Korean Basic Conversation Part 3 – Occupations

This is a summary of Part 3 of Week 2 in the free online Introduction to Korean course offered by Yonsei University on Coursera.Now we’ve learned how to read hangeul and some basic introductions/ greetings we can move on to saying what we do for a living.


Feeling brave? Now try reading it without a translation!002

Note the change in pronunciation when these words are next to each other. I think this will happen naturally as you speak quickly, but it is useful to know so you don’t get confused when listening to Korean people speaking and think ‘Where did that sound go?’003

Learn how to say some common occupations below:004005006007008009010028029


Now let’s have a look at how to form a question asking someone what their job is.


The really formal form is shown below, used in professional situations and with someone elder.


All good so far? Now, let’s have a go putting what we know into practice. On the left you can see a name and an occupation – can you make it into a question?

Okay, so we know how to ask the question but that’s not much good unless we can also answer it or, at least, understand the reply someone might give us.


When the job ends in a consonant you should add -ieyo. When it ends in a vowel you should add -yeyo. How about if we want to make a negative?


Once again the ending sound changes what comes after it – if the noun (job) ends in a consonant, you should add -i anieyo. If it ends in a vowel you should add -ga anieyo.

The more formal version can be seen below:


Okay, let’s put it into practice. On the left you can see an occupation and an x to ask us to make a negative sentence. Based on the information in the speech bubble, can you make a negative sentence?

That’s all for Part 3 of Week 2 for now – check back soon for Part 4 and the other three weeks of this introductory course.

Here are a few extra jobs, plus some writing practice thanks to Fresh Korean.


Happy studying everyone!

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