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Korean lessons: Lesson 1

Fundamental features of Korean Language


The Korean language is spoken by more than 60 million people. It belongs to the group of Altaic
languages together with Japanese, Ainu, and Mongolian, which were splitted one another several
thousand years ago. Syntactically, Korean shares some common characteristics with these Altaic
languages, while over 70% of its contemporary vocabulary came from Chinese.

1) SOV language
Korean is classified as an SOV language, which stands for <Subject-Object-Verb> word order. English on
the other hand is an SVO language. A subject is the one who acts. An object is the one who receives the
subjects action. For example:
<English> Bob loves Jenny.
Who loves Jenny? Bob does. Who is loved by Bob? Jenny is. In Korean this sentence will be in the the
word order:
<Korean> Bob Jenny loves.

2) Topic-prominent language
Although we call it a subject, its position is not for subjects, the actor, only. A topic can also be in the
position. A topic may not be an actor, but the one which the sentence is about. Let's take an example:
You bumped into a friend after lunch. Your friend asks you, "Hey, how about a lunch?" You might want to
say, "Lunch? I already had it. How about a cup of coffee?" The first part of this speech can be
understood, 'As for (or, speaking of) lunch, I already ate it.' In Korean, this can be stated simply:
<Korean> Lunch, I ate.

3) Agglutinating language
Now, you may have been confused, saying, "I don't get it. How come no one interprets it 'A lunch ate
me.'?" This is where the powerful function of particles, endings, and conjugation comes in. By attaching
these little grammatical devices, you label each words, so that your words come into places without
causing misunderstanding.

4) Basic Sentence Formation:


{Subject/Topic+particle} + {Object+particle} + {Verb/Adjective+conjugation}

Korean lessons: Lesson 2

Hangul
1. Consonants ()

-- Click on the chart and listen to how they sound.

Consonant chart
Plain

Aspirated

tensed

[k]

[k']

[kk]

[t']

[tt]

[p']

[pp]

[n]
[t]
[ r / l ]
[m]
[p]
[s]

[ss]

[zero / ng ]
[ch]

[ch']

[cc]

[h]

dictionary order:

(), , (), , , (), (), , (), , , , ,


Aspirated ones are with more puff of air than the plain ones. As for tensed ones, you add more stricture, but without
puff of air, when letting out the sound. Tensed ones are difficult for beginners, and many students take long time to
acquire the correct pronunciation.

is similar to g as in god.
is similar to k as in sky.
is similar to k as in kill.
is similar to d as in do.

is similar to t as in stop.
is similar to t as in two.
is similar to tt as in butter (not [t] but a flap like a Spanish [r]), in a syllable initial position.
is similar to l as in filling, in a syllable final () position.
is similar to b as in bad.
is similar to p as in spy.
is similar to p as in pool.
is similar to s as in astronaut.
is similar to s as in suit.
is similar to j as in jail.
is similar to tz as in pretzel.
is similar to ch as in charge.
is similar to h as in hat.

2. Vowels ()

-- Click on the chart and listen to how they sound.

Vowel Chart
Simple

Palatalized

[a]

[ya]

[ae]

[yae]

[o^]

[yo^]

[e]

[ye]

labiovelarized

[o]

[yo]

[wa]

[oe]

[wae]
[u]

[yu]

[wo^]

[ui]

[we]
[u^]

[u^i]

[i]

dictionary order:

(, ), , (, ), , (, , ), , (, , ), , (),
is similar to "Ah".
is similar to "yard".
is similar to "cut".
is similar to "just" or "Eliot".
is similar to "order".
is similar to " Yoda".
is similar to " Ungaro".
is similar to "you".
is similar to "good" or "le chatau".
is similar to "easy".
is similar to "add".
is similar to "yam".

is similar to " editor".


is similar to " yes".
is similar to " Wow!" or "what".
is similar to "wagon".
is similar to "Koeln".
is similar to " one".
is similar to " weather".
is similar to "we" or "Oui!".

