Verbs - Have

Have (있다) / Don't have (없다)

This lesson covers how the verb, 'have', is used. It can be expressed in two ways:

  • 있다 = there is/are (Lit. is present)
  • 가지고 있다 = have, possess
  • 없다 = there isn't/aren't (Lit. is not present)
  • 가지고 있지 않다 = do not have/possess

Informal Written Form Have Don't have
있다 없다

가지고 있다 가지고 있지 않다
안 가지고 있다

Informal Spoken Form Have Don't have
있어 없어

가지고 있어 가지고 있지 않아
안 가지고 있어

Note: The words in bold letters are the more commonly used of the two alternatives in each of the Written and Spoken forms.


Have (있다)

있다 means 'there is/are', for example:

  • 정원에 강아지가 있다 = There is a puppy in the garden.
  • 책상 위에 개미가 있다 = There's an ant on the desk.

However, 있다 can also mean 'have'. It is used more frequently than the alternative, '가지고 있다', which is more cumbersome to pronounce.

  • Written form → 있다, 가지고 있다
  • Spoken form → 있어, 가지고 있어


Example Sentences

Written Form
  • 책이 있다. = I have a book. (Lit. There is a book)
  • 시계가 있다. = I have a watch.
  • 핸드폰이 있다. = I have a mobile phone.
  • 책을 가지고 있다. = I have a book.
  • 핸드폰을 가지고 있다. = I have a mobile phone.

Spoken Form
  • 책(이) 있어.
  • 핸드폰(이) 있어.
  • 시계(가) 있어.
  • 책(을) 가지고 있어.
  • 핸드폰(을) 가지고 있어.

    Note: 1. Use 이/가 with "있다" and 을/를 with "가지고 있다".
              2. The particles are usually omitted in spoken Korean.


    When you say, 'I have a brother or sister', 가지고 있다 CANNOT be used because it implies ownership. Only 있다 can be used in relation to people. 

    For example,

    Written Form
    • 남동생이 있다. = I have a younger brother.
    • 여동생이 있다. = I have a younger sister.

    Spoken Form
    • 형(이) 있어. = I have an older brother.
    • 누나(가) 있어. = I have an older sister.
    • 남동생(이) 있어. = I have a younger brother.
    • 여동생(이) 있어. = I have a younger sister.


    Don't have (없다)

    없다 literally means 'there isn't/aren't'. However, it can also mean 'don't have'

    For example,

    Written Form
    • 없다 = don't have (Lit. there isn't/aren't)
      • 가지고 있지 않다/안 가지고 있다 = don't have (Lit. don't own/possess)

        Spoken Form
        • 없어 = don't have (Lit. there isn't/aren't)
          • 가지고 있지 않아/안 가지고 있어 = don't have (Lit. don't own/possess)

          Note: For the negatives, the words in bold letters are the more commonly used of the two alternatives in each of the Written and Spoken forms.


          Example Sentences

          Written Form
          • 책이 없다. = I don't have a book.
          • 시계가 없다. = I don't have a watch.
          • 핸드폰이 없다. = I don't have a mobile phone.
          • 책을 가지고 있지 않다. = I don't have/own a book.
          • 핸드폰을 가지고 있지 않다. = I don't have/own a mobile phone.

          Spoken Form
          • 책(이) 없어.
          • 시계(가) 없어. 
          • 핸드폰(이) 없어.
          • 책(을) 안 가지고 있어.
          • 핸드폰(을) 안 가지고 있어. 


          Question Form

          In spoken Korean, in order to change a sentence into a question, you simply need to raise your tone at the last letter.

          To see how it's done, it'd be probably best to watch a native Korean do it for you. However, as I figure most of you would not have that kind of luxury, having a native speaker do it for you whenever you want, I encourage you to listen to the Korean audios or recordings online or watch Korean dramas or movies and familiarize yourself with the intonation of questions. For excellent free audio and video resources, please try 'Talk To Me In Korean' (http://www.talktomeinkorean.com/).

          • 형(이) 있어? = Do you have an older brother?
          • 누나(가) 있어? = Do you have an older sister?
          • 남동생(이) 있어? = Do you have a younger brother?
          • 여동생(이) 있어? = Do you have a younger sister?

            • 책(이) 없어? = Don't you have a book?
            • 시계(가) 없어? = Don't you have a watch?
            • 핸드폰(이) 없어? = Don't you have a mobile phone?


            Polite Form

            While the informal form in the examples above is used by people who are of the same age and/or close, or when older people are talking to younger people in informal situations, the polite form is commonly used by younger people addressing older people, and in any formal situations.

            Polite Written Form
            Have
            Don't have
            있습니다
            없습니다
            가지고 있습니다
            가지고 있지 않습니다
            안 가지고 있습니다

            Polite Spoken Form
            Have
            Don't have
            있어요
            없어요
            가지고 있어요
            가지고 있지 않아요
            안 가지고 있어요


            I) Informal Polite (Spoken)

            Just add 요 at the end of a sentence.

            • 형 있어요? = Do you have an older brother?
            • 누나 있어요? = Do you have an older sister?
            • 남동생 있어요? = Do you have a younger brother?
            • 여동생 있어요? = Do you have a younger sister?

              • 책 없어요? = Don't you have a book?
              • 시계 없어요? = Don't you have a watch?
              • 핸드폰 없어요? = Don't you have a mobile phone?


              II) Informal Polite (Written)

              Replace 다 with 습니다.

              • 책이 있습니다. = I have a book. 
              • 시계가 있습니다. = I have a watch.
              • 핸드폰이 있습니다. = I have a mobile phone. 

                • 책을 가지고 있지 않다. = I don't have/own a book.
                • 핸드폰을 가지고 있지 않다. = I don't have/own a mobile phone.


                  3 comments:

                  1. Thank you! This is really helpful to me. :) This is my third year studying Korean, and your blog has the clearest grammar presentations I've seen yet.^^ 정말 감사합니다.

                    ReplyDelete
                  2. Hi! Can you explain to me the rules for using 있어요 rather than 이에요? For example, in the sentence 여기 거스름돈 있어요, can you write 여기 거스름돈예요 ? and if not, why not?

                    ReplyDelete
                    Replies
                    1. Hi co,

                      있어요 means "There is/here is" whereas 이에요 means "this is/that is."

                      Therefore if you say, 여기 거스름돈 있어요, it means "here's the change."

                      However, if you say, 여기 거스름돈예요, it means "This is the change."

                      In a shop, the person at the counter may say, "여기 거스름돈요" to say "this is the change."

                      Both 있어요 and (예)요 may be used.

                      Delete

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