[Learn Korean E14] Conjugating the ~요 form, 해요체 : Speech Levels (meaning & grammar)

안녕하세요. 토미입니다.

Let’s have fun learning a beautiful language, Korean!

In today’s class, we will learn about the 【요 form】.

In the previous class, we briefly touched on [이에요] and [예요], but today, we will go over them in more detail.

For this, today’s class will not be based on a conversation as usual, but instead will be an intensive lecture on the 【요 form】 from the beginning to the end.

At first, please download Conjugating the 요 form list.

요 form list (PDF)

A phrase in 【요 form】 that many of you may be already familiar with is [사랑해요]. (I love you).
Like this phrase, expressions that finish with [~요] are called the 【요 form】.

On the other hand, expressions that finish with [~ㅂ니다/습니다/입니다], such as [학교에 갑니다] or [토미입니다] are called the 【니다 form】.

Native Korean speakers use the 【요 form】 more often in their conversations.
So, in order to pass TOPIK 1, level 1 and 2, you definitely should know this 【요 form】.

Actually, today’s class is going to be the most important yet the most difficult class of the whole Elementary Korean course.

We will continue learning various things, but nothing will be more challenging than what we are going to learn today.

So, if you have a hard time understanding this concept, please review this video again and again until you completely master it.

I’m sure you will be able to fully understand the rules in the end.

I will try to explain the concept as easy as possible, so please stay with me until the end.

I am sure we can get through this together. And you can be the shiny super master of Korean!

그럼 시작할게요.

[Elementary Korean #14] Conjugating the ~요 form, 해요체 : Speech Levels (meaning & grammar)

The concept of the 【요 form】

As I mentioned earlier, the 【요 form】 is a sentence that finishes with [요].

Korean people use this form in polite conversations.
I will give you some examples of 요 form. [먹다] (to eat) would be [먹어요] , [가다] (to go) would be [가요], and [사랑하다](to love) would be [사랑해요].

Did you notice here that in the case of [먹다], [다] is removed and [어요] is added whereas, in the case of [가다] only [요] is added?
Also, in the case of [사랑해요], [하] became [해].

What I am trying to emphasize is, you need to be aware of various patterns of verbs and adjectives when using the 【요 form】.

Today, I will explain these patterns one by one.
So it will be crystal clear in your head!

Eventually, you have to get used to it, but if you have this concept in your head, it is going to make your Korean learning much easier and faster.

Trust me on that! Been there, done that.

Anyway, before going to the main topic, I would like to explain two concepts that you should know before diving in.

That is, the type of vowels and the stem of verbs and adjectives.

I already touched on these concepts, so you might already know them.
But I will go over them again, because these are super super important.

In Hangul, there are two types of vowels called the positive vowels and the negative vowels.

The positive vowels are [ㅏㅑㅗㅛ], and the rest [ㅓㅕㅜㅠㅡㅣ]are the negative vowels.

I will use positive and negative vowels to explain the【요 form】, so please keep these in mind.

Actually, in the previous lesson, I said [이] is a neutral vowel, but in the 【요 form】, it will be in the group of negative vowels.

One other thing to keep in mind is the stem of verbs and adjectives.

All Korean verbs and adjectives end with [다] in the original form, and the letter before [다] is called the stem.

For example, if the word is [놀다] “to play”, [놀] that comes before [다] is the stem.

The reason I mentioned the types of vowels and stem is because the patterns of the【요 form】 is determined by whether the character in the stem, or the letter before the stem is a positive vowel or a negative vowel, or whether there is a certain final consonant or not.

I’ll be mentioning these two concepts frequently from now on, so you will probably get used to them gradually.
Now, let’s learn about the patterns in the 【요 form】!

Variation Patterns in the 【요 form】

Let’s first start with a list of variation patterns in the 【요 form】.

I will show you the list. Here you go!

Final vowel of the stemBatchimOriginal FormMeaningStemVariation Pattern요 form
Positive
vowels
with살다to live+ 아요살아요
좋다to be good/like+ 아요좋아요
without가다to go+ 요가요
오다to comeㅗ→ㅘ+요와요
Negative
vowels
ㅓ , ㅕ , ㅜ
ㅠ , ㅡ , ㅣ
with먹다to eat+ 어요먹어요
만들다to make만들+ 어요만들어요
Combined Vowels
(except ㅐ,ㅔ)
without쉬다to rest+ 어요쉬어요
ㅓ , ㅕ , ㅐ , ㅔ서다to stan+ 요서요
켜다to turn on+ 요켜요
보내다to send보내+ 요보내요
세다to be strong+ 요세요
배우다to learn배우ㅜ→워+요배워요
되다to becomeㅚ→ㅙ+요돼요
마시다to drink마시ㅣ→ㅕ+요마셔요
하다without사랑하다to love사랑하하→해+요사랑해요
There are two main types: basic rules and irregularities.
Here’s the list of the basic rules.

The basic rules are two types.