Traditional vowel classification:


Traditionally, vowels are classified into three categories, that is yang (bright), yin (dark), and
neutral. This classification is very important, for it will be used when we learn conjugation of predicates
and some phonological aspects of Korean. The classification also principles the vowel-hamp3ony
phenomena that Korean has as a member of Altaic language family. The cassification is as follows:
yang (bright)

--

and series

(, , , , )

yin (dark)

--

and series

(, , , , )

neutral

--

and

3. How to make a character out of alphabet


Each character is designed to represent one syllable, the structure of which may be described as (C)V(C),
where C stands for a consonant, and V does a vowel--(C) means that the consonant in the position is
optional.
(C)
initial consonant

V
vowel

(CC)
final consonant (coda)

Some vowels are placed on the right side of the initial consonant; some are placed underneath the
initial consonant: Vowels , , (and their derivatives, i.e. , , ,) are placed on the
right; and vowels , , are placed undersneath the initial consonant. Final consonants are
always placed at the bottom.
E.g)

[kam]

[kuk]

[na]

[hwa]

[ae]

[ot]

[kot]

[kkot]

[pat]

[hu^(r)k]

[o^p]

[tto^(r)p]

NB) Final consonant clusters: ,

, , , , , , , , ,

Except for , , , , , , (ones with placed befre another consonant), when followed by
another consonant or nothing, the second consonant of the cluster becomes silent. This second
consonant will come alive when there is a vowel after it.

= kap "price"
+ = kap kwa "price and"
+ = kapsi "price (with a subject particle)"

Final clusters with '+consonant' fomp3ation are pronounced with slight irregularity. As for ,
, , , , the foregoing liquid sound [] of the cluster is ignored when followed by another
consonant or nothing. This comes alive when the cluster is followed by another vowel.
However, Seoul speakers (and many other regions too) tend to throw in a touch of liquid sound
for the even when the cluster is followed by a consonant or nothing.

= sa(l)m "a living"

+ = sal mi

"a living (with a subject particle)"

In clusters and , however, [] is alive even when followed by another consonant.


+ = kku^l k'o "boil and.."

Korean lessons: Lesson 3


Phonological notes
1. Syllable-final Consonants ():
1) Theoretically, any consonant can be in the (syllable final) position. In reality, , , and are
not used as .
2) Some of the consonants merge into one sound when they are in the syllable-final position.
Orthographically, however, they remain different. Summarized as follows:
consonant endings

sound

examples

[k]

[n]

, , , , ,

[t]

, , , , , all pronounced as [ ]

[l]

[m]

[p]

, both pronounced as []

[ng]

3) These merged sounds regain their original values when they are followed by a zero-initial syllable (i.e.
vowel).

(topic/subject marker)

[ kagi]

(place marker)

[ puo^k`e]

(temporal marker)

[ naje]

(place marker)

[ nach`e]

(top./sub. marker)

[ ibi]

(top./sub. maeker)

[ ip`i]

2. Rules of Pronunciation

2.1. Liason ( carry-over)


1) A is carried over by the following syllable when the following syllable starts with a zero-initial.
ex)

[]

[]

[]

[ ]

[]

[]

2) The second part of a double is carried over by the folowing syllable when the following syllable
starts with a zero-syllable.
ex)

[]

[]

[]

[]

[]

[]

2.2. Nasalization

When a final (non-nasal) consonant is followed by a nasal initial (,), the non-nasal consonant absorbs
the nasality, keeping its place of articulation. Remember, '' in the initial position is not a nasal consonant
but a zero.
,

, , , , ,

/ before or

ex)
[]

[]

[]

2.3. Aspiration
When

[h] is adjacent, a consonant is influenced and aspirated.

/ before or after

ex)
[]

[]

[]

[]

2.4. Palatalization
When or is followed by [i], a paplatalization occurs.

ex)

[t]

[ch]

[t`]

[ch`]

/ before

[]

[]

[]

2.5. Liquidation

/before another

ex)

[]

[]

Korean lessons: Lesson 4


Base forms and Stems
In a language, we find three basic ways of describing facts: description of action, state, and
identity. To describe an action, we use verbs. For example, in English, we say "I eat lunch,"
which describes the action ('eating') of the subject ('I'). To describe a state, we use adjectives.
When we say, "I am tall," it describes the state ('being tall') of the subject ('I'). Describing an
identity is relating one thing to another, characterizing the property of the subject. To say "I am a
student" is characterizing a property of the subject ('I'), by identifying the subject as a student.
When we talk about facts that happened in the past, or a something that will happen in the future,
the story is not simple. In English, if the your action of eating had happened in the past, you need
to use a different form of the verb, i.e., "I ate lunch." If you used to be quite tall for your age in
the past, but it is not the case now, you have to say, "I was tall."
For similar reasons, we say, "I was a student." In order to differentiate the mode of facts,
such as tense, we make variation on the predicates--in other words, verbs, adjectives, and noun
phrases, etc. This variation is called "conjugation." Like English, Korean also uses this
conjugation of predicates. Therefore, in a verb predicate, for example, we see a part that is
constant in all kinds of sentences, and the other part that changes according to the modes of facts.
(Think of "push, pushes, pushed, pushing..." in English. "Push" is the constant, where "-es", "ed", and "-ing" are alternating.) The constant part is called the 'stems'. The conjugation in Korean
is made by attaching different suffixes to the stems.

