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Grammar Korean For Everyone Korean Lessons

Korean Adjectives and Conjugation Rules ㄴ/은 /ㅂ/ ㅎ & Batchim

KOREAN ADJECTIVES AND CONJUGATION RULES

Previous lesson: Beginner Korean – Grammar : Predicate – Verb/Adjective Predicates

Now, when an adjective is used as an adjective and not as a predicate, it takes a different form and is always placed BEFORE a noun, with some general rules listed below.

ㄴ batchim is added to the adjective stem ending in a vowel.

예쁘다 “pretty”

As a predicate : 고양이가 예쁘다. “The cat is pretty.”

As an adjective : 예쁜 고양이 “pretty cat”

1) 예쁘 stem remains

2) ‘다’ ending is dropped

3) ㄴ batchim is added to 예쁘, making it 예쁘 + ㄴ = 예쁜

Remember, it comes before a noun as an adjective!

빠르다 “fast”

As a predicate : 고양이가 빠르다. “The cat is fast.”

As an adjective : 빠른 고양이 “fast cat”

1) 빠르 stem remains

2) ‘다’ ending is dropped

3) ㄴ batchim is added to 빠르, making it 빠르+ ㄴ = 빠른

은 batchim is added to the adjective stem ending in a vowel.

검다 “black”

As a predicate : 고양이가 검다. “The cat is black.”

As an adjective : 검은 고양이 “black cat”

1) 검 stem remains

2) ‘다’ ending is dropped

3) 은 is added to 검, making it 검은

얕다 “shallow”

As a predicate : 호수가 얕다. “The lake is shallow.”

As an adjective : 얕은 호수 “shallow lake”

1) 얕 stem remains

2) ‘다’ ending is dropped

3) 은 is added to 얕, making it 얕은

KOREAN ADJECTIVES AND CONJUGATION RULES Irregular ㅂ batchim adjective

ㅂ batchim of the stem is dropped and 운 is added to the stem

뜨겁다 “hot”

As a predicate : 물이 뜨겁다. “The water is hot.”

As an adjective : 뜨거운 물 “hot water”

1) ㅂ batchim of the stem 뜨겁 stem is dropped, leaving 뜨거

2) ‘다’ ending is dropped

3) Instead of ‘은’, ‘운’ is added to 뜨거, making it 뜨거운

뜨겁다 > 뜨겁은 (x) 뜨거운 (o)

There are many other cases of irregular adjectives and verbs, but knowing the most common types are enough to get you up to speed because you can pick up the outliers as we go along!

KOREAN ADJECTIVES AND CONJUGATION RULES Irregular ㅎ batchim adjective

ㄴ batchim replaces the ㅎ batchim of the stem

하얗다 “white”

As a predicate : 눈이 하얗다. “The snow is white.”

As an adjective : 하얀 눈 “white snow”

1) ‘다’ ending is dropped, leaving 하얗 stem

2) ㅎ batchim of the stem 하얗 stem is dropped, leaving 하야

3) Instead of ‘은’, ㄴ batchim goes into where ㅎ was, making it 하얀

하얗다 > 하얗은 (x) 하얀 (o)

동그랗다 “circular”

As a predicate : 공이 동그랗다. “The ball is circular.”

As an adjective :동그란 공 “circular ball”

1) ‘다’ ending is dropped, leaving 동그랗 stem

2) ㅎ batchim of the stem 동그랗 stem is dropped, leaving 동그라

3) Instead of ‘은’, ㄴ batchim goes into where ㅎ was, making it 동그란

동그랗다 > 동그랗은 (x) 동그란 (o)

Adjectives and Their Uses

In Korean, adjectives are used to describe the subsequent subject/object more accurately and vividly. Depending on the word you choose, the meaning of a sentence would change drastically.

We just covered how adjectives can be used as predicates similar to verbs.

There are two more possible uses of adjectives.

Here, the adjective 멋진 describes the subject 자동차. How do we know which one is a subject and which one is an object? Remember the subject marker 이/가 and the object marker 을/를?

자동차 is followed 가, so it’s a subject. Let’s look at another example.

Here, you can see that 무서운 describes the object 영화. We know 영화 is the object (to which an action is performed) here because it’s followed by 를, an object marker.

Pay attention to the order of the sentence and where the adjective is placed.

A + S + P
Pay attention to the order of the sentence and where the adjective is placed.

A + S + A + O + P

Note that an adjective comes before either a subject or a noun. Very simple!

(SAMPLE) PRACTICE QUIZ

Convert the following adjective predicates to base adjective form.

ㄴ batchim is added to the adjective stem ending in a vowel.

무디다 (is blunt) > (blunt)

못되다 (is mean) > (mean)

ANSWER: 무딘 / 못된

은 is added to the adjective stem ending in a consonant.

얇다 (is thin) > (thin)

맑다 (is clear) > (clear)

ANSWER: 얇은 / 맑은

ㅂ batchim of the stem is dropped and 운 is added to the stem

가볍다 (is light) > (light)

쉽다 (is easy) > (easy)

ANSWER: 가벼운 / 쉬운

ㄴ batchim of the stem is dropped and ㅎ is added to the stem

하얗다 (is white) > ( white)

까맣다 (is black)> ( black)

ANSWER: 하얀 / 까만

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