Introducing Korean verbs

How is your Korean learning journey going? Don’t worry if you have hit a few bumps or sunk into a few potholes along the way! (Check out the materials from the first course here if you need a refresher on reading hangeul)

This is the first blog post looking at material from the (second!) free Korean course offered by Yonsei University on Coursera. As I study the course I will be taking notes of the vocabulary and grammar to share with you and consolidate my own learning.

I felt a little nervous going into this course but was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the verbs initially mentioned were ones that I had picked up already, mostly through repeated exposure in Korean dramas! I like how this course explains the rules behind language I am hearing in natural use and I think it will help to build a strong foundation for further Korean learning.


Now let’s learn a few of the most common verbs – you will hear these again and again!002003004005006007008009

Next the teacher looked at the verb endings. In the vocabulary list above and in dictionaries verbs are usually listed ending in -da. In spoken or written Korean, this -da is removed to leave the verb stem. Various endings attached to the verb stem give us different meanings.

The most common verb ending is -ayo/-awyo/-eyo which is used in most polite but not overly formal conversations.010011012013

Once we are able to identify the verb stem we can start adding our ednings to it, following the rules below:014

Here are a few examples to get you started. I have found that many of the verb endings are those I have already heard regularly when listening to Korean (on TV or through the TTMIK podcasts) so the correct ending feels quite intuitive.015016017018019020

So, how was it? Do you feel a bit more comfortable with Korean verbs?

Work and personal life have both been extremely busy over the past few months so I will be moving through this course at a very slow rate. At the moment I am happy if I manage at least one podcast while washing the dishes! Therefore this course will mainly be on weekends. However, I do feel that it is giving me useful fundamentals upon which I hope I can continue learning Korean through various resources.

Good luck on your language learning journey!


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