Episode 18
Lesson Recap

How To Make Korean Sentences with Pronouns 'I,' 'we,' my,' and 'our' & 10 More Action Verbs

Key Points &
  • First Pronouns in Neutral Form:
    나  : me
    내  : my
    우리 : us & our

  • First Pronouns in Humble Form:
    저 : me
    제  : my
    저희 : us & our


Note: Although the pronoun ‘I’ is used in providing the corresponding English sentences below, note that the context will determine the subject when it’s absent in the sentence.

  • 봐요 : I watch

  • 일어나요 : I get up

  • 들어요 : I listen

  • 자요 : I sleep

  • 씻어요 : I wash

  • 요리해요 : I cook

  • 밥 먹어요 : I eat (a meal)

  • 마셔요 : I drink

  • 통화 중이에요 : I’m on a phone call

  • 이메일 써요 : I write an email.


Directions: Assume the given role and respond in Korean using the verbs learned in this episode.

1. You’re home, watching TV. Your colleague calls you and asks what you are up to.

2. You’re home, listening to music (=음악). Your colleague calls you and asks what you are up to.

3-1. You’re in the kitchen, washing broccolis (브로콜리). Your colleague calls you and asks what you are up to.

3-2. At work, you’re known as someone who hardly cooks. The colleague is therefore surprised to hear you’re doing something indicative of cooking and asks if you’re really cooking.

4. You’re home, having dinner. Your colleague calls you and asks what you are up to.

5. You’re home, listening to music and having a glass of wine. Your colleague calls you and asks what you are up to.

6. Your housemate has gone to sleep, and you’re talking with your colleague on the phone. Your colleague finds it unusual that she can’t hear the loud music your housemate usually has on tonight and asks what your housemate is up to.

7. You spent a night at your grandmother’s house. Just about when you are getting up from the bed, your grandmother calls out if you’re still in bed.

Episode 18

Hello! This is Kay from EssentialKorean.com. 안녕하세요 여러분! Essential Korean 케이쌤입니다.

Let’s begin today’s episode with a brief review of the previous episode, which was on the Korean pronouns for I and we, and how to use them in sentences with 13 하다-verbs or the do-verbs.

I’ll ask questions in Korean and you answer them, with the option of using the pronoun 나 or 저. I’ll repeat the questions twice.

Here’s your Question #1:

Question 1: 한국말 공부해요? 한국말 공부해요? : 네, 나 한국말 공부해요.  네, 나 한국말 공부해요. Yes I study Korean should be your answer since you’re listening to this podcast right now, studying Korean with me! If you want to say you don’t study Korean, you can simply say, 아니요 meaning no, since we have not yet learned how to negate verbs.  아니오 can serve as a negative answer, for now.

Question 2: 운동해요? 운동해요? If you do exercise, you should say 네, 나 운동해요  네, 나 운동해요 Yes I exercise. If you don’t exercise, you can say, 아니요

Question 3 expands on question 2: 운동 뭐 해요?  운동 뭐 해요? If YOU asked me the question, I’d say,  나 요가해요 because I do yoga. What was your answer? If you do jogging, your answer would be, 조깅해요. If you do 태권도, your answer would be 태권도 해요.

Here’s Question 4: with your families and friends, do you call?

If you do, you’d say, 네 나 전화해요. 네 나 전화해요.

If you do video call, you’d say, 나 화상통화 해요.  나 화상통화 해요. 
If you text, which many do nowadays, you’d say, 나 문자해요. 나 문자해요.

Question 5: 운전해요?  운전해요?  If your answer is yes, you would say, 네, (나) 운전해요. Or 네, 운전해요. If you don’t drive, you can simply say, 아니요.

Well the question about driving got me curious about the minimum driving age in other parts of the world. For Korea, it’s 18; and I also know that it’s somewhere between 16 and 18 in America, depending on the state. What about your countries, if it’s other than Korea or America?

Btw, our listeners come from all over the world - Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America!  When you can, drop me a line and let me know from where you’re tuning in to Essential Korean Podcast, what prompted you to study Korean, and any questions you might have about the Korean language…

Alright, for the verbs we didn’t get to review, please listen to Episode 17 again.

Review is not just a good thing, but is essential when learning a new language!

Now, it’s time for new stuff.  We will learn MORE Korean pronouns and verbs for activities we find in our daily routine.

Let’s go through the organization for today’s lesson. First, I’ll briefly run through the I and we pronouns; and then the verbs. Then, we’ll learn to use them in different situations and we’ll have an interactive speaking session. Does that sound OK? I hope so :)

Now, on the topic of pronouns: In terms of functions or meaning, we’ll learn 8 pronouns; however, in terms of the form, you only need to learn 2 new terms. How is that so? Because the same terms can be used for different functions.

#1. We learned that the neutral form of I in Korean to be ‘나.’ Now, the neutral form of me is also : 나 나 나

#2. Here comes the first of two new terms for today: the neutral form for my in Korean -  내 내 내 (Yes, it sound very much like the Korean word for yes,’ which is 네, right? -- 내 and 네.)  They have the same consonant but different vowels in spelling. But please do NOT sweat over differentiating the sound for pronunciation. Communication is the core of language; and for sounds this similar, it’d matter only in spelling and the context will provide the meaning.

