[Learn Korean E24] “Honorifics”, “(으)시”, “(으)세요”

안녕하세요. 토미입니다.
Let’s have fun learning an inspiring language, Korean!

The theme of today’s class is【할머니께서는 잘 지내세요?】“How is your grandmother?”

In today’s class, we will learn honorifics such as [께, 께서는, 께서],[(으)시]、and [(으)세요].

I am talking about hard-core grammar terms from the beginning.

After today’s lesson, you can express respect to someone like your parents, your boss or older people.
And in Korea, it is super duper important.

By learning these, I am sure you can reach the TOPIK level you aim for and be the super master of Korean!

그럼 시작할게요!

Listen to the Conversation

The theme of today’s conversation is 【할머니께서는 잘 지내세요?】Tammy is asking Sangmin if his grandmother is doing well.

What will Sangmin say?
First, let’s listen to the conversation with English subtitles.

그럼 들어보세요!

  • 토미:상민 씨 할머니께서는 한국에서 잘 지내세요?
    Tammy:Sangmin, is your grandmother doing well in Korea?
  • 상민:네. 올해 74 살이 되시고 아주 건강하세요.
    Sangmin:Yes. She is 74 years old this year and is in very good health.
  • 토미:역시 건강이 무엇보다 중요하죠.
    Tammy:After all, health is the most important thing, isn’t it?
  • 상민:맞아요. 토미 씨 부모님께서는 잘 계세요?
    Sangmin:That’s right. How are your parents doing, Tammy?
  • 토미:네. 두 분 다 잘 계세요. 매주 월요일마다 노래방에서 노래도 힘차게 부르세요.
    Tammy:Yes. Both are doing well. Every Monday, they sing songs at Karaoke with lots of energy.

Vocabulary and Phrases

Both grandparents seem to be very healthy.
I will explain the vocabulary and phrases one sentence at a time.

  • 토미:상민 씨 할머니께서는 한국에서 잘 지내세요?

[할머니] is “grandmother.”
Since I mentioned “grandmother,” let me briefly introduce how to call family members in Korean.
First of all, [할아버지] is “grandfather,” [아버지] is “father,” [아빠] is “dad/daddy,” [어머니] is “mother,” and [엄마] is “mom/mommy.”

The word [잘 지내다] means “to be well”and you can use it in a greeting such as [잘 지내세요? ] “How are you?”

  • 상민:네. 올해 74 살이 되시고 아주 건강하세요.

[건강하다]means “to be healthy.”
When you say, [건강하세요], it can be a greeting, which means “Please stay well (healthy).”

  • 토미:역시 건강이 무엇보다 중요하죠.

In lesson #18, we learned that [noun +보다] means “~more than something.”
When you combine it with [무엇] “what”, it becomes [무엇보다] “more~ than anything else.”
So, you can memorize it as a phrase.
For example, [저에게는 무엇보다 가족이 소중합니다.] means “To me, family is more important than anything.”

  • 상민:맞아요. 토미 씨 부모님께서는 잘 계세요?

[부모님] is “parents.”
When you say [조부모님], it means “grandparents.”

Did you notice that [~님] is at the end of both words?
In Korean, there is a culture of adding [~님] to older people to show respect.
So, that’s why we say, [부모님] and [조부모님].

[잘 있다] and [잘 지내다] are synonyms, and both mean “to be well.”
The polite form is [잘 계세요?] “Are you doing well?”, which means “How are you?”

  • 토미:네. 두 분 다 잘 계세요.

[두 분] is made up with [native number+분], which directly translates to “two people.”
However, compared to English, Korean have also polite way of counting numbers like [한 분, 두 분] instead of [한 명, 두 명].
Both mean “one person, two people” in English.
But, when you count the numbers of parents or someone who is older than you, you use [한 분, 두 분] in Korea.

The word [다] means “all” .
In today’s conversation, [두 분 다] means “all of my parents” which means “both parents” .

  • 토미:매주 월요일마다 노래방에서 노래도 힘차게 부르세요.

[마다] means “every~”, so [월요일마다] means “every Monday.”

