Particle 도 : also, too (vs 또)

-도 means ‘also’ or ‘too’. It is not an adverb, it is a particle which is attached to a noun(no space between noun and -도). And -도 cannot be with Topic particle(-은/는), Subject particle(-이/가) and Object particle(-을/를), which -도 substitute those particles. For example,

A: 저는 한국 사람이에요. (I am Korean.)
B: 저 한국 사람이에요. (I am also Korean.)
C: 저요! (Me too!)

A : 저는 사과를 좋아해요. 배 좋아해요. (I like apples. I also like pears.)

A: 저는 사과를 좋아해요. 동생 사과를 좋아해요. (I like apples. My sister/brother also likes apples)

A: 저는 기타를 쳐요. 그리고 피아노 쳐요. (I play guitar. And I also play piano.)


*A lot of my students get confused by -도 and because they have similar pronunciation and meaning. But they are different.

-도 is a particle while is an adverb which -도 is attached to a noun but is used independently. And -도 means ‘also’ or ‘too’, means ‘again’, ‘and’ or ‘in addition’.  For example,
사과를 먹었어요. (I also ate an apple. -> no space between 저and 도)
사과를 먹었어요. (I ate an apple again. -> a space between 저 and 또)

민수는 한국 사람이에요. 수지 한국 사람이에요. (Minsu is Korean. Suji is also Korean.)
민수는 자전거를 탈 수 있어요. 운전 할 수 있어요. (Minsu can ride a bike. And he can also drive a car.)


[Q&A] 이에요 vs 있어요

Many of my students are confused 이에요 and 있어요, so I am writing this post to make sure you understand 이에요 and 있어요.
이에요means “something/someone is/are/am a noun”. For example,
저는 한국 사람이에요. I am Korean.
(이 분이) 제 선생님이에요. This person is my teacher.
한국어 책이에요. It is a Korean book.
여기가 도서관이에요. Here is the library.
이게 제 가방이에요. This is my bag.

On the other hand, 있어요 has two different meanings. The first meaning is “have(possession)“, and the other one is “is/am/are at/in/on somewhere(existence)“. It is not just ‘is’, it means ‘is at/in/on somewhere(existence)‘.

Let’s look at some examples.
(저는) 한국 친구가 있어요. I have Korean friends. (possession)
시간이 많이 있어요. I have a lot of time. (possession)
앤디 씨는 가방이 많이 있어요. Andy has a lot of bags. (possession)
앤디 씨 집 가방이 많이 있어요. At Andy’s house, there are lots of bags. (existence)
미나 씨가 집에 있어요. Mina is at home. (existence)
마이크 씨가 한국에 있어요. Mike is in Korea. (existence)
제 집이 도서관 앞에 있어요. My house is in front of the library. (existence)
책상 책이 있어요. There is a book on the desk.(existence)
교실 옆 화장실이 있어요. There is a bathroom next to the classroom. (existence)

As you can see, when 있어요 means “be at some place“, 있어요 follows after “-에” which is a place particle.

Let’s look at these two sentences.
1. 여기가 도서관이에요. Here is the library.
2. 제 집이 도서관 앞에 있어요. My house is in front of the library.

In these two sentences, 이에요 and 있어요 are used with a noun(place), however, 이에요 means “is a noun” while 있어요 means “is at a place

Do you know what the opposite word of 이에요? It is 아니에요(is not a noun). You can learn 아니에요 by clicking here.

How about the opposite word for 있어요? It is 없어요. For more examples of -에 있어요/없어요 by clicking here. For more examples of 있어요(possession) by clicking here.


[Grammar] -요 vs 습니다

-요 and 습니다 are both polite sentence endings, but they are used for different situations.

-요 is used for friendly/informal situations. Koreans use -요 for normal/daily conversations, you can use this to anyone who are older than you or you want to express respect.

On the other hand, 습니다 is used more for formal situations like work meetings, conferences, writing, army base, and TV news etc.

Basic form Friendly/informal Formal
Noun이다 이에요/예요 입니다
Verb/adjective다 아요/어요/해요 습니다/ㅂ니다


For example,

Friendly/informal Formal
저는 이미나예요. 저는 이미나입니다.
진주는 제 친구예요. 진주는 제 친구입니다.
이건 가방이에요. 이것은 가방입니다.
이 학교는 좋아요. 이 학교는 좋습니다.
컴퓨터가 있어요. 컴퓨터가 있습니다.
피자가 맛있어요. 피자가 맛있습니다.

If you want to learn more about 이에요, please click here.

If you want to learn more about 아요/어요/해요, please click here.

If you want to learn more about 습니다/ㅂ니다, please click here.

If you want to learn more about the honorific speech, please click here.

Verb/adjective conjugation

In this post, I am talking about how to conjugate verbs and adjectives from basic verb forms.

Every Korean verb/adjective ends with ‘— 다’, for example, 가다, 오다, 먹다, 살다, 마시다 etc. When you conjugate verbs/adjectives with endings, first you delete 다 and then add endings like the following below.


