This is a topic that confuses a lot of people at the start, especially if they are coming from a language that, like English, does not make use of grammatical particles.
I guess I should start by explaining what exactly a grammatical particle is. Particles are grammatical elements that lack meaning of their own but impart meaning when connected with another word. When they are associated with another word, they give some sort of additional meaning to that word. Korean makes extensive use of particles, and today we’ll look at the three most common ones.
This is my last post in my conjugation series covering three of the most common forms you can expect to see, 하십시오체, 해요체, and now finally 해체, which is often referred to as 반말! There are other forms to be covered later, but if you at least know these three, you’ll be set for pretty much any social interaction in Korean. While the previous two posts were a bit heavy, this one will be a lot more short and sweet because… we more or less learned it all in the 해요체 post!
Once more, I will leave irregular verbs out of this post for the sake of simplification (irregulars are for another post!).
Here’s a post for the beginners! Korean verb conjugation is different than English verb conjugation, and the form you must use varies depending on who you’re talking to and the social formality of the situation, among other factors. While this form isn’t the one that learners can expect to use the most, it is (IMO) the simplest to conjugate. Let’s dive in~
NOTE: I will not cover or use any irregular verbs in this post! I’ll save those for another post since I don’t want to potentially confuse someone seeing this information for the first time. Also, I will focus on the present tense, again to keep things as simple as possible.
This is a pretty heavy topic but it’s vital to understand the difference between honorifics and formality levels as well as what each of those concepts individually (especially formality levels) entails to properly navigate the social structure that is built into Korean language and society. The concept and mechanics of using honorifics and different formality levels can be difficult to grasp especially if your native language doesn’t have similar systems, but they are crucial to communicating smoothly with others.
I expect this post to get a bit lengthy, so grab a snack (or three) and click the Read More to proceed~