[Learn Korean E11] “ㅂ/습니다” (present tense of formal style), “~(하)고”

안녕하세요. 토미입니다.

I am so excited to teach you this beautiful language, Korean!

Today will be the 11th class. How are you all doing so far? Are you able to read Korean a little bit now?

After taking my classes, you will be able to become fluent in Korean and some day eventually pass the official TOPIK I level 1 and 2. So, no worries about your Korean studies! Trust me! Tammy will lead your way!

Today’s topic is [남자 친구 있습니까?]
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
Interesting question. By the way, I have a husband, if you wanna know about me.

Anyway, today, we will learn the grammar, [ㅂ/습니다], the polite form of present sentence ending, and [~(하)고] which means “do (A) and (B)”.

Once you master these, you will be able to make basic Korean sentences in polite forms.

You will also be able to connect two actions together, like “I do A and do B.”

Let me explain the flow of today’s lesson.

First, we will listen to a conversation with English subtitles.

Next, I will explain the vocabulary and grammar.

And then, we will listen to the conversation without the subtitles and practice reading it aloud.

Last but not least, I will give you your favorite assignments.

By the end of this video, you will be able to improve your Korean skills a lot, so please watch it till the end.

그럼 시작할게요!

Listen to the Conversation

Today’s Topic

The title of today’s conversation is [남자 친구 있습니까?]”Do you have a boyfriend?”

let’s listen to the conversation with English subtitles.

  • 상민:토미 씨, 남자 친구 있습니까?
    Sangmin: Tammy, do you have a boyfriend?
  • 토미:아뇨. 저는 남자 친구 없습니다.
    Tommy: No. I don’t have a boyfriend.
  • 상민:그럼 휴일에는 보통 뭐 합니까?
    Sangmin: Then, what do you usually do on holidays?
  • 토미:저는 요리하고 도서관에 갑니다.
    Tommy: I cook and go to the library.
  • 상민:도서관까지 혼자 걸어갑니까?
    Sangmin: Do you walk alone to the library?
  • 토미:아뇨. 버스 타고 갑니다.
    Tommy: No. I take the bus.

Vocabulary and Phrases

Now let’s take a look at the vocabularies and phrases in the conversation.

  • 토미 씨, 남자 친구 있습니까?

You can hear the word [남자 친구/여자 친구] frequently in Korean dramas or K-pop!
The word [남자] means “Boy/Man” and [친구] means “friend.”
So when you put them together, it becomes “boyfriend.”

Similarly, in the word [여자 친구], [여자] means “Girl/Woman” and [친구] means “friend,” so together it becomes “girlfriend.”

This is easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

[남자/여자] men and women(wímɪn) are used in many other words as well. The most standard example is [남자 화장실], [여자 화장실], which mean “Men’s toilet” and “Women’s (wímɪn) toilet.”

The phrase [있습니까?] is developed from the basic verb [있다], which means “There is~.”

Please learn this phrase in combination with [없다], which means “There is no~.”

  • 그럼 휴일에는 보통 뭐 합니까?

[그럼] is a shortened version of [그러면], which means “then.”

Korean people often use this word in conversation.

[휴일] means “holiday.”

[~에는] is made up of two particles.
Here, [~에] and [~는] are combined together.
[~에] is “on” and [~는] means “something is~.”
We call it the topic marker.
But when these two are combined together [~에는] means “On~.”

The word [보통] means “ordinary/normal.”
If you want to say “This person is not an ordinary person,” you say [이 사람은 보통 사람이 아닙니다.] If somebody says this, I will probably be more curious about that person, don’t you think so? not ordinary? What kind of person is he?

In opposite, when you want to be humble and say “I am an ordinary person,” you say [저는 보통 사람입니다.] Got it?

  • 토미:저는 요리하고 도서관에 갑니다.

[요리] means “cuisine” and when you add [하다], which means [do], together it becomes [요리하다],“to cook.”

In Korean, there are many verbs that have [하다] at the end.
For example, [운동하다] is “to exercise” . [결혼하다] means “to get married.”

[도서관] is “library.”
I will give you a list of some similar words that describe big halls.
[박물관] is “museum,” [기념관] is “memorial hall,” and [미술관] is “art museum.”

You might have noticed the word [관].
It is repeated in all words because [관] indicates “a big hall.”

[~에] is a particle that means “on” or “to” depending on a situation.
If it comes after “a place” like in this conversation, it means “going to (the place).”

