Lesson 66 (Intermediate 1A Lesson 4): I know how to... or not

Started with Quizlet, first individual since we were 5 in a class... not that Quizlet can't make teams with uneven numbers. But then the last student joined the class before the end and we did the second round in groups of 3.

We finished up the handout (covering the last 3 gramma points), and then started on chapter 2 in the textbook.

For the last grammar point, we played a game of 20 questions (스무고개, literally "20 hills").

As in the last lesson, which also had many speaking activities with another student and involved breakout rooms, the teachers gave us different partners for each activity.


2. V-(으)ㄹ 줄 알다/모르다

This is used to expess that the subject knows (알다)/does not know (모르다) how to do something.


  • 받침 O + -을 줄 알다/모르다
    • Example:
      • 읽을 줄 알다/모르다 (읽다)
  • 받침 X, ㄹ + -ㄹ 줄 알다/모르다
    • Examples:
      • 수영할 줄 알다/모르다 (수영하다)
      • 스케이트를 탈 줄 알다/모르다 (스케이트를 타다)
      • 만들 줄 알다/모르다 (만들다)

Pronunciation: 줄 알아요 sounds like [쭈라라요].

I wonder if there are any cases where you can't make use of V-(으)ㄹ 수 있다/없다, which has a meaning that is pretty close to this?

3. V-(으)ㄴ

This is used to modify nouns that indicate a situation or an action that is completed.

Essentially, this is the past noun modifier. (See present tense noun modifier for verbs in Lesson 56.)


  • 받침 O + 은
    • Examples:
      • 먹은 (먹다)
      • 읽은 (읽다)
      • 들은 (듣다)
  • 받침 X, ㄹ + ㄴ
    • Examples:

4. A/V-지 않다

This is used to negate an action or the state of the verb or an adjective.

  • 방이 크지 않아요. = 방이 커요.

In meaning, it is similar to putting 안 in front, and in most cases, they are equivalent. (The textbook treats them as interchangeable, but the teacher did point out some differences in certain situations.)

Note that the spelling of 않 in V-지 않아요 is different from 안.

The conjugation is very straightforward; simply add -지 않다 to the verb stem (after removing 다).


  • 춥지 않아요. (It's not cold.)
  • 어제 비가 오 지 않았어요. (It did not rain yesterday.)
  • 내일을 늦지 않을 거예요. (Don't be late tomorrow.)


Naturally, because 안 is shorter, it's used more commonly in speech than A/V-지 않다.

A/V-지 않다 is used mostly in a formal setting, in written language, or when you are delivering a message and want it to come across more gently. The negative meaning is very strong when 안 is used.

There are 2 spoken situations where you might use A/V-지 않다 instead.

  1. You want to express something that is more neutral to negative, than really negative. This is related to the point about how the negative meaning comes across very strongly with 안. Saying something like 안 어려워요 pretty much implies it's easy, while saying 어렵지 않아요 means that it's not that hard, maybe somewhere halfway on the scale between easy and hard.
  2. You want people to agree with your opinion. It's a kind of rhetorical question. An example is with questions such as "Isn't it delicious?" or "Isn't it hot?", and you expect the person to say yes. You would ask, 맛있지 않아요? or 덥지 않아요? If you asked something like 안 더워요? the context would be in a situation where the weather is hot but your friend is wearing a jacket, and you are genuinely curious whether it's hot or not.

The teacher said that there is something similar with . It has an equivalent -지 못하다.

Since 못 has the meaning of being unable to do something, I think it only applies to verbs. That would also mean that it has the same meaning as V-(으)ㄹ 수 없다.

It didn't occur to me to ask during the lesson, since I was only reminded of this fact when I was writing this post, and searching up the links to my past entries on 못, which led me to the Lesson 58 post above.


Korean English Notes
고장이 나다 to break down; to have a breakdown
이주 전 two weeks ago
어징어 squid
고개 hill
스무고개 20 questions The game where you can ask up to 20 yes/no questions to guess an object.
둥글다 to be round
쓰다 to use Third etymology, after "to write" and "to wear (on the head)"
형광펜 highlighter (pen)

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