Grammar On Bullet Points
Course 1

➢ Expressing What Something Is

• To say what something is in Korean, we need to learn two verb forms: 예요 and 이에요. Both verb forms are derived from the verb ‘이다' [ ee-dah ], which means “to be."


• 예요 and 이에요 follow a noun phrase and identify what a noun is.


• 예요 follows a noun ending with a vowel: N예요


Examples: (Note that the 'vowel' refers to the Korean spelling, not the English.)

  • hamburger 햄버거 → 햄버거예요. “It is a hamburger.”

  • salad 샐러드 → 샐러드예요. “It is a salad.

  • computer 컴퓨터 → 컴퓨터예요. “It is a computer.”


• 이에요 follows a noun ending with a consonant: N이에요




  • pen 펜 → 펜이에요. “It is a pen.”

  • bagel 베이글 → 베이글이에요. “It is a bagel.”

  • cup 컵 → 컵이에요. “It is a cup.”


• In writing, unlike other verbs, 예요/이에요 immediately follows a noun it identifies without any space. Examples:

  • O 햄버거예요. It is a hamburger.

       X 햄버거( )예요.

  • O 컴퓨터예요. It is a computer.

       X 컴퓨터( )예요.

  • O 펜이에요. It is a pen.

       X 펜( )이에요.

  • O 베이글이에요. It is a bagel.

       X 베이글( )이에요.


➢ Questions with Question-Words

• You can ask what 뭐, where 어디 when 언제, who 누구, how much 얼마 ( price ), how 어때 / 어떻게, and why 왜, simply attaching -예요 [ yeh-yo ] or -요 [ yo ] to these different question-words. Look over the question-word (a.k.a. WH-word ) questions and listen to the audio:


예요? What is it?

어디예요? Where is it?

언제예요? When is it?

누구예요? Who is it?

얼마예요? How much is it?

어때? How is it?

어떻게? How is it so?

? Why?

• For the time being, memorize the four questions, what is it, where is it, when is it, and who is it. Come back to this section to study the rest later :)


Questions with Four WH-words:



➢ Verb of Identification "아니에요"

• While the verb 예요/이에요 identifies what something is, the verb 아니에요 states what something is NOT.


• Unlike the verb 예요/이에요, which cannot stand alone but always has to follow a noun phrase, the verb 아니에요 can be said by itself, or with a noun, as in the following dialogues:

Examples :


Q : 컴퓨터예요? Is it a computer?

A : 컴퓨터 아니에요. It’s not a computer.


Q : 오렌지 주스예요? Is it orange juice?

A : 오렌지 주스 아니에요. It’s not orange juice.


Q : 베이글이에요? Is it a bagel

A : 베이글 아니에요. It’s not a bagel.


Q : 햄버거예요? Is it a hamburger?

A : 햄버거 아니에요. It’s not a hamburger.


Remember: 예요/이에요 is the only verb that follows a noun phrase without a space in writing. In all other cases, there is a space between the verb and the noun that follows.


➢ Verb of Existence & Possession "있어요" & "없어요"

있어요 and 없어요 have two definitions each. Let's look at each of them along with a few examples.

• 1) To say something is present (existence), add the verb "있어요" [ eet-suh-yo ] after the noun that is present or exists:



• 커피 있어요. There is coffee.

• 주스 있어요. There is juice.

• 택시 있어요. There is a taxi.

• 버스 있어요. There is a bus.


• 2) To remark that someone has something (possession), add the same verbs, "있어요" [ eet-suh-yo ] after the noun that one has or possesses:



• 커피 있어요. I have coffee.

• 주스 있어요. I have juice.

• 컴퓨터 있어요. I have a computer.


- - - - -


• 1) To say something is absent, add the verb "없어요" [ uhp-suh-yo ] after the noun that is absent or does not exist:



• 커피 없어요. There is no coffee.

• 주스 없어요. There is no juice.

• 택시 없어요. There is no taxi.

• 버스 없어요. There is no bus.


• 2) To remark that someone doesn't have something (possession), add the same verb, "없어요" [ uhp-suh-yo ] after the noun that one doesn't have or doesn't possess:



• 커피 없어요. I don't have coffee.

• 주스 없어요. I don't have juice.

• 컴퓨터 없어요. I don't have a computer.


➢ "(Noun), please" : “N요”

• When asking for a thing in English, we can use the form, “( Noun ), please.” In Korean, you can simply add ‘’ after the noun.


Examples :

At a cafe or a restaurant:

1. 오렌지 주스. “Orange juice, please.”

2. 커피. “Coffee, please.”

3. 샐러드. “Salad, please.”


• “N요” is also used to replace the verb phrase in a complete response to a question as shown in A2 in the examples below:


Examples :



Q : 뭐예요? What is it?

A1 : 커피예요. It is coffee. / A2 : 커피요. Coffee.



Q : 뭐 먹어요? What are you eating?

A1 : 피자 먹어요. I’m eating pizza. / A2 : 피자요. Pizza.



Q : 뭐 봐요? What are you watching?

A1 : 뉴스 봐요. I’m watching the news. / A2 : 뉴스요. The news.