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How to conjugate Adjectives in Korean

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

안녕하세요~ It’s Koreanstudyjunkie here. By the end of this lesson, you should be able to conjugate any Korean adjective.


There are few kinds of conjugations you’ll need to be able to do to comfortably conjugate the different Korean adjectives. Let’s start with the not so basic ones and work out way up to the most basic conjugation.


ㅂ Adjectives:

Adjectives that end with a ㅂ다. We’ll be looking at the polite/casual and informal conjugations and the formal way doesn’t have any special rules.


RULES:

Step 1 → Remove the ㅂ and the 다

Step 2 → Add an 우

Step 3 → Conjugate as normal. Add 어/어요 ending. Easy enough because these adjectives will always have an extra 우 adding the ending will always be 어요


You could even combine steps 2 & 3 into 1 and just say: Add 워/워요


EXAMPLE:

춥다 = To be cold (plain, unconjugated form)

Step 1 → 춥다 ⇒ 추

Step 2 → 추 ⇒ 추우

Step 3 → 추우 ⇒ 추워요 (polite/casual form)

추워 (informal form)



PRACTICE SECTION / YOUR TURN :

conjugate each of these (answers at the end)

무겁다

뜨겁다

가깝다


으다 Adjectives:

Adjectives that end with an 으다. Once again we will be looking at the polite/casual and informal conjugations, since the formal form doesn’t have special rules.


There are 2 versions for this one, but first I’ll show the one thats a bit more complicated:

If the adjective has 아 in it, then it will be conjugated differently.


RULES:n

Step 1 → Remove the 으 and the 다

Step 2 → Conjugate as normal. If it has an 아 anywhere in the word, Add 아요

This one isn’t actually complicated as you can see.


EXAMPLE:

바쁘다 = To be busy (plain, unconjugated form)

Step 1 → 바쁘다 ⇒ 바ㅃ

Step 2 → 바ㅃ ⇒ 바빠요 (polite/casual form)

바빠 (informal form)


The next version uses 어요 instead.


RULES:

Step 1 → Remove the 으 and the 다

Step 2 → Conjugate as normal. Add 어요


EXAMPLE:

예쁘다 = To be pretty (plain, unconjugated form)

Step 1 → 예쁘다 ⇒ 예ㅃ

Step 2 → 예ㅃ ⇒ 예뻐요 (polite/casual form)

예뻐 (informal form)



PRACTICE SECTION / YOUR TURN :

conjugate each of these (answers at the end)

기쁘다

아프다

나쁘다


Lastly, we’ll look at our most basic version. As long as you already know how to conjugate verbs, you’ll already be able to do this one. Some adjectives end normally in 다 like other verbs. Some will end with 하다 these are usually called “descriptive verbs”.


I created a lesson for conjugating verbs, you can look at it HERE


RULES:

Step 1 → Remove the 다

Step 2 → Look at the last vowel. If it’s 아 or 오, then add 아요. If it‘s not, add 어요



EXAMPLES:

좋다 = To be good (plain, unconjugated form)

Step 1 → 좋다 ⇒ 좋

Step 2 → 좋 ⇒ 좋아요 (polite/casual form)

좋아 (informal form)


행북하다 = To be happy (plain, unconjugated form)

하다 verbs will become 해요

Step 1 → 행북하다 ⇒ 행북하

Step 2 → 행북하 ⇒ 행북해요 (polite/casual form)

행북해 (informal form)


멀다 = To be far (plain, unconjugated form)

Step 1 → 멀다 ⇒ 멀

Step 2 → 멀 ⇒ 멀어요 (polite/casual form)

멀어요 (informal form)



PRACTICE SECTION / YOUR TURN :

conjugate each of these (answers at the end)

편하다

길다

밝다


 

That’s it for this post! In this lesson, we learned how to conjugate verbs into the polite/casual form, and the informal form. As for the formal form, It will be what you should already be used to by now.


Remove the 다.

Add ㅂ니다 if it ends with a vowel or ㄹ.

Add 습니다 if it ends with a consonant.


춥다 ⇒ 춥습니다

바쁘다 ⇒ 바쁩니다

예쁘다 ⇒ 예쁩니다

좋다 ⇒ 좋습니다

똑똑하다 ⇒ 똑똑합니다

멀다 ⇒ 멉니다

*remove ㄹ before conjugating



ANSWER SECTIONS:


무겁다 = to be heavy

Formal: 무겁습니다

Polite/Casual: 무거워요

Informal: 무거워


뜨겁다 = to be hot (to the touch)

Formal: 뜨겁습니다

Polite/Casual: 뜨거워요

Informal: 뜨거워


가깝다 = to be close

Formal: 가깝습니다

Polite/Casual: 가까워요

Informal: 가까워


기쁘다 = happy, joyful

Formal: 기쁩니다

Polite/Casual: 기뻐요

Informal: 기뻐


아프다 = to be hurt, sick

Formal: 아픕니다

Polite/Casual: 아파요

Informal: 아파


나쁘다 = to be bad

Formal: 나쁩니다

Polite/Casual: 나빠요

Informal: 나빠


편하다 = to be comfortable

Formal: 편합니다

Polite/Casual: 편해요

Informal: 편해


길다 = to be long

Formal: 깁니다

Polite/Casual: 길어요

Informal: 길어


밝다 = to be bright

Formal: 밝습니다

Polite/Casual: 밝아요

Informal: 밝아

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