Verbs - Speech (in spoken Korean)

Verbs in spoken Korean

The following dialogue between two close friends involve verbs in the informal spoken form.

잘 = well
쇼핑 = shopping
어 = yes
오전 = am
오후 = pm
먼저 갈게 = I'll go first

This dialogue should be easy to comprehend.

대화 시작 = The conversation starts
상우: 지우야, 뭐 해?
지우: 밥 먹어.
상우: 어디 가?
지우: 어. 학교 가.
상우: 언제 가?
지우: 9시에.
상우: 왜?
지우: 학교에서 공부해.
상우: 재밌어?
지우: 어. 재밌어.
상우: 어떻게 공부해?
지우: 선생님이 가르쳐 주셔.
상우: 아~ 그래?
지우: 어. 너는 뭐 해?
상우: 나는 쇼핑 가.
지우: 언제?
상우: 오후 3시에.
지우: 밥은 먹었어?
상우: 어. 먹었어. 나 먼저 갈게. 잘 있어~
지우: 잘 가~

Sang-u: Ji-u, what are you doing?
Ji-u: I'm eating.
Sang-u: Where are you going?
Ji-u: I'm going to school.
Sang-u: When are you going?
Ji-u: At 9 o'clock.
Sang-u: Why? [are you going to school?]
Ji-u: I study at school.
Sang-u: Is it fun?
Ji-u: Yes, it's fun.
Sang-u: How do you study?
Ji-u: My teacher teaches me.
Sang-u: Ahh... really?
Ji-u: Yeap. How about you?
Sang-u: I'll go shopping
Ji-u: When?
Sang-u: At 3 o'clock pm.
Ji-u: Did you have a meal?
Sang-u: Yes. I have. I'll go first then. Bye~
Ji-u: Bye~

This is a conversation between Sang-u and Ji-u. This is a type of conversation that is common between close friends, yet it is extremely simple to understand even for beginners of Korean. So pay attention to how these "spoken forms" are used.

● A list of written forms and their respective spoken forms.

Written Form - Spoken Form
[For detailed explanation, refer to (Verbs - Present, Past)]

go = 가다 - 가
come = 오다 - 와
do = 하다 - 해
eat = 먹다 - 먹어
give = 주다 - 줘
receive = 받다 - 받아
play = 놀다 - 놀아
sleep = 자다 - 자
run = 달리다 - 달려
teach = 가르치다 - 가르쳐
learn = 배우다 - 배워

These spoken forms are informal so you should only use them with very close friends.


  1. HI, thanks for this blog. am interested in learning korean after watching the tv serial 궁. So I am extremely pleased to find this blog. Can I make a suggestion to this blog as well --- for e.g. setting up a translation page where people can post and ask what some korean words mean?

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I'm thinking of placing a forum on my blog. I will do that in near future.

  3. I so love this blog,I had a 2 month summer class in korean language and i really learned a lot from my song saeng nim, I guess you will be my second song saeng nim, Kansahamnida!

  4. Thanks for your comment.

    I'll post some more on "Spoken Korean" so that you guys can utilise it in conversations

  5. For more verb goodness check out which shows you how to conjugate any Korean verb in all levels of politeness.

  6. the line where ji-u said my teacher teaches me in korean, what does the syeo in jusyeo comes from?

  7. I just wanna ask, the part where ji u answers with 먹어, it can actually mean "eat" right? I'm just curious because it seems really awkward to say. Thanks in advance! ;)

  8. Hi Zuheir

    주셔 is a informal form of the verb, 주시다 which means "give" and it is a honorific form.

    Normally, we use 주다 (give).
    주시다 is the honorific form of 주다.

    And finally, 주시다 which is a written form becomes 주셔 which is the spoken form.

    In summary, because you're talking about your teacher to your friend, you use the informal form of the honorific form.

    If you were talking to another teacher about your teacher, you'd say, 주세요, which is the polite form of the honorific form, 주시다.

  9. Yes, 먹어 means 'eat'.

    But I think, 먹어 should be translated as "help yourself" in English if you were talking to someone to have something to eat.

  10. Your blog is fantastic. I have been searching references until I found this blog. And I easily learn from here!

  11. I have a quick question~ why do you say 먼저 갈게? I know 먼저 means first, and 갈 거야 means will go, so why did you 갈게 instead of 갈 거야? Is it just like colloquialism or something? And thanks so much for making this blog!! Your explanations are so clear, thank you:)

  12. sorry, it's been a year since your last reply. but can I ask you why the conversation use 나는 instead of 난?

    1. Hi Husna,

      Yes, you're quite right in that 난 is more frequently used than 나는 in Spoken Korean because it's easier and faster to pronounce 난.

      However, you can still use both 나는 and 난.

      I probably used 나는 here because this post is one of the oldest posts I've created in this blog, and I hadn't explained that 난 is a contracted form of 나는. :-)

  13. 너무 감사함니다! 재밌었어요! 대-한-민-국!!

  14. Hi, in the case where Ji-U replied 어. 학교 가 is it possible to use 학교에 가 or are they have the same meaning? Because 에 is time/place particle, I'm just really confused sorry.

  15. Shouldn't it be: 밥을 먹어 instead of 밥 먹어?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...