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Korean Lessons Say THIS in THIS Situation Speaking and Pronunciation

Korean Expressions : Expressing Interest / Emotions : 남자친구 있어요? / 행복해요.

Korean Expressions : Expressing Interest / Emotions

Welcome to Say THIS in THIS situation! If you aren’t completely familiar with Korean grammar, we also have grammar lessons for beginners. You might want to check them out as well!

남자/여자친구 있어요?
아니요, 없어요.
nam-ja/yŏ-ja-chin-gu it-ssŏ-yo?
a-ni-yo, ŏp-ssŏ-yo.
Do you have a boy/girlfriend?

No, I don’t.

Grammar Breakdown
남자친구 = boyfriend
여자친구 = girlfriend
있어요? = Is there? Do you have?
(Polite) 네/아니요 = Yes/No
(Polite) 없어요 = There is / I have (Polite)

Formal : 남자/여자친구 있습니까?
Polite: 남자/여자친구 있어요?
Casual: 남자/여자친구 있어?

Formal: 네/아니요, 있습니다/없습니다.
Polite: 네/아니요, 있어요/없어요.
Casual: 응/아니, 있어/없어.

RELATED : How do Koreans find their better half? Sogaeting 소개팅 / Meeting 미팅 / Matseon 맞선 / Special days for couples in Korea.

Another important expression is 있어요/없어요, which is about possession and presence.

Thankfully, when using POLITE or CASUAL form, making it into either an inquisitive form or a declarative form is very simple. You just alter the ending of the sentence. (For formal, it’s not applicable because it uses “~읍/습니까?” or “읍/습니다”, respectively, thus making obvious differences.)

To make it a question form, raise the end of the sentence.

남자친구 있어요? Do you have a boyfriend?

To make it a declarative sentence, just keep the end flat.

남자친구 있어요. I have a boyfriend.

Note that you can still make sense without having a subject in a sentence. For example,

있어? Is there? Do you have?

없어? Isn’t there? Don’t you have?

사랑해요. / 행복해요.
sa-rang-hae-yo. / haeng-bok-hae-yo.
I love (you). / I’m happy.

Grammar Breakdown
사랑 = love
행복 = happiness
하다 = “to do” “to be”, base form
해 (casual) / 해요 (polite)

Formal : 사랑합니다.
Polite : 사랑해요.
Casual : 사랑해.

Formal 행복합니다.
Polite: 행복해요.
Casual: 행복해.

하다 “to do” is a very versatile word you need to remember because in Korean, because many (more than 50%) action verbs and descriptive verbs are just nouns combined with 하다 “to do / to be”.

For example, 사랑하다 is a noun 사랑 combined with 하다. Unlike English where love is both a noun and a verb, Korean word 사랑 has to be combined with 하다 verb to become a verb “love”.

행복하다 is the same, though it might sound awkward because “to do happiness”.

준비하다 is another example. Here 준비 is “preparation”, so literally it is “to do preparation”, instead of “prepare”.

노래하다 is 노래 “song” combined with 하다, so “to do song”.

좋아해요. / 나도!
jo-a-hae-yo. / na-do!
I like (you). / You too! (Me, too!)

Grammar Breakdown
좋아하다 = “to like”
저/나 = I (formal)/(casual)
도 = too, also

Formal : 좋아합니다.
Polite : 좋아해요.
Casual : 좋아해.

Formal 저도요.
Polite: 저도요.
Casual: 나도.

Here, 좋아하다 is NOT a noun + 하다 verb.

좋아하다 itself is a verb. It describes that the person (subject) is performing action (“to like”).

As previously noted, Korean sentences using POLITE / CASUAL form can often times be both declarative or inquisitive depending on how you end the sentence (flat vs. up).

So 좋아해요. is “I like (subject)”, while 좋아해요? is “do you like (subject)?”.

Also, 나도. is “Me too.”, while 나도? is “Me, too?”

Our previous example, 사랑해 “to love” is the same, where 사랑해. is “I love (subject).” while 사랑해? is “Do you love (subject)?”.

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