stem
"to go/leave"

mid-polite suffix
(present tense)

"", a lexical verb stem, is attached with a mid-polite suffix "", making a present-tense
predicate. ("-" has more stories. We will learn them later.) Subjects can be omitted in many
simple everyday-conversational sentences, as long as they are obvious by the context.
""thus can be used in the sense of "I go," "you go," or sometimes, "He goes," etc. With an
intonation rising at the end ( ), it can be a question, "Do you go (Are you leaving?)" or "Shall we
go?", etc. It can even be taken as an imperative sentence, "Go (Leave)!"
A stem is a part of a verb predicate, not a whole word. When we list it in dictionaries, or refer
to it as a word--just as when we say "to go" or "to eat" as words--, we add "" at the end of a
stem. Thus,
Stem + = Base Form
+ = (Base Form, "to go")

High-polite -
When addressing a senior (in terms of age or social ranking), a high-polite style of speech is
used. "-" is a typical suffix of this style. A simple "How are you?" is made as the following.

stem
"to be well"

high-polite suffix
(present tense)

"" is a stem, the base form of which is "". Apart from the politeness of the
style, "-" can be used you use "", as in "You go (Please leave)" or "Do you go (Are you
leaving)?", "He/She goes", or "Does he/she go", etc. However, you may not want to use it when
the subject is you, the subject. For the added politeness by "--" is for the subject, not the
addressee, whereas "-" is for the addressee, as it is used in the mid-polite style.

Practice
Using the given words, make different sentences as seen in the key.
1. [verbs] --- (to meet), (to sleep), (to buy), (to ride), (to dig)
<Key>

(to
?
go):
!

I/you go. He/she goes.

Do you go? Does he/she go?

Please go!

2. [adjectives] --- (to be expensive), (to be salty), (to be cold)


<Key>
(to be cheap) : .
?
3. '-' verbs and adjectives

It's cheap.
Is it cheap?

(adj.) (to be healthy)


(verb) (to study), (to work)

<Key>

(adj.) (to be well):


(verb) (to do) :

Are you well (How are you)?

? Do you do (it)?
! Do (it)!

Korean lessons: Lesson 5


Nominal predicates : "--"
Sample Dialogues
By 'nominal predicate', we mean a predicate of a sentence that describes the subject by
identifying it with another noun: "I am a student." For verbs and adjectives, we learned that
there are base forms and stems. We thus get base forms, "" for "to go", and "" for "to
be cheap", etc. Now, we are facing a new problem. If there is no such thing as the English verb
"to be", how are we going to say such sentences as "I am a student"? Many languages lack the

verb like "to be," which can be used both in nominal predicates and adjectival predicates. ("I am
a student" and "I am tall".) In order to relate two nouns (i.e., the subject and the nominal
complement), such languages use so-called 'copula'. In Korean, that copula is "-". "-"
is of course the base form, which still has to be conjugated to be used in actual sentences.
Hence, "" ("to be a student"); "" ("to be clouds").
True stories of the present-tense suffix - and -
In Lesson 4, - and - were introduced. It was, however, not exactly everything that we
should know about them.
1) Mid-polite suffix -/
Verbs and adjectives that we practiced with for - suffix in Lesson 4 have something in
common: they all have the stem ending in vowel ? without any patch'im followed ('', '',
'', etc.) Those whose stems end otherwise, should take either - or -. The last
vowel of the stem decides which of the two to take. Once again, the vowel harmony principle
('yang with yang; yin with yin') applies:

If the stem has a yang vowel at the last syllable, use -;


If the stem has a yin or neutral vowel at the last syllable, use -.
(For yang/yin/neutral vowels, see Lesson 2.)

to be small

: + -

to come

: + -

[]
to be alright

: + -

to give

: + -

to eat

: + -


"It's small." or "He/She is small."?
()
"Come!" or "I come" or "He/She
comes."
[]
"It's OK."
()
"Give (me, etc.)!" or "I give."

