Tuesday, 27 April 2010

-아 / 어요 : Sentence Ending of Informal Polite Style (Present Tense)

There are three different styles of speech in Korean :
- informal polite
- formal polite
- plain style
Factors such as the age of the speaker and the formality of the situation determine which style is used.
A sentence in informal polite style ends in '요' (yo). Adult speakers normally use this style in daily conversation where further formality is not necessary.
Here, we will learn the verbs '가다' (kada) and '하다' (hada). The informal polite form for '가다' is '가요' (kayo), while '하다' becomes '해요' (heyo).

Example :
A : 어디에가요? (o-di-e ka-yo?)
Where are you going?
B : 학교에가요. (hakkyo-e kayo)
I'm going to school.

Note :
When informal polite form is used in conversation, the name or title of the person being spoken to is used, not the pronoun 'you'.
Example :
A : 앤디씨, 뭐해요? (Andi-ssi, mwo-e-yo?)
What are you doing? -- when talking to Andy.
B : 운동해요. (un-dong he-yo)
I'm exercising.
The present simple tense can be used to refer to events that happen in the present, as well as in the near future.
1. 지금은집에있어요.
I am at home now. --present state
2. 오늘은뭐해요?
What are you going to do today? --asking about future plans.

It can also be used to refer to ongoing events, for which the present progressive tense would often be used in English.
1. 지금은뭐해요?
(What are you doing right now? --progressive)

(시간)에 : Time Marker

Previously, the marker '에' referred to a location, but by attaching it to a time noun it can be used to indicate the time when something takes places.
Example :
A : 몇시에가요? (myod-si-e ka-yo?)
      What time do you go?
B : 일곱시에요. (il-gop-si ye-yo)
      I go at 7 o'clock

뭐해요? : What are you doing?
The interrogative pronoun '뭐' can be added to '-해요' to ask about an action.

Example :
A : 오후에뭐해요? (o-ho-e mwo-he-yo?)
      What are you doing in the afternoon?
B : 극장에가요. (geg-jang-e ka-yo)
      I am going to a movie theater.

Note :
'뭐해요? (What are you doing?) and 뭐예요? (What is it?). Because the sound of 'ㅎ' becomes weaker when placed between two vowels, the phrase '뭐해요' can sound very similar to '뭐예요[뭐에요]'. The context of conversation makes their meaning clear so they are not confused.

Vocabulary :
- 쇼핑하다 (syopinghada) : to shop, to go shopping
- 이야기하다 (iyagihada)  :  to talk, to converse
- 숙제하다 (sukjehada) :  to do homework
- 운동하다  (undonghada)  :  to do exercise
- 아침식사하다 (ach'im siksahada) : to have breakfast
- 공부하다 (kongbuhada) : to study
- 주영장에가다 (suyongjang-e kada) : to go to a swimming pool
- 집에가다 (jip-e kada) : to go home
- 저녁식사하다 (jon-yog siksahada) : to have dinner

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