[노래방] is “Karaoke”, and it is a word made up with [노래] “song” and [방] “room.”

[힘차게] means “energetically”,and if you say [힘차게 시작합니다], it means “I’ll be starting energetically!”

[노래 부르다] means “to sing a song” and it is a synonym for [노래하다].
If I say, [노래를 한 곡 부르겠습니다], it means “I will sing a song.”

Grammar

Let’s understand what “honorifics” mean.

The definition of honorifics is the polite way of saying.
Korean people use honorifics when they talk to someone who deserves a high level of respect such as your parents, customers, boss and ect.

In the conversation, Tammy and Sangmin are talking about their grandparents.
Like this conversation, even though you are not talking to elder person, if you are talking about elder person, you use honorifics.

Honorific particles

We have previously learned that particles come after nouns, like the subject marker [이/가], and the topic marker [은/는].

In English, particles do not have honorific expressions, but in Korean, even particles have honorific expressions.

This part is very unique about Korean culture.

I was very surprised when I first learned it.
And I was even more surprised that people still actually use them in their daily life.

And if you don’t know how to use a proper honorific particle when referring to someone older than you, you will sound unnatural or even rude.

You don’t want to be rude in Korea, right?

We have three honorific particles in Korean.

1. [은/는] the topic marker becomes [께서는]
2. [이/가] the subject marker changes to [께서]
3. [에게] “to~” becomes [께]

You can connect all of them to a noun regardless of whether a noun has a final consonant or not.
So, it is pretty straightforward. Let’s go through them one by one.

① [은/는] “the topic marker” changes to [께서는].

할머니께서는 한국에서 잘 지내세요?
Is your grandmother doing well in Korea?

You can understand [할머니]”grandmother” is the topic of the sentence.
So, you add [께서는] after [할머니] to say [할머니께서는].

② [께서] is the honorific particle of [이/가] “the subject marker.”

윤 선생님께서 한국어를 가르치세요.
Teacher Yoon teaches Korean.

Here, you attach [께서] after [윤 선생님] to say [윤 선생님께서] and mark “Teacher Yoon” as the subject of the sentence.

③ [에게] “to~” becomes [께].

저는 주말마다 부모님 편지를 씁니다.
I write a letter to my parents every weekend.

You add [께] after [부모님] to say [부모님께] “to parents.”

Basic forms of honorifics and exceptions

❶ (으)시다
Let’s take a look at how to make basic forms of honorifics and some exceptions.

Basically, if you add [(으)시다] to the stem of verb, you can make the basic honorific form.
I will tell you how to make it.

If there is a final consonant in a stem of verb, you add [+으시다].
If there is no final consonant, you add [+시다].

Now, let’s look at some examples without a final consonant.

가다 → 가 + 시다 → 가시다 “to go”

Since [가다] “to go” does not have a final consonant, you attach [시다] to say [가시다] “to go.”

웃다 → 웃 + 으시다 → 웃으시다 “to laugh”

Next, Let’s see the stem with a final consonant.

[웃다] “to laugh” has [시옷] final consonant, so you add [으시다] to say [웃으시다] “to laugh.”

살다 → 사 + 시다 → 사시다 “to live”

[살다] “to live” has [ㄹ] final consonant.
Here, you have to pay extra attention! Because this is [ㄹ] irregular.

You drop [ㄹ], good bye [ㄹ] and attach [시다] to say [사시다] “to live.”

You can make the basic honorific forms based on these rules, but there are some exceptions that you just have to memorize.

As in the conversation, the basic honorific form of [있다] ”to be” is [계시다].

The honorific form of [먹다] ”to eat” and [마시다] “to drink.” is [드시다] “to eat and drink.”
[드시다] can go with the both meaning of “to eat” and “to drink.”

The honorific form of [자다] is [주무시다] “to sleep.”
The honorific form of [주다] is [드리다] “to give.”
The honorific form of [말하다] is [말씀하시다] “to say/speak.”
The honorific form of [죽다] “to die” is [돌아가시다] “to pass away.”

❷ (으)세요

Let’s learn how to make honorific sentences.