"Eat!" or "I eat." or "He/She eats."

[]
to read

: + -

[]
"Read!" or "I read." or "He/She
reads."

In fact, is a contraction [ + - () ], so are the others in


Lesson 4.
(NB) - verbs and adjectives are rather peculiar. For them, - is assumed instead of . This may sound quite overwhelming, but - words are in fact easier. All the -
stems with no exception appear as -.

to work

to study

to be nice (person)

2) High-polite suffix -()


Although not so complicated as -/, this suffix also has its own rules:

If the stem ends without a patch'im, use -;


If the stem ends with a patch'im, use -.

to laugh

[]

""

Finally, we arrive the detail structure of ". XXX(name)." Since personal


names are the same as nouns, we use the nominal-predicate copula, -. In order to make it
into a real sentence, we need to add either - or - in place of the base-form making -
after --. For is a neutral vowel, - is added. - had gone through a certain
phonological change in modern Seoul speakers' speech, and ended in -.
+ - "I am Oh Young Kyun."
Similarly,
: "I am / You are a student" or "He/She is a student"
: "It's a train."
There are two forms to spell this -: - and -. As far as we are concerned, just suffice.

Practice
1. Using the following words, make sentences with -/ and -() conjugation. Please
give at least one possible translation for each sentence. Also, mark each word whether it is a
verb (V) or an adjective (A).
<Key>

"to be good" (A)

"to work" (V)

"It is good."

"Is it good?"

"He/She is good."

"Is he/she good?"

"I work."

"Do you work?"

"He/she works."

"Is he/she working?"

<Words>
[]
(to be hated)

(to wear, put on)

(to be small)

(to buy)

(to be expensive)

(to read)

(to be OK)

(to be comfortable)

(to be cold)

[]
(to be many/much)

(to laugh)

[]
(to be healthy)

(to study)

(to see)

2. Using the following nouns, make dialogues. (And translate them.)


<Key>
:

A-?

B- , .

Is that a duck?

Yes, it is a duck.

a duck

<Nouns>
(tree);

(baby)

(hat)

(pants)

(butterfly)

(car)

(banana)

(star)

(bear)

Korean lessons: Lesson 6


Subject marker: -/

As mentioned in Lesson 1, Korean is an agglutinating language. It means that Korean uses little
grammatical devices attached to words to specify their roles in a sentence. English is not an
agglutinating language, employing rather a fixed word order and prepositions in order to specify
the role of each part.
A subject of a sentence is the agent (doer) of the action described by the sentence. Assuming
that a state of being can also be treated as an action, a subject can take any kind of predicate, i.e.,
a verbal, an adjectival, or a nominal predicate. Think of "S goes," "S is bad," and "S is a man."
In each case, S is the subject. To mark this subject, Korean attaches either or to it. - is
used when the subject word ends without a final consonant (patch'im), whereas - is for those
ending without a final consonant.
Only nouns can be subjects in Korean, such is the case in English. In other words, when you see
a part of a sentence attached with - or -, you will know that it must be a noun. However,
you might hear sometimes people say sentences without using subject markers -/ for
subjects. It is because the sentences were simple and a conversational reality is presumed. For
these sentences, subject markers can be replaced by a short pause. In sentences the structure of
which is complex, or in written forms, the markers should be specified.

Finally, we get a sentence meaning, "The embassy is far."


Now, let's look at some more examples.
predicate

subject


These pants are comfortable.

The train is coming.

The teacher is laughing.

That (over there) is a school.

This is a bear.

<practice>
Use the following pairs of words to make sentences in mid-polite style. Don't forget to use
subject markers, and to translate each sentence, as given in the above examples.
subject

predicate

1.

(this person)

(friend)

2.

(rose)

(to be expensive)

3.

(water)

(to be cold)

4.

(tree)

(to be good)

5.

(that person)

(to be healthy)

6.

(money)

(to be many/much)

7.

(baby)

8.

(this [thing])

(hat; cap)

9.

(here; this place)

10.

(to be small)

11.

(studying)

(to be dislikable)

12.

(car)

(to come)

13.

(to work)

14.

(home)

(where)

15.

(who)

16.

(book)

(to be cheap)

17.

18.

