The last Korean verb I dealt with was a regular verb that does what many of the other verbs do. However, English is not the only language with irregular verbs. As I have studied languages, I have learned that every language has irregular verbs, one that don’t follow all the rules the others follow, and English is overflowing with them. Korean has them too, so I have chosen what I consider the most irregular verb in Korean to help you know what to do with it. Irregular verbs are like that because they are so important. You see, if we use a verb more often than the others, people have a tendency to mispronounce it or misuse it, and the others hear them, and they end up copying what they say, and then everyone is copying it, and it becomes the way you use that verb. The verb I have chose to work with this time is 하다 (hahdah) which can mean “do or does” or even “is, am, are, or be” in some places. Those are two very important verbs in English, so you can see why this verb is important in Korean.
Simple Present Tense of “to do”:
I have already told you that 하다 (hahdah) means “do or does.” That is what it means on the page. This is the form you will find in the dictionary. Don’t use this form in polite conversation, but you may hear people using it to speak down to people, to speak to people on their level who are close to them, or if they are rude.
해요 (heyo) = “do or does” in polite conversation. Yes, it seems strange that it is the same as 하다, but it is. This is the form you want to learn to use all the time because you can use it on most people.
합니다 (habneedah) = “do or does.” This is used if you want to show respect. Students use it to talk to teachers. Children use it to talk to their parents. Employees use it to talk to bosses, etc.
합니가 (habneekah) = “do (subect) do or does?” This is the question form of 합니다.
This verb can not only be used as “do or does,” but it can change a noun into a verb. Here are some examples:
말 (mal) = word or language. 말 하다 (malhada) or 말 해요 (mal heyo) or 말 합니다 (mal habneedah) mean “speak, say, or talk.”
수영 (sooyeong) = swim or swimming (the noun). 수영 하다 (sooyeong hada) or 누영 해요 (sooyong heyo) or 수영 합니다 (sooyeong habneeda) mean “swim or swims,” the verb.
기도 (keedoh) = prayer (a noun). 기도 하다 (keedoh hada), 기도 해요 (keedoh heyo), 기도 합니다 (keedoh habneedah) = pray or prays (the verb).
You can do this with all kinds of nouns, change nouns into a verb with 하다.
How can 하다 mean “to be”? You can also use adjectives and turn them into verbs in Korean with 하다 on the end, and some of them mean “is, am, or are” that adjective. Here are some examples:
위험 (weeheom) = danger (the noun), 위험 한 (weeheom han) = dangerous (the adjective), 위험하다 (weeheom hada), 위험해요 (wee heom heyo), or 위홈 합니다 (weeheom habneeda) = is, am, are dangerous.
행복 (hengbok) = happiness (the noun), 행복 한 (hengbok han) = happy (the adjective), 행복하다 (hengbok hada), 행복해요 (hengbok heyo), or 행복 합니다 (hengbok habneeda) = am, is, are happy.
걱정 (keokjeong) = worry (the noun), 걱정 한 (keokjeong han) = worried (the adjective), 걱정 하다 (keokjeong hada), 걱정 해요 (keokjeong heyo), or 걱정 합니다 (keokjeong habneeka) = is, am, are worried.
이상한 (eesang han) = strange (the adjective). 이상하다 (eesang hada), 이상해요 (eesang heyo), or 이상합니다 (eesang habneeda) = is, am, are strange.
All of the adjectives don’t use 하다 as “is, am, or are,” but many of them do. This is a good verb to get to know. You can use it in many different ways.
Simple past tense of 하다:
했다 (hettdah) = did, was, were
했어요 (hesseoyo) = did, was, were
했습니다 (hettsubneeda) = did, was, were
Present perfect of 하다:
한적이 있다 (hanjeokee eettda) = has or have done, or sometimes used for identifying certain adjectives, use has or have been
한적이 있어요 (hanjeokee eesseoyo) = has or have done, or sometimes, use has or have been
한적이 있습니다 (hanjeokee eetsubneeda) = has or have done, or sometimes use has or have been
Present tense continuous or progressive of 하다:
하고 있다 (hako eettdah) = is, am, are doing, is am, or sometimes identifying certina adjectives use: are being
하고 있습니다 (hako eetsubneedah) = is, am, are doing,or sometimes identifying certain adjectives: is, am or are being
Future tense of 하다:
할거예요 (halkeoyeyo) = will do, is, am, or are going to do, or sometimes identifying certian adjectives, use: will be or is, am, or are going to be
할거싰다 (halgeoshittda) = will do, is am or are going to do, or sometimes identifying certain adjectives use: or will be or is, am, or are going to be
Past Perfect tense of 하다:
하던적이 있다 (hadonjeokee eettda) = had done, or sometimes identifying certain adjectives: had been
하던적이 있어요 (hadonjeokee eesseoyo) = had done, or sometimes identifying certain adjectives: had been
하던적이 있습니다 (hadonjeokee eettsubneedah) = had done, or sometimes identifying certain adjectives: had been
I hope this give you a good idea with what to do with this verb. It changes here and there, but there are patterns in the changes. It is an extremely useful verb to learn. If you learn it, you will greatly increase your vocabulary.