Hangeul 1 – Single Vowels

Korean Characters

Hangeul 1- 8 Single Vowels 

There are 40 characters in Korean, which are 21 vowels and 19 consonants.  The vowels can be divided to the single vowels and the double vowels.  There are 8 single vowels and 13 double vowels.

We are going to learn the single vowels in this page.

* Single vowels
You should not move your mouth or tongue while you are pronouncing single vowels. 

1) ㅏ  ‘a’ as in ‘father’, ‘spa’
[Click here to watch a video for ㅏ]

2) ㅓ ‘awe’ as in ‘awesome’ and ‘au’ as in ‘August’
[Click here to watch a video for ㅓ]

3) ㅗ ‘o’ as in ‘ghost’, ‘sofa’, however you shouldn’t move your mouth shape.
[Click here to watch a video for ㅗ]

4) ㅜ ‘oo’ as in ‘zoo’, ‘too’. You should make your lips as a round shape. 
[Click here to watch a video for ㅜ]

5) ㅡ There is no pronunciation in English that is similar to this, however you can think of an extremely freezing day, you can make this sound 🙂
[Click here to watch a video for ㅡ]

6) ㅣ’e’ as in ‘me’, ‘see’
[Click here to watch a video for ㅣ]

7-8) ㅔ/ㅐ ‘에’ is similar to ‘e’ as in ‘set, bed’ and ‘애’ is similar to ‘a’ as in ‘dad’, ‘bat’. But many Koreans don’t recognize the difference.
[Click here to watch a video for ㅔ and ㅐ]


[Grammar] ㅎ 불규칙 : ㅎ irregular

ㅎ 불규칙 : ㅎ irregular


ㅎfinal consonant has lots of changes when it meets a vowel.

1. When a lot of adjective which have ㅎ final consonant meets -(으) verb ending, ㅎ drops.

ㅎ drops
빨갛(다) red
하얗(다) white
그렇(다)  that
이렇(다) this
저렇(다) that

More words : 노랗다 yellow, 까맣다 black, 파랗다 blue etc. (Mostly words for colors)


2. ㅎ final consonant meets -아/어 verb ending, ㅎ and 아/어 change to 애/에.

ㅎ + 아/어=> 애
+아/어요=> 빨개요
+아/어요=> 하얘요
+아/어서=> 저래서


3. There are some adjective/verb that don’t change the shape.

ㅎ + 아/어=> 애
닿(다)+(으)ㄹ 것이다
을 것이다



저는 빨간을 가장 좋아합니다.
Red is my favorite color.
저는 하얀 피부를 좋아해요.
I like white skin.
하늘은 왜 파랄까요?
Why does the sky blue?
오늘은 좀 피곤해요. 그러니까 내일 가요.
I am tired today, so let’s go tomorrow.
이러면 책상이 더러워져요.
If you do this, the desk will be very dirty.
저는 아무거나 다 좋아.
I am fine with anything.
언니가 8월에 아이를 낳을 거예요.
My sister is going to have a baby in August.
많은 사람들이 선물을 책상 위에 놓았다.
Many people put their gifts on the desk.
가방에 너무 많이 넣으면 들 수 없을 거예요.
If you put too many things in the bag, you can’t lift it.

You can listen to the pronunciation here.

[Expression] At a restaurant 식당에서

Are you going to eat out tonight at a restaurant? How can you order food in Korea?

You can listen to the pronunciation here.

몇 분이세요?
How many people?
두 명이요.
Two people.
지금 자리가 없어요.
It is full right now.
Do you want to wait?
얼마나 기다려야 돼요?
How long should I wait?
20분쯤 기다려야 돼요. (‘한’is not 1, it means ‘about’)
It will take about 20 minutes.
그럼 기다릴게요.
Then, I will wait.
Excuse me.
반찬 좀 더주세요.
Please give me more side dishes.
김치 좀 더 주실 수 있어요?
Can you give me more Kimchi?
소금 좀 주시겠어요?
Can you give me some salt?
저는 고기를 안 먹어요.
I don’t eat meat.
저는 채식 주의자예요.
I am a vegetarian.
고기 빼고 주세요.
Please don’t put meat in my food.
비빔밥 하나하고 김밥 하나 주세요.
I will have Bibimbap and Kimbap.

[Grammar] The conditional : -(으)면 if, when

Verb/Adjective + -(으)면 ~

-(으)면 means ‘if’ and ‘when’, it connects two sentences which are the first sentence(conditional) + the second sentence(result). The conditional sentence is about the future or something that doesn’t happen right now, so you shouldn’t use the past tense in the second sentence.


Verb/Adjective stem(consonant) + 으면 : 먹으면, 받으면, 있으면
Verb/Adjective stem(vowel or ㄹ) + 면 : 마시면, 사면, 오면, 벌면


1) 저는 고기를 많이 먹으면 배가 아파요. If I eat too much meat, my stomach hurts.
2) 이번 달 월급을 받으면 차를 살 거예요. When I get my paycheck(salary) this month, I am going to buy a car.
3) 50 달러가 있으면 좀 빌려 주세요. If you have $50, please lend it to me.
4) 저는 술을 마시면 얼굴이 빨개져요. When I drink alcohol, my face turns red.
5) 카메라를 사면 저한테 알려 주세요. When you buy a camera, please let me know.
6) 비가 오면 집에 있을 거예요. If it rains, I will stay home.
7) 수업이 일찍 끝나면 뭐 할 거예요? If the class finishes early, what are you going to do?

