Korean Basic Grammar – Beginners

by • December 8, 2012 • Beginner Grammar, Korean GrammarComments (0)6544


This is a basic summary of the Beginners level for topik as well. I will be posting each of these grammar points in more detail, so keep a look out.

Here you will find all the Grammar that is need in beginners Korean grammar. Also all these Grammars will be used in TOPIK beginners level.


Basic Korean Grammar (Topik)


1. 이/가 Is used to make a noun the subject of the sentence. 내(내=I)

2. Used with a noun to enumerate the same thing.

3. 을/를 attached to a noun to show the object of the sentence

4. 으시/시 attached to a verb to add respect.

5. connects two or more verbs together.

6. 에 가다/오다 Indicates the place you are going to or coming from.

7. 을까요?/ㄹ까요? Expresses suggestion to the listener.

8. 읍시다/ㅂ시다 speaker wants the  listener to do something.

9. 지 않다 Indicates that a subject or state is negative.

10. A verb that ends in “” followed by ㅅ,ㅂ,ㄴ “” is deleted.

11. 고 싶다 wish or hope for an action to take place.

12. Indicates the speakers intention.

13. 으십시오/십시오  Gives a command to the listener.

14. 을까요?/ㄹ까? (2) Asks an opinion from the listener about the speakers action.

15. 까지 finishing point of time or place

16. 지요? Speaker seeks for the listener’s agreement or to ascertain the listeners meaning.

17. 으세요/세요 can express declarative, a question, an imperative or a suggestion

18. Indicates the time or place when an action or situation takes place. Not used with


19. 부터 ~까지 starting point ~ ending point

20. 고 (2) Indicates the order of the action. Not used with past tense 었/았/였.

21. 었/았/였 Places the verb in past tense.

22. “” “Bacham” some verbs changes to except for 돕다, 곱다 which change to . verbs like 입다,잡다,씹다 and Descriptive verbs like 좁다,넓다 which follow normal conjugation.

23. 지만 Used to show the opposite meaning of the first clause. “But

24. 은/ㄴ Used with a descriptive verb to modify the following noun. 꽃이 예쁩니다 —– 예쁜 꽃

25. 어/아/여 주다 Asking for a favor of some one or the speaker is providing help to someone else. For 하다 verbs use 여 주다 often goes to 해주다, and in formal language use 드디다.

26. 에게 Used with humans or animals, indicates the noun as the object of the action.에게/한테/  께~formal language.

27. Abnormal ending –은, 는, 을 modifying noun. When action is completed use 은/ㄴ when action is ongoing use when making a prediction use 을/ㄹ.

28. 으로/로 Used with a noun to show direction.

29. 어서/아서/여서. Basically means Therefor. You cant use 었/았/였 & 겠 in front of 어서/아서/여서

30. 으로/로 Indicates a means, direction, reason, status etc.

31. 에서 ~ 까지 Starting point and ending point.

32. 어서/아서/여서 first clause is the reason for the second clause. * the second clause cannot contain the imperative or propulsive “lets”

33. 으니까/ㄴ까 First clause indicates the reason or cause for the next clause.

34. 지 말다 Negative imperative or pro positive of “lets” 읍시다.

35. 을게요/ㄹ게요 Indicates the speakers intention , vow, promise for the future.

36. 이나/나 enumerative of two or more objects or choice of them.

37. 는데요,은데요/ㄴ 데요 used when the speaker expects an answer from the listener. In certain situations.

38. 에게서/한테서 used with personal noun when an action of a verb indicates from a person. Formal speech 께

39. 으면/면 indicates the first clause is the assumption or condition of the second clause.

40. 을/ㄹ 거예요 (1) if the person is a first or second person, it indicates the speakers intention or future fact. In this case, it is only used with an action verb.

41. only or just

42. 는데, 은데/ㄴ데 it indicates that the following clause is the opposite result or situation from the fact in the first clause. Also, it is used to refer to two contradictory facts.

43. 을/ㄹ 수 있다 indicates the possibility of an action.

44. 은/ㄴ 후에 used with an action verb, indicates the ending of the first clause and the subsequently result in the second clause.

45. 겠 (2) this is used to express the assumption or supposition based on the situation or the state at moment of speaking.

46. 보다 used with a noun to compare two objects.

47. 을/ㄹ 것 같다 indicates the assumption of the action or state that will take place in the future.

48. 는군요/군요 speaker realized something with exclamation remark.

49. 고 있다 used with an action verb and indicates that the action is ongoing.

