These aren’t simply tune titles. They’re sentences—traces that categorical a whole thought.
As a Korean language learner, you’re most likely working in the direction of making a few of these your self.
Properly, it’s time to degree up your energy to take action.
On this submit, we dish out every little thing it is advisable learn about Korean sentence construction, so by the top of it, you’re in a position to categorical your self with ease (and grammatical accuracy).
There’s quite a bit to unpack right here, so let’s start!
3 Issues You Must Know About Korean Sentences
1. The Case of the Lacking Topic
In Korean, you’ll discover that sentences typically don’t have a topic.
However you’ll additionally shortly understand that this doesn’t pose any communication issues in any respect.
Koreans rely extra on the facility of context of their speech. It is because Korean is a high-context language. You don’t actually need a topic to grasp what a sentence is about.
So don’t fear if the topic, or some other aspect, is lacking. The context will at all times aid you out.
For instance, a Korean older brother tells the youthful, “문 닫아!” (shut the door). There’s no express topic within the sentence, however the context tells every little thing the youthful brother wanted.
As a result of Korean is a high-context language, questions can be simply answered even when they’re phrased very vaguely.
For instance, 어디 가요—which is normally translated as “the place are you going?”—is actually simply “the place go?”
In the long run, all it is advisable perceive is the context of a Korean sentence to discern its true that means—even with out a topic.
2. Adjectives Are Verbs
This may sound unusual to English audio system as a result of we know that “adjectives” and “verbs” clearly belong to totally different classes or courses. Heck, they’re totally different elements of speech—one describes a noun, the opposite is an motion phrase.
However in Korean, “adjectives” fall underneath the rubric of “verbs.”
They’re referred to as “descriptive verbs.”
Conjugation is whenever you remodel a verb to make it agree with the tense, quantity, temper or voice of the sentence.
For instance, we have now the verb “run.”
You possibly can say “ran” to discuss with one thing that occurred up to now, “will run,” to discuss with one thing sooner or later or “operating” if it’s taking place proper now.
That’s what conjugation is all about.
It’s actually simply taking part in round with verb kinds to provide the phrase barely totally different meanings.
3. Wait… for the Ending!
In Korean, sentence endings are actually the place it’s at. They’re loaded with that means.
Moreover marking politeness degree or formality, there’s a lot data left on the tail-end of Korean sentences. You’re actually going to have to attend ‘til the top earlier than you realize what the sentence is about.
They’re crucial half, they usually dangle round on the finish of sentences.
Korean statements normally open with the “topic,” adopted by the “object.” Consider them like they’re the solid of characters in a narrative. They’re launched early. However what occurs between them is revealed on the finish.
An English assertion can be one thing like:
The cat ate the rat.
In Korean, it could be extra alongside the traces of:
Cat rat ate.
Verbs come final. (We’ll discuss particular sentence patterns later.)
All Korean sentences finish with verbs (or verb-like kinds).
As a result of the verb provides that means to a sentence, it’s fairly vital to concentrate to how a sentence wraps up.
Korean sentences, by having crucial half on the finish, have this sort of really feel:
Your voice is sort of good… not!
I wasn’t mad at you… at first.
She’s coming now… I believe.
Suppose child Yoda, however with the deadly strikes of Blackpink.
Korean Particles: Markers and Indicators
Let’s say you’ve actually accomplished your homework.
You’ve got your Korean nouns, verbs and adjectives all memorized. You’ve used your flashcards a lot that they seem like a phonebook from the 80s. You realize nouns, verbs and adjectives inside-out. You possibly can even confidently write them in Hangul.
Naturally, you’re able to string these phrases right into a coherent sentence.
However you observed one thing.
Within the Korean sentences you’re learning, there are characters that come instantly after the nouns. These characters observe your nouns just like the tail of a canine.
They seem like this: 은, 는, 이, 가, 을 and 를.
They usually present up in Korean sentences time and again.
What are these widgets on nouns, anyway?
