Playing With Useful Korean Verb Conjugations

Recently, I gave a friend of mine a copy of what we call “the verb game” because she has had such an interest in it. I have thought that if I could put it on my blog, I would because it is fun and has helped numerous Koreans learn how to conjugate English verbs and several foreigners learn how to conjugate Korean verbs. It is one of the things that taught me to speak Korean. It is a card and dice game. However, I have never figured out how to put it on my blog. Perhaps I eventually will. However, playing it has taught me to go beyond what the Korean as a second language books teach. The books love to teach all the forms that are not actual conjugations. However, because I wanted my students to know how to conjugate verbs in English, I invented this game, and it worked so well that not only did they learn to conjugate verbs in English, but I learned those same conjugations in Korean, something Korean language books don’t concentrate on, but something we all need to speak a foreign language. I decided that even if I haven’t figured out how to put the game on my blog yet, I could tell you how the Korean verbs are conjugated, and my friend who wanted the game so badly could use this blog to learn what she needs to win the game. If you know these, expressing yourself in Korean gets a lot easier. Here are a few basic verb conjugations of time rather than the forms that are so different from what we use in English all in the “yo” form, the form that you can speak to most people:

I played with verbs with my students, and they enjoyed it and learned at the same time. If I can ever figure out how to get that game on the computer, I will.

Simple Present Tense: This means it happens everyday or all the time.

go or goes = kayo or gayo, eat or eats= mogoyo, want or wants= wonheyo, do or does = heyo, see, sees, look, or looks = bo-ahyo, sit or sits =anjoyo, sleep = chayo, drink =mashioyo, get up, gets up, rise, rises = ilonayo, study or studies = konbooheyo, teach or teaches = karoochyoyo.

Many people think cowboys are from the past, but they aren’t. They herded cows, but they still herd cows today.

Simple Past Tense: This means it happened in the past at one time and was immediately finished.

went = kasoyo or gasoyo, ate =mogosoyo, wanted – wonhesoyo, did = hesoyo, saw or looked =bo-ahsoyo, sat = anjosoyo, slept – chasoyo, drank = mashiyosoyo, got up or rose = ilonayoyo, studied = konboohesoyo, taught = karoochyosoyo.

The Japanese are still bowing to one another. ([present progressive tense)

Present Progressive Tense: This means that it is happening right now. “Now” is the key to this tense. It is happening and continuing to happen. On this, we have to include the pronouns in English, but in Korean, it is all one word, and the hearer guesses at the pronoun unless you decide to be specific.

I am going, you are going, he, she, it is going, we are going, they are going = kago eesoyo. or gago eesoyo

I am eating, you are eating, he, she, it is eating, we are eating, they are eating= mog-go iisyoyo

I am wanting, you are wanting, he, she, it is wanting, we are wanting, they are wanting = wonhago eesoyo.

I am doing, you are doing, he, she, it is doing, we are doing, they are doing = hago eesoyo

I am looking, I am seeing, you are looking, you are seeing, he, she, it is looking, he, she, it is seeing, we are looking, we are seeing, they are looking, they are seeing – bogo eesoyo

I am sitting, you are sitting, he, she, it is sitting, we are sitting, they are sitting = anjyogo eesoyo

I am sleeping, you are sleeping, he, she, it is sleeping, we are sleeping, they are sleeping = chago eesoyo

I am drinking, you are drinking, he, she, it is drinking, we are drinking, they are drinking = mashiogo eesoyo

I am getting up, you are getting up, he, she, it is getting up, we are getting up, they are getting up, I am rising, you are rising, he, she, it is rising, we are rising, they are rising = ilonago eesoyo

I am studying, you are studying, he, she, it is studying, we are studying, they are studying = kongu hagoeesoyo

I am teaching, you are teaching, he, she, it is teaching, we are teaching, they are teaching = karoochigo eesoyo

I will go to America next month. (future tense) Mikook e kalkoyeyo.

Future Tense: Just as the name suggests, this happens in the future. In English, we can use the present tense progressive form of the verb and put “to” and the basic form of the verb after it, and it will turn into future tense. We also have another basic future tense. There are also two future tenses in Korean. This is a very easy tense in English because the second future tense simple needs “will” and the basic form of the verb. (The “g” and the “k” are basically interchangeable in pronunciation in Korean.)

will go = kalkoyeyo, kalgoshita, will eat – mogoolkoyeyo, mogoshita, will want = wonhalkoyeyo, wonhalgoshita, will do = halgoyeyo, halgoshita, will look or will see = bolkoyeyo, bokoshita, will sit = anjyol koyeyo, anjyoshita, will sleep = chal koyeyo, calgoshita, will drink = mashol koyeyo, mashgoshita, will get up, will rise = ilonal koyeyo, ilonagoshita, will study = kongboohal koyeyo, kongboohalgoshita, will teach = karoochil koyejo, karoochigoshita.

I have gone to Japan many times. (Present Perfect Tense) manun shikan e ilbon e kan jokee eeta.

