Lesson 8: A Korean Verb that is Both a State of Being Verb and an Action Verb: 하다 (hada)


Initially, you will be told that 하다 means “to do,” and that is right, but it also means so much more! First, I will talk to you about its function as “to do,” and then I will explain how it also functions as “to be” at times. Knowing how to use 하다 makes your vocabulary jump leaps and bounds.


Levels of 하다 (hada)
하다 (hada)- The form you see in books. A sterner form if spoken.
해요 (heyo)- The softer spoken form of 하다. This is the form you want to use most.
합니다 (habneeda)- The more formal form of 하다. This is what students use when talking to teachers, strangers say when talking to one another, and what you will hear when they make announcements.


1. One important use of 하다:
You can change a noun into a verb using this verb. Here are some examples:
노래 (norey)- song (a noun)
노래 하다, 노래 해요, 노래 합니다 (norey, norey hada, norey habneeda)- sing, sings (a verb)
이해 (eehey)- understanding (a noun)
이해 해요? (eehey hey-yo)- Do you understand? (a verb used as an inquiry.)
네, 이해 해요. (ne, eehey hey-yo)- Yes, I understand.
안되요. 이해 하지 않아요 – (andeyo. eehey haji ahan ayo) – No, I don’t understand. Koreans would not feel obliged to put the 안되요 in the beginning like English speakers put “No,” but 안되요 means “no.”
요리사 (yoreesah)- a cook (a noun)
요리 해요, 요리 하다, 요리 합니다 (yoree hey-yo, yoree hada, yoree habneeda)- cook, cooks (a verb)
운전사 (oonjeonsah) – driver (a person, a noun)
운전 하다, 운전 해요, 운전 합니다 (oonjeon hada, oonjeon hey-yo, oonjeon habneeda)- drive, drives (verb)
수영 (sooyong) – swimming (a noun)
수영 해요, 수영 하다, 수영 합니다 (sooyong hey-yo, sooyong hada, sooyong habneeda) – swim, swims (a verb)
말 (mahl)- word
말 하다, 말 해요, 말 합니다 (mahl hada, mahl hey-yo, mahl habneeda)- speak, speaks, say, says, talk, talks
이야기 (eeyagee)- a story
이야기 하다, 이야기 해요, 이야기 합니다 (eeyagee hada, eeyagee hey-yo, eeyagee habneeda)- tell, tells (a story) (a verb)
사랑 (sahrahng) – love (a noun)
사랑 해요, 사랑 하다, 사랑 합니다 (sahrang, sahrang hada, sahrahng habneeda) – love, loves (a verb) If you want to say, “I love you,” simply say “사랑 해” or “사랑 해요.”
걱정 (keokjeong)- worry (a noun)
걱정 하다, 걱정 해요, 걱정 합니다 (keokjeong hada, keokjeong hey-yo, keokjeong habneeda)- worry, worries (a verb)



2. Another important use of 하다:
하다 can be added to an adjective to make it into a verb. We don’t have these kinds of verbs in English. They express with one word what we express with 2 words. This use of 하다 can be thought of as another state of being verb.
행복 (hengbok)- happiness (a noun)
행복 하다, 행복 해요, 행복 합니다 (levels) (hengbok hada, hengbok hey-yo, hengbok habneeda) – is happy, are happy, am happy ( conjugations in English of this verb)
행복 한 (hengbok han) – happy (an adjective)
사랑 (sahrahng)- love (a noun)
사랑 한 (sahrahng han) – loved (adjective)
사랑 해요 (sahrahng hey-yo)- is loved, am loved, are loved (verb)
걱정 (keokjeong) – worry (a noun)
걱정 한 (keokjeong han) – worried (an adjective) (Example of usage: “He is worried” = 그는 걱정 해요 (ku nun keokjeong hey yo). However, this also means, “He worries.”)


A Short Conversation:

Person A:  안녕하세요. (anyong haseyo) Hello

Person B:  안녕 하세요. 칠 지내요? (anyong haseyo. chal cheeneyo?)  Hello, how are you?

Person A: 네, 칠 지니재요.  (ne, chal cheeneyo.)  Yes, I am fine.

Person A: 네가 적음 걱정 해요. (nega jokum kokjeong heyo.) I am a little worried.

Person B: 웨 걱정 해요? (Wey kokjeong heyo?)  Why are you worried?

Person A: 나의 발이 아파요. (na ooee bal ee apa-yo) My food hurts.

Person B: 웨 발이 아파요? (Wey bal ee apa yo?) Why does your foot hurt?

Person A: 선생님이 나의 발위니 있어요. (sonsengneem ee na ooee bal ooeenee eeso-yo.) You are on my foot.

Person B: 정말로?  미안합니다!  (jongmalro? meean habneeda) Really? I am sorry.

Person A: 나의 생각이 병원에 가야한다!  안영히계세요. (na ooee sengak ee byeongwon e kayahanda! anyeong hee gese-yo.)  I think I have to go to the hospital! Good bye (to the person staying).

Person B: 정말로, 미안합니다! 나의 차로 운전 할거예요. (jeong mal ro, me-an habneeda. na ooee cha ro oonjeon halkoyeyo. ) I am really sorry. I will drive you with my car.

Person A:  안대요! 안녕히계세요.  지금은 나의 다른 발을 앞아요. (an deyo! anyeong hee gyese-yo. jeegum un dalun bal ool apa-yo) No! Goodbye! (to the person staying).  Now, my other foot is hurting!

Person B: 웨? (wey?)  Why?

Person A: 서생님이 나의 다름 발위에 있어요!  안녕히 계세요! (sonsengneem ee na ooee dalun bal ooee-e eeso-yo! anyong hee gyeseyo!) Now, you are on my other foot! Goodbye (to the person staying).

Person B:  미안합니다. 나의 발이 노무 켜요. 안녕히가세요. (meean habneeda. na ooee bal ee nomoo kyoyo. anyong hee kaseyo).  I am sorry. My feet are too big. Goodbye.



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