Space rules

Do you know that you have to leave a space when you write Korean? Spaces are very important in Korean because it can cause misunderstanding if there are no spaces. For example,


This sentence can be “아버지 가방에 들어가세요.” or “아버지가 방에 들어가세요.” depending on where we leave a space. The first sentence means “Father, please go into the bag(가방).” and the second sentence means “Father is entering a room.(방)

Then when should we leave a space? It is very simple. It is usually between words and after particles. For example,

오늘 아침에 언니하고 공부했어요.
오늘 today + space
아침 morning + 에(place particle) + space
언니 older sister + 하고(with particle) + space
공부했어요. studied

Let’s practice another sentence.

주말에 친구 집에서 점심을 먹어요.
주말 weekend + 에 (time particle) + space
친구 friends + space
집 house + 에서 (place particle) + space
점심 lunch + 을 (object particle) + space
먹어요. eat

One thing you should remember is there is NO SPACE BEFORE A PARTICLE. Particles are always attached to a noun.

Isn’t it easy?

Can you leave spaces on these sentences below? Please write your answer on reply to this post.

  1. 어제아침에친구를만났어요. (I met my friend yesterday morning)
  2. 내일언제학교에가요?(When are you going to school tomorrow? )
  3. 오늘저녁에우리집에오세요.(Please come to my house this evening.)
  4. 지난주말에백화점에서옷을샀어요. (I bought clothes at a department store last weekend.)



-겠- can have different meanings depending on the subject.

When -겠- is with the first person subject(I), it expresses strong will.
When -겠- is with the second person subject(you), it is used for asking second person’s will or sympathizing the second person’s(your) situation.
When -겠-is with the third person subject(he/she/it), it means ‘I am guessing the third person’s situation/action’.

For example,
First person>>
올해에는 꼭 담배를 끊겠어요. I will quit smoking this year.
열심히 일하겠습니다. I will work hard!.

Second person>
뭐 드시겠어요? What would you like to drink?
그거 저한테 주시겠어요? Would you please give that to me?
A: 지난 달에 교통사고를 당해서 병원에 입원했다가 이번주에 퇴원했어요. B: 어머, 많이 힘드셨겠어요. (A: I got into a car accident last month, I was hospitalized for a while and I was just discharged this week. B: Oh, gosh! You must have had a hard time!)
** In English, when someone hear bad news, he/she says “I am sorry“, but Koreans say “힘드셨겠어요” or “아프셨겠어요.” which mean “You must have had hard time” or “You must have had a lot of pain”. In Korean, “I am sorry” only means “apology” and it doesn’t have a meaning of “sympathy” which is “feel sorry”. We also add “어떡해요...” If you want to learn 어떡해요, click here.
A: 어제 오랜만에 친구 만나서 얘기 많이 했어요. B: 좋았겠네. (A: I met my friend yesterday who I have not seen for a while, and we had a great time. B: You must felt happy!)

Third person>>
하늘을 보니까 곧 비가 오겠는데요. I see the sky, it looks like it will rain soon.
이번 주에 날씨가 춥겠습니다. 따뜻한 옷 입고 나가세요. It will be cold this week, wear warm clothes.
5시까지 일을 끝내기 힘들겠어요. It looks like it is hard to finish by 5.
내일 춥겠지? (Do you also think) Will it be cold tomorrow? (-지? is to ask someone for agreement)

#겠 #겠어요 #겠습니다 #겠grammar #겠meaning #i am sorry in korean #어떡해 #어떻게 #sympathy korean #feel sorry korean #겠네

그래서 vs 그러니까

reason. 그러니까 result (suggestion/command)
reason. 그래서 result(suggestionX/commandX)

그러니까 and 그래서 both mean ‘therefore’ or ‘thus’, however they are very different. When we use 그래서, we cannot use suggestion and command sentence on a result sentence. If we want to suggest/command someone, we use 그러니까. For example,

비가 와요. 그래서 우산을 가지고 갈 거예요. It is raining, so I am going to take an umbrella.

비가 와요. 그러니까 우산을 가지고 가세요. It is raining, so please take an umbrella.
비가 와요. 그래서 우산을 가지고 가세요. (X)

Let’s look at more examples with -아어서 and -(으)니까 forms. If you haven’t learned these sentence endings, please click here -아/어서 and 으니까
1) -아/어/여서 can’t be used for suggesting, requesting or ordering, whereas -(으)니까 can.   For example,

  • 날씨가 좋아서 공원에 같이 가요. (X) => 날씨가 좋으니까 공원에 같이 가요. (O) : 같이 가요 => suggestion ; therefore you can’t use -아서
  • 비가 와서 우산을 가져 가세요. (X)  => 비가 오니까 우산을 가져 가세요. (O) : -(으)세요 is an imperative verb ending; therefore you can’t use -아서
    • verb endings for suggesting are ‘-는 게 어때요?’, -(으)ㄹ까요?, ‘-(으)ㅂ시다’, ‘-자’, ‘같이 -아/어/여요’ etc and verb endings for requesting or ordering are  ‘-(으)세요’, ‘-(으)십시오’ etc.