You check the type of vowel in the stem, and whether or not there is a final consonant.
If the stem has a positive vowel, you add [아요].
On the other hands, if it has a negative vowel or a diphthong, you add [어요].

That’s it for the basic rules. Pretty simple, right?

Next, here is the list of irregulars.

Final vowel of the stemOriginal FormMeaningStemVariation Pattern요 form
ㄷirregularPositive vowel깨닫다to realize깨닫ㄷ→ㄹ+아요깨달아요
Negative vowel듣다to listenㄷ→ㄹ+어요들어요
ㅂirregularPositive vowel /
Negative vowel
가볍다to be light가볍ㅂ→+워요가벼워요
ㅅirregularPositive vowel낫다to get curedㅅ→+아요나아요
Negative vowel짓다to buildㅅ→+어요지어요
ㅎirregularPositive vowel빨갛다Red빨갛ㅏㅎ→ㅐ+요빨개요
Negative vowel누렇다Yellowish누렇ㅓㅎ→ㅔ+요누레요
Final vowel of the stemOriginal FormMeaningStemVariation Pattern요 form
으irregularPositive vowel나쁘다to be bad나쁘ㅡ→ㅏ+요나빠요
Negative vowel기쁘다to be happy기쁘ㅡ→ㅓ+요기뻐요
-쓰다to writeㅡ→ㅓ+요써요
르irregularPositive vowel모르다to not know모르르→ㄹ+라요몰라요
Negative vowel누르다to push누르르→ㄹ+러요눌러요
If the stem has [ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅅ or ㅎ] final consonants, or the vowel of the stem is [으], there will be a bit unique variations.

Especially in the [으] or [르] irregulars, the variation patterns depend on the vowel of the letter before the stem.

We will learn everything in the lists today.

Basic Rules

① 아요 when the stem has a positive vowel

First, let’s take a look at the cases of positive vowels in basic rules. There are three patterns to this.

First, if you can see a positive vowel [ㅏㅑㅗㅛ] and the stem has a final consonant, you add [아요] directly.

Let’s look at the word, [살다] “to live. ” [살다] has [ㅏ] as a positive vowel and the stem has [ㄹ] as the final consonant, so you add [아요] after the stem to make [살아요] .

I will give you one more example. [좋다] “to be good/like” has [ㅗ] as a positive vowel, and the stem has ㅎ as the final consonant, so you add [아요] to make [좋아요].

Next, if there is no final consonant and the stem has [ㅏ], [요] is added.

For example, [가다] “to go” will become [가요] “go”, and [비싸다] “to be expensive” becomes [비싸요] “It is expensive”.

Finally, if there is no final consonant and the stem has [ㅗ], you add [ㅏ] to the vowel of the stem and it becomes [ㅘ요].

For example, [보다] “to look” becomes [봐요] , and [오다] “to come” becomes [와요].

② 어요 in the cases of Stem + Negative vowel / Diphthong

Next, let’s take a look at the cases of negative vowels.

The negative vowels are [ㅓ,ㅕ,ㅜ,ㅠ,ㅡ,ㅣ] or diphthongs.
If the stem has one of these vowels, you add [어요].

However, as I will explain later, if there is no final consonant in [ㅡ], it will be classified as another pattern called the [으] irregular.

First of all, when you can see negative vowels and the stem has a final consonant, you should add [어요].

For example, the verb stem of [먹다] “to eat” is [먹]. [먹] has a negative vowel [ㅓ], so you just add [어요] to make [먹어요].

In the case of [만들다] “to make”, the verb stem is [만들].
[들] has a [ㅡ] negative vowel, so you add [어요] at the end to make [만들어요].

Next, when there is no final consonant, you add [어요] to the end, even in the cases with diphthongs other than [ㅐ,ㅔ,ㅚ]. For example, [쉬다] “to rest” becomes [쉬어요].

Next, if there is no final consonant and the stem has a vowel that has [ㅓ], such as [ㅓ,ㅕ,ㅐ,ㅔ], you add [요].

For example, [서다] “to stand” becomes [서요].

[켜다] “to turn on” becomes [켜요], [보내다] “to send” becomes [보내요] , and [세다] “to be strong” becomes [세요].

Next, in the case of [ㅜ,ㅚ], you add [ㅓ] to the stem and make [ㅝ,ㅙ].

For example, [배우다] “to learn” becomes [배워요], and [되다] “to become” changes to [돼요].

Lastly, if there is no final consonant and the vowel is [ㅣ], change [ㅣ] to [ㅕ] and add [요].

For example, [마시다] “to drink” becomes [마셔요] , and [버리다] “to throw away” becomes [버려요].

③ 하다 becomes 해요

Next, let’s take a look at the verbs finishing with [하다].

This is the easiest pattern because you just need to change the end of the phrase to [해요]. Nice and easy, isn’t it! Simple is the best.

For example, [사랑하다] “to love” becomes [사랑해요] , and [공부하다] “to study” becomes [공부해요].

Irregulars

④ ㄷ irregular

From here, I will explain exceptional variations, which is called irregulars.

