Basic Korean Sentences Lesson 1
한국 = Korea
한국 사람 = Korean person
한국어 = Korean language
한국인 = Korean person
Notes: The formal name of the country is 대한민국
저는 7년 동안 한국에서 살았어요 = I lived in Korea for seven years
저는 내년에 한국에 갈 거예요 = I will go to Korea next year
저의 어머니는 올해 한국에 올 것입니다 = My mom will come to Korea this year
저는 한국어를 한국에서 배웠어요 = I learned Korean in Korea
고등학교는 한국에서 어려워요 = High school is difficult in Korea
그 집은 한국에서 지어졌어요 = that house was built in Korea
저는 한국에서 살고 있어요 = I live in Korea
도시 = city
이름 = name
저 = I, me (formal)
나 = I, me (informal)
남자 = man
여자 = woman
그 = that
이 = this
저 = that (when something is far away)
것 = thing
이것 = this (thing)
그것 = that (thing)
저것 = that (thing)
의자 = chair
탁자 = table
선생님 = teacher
침대 = bed
집 = house
차 = car
사람 = person
책 = book
컴퓨터 = computer
나무 = tree/wood
소파 = sofa
중국 = China
일본 = Japan
문 = door
의사 = doctor
학생 = student
Adverbs and Other words:
이다 = to be
안 = not
네 = yes
아니 = no
For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.
When learning a language, people always want to learn “hello,” “how are you,” and “thank you” before anything else. I know that. However, at this stage you only know words – and have no knowledge or experience in how to use or conjugate these words. The grammar within these words is too complex for you to understand right now. However, you can just memorize these words as one unit and not worry about the grammar within them at this point.
안녕하세요 = hello
감사하다 and 고맙다 are the two words that are commonly used to say “thank you.” However, they are rarely used in those forms and are almost always conjugated. They can be conjugated in a variety of ways, which you won’t learn until Lesson 5 and Lesson 6. I will show you a list of the more commonly used forms, but I can’t stress enough that you won’t understand how this works until later lessons:
잘 지내세요? = How are you?
Technically the appropriate expression in Korean, but not as common as “how are you” in English. I would say that using “잘 지내세요?” is an English style of greeting people in Korean.
제발 = Please
It is, of course, important for you to memorize these expressions in Korean, but you need to know that there is a reason why they are said that way. For now, don’t worry about why they are said that way, and simply memorize them. We will get back to them in later lessons when they become important.
Sentence Word Order
One of the hardest things to wrap your head around in Korean is the alien-like sentence structure. For our purposes in Lesson 1, Korean sentences are written in the following order:
Subject – Object – Verb (for example: I hamburger eat)
Subject – Adjective (for example: I beautiful)
I am going to quickly explain what a “subject” and “object” mean, as your ability to understand later concepts depends on your understanding of this.
The subject refers to person/thing/noun/whatever that is acting. The subject does the action of the verb. For example, the subject in each sentence below is underlined:
I went to the park
I will go to the park
My mom loves me
He loves me
The dog ran fast
The clouds cleared up
In English, the subject always comes before the verb.
The object refers to whatever the verb is acting on. For example, the object in each sentence below is underlined
My mom loves me
The dog bit the mailman
He ate rice
Students studied Korean
In English, the object always comes after the verb. However, a sentence with a verb does not require an object. For example:
Sometimes there is no object because it has simply been omitted from the sentence. For example, “I ate” or “I ate rice” are both correct sentences. Other verbs, by their nature, cannot act on an object. For example, you cannot place an object after the verbs “sleep” or “die:”
I sleep you
I die you
Subjects are also present in sentences with adjectives. However, there is no object in a sentence with an adjective. The subjects are underlined in the following adjective-sentences below:
School is boring
I am boring
The movie was funny
The building is big
My girlfriend is pretty
The food is delicious
It is incredibly important that you understand this from the very beginning. Every Korean sentence MUST end in either a verb (like eat, sleep or walk) or an adjective (like beautiful, pretty, and delicious). This rule is so important that I’m going to say it again: Every Korean sentence MUST end in either a verb or adjective.
It is also important to point out here that there are two ways to say “I” or “me” in Korean. Depending on how polite you need to be speaking, many things within a sentence (mostly the conjugation) can change. You won’t learn about the different honorific conjugations until Lesson 6, so you do not need to worry about understanding those until then. However, before you reach those lessons, you will see two different words for “I,” which are:
나, used in informal sentences, and
저, used in formal sentences.
As Lessons 1 – 5 make no distinction of formality, you will see both 나 and 저 arbitrarily used. Don’t worry about why one is used over the other until Lesson 6, when politeness will be explained.
Okay, now that you know all of that, we can talk about making Korean sentences.