Nouns - Nominalising

것 is attached descriptive forms of verbs an adjectives to nominalise them, i.e. make them nouns.

  • 하다 → 하는 (Descriptive I)
  • 하는 + 것 = 하는 것 = something that you do

  • 하다 → 한 (Descriptive II)
  • 한 + 것 → 한 것 = something that you did

  • 크다 → 큰 (Descriptive)
  • 큰 + 것 = 큰 것 = something that is big / large

Nominalised Verbs (Descriptive I)
  • 하는 것 = something that you do / that does
  • 가는 것 = something that goes
  • 오는 것 = something that comes
  • 먹는 것 = something that you eat (food)
  • 마시는 것 = something that you drink 
  • 읽는 것 = something that you read 
  • 듣는 것 = something that you listen
  • 말하는 것 = something that speaks / you talk about
  • 보는 것 = something that you watch
  • 쓰는 것 = something that you write / use
  • 만드는 것 = something that you make

Nominalised Verbs (Descriptive II)
  • 한 것 = something that you did
  • 간 것 = something that went
  • 온 것 = something that came
  • 먹은 것 = something that you ate 
  • 마신 것 = something that you drank 

Nominalised Adjectives (Descriptive)
  • 많은 것 =  something that is many (in quantity)
  • 적은 것 = something that is small (in quantity)
  • 큰 것 = something that is big / large
  • 작은 것 = something that is small
  • 넓은 것 = something that is spacious
  • 좁은 것 = something that is cramped
  • 높은 것 = something that is high
  • 낮은 것 = something that is low
  • 빠른 것 = something that is fast
  • 느린 것 = something that is slow
  • 긴 것 = something that is long
  • 짧은 것 = something that is short

Note: However, in spoken Korean 것 is pronounced 거.
  • 하는 거 = something that you do
  • 긴 거 = something that is long

Also, attach 야 to 거 to make it informal spoken form, or 에요 make it a polite spoken form.

  • 하는 거야
  • 긴 거야
  • 하는 거예요
  • 긴 거예요

When a plural form is used, 들 is attached to 것 instead.

  • 하는 것들 = things that we do
  • 긴 것들 = things that are long

Example sentences
  • 이 노트북이 가장 빠른 거예요 = This laptop is the one that is the fastest.

  • 이 과일주스 병들은 다 마신거예요 = These bottles of fruit juice are all what we drank from already.

  • 이 음식들도 오늘 먹는 거예요? = Are these food something that we eat today as well? (=Are we going to eat these food today as well?)

  • 지금 티비 보는 거예요? = Is TV something you're watching now? (= Are you watching TV now?)

  • 이 물고기들은 다 어제 바다에서 잡은 것들이에요 = These fish are all what I caught at the sea yesterday.


  1. In some of your examples, you use 거에요. Shouldn't it be 거예요? For example:

    이 노트북이 가장 빠른 거에요 = This laptop is the one that is the fastest.

    거 ends in a vowel, so shouldn't 예요 be used? Or is that a casual shortcut?

    1. Hi William,

      It's a very common mistake even many native Koreans make.

      예요 is the correct one.
      I've corrected them.

      When 거예요 is pronounced in spoken Korean, it's usually pronounced 거에요. This is why many people write 거에요 instead of 거예요. This is a very common mistake.

      Thanks for that! :-)

    2. Thanks Luke!

      I asked a Korean friend and she said exactly what you said: this is something very common to native Koreans. So now I feel bad about making a big deal out of it. But learning Korean is so challenging, that I can get easily baffled by minor technical things like this. Ha!

      Thanks for a great site!

    3. You're welcome, William.

      Happy to be of help.

      Happy new year! :-)

  2. hi Luke,
    i'm new here!!since i wanna to learn korean for a longtime,but juz cant find a good online learning korean web,so hv been confused for many grammar problem longtime ago~

    Since i found here,it really help me alot,can learn korean grammar clearly~really so appreciated abt it!thx alot!

    n i wanna noe,tat【attach 야 to 거 to make it informal spoken form, or 에요 make it a polite spoken form.】
    referred to this chapter,【spoken Korean 것 is pronounced 거.】
    so 【하는 거야】 is in informal in spoken korean,izzit?
    n if for informal written form is "하는 것야"?
    informal written form n informal spoken form can b use when face-to-face chatting with close frens or sms,izzit??

    1. Hi Michelle, yes, 하는 거야 is in informal in spoken korean.

      하는 것이다 = informal written form

      Only use the informal spoken form when chatting! :)

  3. Sorry for disturbing u again,Luke,
    i referred the present n past of verb here,[]
    n i found tat the descriptive2(i think tis is for past tense,izzit?) worked out is similar with the present tense of written form.

    n referred the basic u taught here,descriptive2 was in polite written form izzit?
    so that can i think like tis?
    verbs changed into descriptive2 form is came from present tense(written form)
    n verbs changed into descriptive1 form is from plain form(written form)?

    i really feel so confusing abt tis TT.TT

    1. Please read these pages again,

      You could say descriptive 1 form is from the plain form.

      But the descriptive 2 form is actually a bit different fro the present tense (written form)

      for example,

      먹다 = plain form
      먹는다 = present form (written)
      먹은 = descriptive 2

    2. so, you're saying that descriptive 2 is not written?? are all descriptive written??

  4. The first sentence is a bit confusing :$

    1. you mean, 이 노트북이 가장 빠른 거예요 = This laptop is the one that is the fastest.?

      I meant, this laptops is the fastest in its RAM speed (the random-access memory capacity of the computer).

  5. "When a plural form is used, 들 is attached to 것 instead."
    Is that polite, informal or both?

    1. it's neutral. It's neither polite, nor informal. So you can say it's both.

  6. does 것 have an informal written form and a polite form?

  7. Great blog you have here Luke (although I maybe replicating what many others have already said in the past years)!

    It's fun reading the post together with the comments. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Pray with me. Pray for me.
    Del Tajon

  8. Hi, can you give more sentence example? :( thanks

  9. Hi luke this is a very good place to learn korean but Im 63 n slow to learn or read cos no audio.
    Luke I have one question. What is go deun yo i commonly hear at the end of conversations?Thks so much

  10. Hi Luke! Actually, I'm not so good in English and I a bit confused. This nominalising nouns are used for what? And, what's the difference between Nominalised Verbs (Descriptive II) and Nouns - Past? Sorry for the questions. :D

  11. Another thing! Are they wrong?
    1.이 치타가 가장 빠른 거예요
    2.이 노트북은 한국에서 만든 거예요
    3.그녀는카페에 물을 병 마신 거예
    Thanks! :)

  12. hi I have a question. example many koreans use ...없는 것 but I thought it was ...없은 것? does it make sense to you?

  13. you are the best , i didn't understand it from other websites ,
    Thank you SO MUCH <3 감사합니다 선생님

  14. this is PRETTY HARD , i feel like my brain is going to explode OMG :'(

  15. what is the difference between nominalising form and descriptive form? i'm confused... TT.TT


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