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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1




Nouns:
= Korea
= city
= name
= I
= I
= man
= woman
= that
= this
= that (when object is far away)
= thing
= chair
= table
= teacher
= bed
= house
= car
Nouns:
= person
= book
= computer
= tree
= sofa
= China
= Japan
= door
= doctor
Verbs:
= to be (acts like an adjective)
Adverbs and Other Words:
= not
= yes
= no
Greeting Words
When learning a language, people always want to learn hello, how are you, and thank you
before anything else. I know that. However, at this stage you only know words - and have no
knowledge or experience in how to use or conjugate these words. The grammar within these
words is too complex for you to understand right now. However, you can just memorize these
words as one unit and not worry about the grammar within them at this point. If you want to
know where these constructions came from, I have provided information in the brackets below
each word, but you do not have to worry about that at this point

= hell
(The grammar within this word is using the adverb (peace) and (to go) with the
imperative ending ~).

or = thank you
( is the infinitive form of this word. It can be conjugated a variety of different ways
[discussed in Lesson 5 and Lesson 6] including ~/ and /)

? = How are you
Technically the appropriate expression in Korean, but not as common as "how are you" in
English. I would say that using " ?" is an English style of greeting people in Korean.
( is an adverb that means "to do something well." Followed by the verb "" meaning "to
spend or pass time." Conjugated using ~ in the form of a question.)

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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1
= Please
(No complicated grammar construction)

It is, of course, important for you to memorize these expressions in in Korean, but you need to
know that there is a reason why they are said that way. For now, dont worry about why they are
said that way, and simply memorize them. We will get back to them in later lessons when they
become important.

When learning a language, people always want to learn hello, please, how are you and
thank you first. I know that. I know that you will be dying to know, so I will show you:

Korean Sentence Structure
One of the hardest things to wrap your head around in Korean is the alien-like sentence structure.
Essentially, Korean sentences are written in the following order:
Subject Object Verb (for example: I hamburger eat), Or
Subject Adjective (for example: I beautiful)

It is incredibly important that you understand this from the very beginning. Every Korean
sentence MUST end in either a verb (like eat, sleep or walk) or an adjective (like beautiful, pretty,
and delicious). This rule is so important that Im going to say it again: Every Korean sentence
MUST end in either a verb or adjective.

It is also important to point out here that there are two ways to say "I" or "me" in Korean.
Depending on how polite you need to be speaking, many things within a sentence (mostly the
conjugation) can change. You will learn about the different honorific conjugations until Lesson 6,
so you do not need to worry about understanding those until then. However, before you reach
those lessons, you will see two different words for "I," which are:

, used in informal sentences, and
, used in formal sentences.

As Lessons 1 - 5 make no distinction of formality, you will see both and arbitrarily used.
Don't worry about why one is used over the other until Lesson 6, when politeness will be
explained.


Things to indicate parts of speech (particles)
In addition to this sentence structure, most words in a sentence have a particle (a fancy word to
say something) attached to them. These particles indicate the role of each word in a sentence.
The following are the most common particles:

or = goes after the subject of a sentence
Use when the last letter of the last syllable is a vowel:
=
=
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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1
Use when the last letter of the last syllable is a consonant:
=
=

= goes after the object (the thing that is being acted on by the subject) of a sentence
Use when the last letter of the last syllable is a vowel:
=
=
Use when the last letter of the last syllable is a consonant:
=
=

= goes after the time and/or location indicated in a sentence

It is hard to translate these particles into English. But, for example:
I ate hamburgers at 3pm.
The word at in the sentence is essentially what is doing in a Korean sentence.
If I were to write that sentence using Korean structure, it would look like this:
I hamburgers 3pm ate
Notice that:
is attached to "I" (the subject)
is attached to "hamburgers" (the object)
is attached to "3pm" (when the action took place)
Lets try some more:
- I speak Korean = I Korean speak
is attached to "I" (the subject)
is attached to "Korean" (to object)

- I went to the park = I park went
is attached to "I" (the subject)
is attached to "park" (the location indicated in the sentence)

- I like you = I you like
is attached to "I" (the subject)
is attached to "you" (to object)