50. 으려고/려고 하다 used with an action verb and expresses a plan or intention.

51. 동안 indicating a period, meaning “during a time”

52. 은/ㄹ 때 used with an action verb, indicates the time when the action occurs. When the action has been completed use 었/았/였을 때.

53. 중네서 used with many types of objects or enumerated nouns, meaning *among

54. 에~쯤 it attaches to a noun to indicate quality, time or place etc.

55. “Not being able to”

56. 기 전에 indicates one action took place before another action.

57. 지 못하다 AV “not being able to” not being able to.

58. 기 때문에 translated to “because” or “so”

59. 이든지/든지 means the action or state is not limited. Used with 언제, 누구, 무엇, 어디, 얼마등

60. 은/ㄴ 지 used with an action verb and shows a certain time has passed after the performance has taken place in the first clause.

61. 는데, 은데/ㄴ데 used with an action verb to make comparison. Person suggests information in the first clause before asking a question in the second clause.

62. 어지다, 아지다, 여지다 it is used with a descriptive and shows that the status of the object has changed.

63. *으려고/려고 it shows intention or purpose, being used with and action verb. The performance in the second clause is made in order to do the main action in the first clause.

64. *어하다/아하다/여하다 used with a descriptive verb indicating emotion and changes the descriptive verb to an action verb. Only used with third person.

65. 겠군요 predicts some ones feeling or emotion through hearing a certain story.

66. 어/아/여 보다 (have you been to/haven’t been to) used with an action verb to show experience.

67. 어야/아야/여야 하다 (You Must/Must) it emphasizes the needs or duties used with a verb.

68. 은/ㄴ 적이 있다 used with an action verb to show past experience.

69. 는 데, 은데/ㄴ데 (and it is/ and is) adds evolution of an object while explain the character of the object.

70. 부터 is used with a noun to show that a certain action must happen first before the other action.

71. *–게 it is used with an action verb to describe the other verbs in detail.

72. –어도/아도/여도 되다 used with an action verb to give permission to do something. Question form. 어도/아도/여도 돼요?

73. 으면/면 안 되요 it is used with a verb to restrict or prohibit permission of something.


Korean Basic Grammar:


-(으)ㄴ 지. (since) Indicates how much time has passed since some situation or action has occurred. Normally goes with this -(으)ㄴ 지~되다, -(으)ㄴ 지~넘다 and -(으)ㄴ 지~ 안 되다. When vowel or ㄹ used -ㄴ 지.

N 동안 V-는 동안. (During/while) (the subjects in the first and second part of the sentence can be different)

V-(으)명서. (while) the subject in both first and second part of the sentence have to be the same

V-아/어서(1). (and, in order) it joins to actions together that are very closely related, and without the action in the first clause the action in the second clause cannot be done.



A/V-고. (and) used to list two or more actions, states, or facts. Also the action in the first clause happened before the action in the second clause, which corresponds to (and (then)). Also the tense is only expressed in the second clause not the first clause.



V-(으)ㄹ 줄 알다/모르다. This expresses whether one knows how, or has the ability to do something.



V-(으)세요. (Please (do)).

V-지 마세요. (please do not (do)) Used when requesting, persuading, indicating or ordering the listener not to do something.

A/V-아/어야 되다/하다. (must, have(to)) expresses obligation to do something or necessity in a certain situation.

–Negative form–

A/V-지 않아도 되다. (do not need to do, do not have to do) expresses a particular state of affair or behavior is not necessary.

A/V-(으)면 안 되다. (should not, may not, to not be allowed) prohibition or limitation to a certain action.

A/V-아/어도 되다. (may, be allowed to)Expresses permission or approval for a behavior.



A/V-았/었으면 좋겠다 expresses a person’s hope or wish that has yet been realized. Also a desire for certain situation to be opposite of what it currently is, If past tense.



A/V-아/어서(2). (because (of), on account of, so… that…) Is used to express that the information the first clause is the reason for or the cause of the succeeding clause. CANNOT BE USED IN IMPERATIVE OR PRO-POSITIVE SENTENCES. 았/었 and 겠 cannot be used. Used mainly to express general reason

A/V- (으) 니까(1). (so, because) Expresses the reason or cause for something. CAN BE USED IN IMPERATIVE OR PRO-POSITIVE SENTENCES. i.e -(으)세요, -(으)ㄹ까요? And -(으)ㅂ시다. 았/었 and 겠 cannot be used



V-아/어 보다. (try) expresses trying out or expressing an action. When used in experiencing something, it is not used with he verb 보다. Rather use ㄴ 적이 있다.