[갑니다] is a verb.
It developed from the basic form [가다], which means “to go.”

  • 상민:도서관까지 혼자 걸어갑니까?

[~까지] is “until/to.”
It is good to remember this grammar together with the phrase [~에서], which means “from~.”
For example, [서울에서 부산까지] means “from Seoul to Busan.

[혼자] means “alone.”
When you say [나 혼자 삽니다 ], it means “I am living alone.”

[걸어가다] means “to walk.”
This word is a combination of two verbs「걷다」which means “to walk” and「가다」which means “to go,” so together the phrase means “to walk.”

There is also a verb such as [뛰어가다], which means “to run.”
This is also made up of two words, [뛰다] “to run” and [가다] “to go.”
And together it means “to run.”

  • 토미:아뇨. 버스 타고 갑니다.

[버스] is “bus”, and [타다] is “to ride.”

In English, you need to add the particle “on~” in a sentence like “I ride on a bus.”
But in Korean, people often omit a particle in conversation.
For example, [버스 타고 갑니다] ”I take the bus.”
As you can see, I omitted [를].
But it sounds very natural in conversation.


verb stem

Now, let’s take a look at the grammar.

Before I teach the“grammar of the day,” there is one grammatical term that we have to go over.

That is “verb stem.”
The dictionary form of Korean verbs and adjectives ALWAYS end with [다] at the end.
If it does not end with [다], the language you are learning is probably not Korean.

For example, 가다(to go) , 배우다 (to learn) and 운동하다 (to exercise) all have 다 at the end, right?

If you remove [다], the remaining is the verb stem.
Therefore, the verb stem of [가다] is [가]. [배우다] is [배우], and [운동하다] is [운동하].

The concept of the verb stem will come up frequently when you study Korean in the future, so this is the core of cores, basic of the basics.


So today, we are going to learn [ㅂ니다/습니다].
This is a present tense sentence and a very polite expression.

By the way, a present tense means that the sentence is happening now.
In English, it is like “I watch a movie.”
Later on, we will learn past and future tenses as well.

Let’s get back to the grammar.

The original dictionary forms of verbs and adjectives that appear in the conversation are [있다] “There is,” [없다] “There is not,” [가다] “to go,” [걸어가다] “to walk,” and [타다] “to ride.”

Here, you use [습니다] for verbs and adjectives that have final consonants in their verb stems.

For verbs and adjectives without final consonants in the verb stem, you use [ㅂ니다].

For example, the verb stem of [있다] is [있].
[있] has a final consonant, so you add [습니다].
Together you read [있습니다}.

In a same way, [없다], there is no, becomes [없습니다].
[맛있다], delicious, becomes [맛있습니다].
[웃다], to laugh, becomes [웃습니다].

On the other hands, the verb stem of [하다] is [하].
[하] doesn’t have a final consonant.
So, you add [ㅂ니다]. Together, it becomes [합니다].

In a same principle, [가다] ,to go, becomes [갑니다].
[걸어가다], to walk, becomes [걸어갑니다], And [타다], to ride, becomes [탑니다].

Attention please!!
Here is one thing you have to be careful of!
There is one exception to this rule.
If the final consonant is [ㄹ], you have to remove [ㄹ], goodbye [ㄹ]!!
And add [ㅂ니다] at the end.

For example, for [알다] which means “to know,” you say good bye to [ㄹ] and add [ㅂ니다] at the end. It becomes [압니다].
Also, in a same way, if you see [만들다] “to make,” you remove [ㄹ] and add [ㅂ니다].
It becomes [만듭니다] .
In the same way, [놀다] becomes [놉니다].

Now you have learned how to make basic sentences using [습니다] today!


Now, let’s challenge ourselves with some quiz!

① My favorite word, [사랑하다] means “to love.”
Then how do you say “to love” in a polite phrase using [ㅂ니다/습니다]? Please, choose the right answer.

(1)사랑합니다 (2) 사랑하습니다

The answer is (1).

The verb stem of [사랑하다] is [사랑하].
Here,[하] does not have a final consonant.
So you add [ㅂ니다] to make [사랑합니다].

Let’s move onto the next quiz!

② [먹다] means “to eat.”
Then how do you say “to eat” in a polite phrase using [ㅂ니다/습니다?] Please, choose the right answer.

(1) 먹습니다 (2) 멉니다

The answer is (1).

Since [먹다]’s verb stem is [먹].
[먹] has a final consonant, so you add [습니다] to say [먹습니다].

