Beginner 1 > Lesson 8
Lesson 8. Adjective (Conjugation & Modifier)
You can download extra study file (list of 70 adjectives and translation homework) at the very bottom of this page.
Adjectives in Korean have 2 functions:
- They function as a verb in a sentence to complement a subject.
- They act as a modifier to modify a noun after it.
PART 1- When an Adjective functions as a verb:
When Adjectives function as verbs in a sentence, they can be conjugated by following the same Conjugation Rules as verbs!
Ex. Jeff is sad = 제프가 슬퍼요.
Ex. The cat is small = 고양이가 작아요.
슬프다 meaning ‘to be sad’ is conjugated in its Present form as 슬퍼요
and 작다meaning ‘to be small’ is conjugated in its Present form as 작아요.
CONJUGATING ADJECTIVES (in Present Tense)
A. Stem + 아:
- Stem’s last letter has ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ vowels; and ends in 받침:
Ex. 짧다 (to be short) = 짧아.
Ex. 좋다 (to be good) = 좋아.
(Delete ‘다’ and add ‘아’)
- Stem ends only in the vowel ‘ㅏ’ (and no 받침):
Ex. 싸다 (to be inexpensive) = 싸. / 싸아(x)
Ex. 비싸다 (to be expensive) = 비싸. / 비싸아 (x)
- Stem ends only in the vowel ‘ㅗ’ (and no 받침):
Ex. 오다 (to come) = 와 (오다 → 오아 → 와)
Ex. 보다 (to see) = 봐 (보다 → 보아 → 봐)
(Delete ‘다’ and add ‘아’)
B. Stem + 어:
- Stem ends in a vowel other than ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’; and ends in 받침:
Ex. 적다 (to be small) = 적어.
Ex. 넓다 (to be wide) = 넓어.
(Delete ‘다’ and add ‘어’)
- Stem ends in vowel ‘ㅣ’:
Ex. 느리다 (to be slow) = 느려.
Ex. 시다 (to be sour) = 셔.
(Delete ‘다’ and ‘ㅣ’ changes to ‘이 + 어 =ㅕ’)
- Adjectives ending in -하다:
Ex. 편하다 (to be comfortable) = 편해.
Ex. 뚱뚱하다 (to be chubby) = 뚱뚱해.
(하다 is conjugated in its Present form = 해)
C. Stem ends in the vowel ‘ㅡ’:
- When the letter before the letter containing ‘ㅡ’ vowel has a vowel other than ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’-
Ex. 슬프다 (to be sad) = 슬퍼.
Ex. 예쁘다 (to be pretty) = 예뻐.
(Delete the ‘ㅡ’ vowel and add ‘ㅓ’)
- When the letter before the letter containing ‘ㅡ’ vowel has the vowel ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’-
Ex. 나쁘다 (to be bad) = 나빠.
Ex. 배 고프다 (to be hungry) = 배 고파.
(Delete the ‘ㅡ’ vowel and add ‘ㅏ’)
- When the letter containing ‘ㅡ’ vowel has no preceding letter-
Ex. 쓰다 (to write; use) = 써.
(Replace the ‘ㅡ’ vowel with ‘ㅓ’)
- When the adjective ends in ‘르’-
Ex. 다르다 (to be different) = 달라.
Ex. 빠르다 (to be quick) = 빨라.
(Add an extra ‘ㄹ’ underneath the previous letter as a 받침and change the 르 into ‘라’)
D. Stem ends in ‘ㅂ’ 받침:
Ex. 맵다 (to be spicy) = 매워.
Ex. 아름답다 (to be beautiful) = 아름다워.
Ex. 덥다 (to be hot) = 더워.
(Delete ‘ㅂ’ 받침 and add ‘워’)
Note: Past and Future conjugations have the same rules as the Present after converting the adjectives into the respective tenses.
|Adjective||Present Tense||Past Tense||Future Tense|
|좋다 (to be good)||좋아 (is good)||좋았어 (was good)||좋을 거야 (will be good)|
|맵다 (to be spicy)||매워 (is spicy)||매웠어 (was spicy)||매울 거야 (will be spicy)|
PART 2- When an Adjective acts as a modifier:
When an Adjective acts as a modifier, Adjective Modifiers are used.
Ex. Sad Jeff = 슬픈 제프.
Ex. The small cat = 작은 고양이.
THE ADJECTIVE MODIFIER
Stem + ㄴ/은
When stem does not end in 받침: Stem + ㄴ (슬프다 → 슬픈)
When stem does end in 받침: Stem + 은 (작다 → 작은)
Ex. Long hair is beautiful = *긴 머리는 아름다워요.
*길다 = to be long is an irregular adjective form! Simply delete the ‘ㄹ’ 받침 and replace it with ‘ㄴ’.
Ex. Jeff is a good friend = 제프는 좋은 친구예요.
Ex. A cute cat = *귀여운 고양이.
*귀엽다 (to be cute) is an irregular adjective form! Simply delete the ‘ㅂ’ 받침 and add ‘운’ to make it an adjective modifier.
맛있다 (to be delicious) → 맛있는
맛없다 (to not be delicious) → 맛없는
재미있다 (to be fun) → 재미있는
재미없다 (to not be fun) → 재미없는
Extra Study File : Download List of 70 Adjectives & Translation Quiz