Basic Korean, Lesson 5, Some Easy Sentences and Questions (몇 가지 쉬운 문장과 질문)


  1. In Korean, there are several verbs that can translate as “is, am, or are.” Right now, we are going to work with the verb: 이다 (eedah) or 이예요 (eeyeyo) or 입니다 (eebneedah). All three of them mean the same thing and are in simple present tense. The first one is used in the dictionary or when you read it on the page, and the second one is used in polite conversation. This is the verb used to identify thing. You would use the third form if you were talking to a stranger or to someone higher than your station in life or older than you. If you hear an announcement on a loud speaker, you will hear the third one.
  2. If you learn to use the 요 (yo) form of the verb first, then you won’t have to conjugate the verb to ask a question because both the sentence and questions verb forms are the same if you use the 요 (yo) form. The word order is also the same in sentences and questions. When you are speaking, the only way you can tell that one is a question and the other a sentence is the tone of the voice. We also change our voice between sentences and questions with the same intonation, so they should be easy to hear.
  3. If you want to ask what something is, they have a tendency to push the word “what” and “is” together into one word: 모예요 (moyeyo) = what is.
  4. In Korean, the main verb of the sentence comes last, so the word “this” will come before 모예요 (moyeyo). The word for “this” is: 이것은 (eegeosun). 은 (un) tells you 이것 (eegeos) is the subject of the sentence. 이것은 뭐예요 (eegeosun moyeyo) = What is this?
  5. ////이것은 (eegeosun) means “this.” 그것은 (kugeosun) means “that.” 저것은 (jeogeosun) means “that over there.” We have only two demonstrative nouns or adjectives, but they have three. There is no difference with singular and plural with these words, so 이것은 (eegeosun) can also mean “these,” 그것은 (kugeosun) can also mean “those,” and 저것은 (jeogeosun) can also mean “those over there.” You only know from context if it should be translated as singular or plural.

Vocabulary: 연필 (yeonpeel) = pencil/// 집 (jeeb or cheeb) = house or home/// 기차 (geecha or keecha) = train//// 아기 (ah-ghee) = baby/// /어린 (eoreen) = young/// / 소년 (sonyeon) = boy/// 어린 소년 (eoreen sonyeon) = little boy/// 어린 양 (eoreen yahng) = young lamb or the lamb of God/// 어린이 (eoreenee) = children, kids, child/// 어린 소녀 (eoreen sonyeo) = little girl// 소녀 (sonyeo) = girl/// 산 (sahn) = mountain

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이것은 뭐예요? (eegeosun moyeyo) = What are these? (This can also translate as: What is this?)

그것은 연필 이예요. (kugeosun yonpeel eeyeyo) = Those are pencils. (This can also translate as: That is a pencil.)

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그것은 뭐예요? (kugeosun moyeyo) = What is that?

그것은 집 이예요. (kukeosun jeeb eeyeyo) = That is a house.

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저것은 뭐예요? (jeogeosun moyeyo) = What is that over there?

저것은 기차 이예요. (jeogeosun geecha eeyeyo) = That is a train over there.

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이것은 뭐예요? (eegeosun moyeyo) = What is this?

그것은 아기 이예요. (kugeosun ahghee eeyeyo) = That is a baby.

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그것은 뭐예요? (kugeosun moyeyo) = What is that?

그것은 어린 소년 이예요. (kugeosun eoreen sonyeon eeyeyo) = That is a little boy.

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이것은 뭐예요? (eegeosun moyeyo) = What are these? (This can also be translated: What is this?)

그것은 어린이 이예요. (kugeosun eoreenee eeyeyo) = Those are children. (This can also be translated: This is a child.)

그것은 어린 소녀와 어린 소년 이예요. (kugeosun eoreen sonyeo wa eoreen sonyeon eeyeyo) = That is a little girl and a little boy.

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저것은 뭐예요? (jeogeosun moyeyo) = What is that over there?

저것은이예요. (jeogeosun sahn eeyeyo) = That is a mountain over there.


If you have a friend who also wants to study Korean, take turns asking one another these questions, and the other answering them. The more you read it outloud, the easier it will be to say it. To memorize it, take a pen and paper and copy the sentences on a piece of paper and say them outloud while you are copying. Do it several times, and if you do it enouigh, you will learn this grammar innately and be able to say it whenever you want to say it.

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