These are Korean particles. (We don’t have them in English.)
Korean particles are like markers. They’re tags. They’re labels. Korean particles let you know one thing in regards to the noun that instantly precedes them.
If Korean particles may discuss, they’d let you know issues like:
“Hey, this noun proper right here is the subject of the dialog!”
“Hey, this one is the topic of this sentence!”
“Yo, dawg, this noun is the article of the sentence!”
So as an alternative of particles like little annoyances that make a language learner’s life a dwelling heck, you must see them as little helpers that let you know what the totally different elements of a sentence are all about.
They label and tag every little thing so even when a sentence is jumbled, the that means isn’t misplaced. Completely different particles function neon lights that let you know how the totally different phrases operate within the sentence.
In actuality, there are loads of Korean particles. About 20 are generally used.
Right here, we’ll be speaking about three which can be important in sentence construction.
1. Subject Markers 은 and 는
은 and 는 are matter markers. After they observe a noun, it implies that noun is elevated as the subject of the dialog. All subsequent sentences ought to revolve across the matter except one other one is launched.
은 and 는 are primarily the identical.
은 is used for nouns that finish with a consonant, whereas 는 is used for nouns that finish with a vowel.
While you introduce your self, you utilize matter markers:
저는Rob 입니다 — I’m Rob.
One vital factor about these matter markers is that embedded in them is a contrasting operate. For instance, you say:
소년은 똑똑하다 — The boy is sensible.
Subject markers indicate a distinction. Within the instance, saying the boy is sensible additionally implies that any individual else will not be so sensible.
You aren’t immediately saying it, however by utilizing the subject marker, an voiceless distinction is made.
2. Topic Markers 이 and 가
Topic markers are very aptly named. They level to the topic of the sentence.
Should you nonetheless bear in mind your grammar fundamentals, you realize that the topic is the star of your sentence.
In sentences the place an motion (verb) is central to its that means, the topic is the doer of that motion.
If it solutions questions like, “Who’s doing the kicking, consuming, driving, and so on.,” then that’s the topic.
In different circumstances, just like the assertion “Your eyebrows are on fleek,” the place an adjective is concerned, the topic is the one being described.
The topic is the place descriptions (adjectives) like “boring,” “enjoyable,” “lengthy,” “wealthy” and “vivid” land.
In Korean, the topic markers are 이 and 가. They’re positioned instantly after the noun.
이 is used for nouns that finish with a consonant, and 가 is for nouns that finish with a vowel.
Discover how they instantly observe the themes in these sentence examples:
석양이 아름답다 — The sundown is gorgeous.
석양 — sundown (topic)
개가 나를 물었다 — The canine bit me.
개 — canine (topic)
You’ll see and listen to these topic markers again and again in Korean sentences except the topic is skipped.
3. Object Markers 을 and 를
We’ve mentioned earlier than that Korean particles let you know the operate of a noun within the sentence.
This time, we glance into object markers—that are positioned after the article of the sentence.
In grammar, the article of the sentence is the factor that’s being acted upon. The verb is utilized to the article.
So if there’s kicking occurring, a ball is likely to be the article of it. If there’s pizza (the article in a sentence like “I ate the pizza.”), it should undoubtedly be eaten.
을 and 를 are our object markers.
을 is used when the previous noun ends with a consonant, and 를 follows a noun that ends with a vowel.
그녀는 음식을 샀다— She purchased meals.
음식 — meals (object)
그는 차를 주차했다 — He parked the automotive.
차 — automotive (object)
Subject Markers vs. Topic Markers: When to Use Every
Now, you is likely to be asking, “There appears to be loads of overlap between matter markers and topic markers. How do I do know which one to make use of?”
Subject markers and topic markers look very related, and also you see each of them tagging together with the noun that opens the sentence. However there are a few vital variations between them.
First, as talked about, whenever you use a subject marker, you’re implying a distinction.
Like if you happen to say that “The earrings are costly,” you’re implying that one thing else isn’t costly.