V-(으)ㄴ 적이 있다/없다. (have done, had) expresses having or not having a particular experience in the past.

-(으)ㄴ 적이 있다/없다 + 아/어 보다 = -아/어 본 적이 있다. This means to have the experience of having tried something.



V-(으)ㄹ까요?(1). (shall we?, why don’t we?) is used when the speaker wants either suggest doing something together with the listener or ask about the listeners preference regarding something. (when answering a suggestive form (으)ㅂ시다 or 아/어요. The subject is 우리.

V-(으)ㄹ까요?(2). (shall i?, do you want me to?) When the speaker wants to make a suggestion the listener or to ask the listener for his her opinion. The subject is 내가 or 제가 and may be omitted.

V-(으)ㅂ시다. (Lets, shall we) used to suggest or propose to do something with the listener. Cannot be used to someone who is older or higher status, you will use 같이 -(으)세요.

V-(으)시겠어요? (would you (mind/like to)?, why not?) Is used when politely suggesting something to the listener or when asking about the listeners preference or intention.

V-(으)ㄹ래요?(1) (want to?, how about?) Used when asking about the listeners preference or intention or when gently making a request, does not convey polite feeling. The answer for this can be given in -(으)ㄹ래요? Or -(으)ㄹ게요. Also it can be placed with (안 -(으)ㄹ래요?) 지 않을래요? Means the same just used with negative. Polite form -(으)실래요?



A/V-(으)/겠어요. ((i) will/am going to, (i) plan to) Expresses the intention or will of the speaker. The negative -지 않겠어요 or 안 -겠어요

1. When 겠어요 is expresses intention or will, it cannot be used in the third person, instead (ㄹ 거예요)

2. -겠어요. (should, will) also be used to convey information that something is about to occur.

V-(으)ㄹ게요. ((I) will do) is used when the speaker want to express a decision or intention to another person, similar to a promise, and also when actually making a promise to do something with the other person. It is also used simply to express that the speaker will do something.

NOTE. The difference between V-(으)ㄹ게요 and V-(으)ㄹ 거예요. V-(으)ㄹ게요 a relationship exists with the listener, and the subjects intention of thought is expressed while taking the listener into consideration. Whereas V-(으)ㄹ 거예요 no relationship exists with the listener, and the subjects thought, intention, or plan is expressed indirectly.

V-(으)ㄹ래요(2). (be going to, will) Expresses the fact the speaker has the will or intention to do something. It used in colloquial language among intimates and does not confer a feeling of politeness.



A/V-(으)ㄴ /는데(2). (so, therefor or and)Is used when the first clause expresses the reason or background situation for the second clause and also when the first clause provides content introducing the second clause.

NOTE. With adjectives use ㄴ/은 데. When with verbs use 는 데.

V-(으)니까 (2). (when, (do something) only to discover) Expresses the discovery of the fact described in the second clause as the result of the performing the action described in the first clause. Only verbs. NOTE. When expresses the result of an action (discover) 았 and 겠 cannot precede it.



V-(으)러 가다/오다. (in order) Expresses going or coming to a place to preform an action, with the action stated in the first clause and the place in the second clause. Only movement verbs such as 가다, 오다, 다니다 are used after -(으)러.

V-(으)려고. ((in order) to, so that) Expresses the intention or plan of the speaker. Specifically it indicates the speaker will do what is stated in the second clause to accomplish what is stated in the first clause.

V-(으)려고 하다. (plans to, intend to) Expresses the subject’s intention or plan that has yet to be acted upon. The pass tense of this expression is only used when the result is what was not expected.

N을/를 위해(서), V-기 위해(서). (for the sake of’ (in order) to)This pattern is used when pro-forming an action for the sake of something or to accomplish something. Specifically, it indicates the speaker will do what is stated in the second clause for the sake of what is stated in the first clause.

NOTE. V-기 위해(서) cannot be used directly to adjectives. However if -아/어지다 has added to an adjective, making it a verb, then it can be used with V-기 위해(서)

V- 기로 하다. Expresses the making a promise with another person and is made by adding -기로 했다 to verb stem. This can also express making a promise to one’s self, a resolution or solution to something.



V(으)려면 (-(으)려고 하면). (if you want to, if your intention is to..) Used to express a plan or intention to do something in the first clause, with the condition required to full fill that plan or intention given in the second clause.

