Present tense in Korean explained
In Korean, the present tense is used to indicate actions or states that are happening in the present or that are habitual. The basic form of the present tense verb ends with the suffix ‘-다’ or ‘-요’ in polite speech.
For example, the verb “to eat” is 먹다 (meokda) in Korean. To make it present tense, you can simply add the suffix ‘-다’ to the stem 먹 (meok), resulting in 먹다 (meokda).
Here are some examples of how present tense verbs are used in sentences:
- 저는 밥을 먹어요. (Jeoneun babeul meogeo-yo.) – I eat rice (polite speech).
- 그는 매일 운동해요. (Geuneun maeil undonghae-yo.) – He exercises every day (polite speech).
- 우리는 한국어를 배워요. (Urineun hangugeoreul baeweo-yo.) – We learn Korean (polite speech).
In informal speech, the present tense verb ending ‘-아/어’ is used instead of ‘-다’ or ‘-요’. The verb ending ‘-아/어’ is added to the verb stem based on the final consonant and vowel of the verb stem.
For example, the verb “to go” is 가다 (gada) in Korean. To make it present tense in informal speech, you need to add ‘-아/어’ to the stem 가 (ga) based on the final vowel ‘ㅏ’ and you get 가 (ga) + 아 (a) = 가아 (gaa).
Here are some examples of present tense verbs in informal speech:
- 나는 밥을 먹어. (Naneun babeul meogeo.) – I eat rice (informal speech).
- 그는 매일 운동해. (Geuneun maeil undonghae.) – He exercises every day (informal speech).
- 우리는 한국어를 배워. (Urineun hangugeoreul baewo.) – We learn Korean (informal speech).
It’s also important to note that Korean is a highly inflected language and the form of the verb can change based on the level of formality, tense, and speech level, so it’s important to use the appropriate verb form in different situations.