Present Perfect Tense: In this tense, it is a past tense. However, it is different from simple past tense in that simple past tense happened and is finished. This tense beings in the past and continues until now.

have gone, has gone = kan jokee eeta, have, has eaten = mogon jokee eeta, has wanted, have wanted = won han jokee eeta, have done, has done = han jokee eeta, has looked, have looked, has seen, have seen = bon jokee eeta, has sat, have sat = anjyon jokee eeta, has slept, have slept = chan jokee eeta, have drunk, has drunk = mashin jokee eeta, has gotten up, have gotten up, has risen, have risen= ilonan jokee eeta, have studied, has studied = kongboohan jokee eeta, have taught, has taught = karoocheen jokee eeta.

I had ridden a horse many times, but I haven’t ridden one for many year. Nanun manun shikan e malul tadon jokee eetda, hajiman manun nyeon dong ahn tan jokee obsosoyo, (Past Perfect Tense and Negative Present Perfect Tense).

Past Perfect Tense: This is also another past tense. With this past tense, it begins in the past, continued for a while, and then ends in the past. It doesn’t continue to the present. the different between it and simple past tense is that simple past tense happened all at once, and then is finished. This one continued for a while before it finished.

had gone = kadon jokee eeta, had eaten =mokoodon jokee eeta, had wanted = won hadon jokee eeta, had done = hadon jokee eeta, had seen, had looked = bodon jokee eeta, had slept = chadon jokee eeta, had sat = anjyon jokee eeta, had drunk = mashyodon jokee eeta, had goeen up, had risen = ilonadon jokee eeta, had studied = konboohadon jokee eeta, had taught = karoochidon jokee eeta.

I have always liked singing. /Nanun hangsang norehan got ool choahan jokee eetka. (The gerund is “singing” in English, and in Korean “norehan got.”)

A Gerund: This is not actually a verb, but I always include it because it is very useful to know and it looks like a verb. Many students in Korea were making mistakes with the present progressive and using a gerund instead of a present progressive verb, but now, my students get ti right because of this game. A Gerund looks like a verb, but is a noun or an adjective. An example in English of how we use a gerund is “Going to school is fun.” “Going” looks like a verb, but it is actually a noun, a thing. Another example is: “The praying man is the happy man.” “Praying” looks like a verb, but it is actually an adjective. It describes “man.”

going = kanun got (noun), kanun (adjective), eating= moknun got (noun), moknun (adjective), wanting = wonhanun got, wonhanun, doing= hanun got, hanun, seeing, looking = bonun got, bonun, sleeping = chanun got, chanun, sitting = anjyonun got, anjyonun, drinking = mashionun got, mashionun, getting up, rising = ilonanun got, ilonanun, studying = konboohanun got, konboohanun, teaching = karoocheenun got, karoocheenun

She was talking on the phone. /koonyonun chonhwa ro malhago eesosoyo. (Past Progressive Tense)

Past Progressive Tense: This took place in the past. We don’t know exactly when it started or when it ended. It happened over a period of time and continued. The difference between this and Past Perfect Tense is that we know when Past Perfect Tense began and ended, but with this, we don’t know. In English, we need the pronouns, but if we just use two forms, you can figure it out because we only have two forms in the past progressive tense. If you use “was,” it is for “I,” “he,” “she,” or “it.” If you use “were” it is for “you, we, and they.”

was going, were going = kago eesosoyo, was eating, were eating = mogo eesosoyo, was wanting, were wanting = wonhago eesosoyo, was seeing, were seeing, was looking, were looking = bogo eesosoyo, was sleeping, were sleeping = chago eesosoyo, was sitting, were sitting = anjyogo eesosoyo, was drinking, were drinking = mashiogo eesosoyo, was getting up, were getting up, was rising, were rising = ilonago eesosoyo, was studying, were studying = kongboohago eesosoyo, was teaching, were teaching = karoochigo eesosoyo

My verb game has helped so many students and has also helped me. If I could figure out how to do it, you would get it on the computer. My daughter is studying computers at the university now. Perhaps she can do it someday.

If I every figure out how to get the verb game on my blog, you guys will get it. There is more on the verb game than these tenses. I also give them modals, basic sentences, translations, etc. that they learn by playing the game. However, so that this doesn’t become too long, here are just some basic conjugations. The people who play the verb game need these conjugations if they are going to win. I had one student who used to play who just knew he spoke English better than everyone else, so he was convinced he would never get one wrong. If he got one wrong he would get upset and want to quit, but he would always come back later wanting to play again. He finally conquered the game and could do anything the game asked him to do, and he was better than the others at that point. He is now finishing a masters to teach English, and English is his third language. I have seen some of the books from his masters, and he is really studying some difficult things, and this game helped to prepare him to get there. As for me, playing my verb game with my students helped me to learn to speak Korean better. when you play, you choose the language you want to play in, so I always played in Korean while my students played in English. I will probably have to do another blog if I want to include modals and other forms of the Korean verbs.


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