And then you have to look at an ending that you want to add. There are three types of endings. The first type is  -아/어/여 ending. For -아/어/여 ending, you have to look at the previous letter’s vowel.

If the vowel is ㅏor ㅗ, then you have to add -아. For example, -아요(present), -았어요(past), -아서(because) etc.

If the vowel is other than ㅏ or ㅗ, you have to add -어. For example, -어요(present), -었어요(past), -어서(because) etc.

If the previous letter ends with ‘하’, you have to add -여. But it changes the form into ‘해’ in conversations. For example, -여요=>해요(present), -였어요=> 했어요(past), -여서=> 해서(because).


The second type is that endings start with -(으) or (스), for example, (으)ㄹ 거예요, (으)ㄹ 수 있어요, -(스)ㅂ니다 etc. In this case, you have to look at whether the previous letter ends with a vowel or a consonant.

If the letter ends with a vowel, you do not use 으 or 스. For example, 가+ㅂ니다 => 갑니다, 자+ㄹ 거예요 => 잘 거예요.

If the letter ends with a consonant, you have to use 으  or 스.  For example, 먹+습니다 => 먹습니다, 읽+습니다 => 읽습니다.


Finally, the third type is that endings start with a consonant. For example, -고, -지, -게 etc. For these endings, you can just simply attach them to a verb/adjective.
가+고 싶어요 => 가고 싶어요,  먹+지 않아요 => 먹지 않아요.


Please reply to this post if you have any questions about conjugation. Thank you!



[Grammar] A은/는 B이/가 아니에요. A is not B

A은/는 B이/가 아니에요.

means ‘A is not B’. and are attached a noun that ends with a consonant while and are attached a noun that ends with a vowel. For example,


그 사람 학생 아니에요. This person is not my student.

저는 의사 아니에요.  I am not a doctor.

민수 씨 미국 사람 아니에요.  Minsu is not American.

이거 제 컵 아니에요.  This is not my cup.

여기 우리 집 아니에요.  Here is not my home.

이분 제 할머니 아니에요.  This person is not my grandmother.


You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 




[Grammar] 못 verb, -지 못하다 cannot

못 verb, verb-지 못하다


I wrote a post about 안 and -지 않다 which are ‘not’ in a post before(click here to learn 안 and -지 않다) .  is also a negation adverb like 안, but it is usually used for verbs because it means ‘cannot’.

For example,

비가 너무 많이 왔어요. 그래서 학교에 갔어요. It rained too much, so I couldn’t go to school.

돈이 없었어요. 그래서 밥을 먹었어요. I didn’t have money, so I couldn’t eat.

시간이 없었어요. 그래서 숙제를 끝냈어요. I didn’t have time, so I couldn’t finish the homework.

집에 텔레비전이 없어요. 그래서 그 프로그램을 봐요. I don’t have a TV at home, so I can’t watch that program.

땅콩 알레르기가 있어요. 그래서 땅콩을 먹어요. I am allergic to peanuts, so I can’t eat peanuts.


-지 못하다 is a long form for 못. 못 is used in front of verbs while -지 못하다 is used at the end of verbs. And -지 못하다 is a little bit formal than 못.

For example,

비가 너무 많이 왔어요. 그래서 학교에 지 못했어요.

돈이 없었어요. 그래서 밥을 지 못했어요.

시간이 없었어요. 그래서 숙제를 끝내지 못했어요.

집에 텔레비전이 없어요. 그래서 그 프로그램을 지 못해요.

땅콩 알레르기가 있어요. 그래서 땅콩을 지 못해요.


Because 못 means ‘cannot’, it can be switched with ‘-(으)ㄹ 수 없다’.(click here to learn more 을 수 없다)

For example,

비가 너무 많이 왔어요. 그래서 학교에 수 없었어요.

돈이 없었어요. 그래서 밥을 을 수 없었어요.

시간이 없었어요. 그래서 숙제를 끝낼 수 없었어요.

집에 텔레비전이 없어요. 그래서 그 프로그램을 수 없어요.

땅콩 알레르기가 있어요. 그래서 땅콩을 먹을 수 없어요.


You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 


[Grammar]-아/어/여 보세요 You should try

verb+아/어/여 보세요

is -아/어/여 보다(try, have an experience) and -(으)세요(please) combined together, it means ‘you should try’ in English. You can use this when you suggest someone to do something.

For example,

그 식당에 한번 가 보세요. You should try that restaurant.

그 사람을 한번 만나 보세요. You should meet him.

이 음식을 한번 먹어 보세요. You should try this food.

이 옷을 한번 입어 보세요. You should try to put on these clothes.

이 신발을 한번 신어 보세요. You should try to put on these shoes.

한국 음식을 한번 만들어 보세요. You should try to make Korean food.

친구한테 한국어로 카드를 써 보세요. You should try to write a card to your friend in Korean.

한국어로 한번 말해 보세요. You should try to speak it in Korean.

As you can see, we often use 한번(once) with this grammar.


When -아/어/여 보다 with -았어요, it means different. You can click here to learn more about -아/어/여 봤어요. 