- I wrote a letter = I letter wrote
is attached to "I" (the subject)
is attached to "letter" (to object)
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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1
To be:
Now it is time to learn how to make actual sentences in Korean using to be. English speakers
dont realize how difficult the word be actually is in English. Look at the following examples:

I am a man
He is a man
They are men
I was a man
They were men

In each of those sentences, the word be is represented by a different word (is/am/are)
depending on the subject and tense of the sentence. Luckily, in Korean, the same word is used to
represent is, am, are, was and were. This word is

The hard part about is that it is not a verb. It is not an adjective either, but it acts like one. I
always thought that be was a verb in English but maybe it is not. I dont know because Im not
an English teacher. In any event, is not verb in Korean nor is it an adjective. However, it
acts as an adjective.

Why is this important? I dont want to teach you all about English grammar here, but this one
thing needs to be said: Sentences with adjectives do not have objects in them. Only sentences
with verbs have objects. Lets look at some examples:

I eat hamburgers (eat is a verb, the object is a hamburger)
I meet my friend (meet is a verb, the object is my friend)
I study Korean (study is a verb, the object is Korean)
I listen to music (listen is a verb, the object is music)

All of those sentences have objects because there is a verb in the sentence. However, if I were to
say sentences with adjectives:

I am pretty I am beautiful

Notice that there is never an object in a sentence with an adjective (unless you want to say I ate
a delicious hamburger but that will come in a later lesson).

Okay, lets see if we can do this. Remember, is an adjective:

I am a man the Korean structure is:
I man am.

Now use the words provided above for man, I and am
= I
= man
= am/is/are/(to be)
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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1
+ +
gets attached directly to the noun that one is "being." So, the above construction looks like:
= I am a man
Important: The focus of this lesson (and Lessons 2 and 3) is to introduce you to simple Korean
sentence structure. Until you reach Lesson 5 and Lesson 6 you will not be exposed to the
conjugations and honorifics of Korean verbs, adjectives and . In reality, these words are
never (or very very rarely) used without these conjugations and honorifics. Therefore, while I
stress the importance of understanding the structure of the sentences presented in this Lessons 1,
2, 3 and 4 do not use the sentences in any form of communication with Korean people, as they
will most likely not be understood.
In order to completely understand what is presented in Lessons 5 and 6 (and for the rest of your
Korean studies), it is essential that you understand what is presented in these first four lessons -
even though they may be seen as "technically incorrect."
For all of the "technically incorrect" (un-conjugated) sentences presented in Lesson 1 - 4 I will
provide a correct (conjugated) version of the same sentence in parenthesis below the un-
conjugated version. Note one more time that you will not understand these conjugations until
Lessons 5 and 6 (for verbs and adjectives) and Lesson 9 (for ).
= I am a woman
( )

= I am a teacher
( )

______ = I am a _______
( _____)
You can substitute any word into the blank space to make these sentences.

That ___/This_____
You can see in the vocabulary above that the word for this is in Korean.
We use in Korean when we are talking about something that is within touching distance (for
example: this pen [the one that I am holding])

The words for that: and .
We use when we are talking about something from a previous sentence. For example: I dont
like that man [when your friend mentioned him in a previous sentence].
We use when were are talking about something that we cannot touch because it is too far away.

Using these is very simple and is just like English. By placing , or before a noun you can
say "this/that _______":

That person = This person =
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HowtoStudyKorean.com Unit 1 Lesson 1
That man = That woman =
Using This/That with
Remember, can be used to say am/is/are. So, if we want to say this:

That person is a doctor
- We can start by putting those words into the Korean structure:

That person doctor is
- And then change the English words to the appropriate Korean words:
+ +

( )

More examples:
= that person is a teacher
( )

= this thing is a table
( )

= that thing is a bed
( )

= that person is a man
( )

= that person is a woman
( )
Wow! That was an extremely difficult lesson. If you were to pick up another Korean textbook, I
am sure the first chapter would be much easier than this. Trust me though; learning this at the
start will be very useful to you later on. When I was learning how to speak Korean, it took me
months to realize some of these things (not because they were hard, but because I was using a
text book that never taught me the reason why things the way they are in Korean).

Before you move on, make sure you understand the simple Korean sentence structure presented
in this first lesson. Also, remember that these sentences are technically incorrect (or very very
uncommon) because they have not been conjugated.