A topic marker doesn’t have these further implications.
While you say 귀걸이가 비싸다 (The earrings are costly), you’re actually simply saying that and nothing else. You’re not alluding to one thing else being not costly. That is the largest distinction between the 2.
The second distinction lies in the place the main target is directed.
In a sentence like, “I ate the pizza,” utilizing matter and topic markers would possibly put the concentrate on barely various things.
나는 피자를 먹었다 — I ate the pizza.
내가 피자를 먹었다 — I ate the pizza.
Within the first assertion, utilizing the subject marker will emphasize the verb or the motion that came about.
What occurred to the pizza? I ate it.
I didn’t hold it within the fridge, I didn’t throw it away, I ate it as an alternative.
Within the second assertion, when utilizing the topic marker, the emphasis is positioned on the topic—the one who did the consuming.
So who ate the pizza? I did. Not mother, not dad, not the canine, however me. I ate it.
Grasp Korean Sentence Construction and Particles
Whereas this information provides you an excellent headstart in your street to Korean mastery, you received’t ever turn into fluent within the language with out exposing your self to it.
One of the best ways to grasp what you’ve realized is by listening to it utilized in actual life.
1. Topic-Object-Verb (SOV)
We’ve already alluded to this earlier, however the “Topic-Object-Verb” (SOV) sample is probably the most primary construction of Korean sentences.
The topic is launched first, adopted by the article after which lastly, the verb.
The primary half of the Korean sentence introduces the solid of characters (topic and object), and the second half tells you the factor (verb) that occurs between them. That’s the essence of an SOV sentence sample.
English, however, is “subject-verb-object” (SVO).
This places English audio system at an obstacle who’re used to considering that “she drank milk,” as an alternative of “she milk drank.”
Listed here are some examples:
저는 한국어를 공부해요 — I research Korean
저 — I (topic)
한국어 — Korean (object)
공부 — research (verb)
그녀는 문을 닫았다 — She closed the door.
그녀 — She (topic)
문 — door (object)
닫았다 — closed (verb)
저는 책을 읽고 있어요 — I’m studying a e book
저 — I (topic)
책 — e book (object)
읽다 — learn (verb)
나는 쥐가 싫어 — I hate rats.
나 — I (topic)
쥐 — rats (object)
싫어 — hate (verb)
그는 경기를 볼 것이다 — He’ll watch the sport.
그 — He (topic)
경기 — recreation (object)
것이다 — will watch (verb)
2. Topic-Verb (SV)
Typically, the sentence doesn’t want an object to be significant. It may be simply the topic and the verb.
할아버지가 오셨다. — Grandfather got here.
할아버지 — grandfather (topic)
오셨다 — got here (verb)
엄마는 울었다 — Mother cried.
엄마 — mother (topic)
울었다 — cried (verb)
그녀는 들었다 — She heard.
그녀 — She (topic)
들었다 — heard (verb)
나는 실패 할 것이다 — I’ll fail.
나 — I (topic)
실패 할 것이다 — will fail (verb)
그는 말했다 — He spoke.
그 — He (topic)
말했다 — spoke (verb)
3. Topic-Adjective (SA)
Typically, a sentence solely has a topic and an adjective.
저는 바빠요 — I’m busy
저 — I (topic)
바빠요 — busy (adjective)
날씨가 덥다 — The climate is scorching.
날씨 — climate (topic)
덥다 — scorching (adjective)
학생들은 긴장했다 — The scholars have been nervous.
학생들 — College students (topic)
긴장했다 — nervous
영화는 길었다 — The film was lengthy.
영화 — Film (topic)
길었다 — lengthy (adjective)
내 개는 게으르다 — My canine is lazy.
내 개 — My canine (topic)
게으르다 — lazy (adjective)
There you’ve gotten it!
We realized a few issues as we speak.
We realized about three Korean particles and the three commonest sentence buildings. With these three easy Korean sentence patterns, you’ll be able to say what you need and imply it.