Korean Verbs – The Complete List of Passive, Action, Irregular, and Adjective Words

Last Updated on May 12, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
Korean Verbs

In this lesson, we will introduce you to Korean verbs! They are the most important part of most sentences in the Korean language, so you will want to learn and memorize as many different verbs as possible. Have fun learning these useful and common Korean verbs presented below! Because Korean verbs are typically listed with -다 added to their stems in dictionaries, we will also do so here.

Korean VerbsBelow is a free PDF guide that you can download and take with you:

Korean Verbs

Verbs are an important part of speech in Korean grammar. Learning Korean verbs can come off as challenging when you’re just starting. There are many different rules to follow such as verb endings following the tenses (i.e past tense, present tense, future tense), honorific form, verb stem, and a lot more. But, there are ways you can use to learn them.

In Korea, a verb is called 동사. They have 4 different classifications, namely active, descriptive, existential, and copulas. All these verb classifications are made up of a verb stem and a suffix.

One thing unique about it is that once you get to have a lot of verb vocabulary and know how to conjugate them, you’ll be able to make your own simple Korean sentence. A Korean verb doesn’t need to have a subject to make it stand on its own. A Korean verb, when properly conjugated, can be a sentence on its own.

Verbs in Korean

In Korean, verbs are called 동사 (dongsa) while phrasal verbs are called 구동사 (gudongsa).

If you want to talk about linking verbs, you can say it as 연결 동사 (yeongyeol dongsa).

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Common Korean Verbs

Common Korean verbs are words that are often used when speaking or learning Korean. Below is a list of the most common Korean verbs.

EnglishKorean
to go (gada)
to sleep (jada)
to eat (meokda)
to walk (geotda)
to write (sseuda)
to read (ikda)
to give (juda)
to call (jeonhwahada)
to work (ilhada)
to study (gongbuhada)

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Korean Verbs List

Below is a list of useful verbs that will help you build a simple Korean sentence. These are commonly used in conversations in South Korea. These verbs are in their dictionary form. If you want to verify their meaning, you can use these forms to look them up in the dictionary.