#3. Let’s move on to plural pronouns. In the last episode, we learned that the neutral form for we in Korean is 우리. We can use the same form, 우리,  for both us and our.

What about the humble form of the pronouns? All of them start with a j sound. Here they are :

#4. The humble form for me in Korean is : 저 저 저. This is the same as the humble form for I in Korean.

#5. And here is the second of the two new terms for today: the humble form of 내 my in Korean is :  제 제 제

#6. For the humble form for us and our in Korean, we can use 저희, which is also the humble form of Korean we as well.

In summary:

Use 나 for i and me; and 내 for my for the neutral level.

Use 우리 for we us and our for the neutral level.

for the humble forms:

Use 저 for i and me and 제  for my and

Use 저희 for we us and our

Now, let’s have some fun. I’ll play a short segment of a song by Zion T, titled 하루일과 which literally means Daily Schedule. I picked the song because it contains several verbs of actions we do daily. -- a great song to take a break with, in an episode introducing action verbs found in a daily routine! I’ll run through the verbs in dictionary form appearing in the song:

자다 to sleep; 일어나다 to get up; 밥먹다 to have a meal;  씻다 to wash; 나오다 to come out; 일하다 to work; 전화하다 to make a phone call

I’ll run through the verbs one more time, but this time, I’ll remove the 다 in the dictionary form, leaving only the verb root, or some people call it verb stem.  Here they are:

자 for sleeping; 일어나 for getting up; 밥먹 for having a meal;  씻 for washing; 나오 for coming out; 일하 for working; 전화하 for making a phone call

The verbs you hear in the song will be conjugated and NOT in the dictionary form; so listen for the root of the verbs. Remember, the roots stay consistent no matter the conjugation. Here comes the song:

(Zion T 노래)

How was it? Were you able to hear the verbs in the first half of the segment? Let’s listen to the song again. This time, it’ll be shorter as I will play only the first half of the segment with the verbs:

(Zion T 노래)

Isn’t it nice? Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, we can always enjoy the universal language of music.

So the song was by Zion T and, interestingly, the English title of the song is not a direct translation of the original title. A more direct translation would be Daily Routine, but the official English title of the song is Those Days. If you want to look up the song yourself, you’ll have to search for Those Days by Zion T.

Now that we have more to work with, namely a few more pronouns and action verbs, we can put them to work.

Imagine yourself giving a virtual tour of your home, with you standing outside of your home. You can say, 우리 집이에요. It’s our home. 우리 means our 집 means house or home; and 이에요 means be.

Please note the English translation has It so that in English it is grammatically correct, but in Korean the it can be omitted. Repeat after me: 우리 집이에요  우리 집이에요   우리 집이에요

Verb 1.  봐요 :

Let’s go inside the house and proceed to the living room, where we can see a luxury TV. Do you watch TV? 티비 봐요? 

봐요 is the informal polite form of the verb 보다, which means to watch or to see.  Repeat after me to say, do you watch TV? 티비 봐요?  티비 봐요?  티비 봐요?

If your answer is affirmative, you’d say, 네, 나 티비 봐요  Yes, I watch TV.  Repeat after me: 네, 나 티비 봐요.  네, 나 티비 봐요.  네, 나 티비 봐요.

Let’s go to your room. How would you say It’s my room, given that a room in Korean is 방? You’re correct if you said, 내 방이에요 meaning It’s my room : 내  means my, 방 means room and 이에요 means be. Repeat after me: 내 방이에요.   내 방이에요.  내 방이에요

Before we exit the room, let’s learn a few verbs here:

Verb 2. 일어나요 :

일어나요 is the informal polite form of the verb 일어나다, which means to get up. How would you say I get up? If you want to have the pronoun I in the sentence to emphasize that YOU are getting up, you can say, 나 일어나요; 나 일어나요; 나 일어나요. But you can also just say 일어나요 since we know whom we are talking about.

Verb 3. 들어요 :

The next verb. 들어요 is the informal polite form of the verb 듣다 which means to listen or to hear. Let’s practice saying, I listen to music. Music in Korean is 음악; so 나 음악 들어요 is how you’d say, I listen to music. It’s worth noting the word order here: The pronoun 나 is followed by 음악, and the verb 들어요 is at the end.  Please repeat after me to say I listen to music : 나 음악 들어요.  나 음악 들어요.  나 음악 들어요.