* 비가 오면 집에 있었어요. (X)


1) 집에 도착하다 + 저한테 전화해 주세요.
2) 날씨가 좋다 + 사진 찍으러 가요.
3) 사진을 찍다 + 보여 주세요.
4) 친구를 사귀고 싶다 + 우리 모임에 오세요.
5) 한국어를 할 줄 알다 + 이것 좀 번역해 주세요.
6) 제가 집에 없다 + 메모를 남기세요.
7) 배가 아프다 + 병원에 가 보세요.

Uses in Korean songs)

This is an old song that I really like. 🙂 It is old, but very easy and every single Korean knows this song.

Another song that I like.

[Grammar] Present tense 아요/어요/여요


In Korean, the infinitive form of verbs and adjectives is -다.  For instance, 가(to go), 좋(be good), 먹(to eat) and 마시(to drink).

When you say these verbs and adjective as a present tense, you should add the present tense verb/adjective ending -아요/어요/여요.

The form is depending on the last letter’s vowel on the stem. The stem is the last letter after you take off ‘다’.

The steps are

1) Take off ‘다’
2) Look at the last letter’s vowel on the stem
3) If the vowel is ‘ㅏ’or ‘ㅗ’, add 아요.  If the vowel is not ‘ㅏ’or ‘ㅗ’, add 어요. If the verb stem is 하, add 여요.

1. verb / adjective(the stem’s vowel is ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ ) + 아요
다 (‘가’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅏ’ ) + 아요 => 가아요 => 가요(combine 가and 아 )
다(‘오’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅗ’)  + 아요 => 오아요 => 와요(combine 오and 아 )
다(‘살’ is the stem ->the vowel is ‘ㅏ’)  + 아요 => 살아요

2. verb / adjective(the stem’s vowel is not ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ ) + 어요
다(‘주’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅜ’)  +어요  => 주어요      => 줘요(주+어=>줘 )
다 (‘시’ is the last letter -> the vowel is ‘ㅣ’ ) +어요  => 마시어요 => 마셔요(시+어=>셔)
다(‘먹’is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅓ’) +어요  => 먹어요

3. verb/adjecitve ends with ‘하다’ + 여요  => 하(take off 다) + 여요
공부다 -> 공부하(take off 다)+ 여요 => 공부하여요(‘하여’ =>해)  => 공부해요
피곤다 -> 피곤하(take off 다) + 여요 => 피곤하여요 => 피곤해요


가다 : to go
오다 : to come
살다 : to live
먹다 : to eat
마시다 : to drink
주다 : to give
공부하다 : to study
피곤하다 : be tired


만나다 (to meet)
좋다(be good)
보다(to see)
자다(to sleep)
웃다(to smile)
울다(to cry)
운동하다(to exercise)
수영하다(to swim)



Click here for more verbs/adjectives 

[Grammar] Native Korean Numbers

Korean Numbers

In Korean, there are two sets of numbers; The Native Korean Number(NKN) system and The Sino Korean Number(SKN) system.

The Native Korean Number system : counting, time for hour, age etc.

The Sino – Korean Number system : phone numbers, price, date, time for minute and second, transportation such as bus, flight numbers etc.

We are going to learn Native Korean numbers and some counting words in this chapter.

Please look at the image below.


20 : 스물

30 : 서른

40 : 마흔

50 : 쉰

60 : 예순

70 : 일흔

80 : 여든

90 : 아흔

100 : 백(Sino Korean Number)

0 : 공/영(Sino Korean Number)

You can also listen to the pronunciation through the link below.


하나, 둘, 셋, 넷 (1,2,3,4)

다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟(5,6,7,8)

아홉, 열(9,10)

When you count something or people, you should add the counting word such as 개(counting words for objects) after a number. For example, ‘five pen(펜)’ in Korean,

펜(pen) 다섯(five) 개(counting word for item)

In this case, the noun should be in the front of the number.

A Noun + native Korean number + the counting word

Let’s learn more counting words.

* Counting words


As you can see, some numbers(1,2,3,4,20) change the form when it comes with the counting number.

하나 + 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

스물 + 개 => 스무

Let’s practice with nouns.

1) two people(사람)

2) seven mangoes(망고)

3) five oranges(오렌지)

4) three bears(곰)

5) ten books(책)

6) twenty tickets(표)

The answers are 1) 사람 두 명, 2) 망고 일곱 개, 3) 오렌지 다섯 개, 4) 곰 세 마리, 5) 책 열 권, 6) 표 스무 장

Is it too difficult? Fortunately, The Native Korean Number system only covers 1-99. Above 100, we use The Sino-Korean Number system.

Then, how do we make a sentence? Do you remember ‘있어요/없어요’?

있어요 is “There is~” or “I have~”, 없어요 is “There is no~” or “I don’t have~”. You can review it in my previous post. https://funkorean4u.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/%ec%9e%88%ec%96%b4%ec%9a%94%ec%97%86%ec%96%b4%ec%9a%94/

Let’s make some sentences then.

1) There are two apples.

2) There are four bananas.

3) There is a book.

4) I have 9 Chinese friends.

5) There are five cats.

6) I have 8 tickets.

7) There are twenty pictures.

8) There are ten cups.


The answers are

1) 사과가 두 개 있어요.

2) 바나나가 네 개 있어요.

3) 책이 한 권 있어요.

4) 중국 친구가 아홉 명 있어요.

5) 고양이가 다섯 마리 있어요.

6) 표가 여덟 장 있어요.

7) 사진이 스무 장 있어요.

8) 컵이 열 개 있어요.

Do you master The Native Korean Number system? If you have any question, please leave your reply below.