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Korean Lesson 33, Conjugating an Irregular, but Very Important Verb in Korean: 하다 (hahdah)

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.

뭐 해요? (noh heyo) = what does he do? (Remember, the subject is left out in Korean.) 뭐 하고 있어요. (mo hako eesseoyo) = What is he doing?, 그는 성경을 공부 해요 (kunun seongyeong ul kongboo heyo) = He studies his Bible. 그는 성경을 공부 하고 있어요 (kunun seong gyeong ul kongboo hako eesseoyo) = He is studying the Bible.

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.”

그들은 뭐 해요? (kudul un mo heyo?) = What do they do? 그들은 수영 해요. (kudul un sooyeong heyo) = They swim. 그들은 워 하고 있어요? (kudul un mo hako eesseoyo) = What are they doing? 그들은 수영 하고 있어요. (kudul un sooyong hako eesseoyo) = They are swimming.

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 해요. (weeheom heyo) = it is dangerous.

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.

행복해요 (hengbok heyo) = she is happy. (Remember, you can leave the pronoun out in Korean.)

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.

이상 해요 (eesang heyo) = She is strange.

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.

공부 했어요 (kong boo hesseoyo) = She studied. 행복 했어요 (hengbok hesseoyo) = She was happy.

Simple past tense of 하다:

했다 (hettdah) = did, was, were

했어요 (hesseoyo) = did, was, were

했습니다 (hettsubneeda) = did, was, were

공부 한적이 있어요. (kongboo han jeokee eesseoyo) = He has studied. 행복 한적이 싰어요 (hengbok han jeokee esseoyo) = He has been happy.

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

그는 뭐 하고 있어요? (kunun mo hako eesseoyo) = What is he doing? 그는 이상 하고 있어요. (kunun eesang hako eesseoyo) = He is being strange.

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

내일 무슨 것을 할거요? (neh-eel moosunkeotdmf halkeoyo) = What will she do tomorrow? 모라요. (morah-yo) = I don’t know.

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

무슨 것을 한걱이 있어요? (moosun keotul han jeokee eesseoyo) = What had she done? 쿠키를 만들었어요. (kookeelul manduleosseoyo) = She had made cookies.

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.


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