2) You can’t use the past tense in front of -아/어/여서, while you can put the past tense in front of -(으)니까.  For example,

  • 어제 공부 많이 했어서 피곤해요. (X)    => 어제 공부 많이 해서 피곤해요. (O)
  • 어제 제가 이 영화를 봤으니까 오늘은 다른 영화를 봅시다. (O)

3) often used for general statements or emotion verbs=> -아/어/여서. For example,

  • 만나서 반갑습니다.  Glad to meet you! ( I am happy because I meet you.)
    도와 주셔서 감사합니다.  Thanks for your help! (I appreciate because you helped me.)
  • 늦어서 죄송합니다.  Sorry for being late. ( I am sorry because I am late.)
  • 배가 아파서 학교에 안 갔어요. ( I didn’t go to school because my stomach hurt.)

#그러니까vs그래서 #그러니까그래서 #그러니까 #그래서 #아서니까 #아서vs니까 #그래서grammar #그러니까grammar

때문에, 때문이다

result. 왜냐하면 reason

왜냐하면 is an adverb to emphasize ‘reason’, but it is quite different than 그래서. When you use 그래서, we say ‘reason’ first, and then say ‘result’. So actually, 그래서 means ‘so’ or ‘therefore’. On the other hand, When we use 왜냐하면, we say ‘result’ first, and the say ‘reason’. (If you want to learn 그래서, please click here.)

And 왜냐하면, we have to use-기 때문이다 or -거든요 at the end of the sentence, which mean ‘it is caused’. So, that is why I said above, it is just an adverb to emphasize the sentence because -기 때문이다 actually means ‘because’.

날씨가 추워요. 왜냐하면 오늘 비가 많이 왔기 때문이에요. It is cold because it rained a lot today.
지금 배가 정말 고파요. 왜냐하면 오늘 아침을 안 먹었기 때문이에요. I am so hungry because I didn’t eat breakfast.
돈이 없어서 걱정이에요. 왜냐하면 다음 달에 학비를 내야 되거든요. I am worried because I don’t have money. (The reason why I am worried) I have to pay tuition next month.
오늘 부모님 댁에 가요. 왜냐하면 내일이 어머니 생신이거든요.

verb/adj+기 때문이다
verb/adj+기 때문에

In Korean, there are a lot of sentence endings that express ‘reason’ and ‘result’ and -기 때문 is one of them. When we use -기 때문이다, we want to emphasize the reason’, so it often comes with 왜냐하면 as the explanation above.

And -기 때문에 doesn’t take suggestion and command on the second sentence which is similar to -아/어서. Thus, it is similar to 아/어서, but 때문에 is much more formal and more focused on reason.
저는 외국인이기 때문에 한국말을 모릅니다. (=저는 외국인이라서 한국말을 모릅니다.)
어제 아팠기 때문에 병원에 갔습니다. (어제 아파서 병원에 갔습니다.)
집에 올 때 한 시간이나 걸렸다. 왜냐하면 길이 많이 막혔기 때문이다.
제가 이 회사에 지원하는 이유는 이 회사의 미래가 아주 밝다고 생각하기 때문입니다.

noun이기 때문에
noun 때문에

When it comes with a noun, we have to look at the meaning carefully. In -이기 때문에, there is 이다 in front of 기 때문에, which means ‘be’. So, the meaning of 이기 때문에 is ‘because it is’. On the other hand ‘noun 때문에’ means ‘because of’. For example,

외국인이기 때문에 한국어를 모릅니다. Because I am a foreigner, I don’t speak Korean.
(=외국인이라서 한국어를 모릅니다. Because I am a foreigner, I don’t speak Korean.)
외국인 손님 떄문에 영어를 공부해야 돼요. Because of foreign customers, I have to study English.
(=외국인 손님이 와서 영어를 공부해야 돼요. Because foreign customers come, I have to study English.)

#왜냐하면 #-기 때문이다 #거든 #거든요 #왜냐하면grammar #reason #result #기 때문에 #때문 #때문에 #때문이에요 #because

Do not -지 말다

-지 말다 is attached to a verb, it means ‘do not’, it makes a imperative sentence. -지 말다 can be used with these endings depending on who you are talking to. A good thing is that you don’t need to worry about the conjugation!!! You can simply put a verb with -지 말다.

  1. -지 마 is 반말(plain form), so it is used to someone who is your friend and younger people. If you haven’t learned 반말, please click here. And sometimes you will hear -지 마라 in a K-drama, -지 마라 form is more formal than -지 마.
  2. -지 말아요( is used for when you talk to someone who is similar age(maybe older than you). And you will hear -지 마요 in K-songs, it is short form for -지 말아요.
  3. -지 마세요(-지 말+(으)세요 => ㄹ drop) is an honorific form, so it is used to someone who are older than you or public.

For example,
to a friend or young person
하지 마. Don’t do.
가지 마. Don’t go. (Let’s watch 가지 마, 가지마 by 브라운 아이즈.)
떠나지 마. Don’t leave.

to a person who is a little older than you.
그런 말하지 말아요. Don’t say that.
가지 말아요. Don’t go.
잊지 말아요. Don’t forget. (You can hear it in “잊지 말아요.Don’t forget” by 백지영)

For someone who are way older than you.
들어가지 마세요. Do not enter.
담배를 피우지 마세요. Do not smoke.
울지 마세요. Do not cry.
떠나가지 마세요. Do not leave. (I found an old song that I listened to when I was young ^^. 떠나가지 마세요 by 언타이틀)

#지마 #지마라 #지마세요 #마세요 #말아요 #말다 #지말다 #마요 #하지마 #가지마 #지말으세요 # 그런말하지마 #do not in Korean #don’t in Korean #말다 don’t #지말다 don’t #지 마세요 grammar #지 마 meaning

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.