Intermediate 1 > Lesson 1

Lesson 1. Indirect Question: V/A-ㄴ/는/은지 (+묻다, 물어보다, 궁금하다, 알다, 모르다 etc)

What is an Indirect Question?

It is a question embedded into a sentence. It is the object in a sentence that the speaker is unaware of.



I want to know if/whether Jisoo likes me.  (Direct form = Does Jisoo like me?)

I am curious how difficult Korean is. (Direct form = How difficult is Korean?)

Do you know what this is? (Direct form = What is this?)

Do you know if Jisoo will come home? (Direct form = Will Jisoo come home?)




Step 1: Using Indirect Marker.

An indirect marker marks the unknown content in the sentence i.e., what you don’t know or would like to know. (Refer to the bold parts in the above examples.)


Step 2. Making sentences.

  1. Present Tense Verb : (S) + (O) + Verb + 는지

Ex. I want to know if Jisoo likes me.

  =  직수가 저를 좋아하는지(를) 알고 싶어요.


Ex. I don’t know whether Jisoo drinks coffee.

   = 지수가 커피를 마시는지 모르겠어요.


  1. Present Tense Adjective : (S) + Adj + ㄴ/은지

Ex. I am not sure if Jisoo is busy these days.

= 지수가 여즘 바쁜지 잘 모르겠어요.


Ex. I don’t know who is smarter.

  =  누가 더 똑똑한지 모르겠어요.


  1. 이다 verb :

Noun 이다 = to be noun

Ex. I don’t know if that person is Korean.

=  그 사람이 한국 사람인지 모르겠어요.


Ex. I am not sure if that person is a woman.

  =  저 사람이 여자인지 모르겠어요.


  1. Past Tense : Verb/Adj-았/었는지, Noun 이었는지/였는지

Ex. Do you know how pretty my mom was when she was young?

=  우리 엄마가 젊었을 때 얼마나 예뻤는지 알아요?


Ex. I am curious why Jisoo didn’t go to the party.

  =  지수가 파티에 왜 안 갔는지 궁금해요.


  1. Future Tense : Verb/Adj-ㄹ/을 지, Noun 일지

Ex. I am not sure what dad will bring. [ 가져오다]

=  아빠가 뭘 가져올지 잘 모르겠어요.


Ex. I am not sure if it will rain tomorrow.

  =  내일 비가 올지 잘 모르겠어요.