A/V-아/어도. (even if, regardless whether) indicates that the situation in the second clause occurs regardless of what the action or state described in the first clause.


Korean Grammar: CONJECTURE

A/V-겠어요(2). (looks like, sounds, appears) Is an expression of supposition about a certain situation or state.

—- intuitive, instantaneous supposition made with no reason or basis.


A/V-(으)ㄹ 거예요(2).(think, will) Expresses the speakers supposition based on a personal experience or something seen or heard that provides a basis for the belief. NOTE. When used for supposition it cannot be used in question form.

——Supposition based on information known only by the speaker.


A/V-(으)ㄹ까요?(3). (i wonder if, do you think) Expresses in question form the supposition of an action or state that has yet to happen.

A/V-(으)ㄴ/는/(으)ㄹ 것 같다. (looks/sounds like, appears that) Used when supposing that something happened in the past or when supposing the occurrence of an action or situation yet to occur. Use 은 for past, 는 for present, 을/ㄹ for future, and 은/ㄴ for present with adjectives.

—- supposition based on intuitive, subject reason that can be used in all cases, regardless of whether there is a reason or basis.



A/V-기 (ing). Functions to turn verbs and adjectives into nouns

A-게. (in a…… manner, -ly)Functions as an adverb in a sentence and expresses the purpose, basis, degree, method of, or some thought about the action that follows.

A-아/어하다. (appears (to be), seems)

A-아/어지다. (become, turn) Expresses change of state over time.

V- 게 되다. Expresses a change from one state to another or a change in a situation as a result of someone else’s action or the environment, regardless of the subject.




A/V-(으)ㄴ/는지. (who/what/where/when/how/whether + clause) Is a connective ending used when connecting a clause requiring additional information to the following verb. Use 은 for past, 는 for present, 을/ㄹ for future, and 은/ㄴ for present with adjectives.

A/V-지요? (isn’t/aren’t..?, don’t/doesn’t) used when the speaker wants to confirm with the listener or to obtain the listeners agreement about something already known. Adjectives and Present tense verbs 지요. Past tense 았/었지요. Future tense (을)ㄹ 거지요.



A/V-군요/는군요. (i see (that), indeed, how, or simply !) Is used to express surprise or wonder upon learning something new either by direct observation or experience or by hearing about it from someone else.

Adjectives -군요. Verbs 는군요. Nouns (이)군요. Past tense 았/었군요.



A-(으)ㄴ 가요?, V-나요? (is/were….there?, is/was it…?, are/were you…? Do/did you…?) Are used politely and gently to ask somebody a question.

Adjectives (은)ㄴ 가요? is used. For verbs 나요 for future tense verbs use -(을)ㄹ 건가요? Use 은/ㄴ for present with adjectives. For past tense adjectives use 었/았나요?

A/V-(으)ㄴ/는데요. (in my case) It used to express ones disagreement with or opposition to what somebody says.

(….and?,….but?) It is also used to express expectation of or waiting for a response From another subject.

(I’m surprised to learn that… Is so) is also used to express the speakers surprise at discovering or feeling something unexpected when observing.


Korean Grammar: QUOTATIONS

Direct quotation. 하고/라고 verbs follow the quotation marks. When asking about what someone said or wrote 뭐라고 is used instead. Remember to use quotations.


Indirect Quotations.


DECLARATIVE somebody said.

Present tense

Verb. -(느)ㄴ다고 하다

Adjective. -다고 하다

Noun. -(으)라고 하다

Past. V/A -았/었다고 하다

Future. V/A -(으)ㄹ 거라고 하다


INTERROGATIVE ask question

Noun -(이)냐고 하다

V/A -(느)냐고 하다



Verb. -자고 하다



Verb. -(으)라고 하다

Verb. 아/어/여 달라고 하다

Verb. 아/어/여 주라고 하다


Extra Beginners Korean Grammar:

-을까/ ㄹ 까 하다. Plan or intention of the speaker, and the plan is still under consideration.

기는 하지만 same as 하지만 but sentences are joined

어도 되다. Seeking permission to do something

으면 안 되다. Saying that you don’t have permission to do something

었다가 with an action of a verb is completed and the next action is directly opposite to that action. 학교에 갔다가 왔어요.

다가. Showing a new action takes place before the previous action is complete.

어 가지고 used to show the performance in the second clause is done by maintaining or using the content in the first clause .

자. Is used in 반말 it replaces 읍시다. ㅂ시다.









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