(this computer)

(to be okay)

19.

(a younger sibling)

(to sleep)

20.

(homework)

(America)

Korean lessons: Lesson 6: Answer


1. .

This is a friend.

2. .

Roses are expensive.

3. .

The water is cold.

4. .

Trees are good. (I like trees.)

5. .

That person is healthy.

6. .

There are a lot of money.

7. .

The baby is healthy.

8. .

This is a hat.

9. .

There (or, this) is a school.

10. .

The pants are small.

11. .

Studying is dislikable. (I hate studying.)

12. (<+).

A car comes. (Here comes a/the car.)

13. .

That friend works.

14. ?

Where is your home? (Where do you live?)

15. ?

Who is that man?

16. (<+).

The book is cheap/inexpensive.

17. (Madison) .

Madison is far (from here).

18. .

This computer is okay.

19. (<+).

My younger sibling is sleeping.

20. .

Homework is a lot. (I have a lot of home


work.)

Korean lessons: Lesson 7


Object marker - / -
[Not many people are fond of talking about grammar. However, this is the least bit of the Korean grammar

that you should know. We will be as plain as possible while discussing it.] An object in a sentence is the
thing or a person that receives the action (described by the verb) from the subject. As we know, the
subject is the doer (agent) of the action that the verb describes.

In this sentence, the doer of eating is "friend ('my' is assumed)," and the recipient of the action ("eating")
is "lunch." As you might have noticed already, not every sentence will have both subject and object. Only
those sentences containing verbs that take objects will. Let us think about English for a moment, in order
to understand this grammatical terminology. In English grammar, the verbs that take objects are called
'transitive verbs.' For example, "to eat" is a transitive verb, since there must be something that is eaten
(that is, receives the action). Similarly, you have a group of verbs that are transitive and another that are
intransitive. Such verbs as "love, buy, drink, see, understand, choose, find..." are transitive. (What these
verbs have in common is that you can say "to [verb] something / someone.") Such verbs as "go, sit, stay,
die, come..." are intransitive. You handle an object in an English sentence simply by placing it AFTER the
verb.
A dog

bites

a person.

subject

verb predicate

object

If you switch the positions of the subject and the object, you get a completely different meaning.
A person

bites

a dog.

subject

verb predicate

object

Now, let's go back to Korean. We know that the predicate must be placed at the of a sentence. Thus, both
subject and object should come before the verb (predicate), and such change of meaning depending on
the word order is less likely to happen. A subject does not necessarily come before the object in a Korean
sentence. What clarifies the meaning, therefore, is the particle, i.e., subject/object markers. (Linguists
usually call them Case markers.)

subject "a person"

object "a dog"

verb predicate "bite"

"A person bites a dog."


- and - are subject and object markers, respectively. Since the subject and object are labeled with
markers, there is no possibility of confusion, as long as you keep them together.

object "a dog"

subject "a person"

verb predicate "bite"

"A person bites a dog."

The meaning can only change when you switch the markers.

object "a person"

subject "a dog"

verb predicate "bite"

"A dog bites a person."


Oftentimes, a subject is simply not said in Korean when it is understood.
A: ? (Who does the dog bite?)
B: . ([It] bites a person.)
As you might have noticed, the difference between - and - is purely phonological: when the previous
syllable ends with a consonant (patch'im), use -; with a vowel (no patch'im), use -.

<practice>

answer

You are given two nouns and one transitive verb in each line. Combine them into a sentence, assuming
that the first noun is the subject and the second is the object. Be sure to conjugate the verb with -, , -(), when needed.

Key
,

(friend)

(television)

(watch, see)

([My] friend watches TV.)

1. (boy friend), (book), (buy)


2. (father), (newspaper), (read)
3. (student), ,
4. (girl friend), (movie), (like)
5. (grandmother), (money), (give)
6. (child), (lunch), (eat)
7. , , (meet)
8. (uncle), (English), (study)
9. , (Korean),
10. (mother), ,

Korean lessons: Lesson 8


Who, What, Where?

Q: ?

A: .

Who is it?

It's Sun-i.

Q:

Whom are you meeting?

A: .
I meet sun-i.

Q: ?

A: .

What is it?

It is an apple.

Q: ?

A: .

What do you like?

I like apples.

Q: ?

A: .

Where is it?

It is in Seoul.

Q: ?

A: .

Where are you going?

