

Wednesday at 04:13 AM
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In most cases yes. It's very rare that it can be implied anyhow. It's not something hat is usually omitted in spoken or written communication. It feels as natural as adding an s or es to nouns in English. Counting words are used when you feel like using a counter. There are ways to omit it. What you should be concerned about is using the correct counter

Wednesday at 01:24 AM
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Is it necessary to say 들 when talking about something in plural form or can it always be omitted? Also, please can you just clarify when counting units would be used? :smile:

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:48 AM
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Hello ʻAnalū Kalaka,

Thank you for posting and you're very welcome! :smile:

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any other questions along the way.



Team KoreanClass101.com

ʻAnalū Kalaka
Monday at 06:48 AM
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린 선생님 안녕하세요! (Hello Lyn!)

What a long detailed response! I read through and understand what you have written. Thank you very much for all the time you spent answering me back! I truly appreciate it. Also, since it wasn't a direct email to me, anyone else can hopefully use that information for themselves in the future!

가르쳐 주셔서 고맙습니다. (Thanks for the help.)

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 10:26 AM
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Hi ʻAnalū Kalaka,

Thanks for posting. To take a look at what you wrote:

I met friends yesterday.

어제 친구를 만났어요.

어제 친그들을 만났어요.

-->어제 친구들을 만났어요.

However, in Korean, most nouns have a general number(by default), meaning that they can be used as both singular or plural. Meaning you don't need to add '들'to make the plural form, you would use it as is, or if you want to specify the amount, use the correct counters for the nouns afterward. Some nouns like these include:

책, 자동차, 꽃, 나무, 신발, 양말

So to take what you wrote:

I bought books yesterday.

어제 책을 샀어요.

and if you want to make the quantity more specific:

--->I bought three books yesterday.

어제 책을 세 권 샀어요. (권 is the counter for books)

-->I met friends yesterday.

어제 친구들을 만났어요.

-->I met several friends yesterday:

-->어제 친구 여러 명을 만났어요. (여러=several 명=counter for people)

Another example:

I have three cars.

차를 세 대 갖고 있어요. (대 is the counter for cars)

Hope this was of help. Please let us know if you have any other inquiries.



Team KoreanClass101.com

ʻAnalū Kalaka
Thursday at 07:07 AM
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In today's lesson we are presented with how to form the plural using -들. Could you please give us a little more insight on the usage of -들. I don't see it at all as often as I do in English and so I am never really sure when I should or shouldn't use it. Perhaps it is used for stressing the plural form in Korean whereas in English we must make a distinction between singular and plural at all times.

Do these translations sound natural?

I met friends yesterday.

어제 친구를 만났어요.

어제 친그들을 만났어요.

I bought books yesterday.

어제 책을 샀어요.

어제 책들을 샀어요.


KoreanClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 09:02 PM
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Hi Priya, Colin and Ben,

Thanks for posting. Priya, if you have a free account, you get access to all new lessons and the first three lessons per series. To access more, you will need to upgrade your account.

If this is not the case (and you have paid subscription), could you let us know so we can provide you with a solution?



Team KoreanClass101.com