EnglishKorean
to go (gada)
to teach (gareuchida)
to point, to indicate (garikida)
to take, to carry (gajyeogada)
to bring (gayeooda)
to have (gajida)
to change (one’s clothes) (garaipda)
to change/transfer to (car, metro, train etc.) (garatada)
to close one’s eyes (gamda)
to appreciate, to thank (gamsahada)
to hide, to disguise (gamchuda)
to have (gatda)
to develop, to create (gaebalhada)
to collect; to achieve (geoduda)
to lie (geojitmal)
to worry (geokjeonghada)
to walk (geotda)
to hang (something on the wall) (geolda)
to go on foot, to walk (georeogada)
to come on foot (georeooda)
to experience, to undergo (gyeokda)
to endure, to bear, to stand (gyeondida)
to resolve (gyeolsimhada)
to be decided (gyeoljeongdwida)
to decide (gyeoljeonghada)
to marry (gyeolhonhada)
to experience (gyeongheomhada)
to calculate; to pay (gyesanhada)
to be continued (gyesokdwida)
to continue, to do continuously (gyesokhada)
to confess (gobaekhada)
to consider (goryeohada)
to choose, to select (goreuda)
to have a hard time, to suffer (gosaenghada)
to repair, to fix; to revise (gochida)
to study (gongbuhada)
to wait (gidarida)
to expect, to anticipate (gidaehada)
to remember (gieokhada)
to see the sights, to look around (gugyeonghada)
to seek; to get; to rescue, to save (guhada)
to roast, to grill, to bake (gupda)
to draw, to paint (geurida)
to stop, to drop, to quit (geumanduda)
to work (geunmuhada)
to dream (kumkuda)
to boil (kkeulida)
to finish (keutnada)
to exit (nagada)
to divide, to split; to share (nanuda)
to pay (naeda)
to go down (naeryeogada)
to come down (naeryeooda)
to put (something in) (neotda)
to sing a song (noraehada)
to endeavor, to strive (noryeokhada)
to play (nolda)
to go to; to attend (danida)
to close (datda)
to go through, to suffer (danghada)
to answer (daedaphada)
to add (deohada)
to take (a person) (deryeogada)
to bring, to fetch (deryeooda)
to be attended (by), to be accompanied (derida)
to arrive (dochakhada)
to run away (domanggada)
to help (dowajuda)
to take care, to look after (dolboda)
to help (dopda)
to become, to come to (dwida)
to fall, to drop; to fail (ddeoreojida)
to run, to dash (ddwida)
to hear, to listen (deutda)
to enter (deureooda)
to prepare, to arrange (maryeonhada)
to drink (masida)
to make (mandeulda)
to meet (mannada)
to touch (manjida)
to speak (malhada)
to entrust, to leave (matgida)
to tie, to fasten, to wear (maeda)
to stay (meomureuda)
to eat (meokda)
to not know (moreuda)
to gather, to collect (moeuda)
to be incapable, to not be able to (mothada)
to ignore, to neglect (musihada)
to ask (mutda)
to bite (mulda)
to ask (mureoboda)
to delay, to postpone; to shift blame (miruda)
to believe, to trust (mitda)
to change, to switch (bakkuda)
to change, to be changed (bakkwida)
to wish, to hope, to want (barada)
to look at (baraboda)
to oppose (bandaehada)
to get, to take, to receive (batda)
to discover, to find (balgyeonhada)
to develop, to advance (baldalhada)
to happen, to occur (balsaenghada)
to develop, to grow (baljeonhada)
to announce, to make public (balpyohada)
to visit (bangmunhada)
to throw away, to abandon (beorida)
to undress, take off clothes (beotda)
to make (money), to earn (money) (beolda)
to change (byeonhada)
to change (byeonhwahada)
to see, to watch (boda)
to sing; to call (for someone) (bureuda)
to ask for a favor, to request (butakhada)
to send (bonaeda)
to fry (bokda)
to blow (bulda)
to stick (buchida)
to compare (bigyohada)
to borrow, to lend (billida)
to fall (ppajida)
to remove, to subtract, to take out (ppaeda)
to learn (baeuda)
to pull; to select, to choose (ppopda)
to buy (sada)
to disappear (sarajida)
to use (sayonghada)
to love (saranghada)
to live (salda)
to examine, to search, to check (salpyeoboda)
to imagine (sangsanghada)
to think (saenggakada)
to be formed, to look (like) (saenggida)
to stand (seoda)
to hurry, rush (seodureuda)
to give a present (seonmulhada)
to choose, to select (seontaekhada)
to explain (seolmyeonghada)
to succeed (seonggonghada)
to introduce (sogaehada)
to shout, to yell (sorichida)
to rest, to relax, to take a day off (swida)
to start (sijakhada)
to make (somebody do); to order (sikida)
to have a meal (siksahada)
to wear (shoes, socks, etc.) (sinda)
to make a mistake (silsuhada)
to dislike (sileohada)
to fail (silpaehada)
to fight, to argue (ssauda)
to mix, to blend (seokda)
to chop, to slice (sseolda)
to write; to wear (hat, eyewear) (sseuda)
to wash (ssitda)
to hug, to hold (anda)
to sit (anda)
to know (alda)
to let somebody know, to inform (allida)
to check, to investigate; to recognize (araboda)
to promise (yaksokhada)
to get along; to match (eoullida)
to borrow; to gain, to get, to take (eotda)
to not have (eopda)
to remove, to get rid of (eopsaeda)
to travel (yeohaenghada)
to study, to research (yeonguhada)
to practice (yeonseubhada)
to open (yeolda)
to come (oda)
to cook (yorihada)
to exercise (undonghada)
to drive (unjeonhada)
to move (around) (umjigida)
to cry (ulda)
to laugh (utda)
to want (wonhada)
to mean (uimihada)
to be (ida)
to win (igida)
to move (house) (isahada)
to talk, chat (iyagihada)
to use (iyonghada)
to understand (ihaehada)
to work (ilhada)
to get up, to stand up (ireonada)
to read (ikda)
to lose, to be deprived of (ilta)
to lose something (ireobeorida)
to wear (ipda)
to forget (itda)
to forget (ijeobeorida)
to have (itda)
to sleep (jada)
to cut, to sever (jareuda)
to go well (jaldoeda)
to go wrong (jalmotdoeda)
to do wrong (jalmotada)
to do something well (jalhada)
to go to sleep, to fall asleep (jamdeulda)
to sleep (jamjada)
to catch, to hold (japda)
to be caught (japida)
to measure, to weigh (jaeda)
to write (down), to note (jeokda)
to call (jeonhwahada)
to arrange, to organize (jeongnihada)
to decide, to determine (jeonghada)
to investigate, to look into (josahada)
to be careful, to watch out (josimhada)
to doze off (jolda)
to graduate (joreopada)
to like (joahada)
to be sorry (joesonghada)
to give (juda)
to order (jumunhada)
to die (jukda)
to prepare (junbihada)
to enjoy, to have fun (jeulgida)
to increase, to grow (jeunggahada)
to lose, to be defeated (jida)
to pass (by) (jinagada)
to pass, to go by (jinada)
to spend one’s time; to get along (jinaeda)
to delete, to remove (jiuda)
to steam (jjida)
to take (a photo) (jjikda)
to attend, to participate (chamseokhada)
to find, to look for (chatda)
to take, to pack; to take care of (chaenggida)
to clean (cheongsohada)
to invite (chodaehada)
to congratulate (chukhahada)
to dance (chumchuda)
to depart (chulbalhada)
to cancel, to revoke (chwisohada)
to hit (chida)
to raise, to bring up, to grow (kiuda)
to take, to ride, to get on (tada)
to be born (taeeonada)
to go through; to communicate (tonghada)
to turn (an object); to twist (an object) (teulda)
to be wrong, to be incorrect (teullida)
to deep fry (twigida)
to sell (palda)
to give up, to abandon (pogihada)
to include, to contain (pohamhada)
to express, to show (pyohyeonhada)
to untie, to unfasten; to solve (pulda)
to bloom, to blossom (pida)
to avoid, to escape (pihada)
to need (pillyohada)
to do (hada)
to settle, to solve (haegyeolhada)
to confirm, to check (hwaginhada)
to regret (huhoehada)
to stir (hwijeotda)
to flow, to run; to elapse (heureuda)
to shake, to swing (heundeulda)