Great I will give you a little bit of a challenging question!

③ [달다] means “sweet.” Then how do you say “It’s sweet” using [ㅂ니다/습니다]?

(1) 달습니다 (2) 답니다

The answer is number (2)

[달다]’s verb stem is [달].
Since [달] has [ㄹ] final consonant, you have to say goodbye to [ㄹ] and add [ㅂ니다].
So it becomes [답니다].

The verb stems + [고]

Next, let’s learn how to use [고] to connect two or more actions!

This is a very simple grammar, so you’ll be able to learn fast.
It doesn’t matter if the word has a final consonant or not.

You just need to add [고] instead of [다] at the end of verbs or adjectives.
There is also no exception to watch out, unlike the previous [ㅂ니다/습니다] where you need to be careful of [ㄹ].
So, this one is very straightforward and easy

Let’s read the phrases that were in the conversation again.

  • 토미:저는 요리하고 도서관에 갑니다.
    Tommy: I cook and go to the library.
  • 토미:버스 타고 갑니다.
    Tommy: I take the bus.

The interesting thing about the expression [고] is that you can connect as many verbs as you want.

Please take a look at this example.

It says [먹고 마시고 놀고].
It means “Eat, Drink, and Play.”
This is a phrase that you might find on a party poster.
You can arrange as many verbs and adjectives using [고] in this way.


Let’s challenge ourselves with a quick quiz.

Try to connect these three words using [고].
Please, choose the right answer!

① [웃다]”to laugh”+[화내다]”to get angry”+[울다]”to cry”

(1) 웃고 화내고 울고 (2) 웃다고 화내다고 울다고

The correct answer is (1).

You just need to change the [다] at the end of each word to [고], so that it becomes [웃고 화내고 울고] which means “to laugh, get angry, and cry.”
In Korean-dramas, there’s a lot of laughing, anger, and crying, right?

(2) is wrong because you did not get rid of [다].

Conversation (Korean only)

Since we’ve gone through the explanation, let’s listen to the conversation without English subtitles.
You should be able to understand it much better than before.

  • 상민:토미 씨, 남자 친구 있습니까?
  • 토미:아뇨. 저는 남자 친구 없습니다.
  • 상민:그럼 휴일에는 보통 뭐 합니까?
  • 토미:저는 요리하고 도서관에 갑니다.
  • 상민:도서관까지 혼자 걸어갑니까?
  • 토미:아뇨. 버스 타고 갑니다.

Conversation Practice

Since you’ve understood the conversation, let’s read the conversation aloud.

This is the time you can apply what you have learned as an output, so try reading out loud with confidence

  • 상민:토미 씨, 남자 친구 있습니까?
    Sangmin: Tammy, do you have a boyfriend?
  • 토미:아뇨. 저는 남자 친구 없습니다.
    Tommy: No. I don’t have a boyfriend.
  • 상민:그럼 휴일에는 보통 뭐 합니까?
    Sangmin: Then, what do you usually do on holidays?
  • 토미:저는 요리하고 도서관에 갑니다.
    Tommy: I cook and go to the library.
  • 상민:도서관까지 혼자 걸어갑니까?
    Sangmin: Do you walk alone to the library?
  • 토미:아뇨. 버스 타고 갑니다.
    Tommy: No. I take the bus.


I have two special assignments for you.

The first homework is writing. Please tell me your today’s schedule by connecting three verbs.

I will make like this.

  • 저는 아침에 요가하고 밥 먹고 회사에 갑니다.
    I do yoga in the morning, and eat rice and go to a company.

The second homework is memorizing the vocabulary.

Please memorize the vocabularies from #81 [결과] to #120 [곧] on the second page of my Beginner Level Vocabulary.

I have created a 40-word quiz on this page, so please try the quiz after memorizing the vocabularies.

If you have completed all your homework or have got a full score on the vocabulary quiz, please share it in the comment section with me.

I look forward to reading your comments.

That’s all for today! You are the best student ever.
Once you master Korean, you will have a brighter future ahead of you, so let’s try our best.

그럼 오늘도 행복 가득, 웃음 가득한 하루 되세요! 한국어 화이팅, 화이팅, 화이팅!!

Vocabulary Test : 40 Questions

There will be 40 multiple choice questions in total displayed in random order, testing on Vocabulary #81~120 from the Beginner Level Vocabulary List.
Share your Quiz result through Twitter!