I go to Seoul.

who

(often > )

what

where

These words are pronouns. They need particles to be specified for their functions, such as subject,
object, adverbial, etc. Although we have not discussed it in detail, let us learn - and -, object markers.
- is used when there is a final consonant (patch'im) preceding; whereas is for elsewhere. Note that
(where) is also a noun (pronoun), while "where" in English is not.

what

sub.

obj.

(= )

(=)

who

(>)

where

E.g.
?

What is difficult?

Who is coming?

lit. Where is hurting? (Which part of your body is


hurting?)

What do you learn?

Whom are you meeting?

Where do I hit?

For similar reasons, - is needed after in the above dialogues. - is a marker that functions like
the preposition ('in' or 'to') in English, though they are placed after the noun they work with.
<English>
in Seoul

<Korean>
=

(Seoul + in)

We will discuss this in detail later.

Korean lessons: Lesson 9


This 'n that, here 'n there --, --, --

, , and are demonstrative modifiers for nouns.

+thing

+person

+place

this

that over there

that

Q-word

(what)

(who)

(where)

When the referent (an object or a person) is close to the speaker, it is referred to as --. When it
is closer to the listener than to the speaker, it is referred to as --. If it is rather distant from both
parties, it is referred to --. The only thing that is different from the case in English would be
that what is referred to with -- should be in the sight of the speaker.
?

Using ('person') is not polite enough to refer to an older person. You replace
with in such cases. Then, the predicate will have to change accordingly into high-polite
(with honorific infix --) style.
?

Korean lessons: Lesson 10

Styles of speech--a broad classification


1. or Polite speech
(non-polite style): the style of speech in which you speak to your friends (of your age) or to
people younger than you are.
(polite style): the style in which you speak to your superiors or seniors. Politeness of
style can be demarcated into two criteria:
(1) whom you talk to -- Politeness is achieved by -/- or -
(2) whom you talk about -- Politeness is achieved by infix --.
When you talk to someone, that person you are talking to could be older or younger than you are;
when you talk about a person to someone (of course, they can either be different or identical),
that person you are talking about can also be older or younger than you are. Chon-dae mal
concerns the proper handling of both these criteria in speech. In addition to age, rank in various
social relations also dictates proper use of these speech styles.
Throughout these categories applies a supervening category of formality. This category
concerns the occasion where the conversation occurs. For example, the formal style will be
adopted more in work place, public speech, army, etc. ; whereas the informal would better be
used among close friends, family members, and people in private relationship. However, in
many cases, the consistency of formal/informal speech style is not really strict. In other words,
you may feel free switch back and forth between formal and informal style within a
conversation, as long as you keep the consistency of politeness.
We can summarize the above:

TO

ABOUT

formal ending

informal ending

TO seniors ABOUT juniors or self -/


(polite)
ABOUT seniors
-()

-/

TO juniors ABOUT juniors or self -


(plain)
ABOUT seniors
-()

-/

-()

-()

This is a simple outline of endings. As we will learn later, there are other grammatical details
that may be needed according to tense, verb/adjective differentiation, etc. There are also other
supplementary devices, such as self-effacing pronoun for the first person ( instead of plain

for 'I'), lexically honorific words ( instead of for 'speech, words'), etc. , which will also be
discussed later.
Now let us see how we can make variation for same sentences. The following is in informal
style.
(Talking to my friend) The teacher is coming to our house.
.
(Talking to my mother) The teacher is coming to our house.
.
(Talking to my younger sister) My friend is coming to our house.
.
(Talking to my mother) My friend is coming to our house.
.

Extensive variety in speech style is often the most overwhelming part when a foreigner begins to
learn Korean. It is known to be more complicated than in Japanese. However, as much as it is
hard to foreigners, it is not an easy matter to native speaker. People in younger generations in
Korea also experience difficulty with proper use of speech style. (In fact, this is somehow
related to the shifts that happened in the Korean social structure. Speech style is a product of
layers of social/kinship relationship. Compared to traditional families where more than three
generations lived in one house or neighbourhood, modern 'nuclear' families offer very few
opportunities for the children to practice different speech styles. )
2. or written style
literally means "written-language style," in which you write formal documents, articles,
papers in classes, and so on. As there are polite and non-polite styles, we have polite formal
style and non-polite formal style. They both have - at the end.
polite formal ending -- -/
non-polite formal ending -- -/ (present-tense verb) or - (elsewhere)
Newspaper articles, academic papers, public announcement, and so forth, are written in these
styles. In fact, the non-polite is preferred in most written documents over the polite, unless the
document is by nature a dialogue (i. e. , announcement) aiming at actual readers.