Korean Regular Verbs

Korean regular verbs are called 규칙동사 in Korean. They are easy to conjugate. This means they just follow the verb conjugation patterns when you need to conjugate them. In order to do that, you’ll need to learn the different Korean verb conjugation patterns.

How to conjugate Korean verbs

Verbs in Korean are conjugated by dropping the 다 from the verb stem or the dictionary form of the word and adding the appropriate conjugation patterns. The conjugation patterns depend on verb tense (past tense, present, and future).

Let’s take the following words:

가다 (to go)

보다 (to see)

배우다 (to learn)

만나다 (to meet)

먹다 (to eat)

공부하다 (to study)

These are regular verbs as they can be easily conjugated using the different Korean verb conjugations. The character 다 is removed and the correct conjugation is added with the last vowel of the verb considered. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

For example:

가다 (to go) – 가요

보다 (to see) – 봐요

배우다 (to learn) – 배워요

만나다 (to meet) – 만나요

먹다 (to eat) – 먹어요

공부하다 (to study) – 공부해요

It’s also good to note that the verbs are also conjugated based on speech levels. There are conjugations that are in honorific form.

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Korean Irregular Verbs

Korean irregular verbs are known as 불규칙 동사 in Korean grammar. They change their spelling or form when they’re conjugated. They usually have 받침 (batchim) in them. They are classified according to the 받침 (batchim) they have. However, it’s also important to know that not all verbs that have 받침 (batchim) in them are irregular.

4 people eating pizza on a table and laughing

Korean irregular verbs are usually given special rules when using a certain verb conjugation pattern. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

Below are lists of the different Korean irregular verbs. These verbs are also in their dictionary form.

ㄷ irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㄷ as its 받침 (batchim).

EnglishKorean
to walk (geotda)
to load (sitda)
to listen (deutda)
to ask (mutda)
to realize (kkaedatda)

ㄹ irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㄹ as its 받침 (batchim).

EnglishKorean
to play (nolda)
to carry (deulda)
to make (mandeulda)
to live (salda)
to know (alda)
to open, unlock (yeolda)
to cry (ulda)
to sell (palda)

ㅂ irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㅂ as its 받침 (batchim).

EnglishKorean
to help (dopda)
to hate (mipda)
to envy (bureopda)

르 irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 르 as their verb stem ending.

EnglishKorean
to divide (gareuda)
to choose (goreuda)
to roll (gureuda)
to bring up (gireuda)
to carry (nareuda)
to press (nureuda)
to flow (heureuda)
to stab (jjireuda)
to cut (jareuda)
to climb (oreuda)
to hurry (seodureuda)
to call (bureuda)
to apply, put on (bareuda)
to not knsa (moreuda)
to put around (dureuda)

ㅅ irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㅅ as its 받침 (batchim).

EnglishKorean
to recover (natda)
to build or construct (jitda)
to rule (geutda)
to join or connect something (itda)

으 irregular Korean verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 으 as their verb stem ending.