You can use [Stem+(으)세요] to make a polite sentence.
We have three patterns of use.

When there is a final consonant, you add [으세요], and when there is no final consonant, you add [세요].
Then, let’s go through them one by one.

First, when there is a final consonant, you add [으세요].

선생님께서는 책을 읽으세요.
The teacher is reading a book.

Here, since [읽다][익따] “to read” has [ㄺ] final consonant, so you connect with [으세요] to say [읽으세요].

When there is no final consonant, [+십니다/세요].

아주 건강하세요.
She is very healthy.

Here, [건강하다] “to be healthy” does not have a final consonant, so you connect with [세요] to say [건강하세요].

[ㄹ] drop out : Drop the final consonant [ㄹ] and add [+십니다/세요]

For the words that have [ㄹ] final consonant, you just need to eliminate the [ㄹ] final consonant, good bye [ㄹ], and add [세요].

대기 번호를 아세요?
Do you know the waiting number?

Here, [알다] “to know” has [ㄹ] final consonant.
So, you have to remove [ㄹ] and attach [세요?] to say [아세요?] “do you know?”

Quiz

What goes in the bracket?

① [선생님께서 교실에 (          ).] The teacher is coming to the classroom.

(1)오세요 (2)가세요

The answer is (1).
[오다] “to come” does not have a final consonant, So you connect [세요] to say [오세요].

The whole sentence would be [선생님(께서) 교실에 (오세요).]

② [할아버지께서는 9시에 (          ).] My grandfather goes to sleep at 9:00.

(1)웃으세요 (2)주무세요

The answer is (2).
The honorific word of [자다]“To go to sleep” is [주무시다], so we say [주무세요].

The whole sentence would be [할아버지께서는 9시에 (주무세요).]

Conversation (Korean only)

Let’s try listening to it again but this time only in Korean.
You can pay more attention to honorific forms.

그럼 확인해 보세요!

  • 토미:상민 씨 할머니께서는 한국에서 잘 지내세요?
  • 상민:네. 올해 74 살이 되시고 아주 건강하세요.
  • 토미:역시 건강이 무엇보다 중요하죠.
  • 상민:맞아요. 토미 씨 부모님께서는 잘 계세요?
  • 토미:네. 두 분 다 잘 계세요.
  • 매주 월요일마다 노래방에서 노래도 힘차게 부르세요.

Conversation Practice

Let’s imagine to become Tammy and Sangmin and read it outloud.

그럼 큰소리로 읽어 보세요!

  • 토미:상민 씨 할머니께서는 한국에서 잘 지내세요?
    Tammy:Sangmin, is your grandmother doing well in Korea?
  • 상민:네. 올해 74 살이 되시고 아주 건강하세요.
    Sangmin:Yes. She is 74 years old this year and is in very good health.
  • 토미:역시 건강이 무엇보다 중요하죠.
    Tammy:After all, health is the most important thing, isn’t it?
  • 상민:맞아요. 토미 씨 부모님께서는 잘 계세요?
    Sangmin:That’s right. How are your parents doing, Tammy?
  • 토미:네. 두 분 다 잘 계세요. 매주 월요일마다 노래방에서 노래도 힘차게 부르세요.
    Tammy:Yes. Both are doing well. Every Monday, they sing songs at Karaoke with lots of energy.

Homework

It’s almost the end! I will announce two assignments.
For the first homework, please make two sentences using honorifics.

You can tell me about the hobbies and daily life of someone older than you, such as your parents, grandparents or your boss.

If I were you, I would make like this.

  • 우리 아버님께서는 아침 다섯 시에 일어나세요.
    My father is waking up at five in the morning.
  • 그 후에 세수하시고 스트레칭하세요.
    After that, he washes his face and stretches his body.

The second homework is memorizing vocabulary.
Please memorize the 40 words from #561 to #600 on page 8 of the Elementary Vocabulary List.
On my website, you can take a vocabulary quiz on these 40 words for FREE, so please try it out.

That’s all for today.
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 #561~600 from the Beginner Level Vocabulary List.
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