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Korean Causatives: 이/히/리/기/우/구/추

안녕하세요! Koreanstudyjunkie입니다. Today, I'll talk about Korean causatives. You may have noticed some verbs changing their form and taking on a completely new meaning. This concept may seem difficult, but it's actually really easy. Let's start - 시~작!

Causative is used when A causes/makes/lets/enables/permits/gets/has B (to) do something.

Here’s an example:

ACTIVE: 제가 울었어요 (I cried.)

CAUSATIVE: 민재는 저를 울렸어요. (Minjae made me cry.)

how to make causative form:

Verb stem + 게 하다. This works for all verbs, but not all verbs are commonly made causative with this construction.인부들이 길을 넓게 했다.The workers widened the road. (made the road get wider)친구들이 나를 못 자게 했어요. My friends didn’t let me sleep.

Action verb stem + 도록 하다. Same as above, but only works with action verbs.선생님께서 학생들에게 청소를 하도록 했다.The teacher made the students clean.

하다 verbs become 시키다.남동생한테 심부름을 시켰다.I made my younger brother run errands.

the last way to change verbs is by using the suffixes 이/히/리/기/우/구/추:

The suffixes 이/히/리/기/우/구/추 can be attached to some (not all) verbs (but for the verbs that they can be attached to, this is the most common way to make these verbs causative).

List Of Causative Words:

  • 먹다 ㅡ먹이다 = to feed

  • 보다 – 보이다 = to show, appear

  • 밝다 – 밝히다 = light up, brighten up

  • 앉다 ㅡ앉히다 = seat, assign

  • 울다 ㅡ울리다 = make someone cry

  • 알다 – 알리다 = let someone know

  • 웃다 -웃기다 = make someone laugh

  • 맡다 -맡기다 = to entrust

  • 서다 ㅡ 세우다 = stand something up

  • 낮다 ㅡ낮추다 = to lower, bring down

  • 죽다 - 죽이다 = to kill someone

  • 붙다 - 붙이다 = stick, attach

  • 끓다 - 끓이다 = to boil, heat

  • 읽다 - 읽히다 =make someone read

  • 입다 - 입히다 = to dress (someone)

  • 벗다 - 벗기다 = take off

  • 맞다 - 맞히다 = give correct answer

  • 살다 - 살리다 = let someone live, save sb

  • 놀다 - 놀리다 = tease; let somebody play

  • 씻다 - 씻기다 = wash someone

  • 깨다 - 깨우다 = wake someone up

  • 자다 - 재우다 = put someone to sleep

  • 타다 - 태우다 = to make burn, make someone ride


A Few Examples:

앉다 ㅡ앉히다

그녀는 그를 컴퓨터 앞에 앉혔다

She made[had] him sit in front of the computer.

울다 ㅡ울리다

누가 우리 딸을 울렸어?

Who made my daughter cry?

웃다 -웃기다

그는 농담으로 모두를 웃겼다.

He made everyone laugh with his jokes.

맡다 -맡기다

돈을 은행에 맡기다.

deposit money with a bank.

낮다 ㅡ낮추다

남자 배우는 키가 작은 여자 배우를 위해 무릎을 낮춰서 촬영을 했다.

The male actor filmed with his knees lowered for the short female actor.

벗다 - 벗기다

제가 아기 신발을 벗겼어요.

I took off the baby’s shoes.

Plain Verbs:

  • 먹다 = to eat

  • 보다 = to see

  • 밝다 = to be bright

  • 앉다 = to sit

  • 울다 = to cry

  • 알다 = to know

  • 웃다 = to laugh

  • 맡다 = to take care of

  • 서다 = to stand

  • 낮다 = low

  • 죽다 = to die

  • 붙다 = stick to

  • 끓다 = to boil

  • 읽다 = to read

  • 입다 = to wear

  • 벗다 = to remove

  • 맞다 = to be correct

  • 살다 = to live

  • 놀다 = to play

  • 씻다 = to wash

  • 깨다 = to wake up

  • 자다 = to sleep

  • 타다 = to burn; to ride


That's the end of this post! We have plenty more lessons like this here. If you want to see the original post I made on Instagram here it is.

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