EnglishKorean
to try (aesseuda)
to write (sseuda)
to close (kkeuda)
to rise (tteuda)
to gather (moeuda)

ㅎ irregular Korean verbs or adjectives

These are Korean verbs or adjectives that have the letter ㅎ as its 받침 (batchim).

EnglishKorean
to be yellow (norata)
to be red (ppalgata)
to be black (kkamata)
to be white (hayata)
to be that way, to be so (geureota)
to be a certain way (eotteota)

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하다 Korean verbs

Before we get into details what 하다 verbs are, let’s get to know what 하다 means. The verb 하다 in itself simply means “to do” and is considered a regular verb.

You’ll often see the word 하다 in many Korean words, and these are called 하다 verbs.

A kid sleeping and waking up from the bed

The verb 하다 is usually added to words that are nouns to make them a verb. For example, the words 걱정하다 (to worry), 공부하다 (to study), and 노래하다 (to sing). When 하다 is removed from these words, what’s left is a noun: 걱정 (worry), 공부(study), and 노래 (song).

Here are some other examples of words made up of a noun and 하다:

EnglishKorean
to worry (geokjeonghada)
to study (gongbuhada)
to sing (noraehada)
to answer (daedapada)
to speak (malhada)
to deliver (baedalhada)
to do the laundry (ppallaehada)
to ask a favor (butakada)
to love (saranghada)

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Korean Adjectives

In Korea, adjectives are called 형용사 (hyeongyongsa). They are also known as descriptive verbs as they function to modify nouns. This is because most of them come from verbs. They are used to describe people, things, events, or experiences.

However, a Korean adjective may originate from a verb, but it can never function as an action verb.

Korean Adjectives List

Below is a list of Korean adjectives that are commonly used:

EnglishKorean
to be glad, happy (gippeuda)
to be angry (hwanada)
to be sad (seulpeuda)
to be sick, painful (apeuda)
to be scared (museopda)
to be annoyed (jjajeungnada)
to be surprised (nollada)
to be shy (sujupda)
to be interesting (jaemiitda)
to not be interesting (jaemieopda)
to be loud, noisy (sikkeureopda)
to be hot (tteugeopda)

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Korean Passive Verbs

A passive verb in Korean is called 피동사. The common suffixes to make a verb in its passive form are 되 or 돼, 이, 히, 리, and 기.

The suffix 되 or 돼 are used to make a verb ending in 하다 into passive.

For example:

사용하다 (to use)

비교하다 (to compare)

When they are used as a passive verb, they’ll have the following forms:

사용되다 (to be used)

비교되다 (to be compared)

A postman running and singing while walking

The other suffixes 이, 히, 리, and 기 are used for non-하다 verbs. For example,

보다 (to see)

잊다 (to forget)

열다 (to open)

잠그다 (to lock)

They take the following passive forms:

보다 – 보이다 (to be seen)

잊다 – 잊히다 (to be forgotten)

열다 – 열리다 (to be opened)

잠그다 – 잠기다 (to be locked)

How many verb tenses are there in Korean?

Similar to the English language, Korean verbs also have 3 the main verb tenses. They’re the present tense, past tense, and future tense.

Korean verbs also have the progressive tense and perfect tense. These tenses also take an honorific form. If you’re learning Korean verbs, you might also want to learn the honorific form of the verbs according to their tenses.

For example, -습니다 (-seumnida) and -ㅂ니다 (-bnida). 습니다 (-seumnida) is used if the verb ends in a consonant. On the other hand, -ㅂ니다 (-bnida) is used if the verb ends in a vowel.

How are Korean verbs formed based on the tenses?

Korean verbs are formed based on the tenses by verb conjugation. If you want to learn about Korean verb conjugation, you can check our resource here.

How do you say the tenses in Korean?

There are different words used for the English word “tense.” However, in this section, we’ll talk about the Korean word used for the verb tenses.

The Korean word for tense is 시제 (sije).

Korean Verb Tenses

Below are Korean words for the different verb tenses (present, past tense, and future tense).

EnglishKorean
Present Tense (hyeonjae sije)
Past Tense (gwageo sije)
Future Tense (mirae sije)

The other verb tense includes the following:

EnglishKorean
Progressive Tense (jinhaeng sije)
Perfect Tense (wallyo sije)

For the duration of this lesson, you did not need to stress over how to actually put these verbs to use. For this, you would need to know and use Korean conjugations. If you want to get started on forming sentences around these Korean verbs, your next step should be to learn the conjugations, which you can do right here!

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