Imagine yourself listening to music in your room and you get a call from me :) I’ll ask you what you’re doing : 뭐 해요?  How would you answer my question, 뭐 해요? Yes, you’d say, 음악 들어요 or 나 음악 들어요 if you choose to say the pronoun 나, which you don’t really need in this case. Repeat after me to say, I’m listening to music: 나 음악 들어요. 나 음악 들어요. 나 음악 들어요

Verbs 공부해요 / 일해요

Now, imagine yourself studying and I call you and ask: 뭐 해요? How would you answer? Correct: you’d say, 공부해요 or 나 공부해요. Please repeat after me:

나 공부해요  나 공부해요   나 공부해요

Now instead of studying, imagine yourself working, and I call you and ask, 뭐 해요? What would you say?  You answered correctly if you said, 일 해요 or 나 일해요. Please repeat after me to say I’m working: 나 일해요. 나 일해요. 나 일해요

Verb 4. 자요 :

One more activity which is very important for our mental and physical health: sleep. 자요 is the informal polite form for sleep. Everyone sleeps, but some get better quality sleep than others. For those lucky people, instead of just saying I sleep, I’ll insert one adverb between the pronoun and the verb to say, I sleep well. Please repeat after me: 나 잘 자요. 나 잘 자요. 나 잘 자요.

Very good. Let’s go to another room in your house: the bathroom

Verb 5. 씻어요  :

One of the verbs in the song we listened to by Zion T was 씻다, meaning to wash. You use this to describe washing your hand, face, or taking a shower. For I wash, you’d say: 씻어요. 씻어요. 씻어요.

We’ve discussed five verbs; and five more to go. But I want to do a quick review here: 봐요 means watch or see / 일어나요  means get up / 들어요 means listen or hear/ 자요 means sleep/ and 씻어요 means wash.

Verb 6. 요리해요 :

Let’s move to another space in your home, the kitchen/dining room area.
In the past, 부엌 was the word I’d present for a kitchen; But these days, I see the word 주방 used far more frequently to refer to the space where one cooks so I’ll use 주방 when saying, It’s a kitchen. Repeat after me: 주방이에요. 주방이에요. 주방이에요.

To say it’s our house kitchen or it’s the kitchen of our house: 우리 집 주방이에요.  우리 집 주방이에요.  우리 집 주방이에요.

How do you respond to the question, What do you do in the kitchen? The most likely answer is I cook. 요리 means cooking and 해요 means to do. So to respond, you can say: 나 요리해요.  나 요리해요.  나 요리해요

Verb 7. 밥 먹어요 :

The division between a kitchen and dining area is often blurred in the layout of many apartments in Korea. So while we’re in the kitchen area, let’s learn to say I have a meal with the verb introduced in the song by Zion T’s - 밥 먹다, to have a meal. Repeat after me:

나  밥 먹어요. 나  밥 먹어요. 나  밥 먹어요.

The word 밥 can be replaced with 아침, 점심, and 저녁 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner respectively. Thus, to say I eat breakfast, repeat after me:

나 아침 먹어요   나 아침 먹어요   나 아침 먹어요  
For lunch, 나 점심 먹어요 -  나 점심 먹어요  - 나 점심 먹어요  
For dinner, 나 저녁 먹어요   나 저녁 먹어요   나 저녁 먹어요

Verb 8. 마셔요 :

Ok, the next verb is drink. The informal-polite style for drink in Korean is 마셔요 마셔요 마셔요. Still on the topic of a breakfast menu, I’ll ask you,  뭐 마셔요? What do you drink? Repeat after me to say what do you drink: 뭐 마셔요?  뭐 마셔요?  뭐 마셔요?

Let’s say you drink coffee. What would you say?
나 커피 마셔요  나 커피 마셔요  나 커피 마셔요

If you are a tea lover, you’d say I drink tea; repeat after me:
나 티 마셔요  나 티 마셔요  나 티 마셔요

Before leaving the house, let’s cover two more routine activities: making phone calls and writing emails …

Verb 9 and 10. 통화 중이에요;  이메일 써요:

We already learn to say I call/ I make phone calls : 전화해요. I’d like to introduce a new phrase to express someone’s actually talking on the phone. Let’s say your grandfather knocks on the door and tells you to join the dinner when you’re on call with someone. Repeat after me, to say  I am in the middle of a call or I’m on call, with the humble form of I, 저.

저 통화 중이에요.  저 통화 중이에요.   저 통화 중이에요.  

And imagine yourself catching up with your emails on your laptop and writing replies when your grandmother calls you. She asks if you’re busy. You can let her know you’re writing emails. Repeat after me: 
저 이메일 써요  저 이메일 써요  저 이메일 써요

Alright! That was a brief tour of our house, 우리 집이에요 or 저희 집이에요.

Before I let you go, I want to give a quick run down of the 10 new verbs for actions in our daily routine in informal-polite style that we learned today:

봐요 / 일어나요 / 들어요 / 자요 / 씻어요  and 요리해요 cook  / 밥 먹어요 have a meal / 마셔요  drink / 통화 중이에요 be in the middle of a call  / 이메일 써요 write an email

Please listen to the previous episode and this one again; and try to memorize the verbs in context. With the 13 verbs from the last episode and 10 from this episode, you can now express what you do throughout the day IN KOREAN!

One last announcement: transcripts are now available for the podcasts on our website, essentialkorean.com. Use them to study and review what you learned in the lesson.

Ok, that’s it for this episode, and I will try to connect again soon. Until then, be well and stay healthy!

*Featured Song >
Title: 하루일과 -  Eng. “Those Days” (2018)
Artist: 자이언티 Zion T