Lesson 26 (Beginner 2A L2): Adjectives

This lesson was also conducted over Zoom.

We had another student join today, so there is a total of 7 students (including me) in the class. 3 of them are from the same class that I used to be in, and the other 3 are not. It seems that this third new person knows the other 2.

It's a guy, so at least my friend isn't the only guy in the class any more, but I don't think it really bothered him (the way it bothered the other guy that used to be in our class until he disappeared just around Christmas...)

It's funny, the teacher asked him to introduce himself and he launched into an introduction in English. He also joined the session on I think 2 devices, because one is the camera and another was the audio. He seems like a gamer, or at least, he has a RGB keyboard. (Okay, I shouldn't be one to talk. My keyboard is mechanical and does have backlighting with some patterns but it's only white, and I turn the lights off... my Windows desktop is also a powerful gaming machine but... I am definitely not a gamer. And yes, I recently bought a good chair which so happens to be a gaming chair since I'm stuck with working from home and the dining chair was not cutting it. I digress.)

There was the quiz that we did today, it's the same, but we did it together. The first section was done individually first and then we went through the answers together, and then the second part was done together, with us taking turns to answer.

I think it's this teacher who uses videos to teach since we saw a short clip today as well about kids counting from 1-10, as part of our revision on the native numbers.

Then we practised with the textbook, which was something we (the 4 of us from the class that I was in) had already done before. I found that the conversation flowed very smoothly or rather, it was much more smooth this time. I guess there was something that got internalised. Still, there was something valuable.

The first was pronunciation, and this wasn't highlighted by the previous teacher. It's not actually a new rule. Basically, when you have 그릇하고 (as in you are ordering two things, as in 비빔밥 한 그릇하고 갈비탕 한 그릇) it is pronounced as [그르타고].

This is the same rule as for 깨끗하다 pronounced as [깨끄타다], covered when I first started on chapter 6.

The teacher also mentioned in this lesson using 한 개 or even 하나 to order food instead of 한 그릇. (This applies to other numbers as well, basically you can use the unit 개 or no units, just the native number.)

She also mentioned that flat things (pizza, and apparently for mantou as well though I don't get it because it's not really flat), you can use the unit noun 판, so 만두 한 판.

I tried to see if Wiktionary would tell me more, but the only thing I found out about it was that it's a counter for 30 eggs.


This is the third grammar point for this chapter. The first was covered in Lesson 23 and the second in Lesson 24.

3. N이/가 A-아요/어요

This is the "informal-polite present tense form used to make statements of ask questions about the state or properties of the noun".

Basically, it's the sentence form for use with adjectives (which is what the "A" represents).

Previously, we had learnt that N이/가 goes together with:

  1. 아닙니다
  2. 있어요/없어요

(This was covered in the first 10 lessons, see points 2 and 3.)

The adjectives are actually... given in verb form, if you realise, from the vocabulary of this chapter. For example, 재미있다 is "to be interesting", and 다 is basically the verb marker.

So there really isn't anything new going on here in terms of the grammar, just that it's a different class of "verbs", if you will.

(Note that I'm saying all this based on my current understanding, I'm not actually sure if this is actually the case.)

The only thing of note are two exceptions when adding 가 to two special nouns:

  1. 저 ("I"): For 저 you need to add 이 to it to make 제, so you have 제가 (not 저가.)
  2. 누구 ("who"): For 누구, the 구 is removed when you add 가, so you have 누가 (not 누구가).

Side note 1: Another example noun was 오빠 ("oppa"—most people know this word even if they don't know Korean). If you recall a while back I was learning about the right way to refer to older siblings. The teacher mentioned here that that term can be used (if you are female) to refer to any male friend older than yourself, so not necessarily a boyfriend.

Some example sentences:

  • 방이 깨끗해요. (The room is clean.)
  • 제가 한국 사람이에요. (I am Korean.)

In the second sentence above—한국 사람 really isn't an adjective, but the point of its being there was to talk about the difference between that and the one that we learnt near the beginning: 저는 한국 사람이에요. This will be covered in the next section when we relook at the particles.

The above grammar rule was given for the present tense form, but you can simply conjugate the verb into the past tense as well:

  • 어제 영화가 재미있었어요. (Yesterday, the movie was interesting.)

Side note 2: What I've come across of adjectives up to this point was mostly on Duolingo and cursory searches of the dictionary from there, so I know there are some different adjectives, but I don't know if that's exactly the same as how you have the 3 different classes of (regular) verbs that get conjugated differently. The thing about Duolingo is that the sentences are all conjugated to the formal-polite tense, so I need to unpack it back to the informal-polite tense too, or rather, find the infinitive.

Korean Particles (조사) Revision

We did a kind of revision of the particles since I guess it is pretty confusing.

1. N은/는

  1. Used to indicate the topic of a sentence, what the speaker wants to talk about.
    • 한국 사람이에요. ("I am Korean."—speaker is talking about himself)
  2. Used to refer to something mentioned earlier in a conversation.
    • 저는 냉면을 먹었어요. 냉면 맛있었어요. ("I ate cold noodles. The cold noodles were delicious."—In English, we could use a pronoun, saying "It was delicious")
    • 가: 토요일에 시간이 있어요? ("Do you have time on Saturday?") 나: 아니요, (토요일에) 수업이 있어요. ("No, I have a class [on Saturday]."—It's actually entirely possible to drop the part of the sentence in brackets, where the particle is.)
  3. Used when comparing or contrasting two things.
    • 제 방에 침대 있어요. 냉장고 없어요. ("There is a bed in my room. There is no fridge.")
    • This will be covered in more detail in the next chapter.

2. N을/를 + V

  1. 을/를 is used to indicate that the noun is the object of the verb (action). It is followed exclusively by a verb.
    • 친구를 만나요. ("I am meeting my friend.)

3. N이/가

  1. Used to designate the subject of the sentence.
    • 냉면 맛있었어요. ("Cold noodles is delicious.")
  2. Used to express a new subject in a sentence.
    • 누가 한국 사람이에요? 제 한국 사람이에요.
    • Here, the question is asking: "Who is Korean?"
    • In the reply, you cannot omit the subject because it's not been mentioned before and the right particle is 가.
    • The emphasis is on "I", the fact that I'm Korean.
    • Compare this with the question: 어느 나라 사람이에요? (What is your nationality?)
      • The answer would be: (저) 한국 사람이에요. ("I'm Korean.")
      • Here, the emphasis is on Korean, and the subject is already introduced (as it was already mentioned in the question), fitting into use case #2 of N은/는 mentioned above.
      • As standalone sentences, both 제가 한국 사람이에요 and 저는한국 사람이에요 mean the same thing: I'm Korean.
  3. Used with 아니다, 있다, and 없다
    • 저는 한국 사람 아니에요. ("I am not Korean.")
    • 남자 친구 있어요. ("I have a boyfriend.")
    • 우산 없어요. ("I don't have an umbrella.")


Korean English Notes
unit noun for flat things (?) e.g. pizza (피자), mantou/bun (만두)
여기요~! Over here! To a waiter/waitress, to call them over to your table to take your order.
저기요~! Excuse me! Getting a stranger's attention, e.g. to ask for directions
너무 too e.g. The bag is too expensive, 가방이 너무 비싸요.
정말 really e.g. The bibimbap is really delicious, 비빔밥이 정말 맛있어요.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from journey