You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 

[Grammar] 보다 더 more than

When you compare two nouns,  you can use -보다 particle which means ‘than’. It often comes with 더 (more) or 훨씬 (much more). The position for ‘noun+보다’ is very flexible, so you can put it in front of a noun that you want to compare. For example, 

Noun1이/가   Noun2보다  (더)  ~  = Noun2보다  Noun1이/가 (더) ~

Noun1을/를  Noun2보다  (더)  ~  = Noun2보다  Noun1을/를 (더) ~

Let’s look at more sentences.

캐나다가 미국보다 더 커요.  Canada is bigger than U.S.A.

한국이 일본보다 작아요. Korea is smaller than Japan.

이 가방이 저 가방보다 더 비싸요.  This bag is more expensive than that bag.

이 바지가 저 바지보다 더 예뻐요. These pants are prettier than those pants.

LA가 샌프란시스코보다 더 따뜻해요. LA is warmer than San Francisco.

이 식당이 저 식당보다 더 맛있어요.  This restaurant is more delicious than that one.

저는 커피보다 차를 더 좋아해요. I like tea more than coffee.

야구보다 테니스가 더 재미있어요. Tennis is more fun than baseball.

영어가 한국어보다 더 어려워요.  English is more difficult than Korean.

돈보다 건강이 더 중요해요.  Health is more important than money.

비행기가 기차보다 더 빨라요.  Planes are faster than trains.


Do you want to learn more Korean?  Private lessons from beginner to advanced available online, first lesson is free!



You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 

[Grammar] -(아/어/여)야 하다/되다 have to

-(아/어/여)야 되다 means ‘should, must, have to’ in English. You can also use 하다 instead of 되다, 하다 is a little bit formal than 되다. The conjugation is

verb stem ends with 아, 오 + 아야 하다/되다 
verb stem ends with other than  아/오 + 어야 하다/되다 
verb stem ends with 하 + 여야 하다/되다 => 해야 하다/되다 


지금 집에 가야 돼요.  I have to go home now.
오늘 일을 많이 해야 돼요.  I have to do a lot of work today.
이 약을 먹어야 돼요.  I have to take this medicine.
새 핸드폰을 사야 돼요.  I have to buy a new cell phone.
물을 많이 마셔야 돼요.  You(we, I) should drink a lot of water.
이 편지를 오늘 꼭 보내야 돼요. I must send this letter by today.
집을 청소해야 돼요. I have to clean the house.
너무 피곤해요. 집에서 쉬어야 돼요. I am so tired. I have to rest at home.
한국어로 일기를 써야 돼요. (click here to study 으 drop verb) I should write diary in Korean.
많이 걸어야 돼요. (click here to study ㄷ irregular verb) You(we, I) have to walk a lot.

Then how to say ‘you should not do’? It is -(으)면 안 되다. (click here to study)

You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 


[Grammar] Honorific form (2)

We learned the honorific verb/adjective particle -(으)시 in this post. (click here to review) But there are more to study!!!


There are some verbs that have their own honorific form. For example,

  • to eat 먹다 -> 드시다/ 잡수시다   i.e ) 진지 드세요. / 진지 잡수세요.
  • to drink 마시다 -> 드시다  i.e ) 물 드세요. / 맛있게 드세요. / 많이 드세요.
  • 있다 -> 계시다(to be at) , 있으시다(to have)   i.e ) 어머니가 한국에 계세요.  / 어머니, 시간 있으세요?
  • 없다 -> 안 계시다(not to be), 없으시다(not to have)  i.e ) 어머니가 지금 집에 안 계세요. / 어머니가 시간이 없으세요.
  • 아프다 -> 편찮으시다(to be sick)  i.e ) 어머니가 요즘 편찮으세요.
  • 주다 -> 주시다(elder -> younger), 드리다 (younger -> elder)  i.e ) 어머니가 사과를 주셨어요.  /  제가 어머니한테 사과를 드렸어요.
  • to sleep 자다 -> 주무시다   i.e ) 안녕히 주무세요.  / 안녕히 주무셨어요?
  • to die, to pass away 죽다 -> 돌아가시다  i.e ) 제 할아버지 할머니는 10년 전에 돌아가셨어요.


There are also honorific for nouns and particles. For example,

The honorific form of nouns

  • rice/meal 밥 -> 진지  i.e ) 진지 잡수세요.  / 진지 잡수셨어요?
  • name 이름 -> 성함  i.e ) 어머니 성함이 어떻게 되세요?
  • age 나이 -> 연세  i.e ) 어머니 연세가 어떻게 되세요?
  • birthday 생일 -> 생신  i.e ) 어머니 생신이 언제예요?
  • house 집 -> 댁  i.e ) 부모님 댁이 어디예요?
  • word 말 -> 말씀 / to talk 말하다 -> 말씀하시다  i.e ) 어머니께서 말씀하셨어요.


The honorific form of particles

  • subject particle 이/가 -> 께서   i.e ) 어머니께서 한국 음식을 잘 만드세요.
  • to/for particle 한테 -> 께  i.e ) 오늘 어머니께 선물을 드렸어요.


You can listen to the audio file and translation by clicking here.