[Grammar] 안 vs -지 않다

We’ve learned ‘있다(have/there is)’ and ‘없다(do not have/there is not). As you can see the negation of 있다 is 없다.  So the negative form of words which end with 있다 is 없다

재미있다(be fun) -> 재미없다(be not fun)
있다(delicious) -> 맛없다(not delicious)

For example,

A:  그 영화 재미있어요.  That movie is very funny.
B : 아니요, 재미없어요.  No, not funny.

You can also listen to the pronunciation here.

How about other verbs/adjectives besides 있다?
There are two types to make a negative sentence for verbs and adjectives in Korean. The ‘short’ term and the ‘long’ term.  The short term is very easy and mostly used for conversations.  On the other hand, the long term is a little bit complicated and used for writing.

short : + verb/adjective

long : verb/adjective + 지 않(다)

For example,

Verb/adjective-> add the present tense
Negative sentence
(v)가(다) -> 가요
do not go
(v)오(다) –> 와요
do not come
(v)먹(다) -> 먹어요
do not eat
(v)마시(다) -> 마셔요
do not drink
(a)좋(다) -> 좋아요
be not good
(a)피곤하(다) -> 피곤해요
be not tired
(v)좋아하(다) -> 좋아해요
do not like

You can listen to the pronunciation here.


If a verb is ‘noun+하다 such as 공부하다/하다/숙제하다/운동하다/수영하다, the negation ‘‘ occurs between the noun and 하다. For example,

Verb/adjective -> add the present tense
Negative sentence
(v)공부하(다)-> 공부해요
공부 해요
do not study
(v)숙제하(다) -> 숙제해요
숙제 해요
do not homework
(v)일하(다)-> 일해요
do not work
(v) 운동하(다)->운동해요
운동 해요
do not exercise
(v) 수영하(다)->수영해요
수영 해요
do not swim

You can listen to the pronunciation here.


The long term occurs after a verb or an adjective. When you add the tense conjugation, you should put it at the end of -지 않(다).

Negative sentence -> add the present tense
지 않(다)-> 가지 않아요
do not go
지 않(다) -> 오지 않아요
do not come
지 않(다) -> 먹지 않아요
do not eat
마시지 않(다) -> 마시지 않아요
do not drink
지 않(다) -> 좋지 않아요
be not good
피곤하지 않(다) -> 피곤하지 않아요
be not tired
좋아하지 않(다) -> 좋아하지 않아요
do not like
(v) 공부하(다)
공부하지 않(다) -> 공부하지 않아요
do not study

You can listen to the pronunciation here.


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