The non-polite formal, from a native speaker's intuition, gives the impression of self-addressing,
which may explain why it is also used in diaries--something that can be most informal. The style
is also used frequently by a speaker toward others in the same or younger age, as we saw in the
chart above, and therefore we can call it .

Korean lessons: Lesson 11


Numbers (I)
Two Sets of numbers
Two sets of numbers are in use in Korean: native Korean and Chinese-based sets. The Chinesebased set transmitted to Korea long time ago, probably with Chinese writing system, to settle in
the language. It is also the case in Japanese, and we see certain phonological similarity among
Chinese numbers and Chinese-based sets of Japanese and Korean numbers.
Japanese

Korean

one

yi

ichi

il ()

two

er

ni

i ()

three

san

san

sam ()

four

si

shi

sa ()

five

wu

go

o ()

In fact, the Japanese and Korean sounds of Chinese numbers are quite similar to those in many
modern Chinese dialects, sometimes even more similar than modern Mandarin to them. The
Chinese remnants in Japanese and Korean, along with other Chinese dialects, reflect old phases
of Chinese language.
For the sake of our convenience, let us call these two sets 'Korean numbers' and 'Chinese
numbers.' Here are the two sets of 1 to 10.
Korean numbers

Chinese numbers

10

There is no semantic difference between the two sets. Both '' and '' means one. They
differ according to when and how they are used. We will discuss this in the next lesson.
First, let us learn more about the Chinese numbers. Counting more than ten observes the
arithmetic principles. Take "12" and "20" for example. 12 is made of 10 and 2--there are other
ways of making it, but this is what the number stands for--. On the other hand, 20 stands for two
tens. Thus, the Chinese number has them:
12 = 10 + 2

20 = 2 x 10

Chinese numbers under 100


10 11
12
13
14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29


30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

Tens, hundreds, thousands . . .


0
1
2
3

tens

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

hundreds 100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

thousands 1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

7,000

8,000

9,000

10 thou. 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000 90,000

100 thou. 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 700,000 800,000 900,000

millions 1 mil.

2 mil.

10 mil.

10 mil. 20 mil. 30 mil. 40 mil. 50 mil. 60 mil. 70 mil. 80 mil. 90 mil.

100 mil.

100
mil.

200
mil.

300
mil.

400
mil.

500
mil.

600
mil.

700
mil.

800
mil.

900
mil.

3 mil.

4 mil.

5 mil.

6 mil.

7 mil.

Notice that 'one hundred', 'one thousand', etc. are not '', '', etc.
Now, let us see how these work.
168:
250:
7,892:
980,768,543:
Some examples in the usage of Chinese numbers.
Money: (12,000 won), (3,500 dollar)
Phone number: 238-7834 ( )

8 mil.

9 mil.

Room/APT Number: Room 305 ( )

Korean lessons: Lesson 11


Numbers (I)
Two Sets of numbers
Two sets of numbers are in use in Korean: native Korean and Chinese-based sets. The Chinesebased set transmitted to Korea long time ago, probably with Chinese writing system, to settle in
the language. It is also the case in Japanese, and we see certain phonological similarity among
Chinese numbers and Chinese-based sets of Japanese and Korean numbers.
Japanese

Korean

one

yi

ichi

il ()

two

er

ni

i ()

three

san

san

sam ()

four

si

shi

sa ()

five

wu

go

o ()

In fact, the Japanese and Korean sounds of Chinese numbers are quite similar to those in many
modern Chinese dialects, sometimes even more similar than modern Mandarin to them. The
Chinese remnants in Japanese and Korean, along with other Chinese dialects, reflect old phases
of Chinese language.
For the sake of our convenience, let us call these two sets 'Korean numbers' and 'Chinese
numbers.' Here are the two sets of 1 to 10.
Korean numbers

Chinese numbers

10

There is no semantic difference between the two sets. Both '' and '' means one. They
differ according to when and how they are used. We will discuss this in the next lesson.
First, let us learn more about the Chinese numbers. Counting more than ten observes the
arithmetic principles. Take "12" and "20" for example. 12 is made of 10 and 2--there are other
ways of making it, but this is what the number stands for--. On the other hand, 20 stands for two
tens. Thus, the Chinese number has them:
12 = 10 + 2

20 = 2 x 10

Chinese numbers under 100


10 11
12
13
14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29


30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

Tens, hundreds, thousands . . .