Although it is called irregulars, there are still rules to it so you don’t have to worry so much.

First of all, I’ll explain the case of irregulars when the stem has [ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅅ or ㅎ] as the final consonants.

The first one is [ㄷ] irregular.
When the final consonant of the stem is ㄷ, you change [ㄷ] to [ㄹ]and add [아요] or [어요].

You can see the vowel of the stem to determine whether it will be [아요] or [어요].

For example, [깨닫다] “to realize” has the stem [깨닫], which has a positive vowel of [ㅏ].

So you change the final consonant [ㄷ] to [ㄹ] and add [아요] to make [깨달아요].

The stem of [듣다] “to listen” is [듣]. It has a negative vowel [ㅡ], so you change [ㄷ] final consonant to [ㄹ] and add [어요].
So it becomes [들어요].

⑤ ㅂ irregular

Next is [ㅂ] irregular.
If the stem has [ㅂ] as the final consonant, you remove [ㅂ] and add [워요].

It does not matter whether the stem has a positive or a negative vowel.

For example, if the word is [고맙다] “to thank”, you remove [ㅂ] and add [워요] to say [고마워요].

In the case of [가볍다] “to be light”, you remove [ㅂ] and add [워요] to say [가벼워요].

⑥ ㅅ irregular

Next is the [ㅅ] irregular.
Here, when the stem has [ㅅ] as a final consonant, you remove [ㅅ].

Then you add [아요] when there is a positive vowel, or add [어요] when there is a negative vowel. This is quite simple.

For example, [낫다] “to get cured” has the stem [낫], which has a positive vowel [ㅏ].
So you remove [ㅅ] and add[아요] to say [나아요].

In the case of [짓다] “to build”, the stem is [짓], which has a negative vowel [ㅣ], so you remove [ㅅ] and add [어요] to say [지어요] .

⑦ ㅎ irregular

Next is the ㅎ irregular.
In this case, you remove the final consonant of the stem, [ㅎ].

Then you add [ㅐ요] instead when the stem has a positive vowel, or add [ㅔ요] when the stem has a negative vowel.

For example, [빨갛다] “red” has a stem [빨갛], which has a positive vowel [ㅏ].
So you remove [ㅎ] and add [ㅐ요] to say [빨개요].

In the case of [누렇다] “yellowish”, the stem is [누렇], which has a negative vowel [ㅓ]. So [ㅎ] is removed and [ㅔ요] is added, to say [누레요] .

⑧ 으 irregular

Next is the [으] irregular.
This is when the word is like [쓰다] “to write” or [예쁘다] “to be pretty” when the stem is [ㅡ] without a final consonant.

Here, the rule is different depending on whether the stem is [르] or not. Let’s first take a look at the cases with a stem that is not [르].

Basically, you can decide whether to add [아요] or [어요] depending on whether the letter before [ㅡ] is a positive vowel or a negative vowel.

The key point is that it is the letter before the stem.
If there is no preceding letter, like [쓰다] “to write”, then [어요] is added to say [써요].

For example, in the word [나쁘다] “to be bad”, [나] is the letter before the stem [쁘].

Since the vowel is a positive vowel [ㅏ], so you replace [ㅡ] with [ㅏ요] to say [나빠요].

In the word [기쁘다] “to be happy”, the letter coming before the stem [쁘] is [기], which has a negative vowel [ㅣ].
So you replace [ㅡ] with [ㅓ요] to say [기뻐요].

⑨ 르 irregular

Next is the case where the stem is [르] and there is no final consonant.
This is called the [르] irregular.
It is almost the same as the [으] irregular.

You add [ㅏ요] or [ㅓ요] depending on whether the letter before [르] is a positive vowel or a negative vowel.

However, one thing that is different is that you add [ㄹ] as a final consonant to the letter that comes before a stem. For example, [모르다] “to not know” has [모] coming before [르].

As it has a positive vowel[ㅗ], you add [ㄹ라요]. In other words, you add [ㄹ] as a final consonant right under the [모] and replace [르] with [라] to say [몰라요].

[누르다] “to push” has [누] coming before [르]. The vowel is a negative vowel [ㅜ], so you add [ㄹ러요]. In other words, you add [ㄹ] as a final consonant right under the [누] and replace [르] to [러], to say [눌러요].

Homework

Now I will announce two assignments.
The first assignment is to use [요 form] and write about your hobby.

I would write like this!

  • 저는 한국요리 자주 만들어요.
    I often cook Korean food.

As for the second homework, I usually ask for memorization of 40 words, but this time I want you to memorize this list of 【요 form】 as my homework.
I specially made a quiz for 【요 form】 on this page, so, please try it hundreds of times until you can answer everything instantly.

That’s all for today.
I’m very happy that you watched this video all the way through, even though this was the hardest one ever.

Once you understand the rules, you’ll be able to change the words to the 【요 form】 by yourself just by looking at the verbs and adjectives.
I am sure you can do this!

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

요 form Variation pattern quiz for verbs and adjectives.