0
1
2
3

tens

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

hundreds 100

thousands 1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

7,000

8,000

9,000

10 thou. 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000 90,000

100 thou. 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 700,000 800,000 900,000

millions 1 mil.

2 mil.

10 mil.

10 mil. 20 mil. 30 mil. 40 mil. 50 mil. 60 mil. 70 mil. 80 mil. 90 mil.

100 mil.

100
mil.

200
mil.

300
mil.

400
mil.

500
mil.

600
mil.

700
mil.

800
mil.

900
mil.

3 mil.

4 mil.

5 mil.

6 mil.

7 mil.

Notice that 'one hundred', 'one thousand', etc. are not '', '', etc.
Now, let us see how these work.
168:
250:
7,892:
980,768,543:
Some examples in the usage of Chinese numbers.
Money: (12,000 won), (3,500 dollar)
Phone number: 238-7834 ( )
Room/APT Number: Room 305 ( )

Korean lessons: Lesson 13

8 mil.

9 mil.

Locative markers - and -


So far, we have used - as a marker indicating a place. We now have a new location marker: - .
The meaning of - is 'in', used after a noun, like a postposition (the opposite concept to English
'preposition'). For example:
. I work at a bank.

Now it becomes quite puzzling how - and - are different.

(1) Meaning of 'in (or at/on)'


- indicates the place of a state of being (, , , etc.)
- indicates the place of an action (, , , , etc.)
NB) is rather peculiar, being used with both - and - . No apparent semantic difference is
noticed, except that - with induces more vivid image of 'life' than simple 'dwelling'.

(2) With directional predicates (, , , etc.)


- means 'to'.
- means 'from'.
NB) (to put) and (to sit) also use - because these verbs are recognized to be directional.
. Mr. Kim came from Korea.
We may understand that - still keeps the meaning of 'in' and that it is the directionality implied by the
predicate that produces the sense of 'from'. In the above example, although Mr. Kim may not be in Korea
at the time that the sentence is spoken, his action of 'coming' must have started in Korea.
The following table summarizes what we have discussed above.

-
state

in ( at )

( , , )

directional

to

from

( , , )

action

in ( at )
x

( , , , etc.)

x indicates that the respective marker is not used with the predicates.

Korean lessons: Lesson 13: Practice


Locative Markers - Practice
Practice the following. Fill in the blanks with either - or - , and translate the sentences.
(Answers are given below.)
1. ______ ?
2. ______ ?
3. ______ . ( : library)
4. ______ . ( : now)
5. ______ . ( : Japan)
6. ______ . ( : tomorrow)
7. ______ ?
8. ______ . ( : room)
9. ______ . ( : class room)
10. ______ .
11. ______ . (: we/our, : cat, :bed)
12. I work at a bank.

13. goes to the bathroom. (bathroom: )


14. goes to a college this year. (this year: )
15. I eat dinner at a Korean restaurant. (restaurant: )
16. buys a radio at Best Buy. (radio: )
---------------------------------------------------------------------

<Answers>
1. [In which school do you study?]
---- "To study" is an action.
2. or [Where do you live?]
---- "To live" can be understood either as action or as state. This is an unusual case due to the
two different, but subtle, modes of "living." Combined with , it sounds to be asking the
place where the action of living--eat, sleep, go to work, pay bills, etc.--takes place, whereas with
, simply asking the place of residence.
3. [My girl friend is at the library.]
---- "Being" is a state.
4. [I am going to the library now.]
---- "To go" is directional.
5. [A friend is coming from Japan.]
---- gives the origin of "coming".
6. [I am watching a movie at a theater tomorrow.]
---- "Watching a movie", though it may not be very 'active', is an action.
7. [Where is the theater?]
---- Again, "being" is a state.
8. [My older brother is reading a book in the room.]
---- "Reading" is an action.
9. [The teacher is not in the class room.]
---- " ", same as " ", is a state.

10. [The book is not in this room.]


---- " (not existing)" is also a state.
11. [Our cat sleeps in the bed.]
---- "To sleep" may not be an active thing to do, but counts as an action.
12. .
13. .
14. .
15. .
16. .