TTMIK Level 9 Lesson 4 / -고 말다


The sentence ending that we will be studying in this lesson is used to express something you end up doing or when a certain action comes to an end or is completed after a series of events. -고 말다 is similar to -아/어/여 버리다, but there are a couple differences. Study this lesson to find out those differences and more!

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Go to the Grammar Curriculum page to see all of our grammar lessons.

TTMIK Level 9 Lesson 4 / -고 말다
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  • 아틸라

    안녕하세요! 그리고 이 레슨에 감사합니다!

    새해 전야 파티에 준비하고 있어요! 🙂
    그리고 한국어를 공부하고 말있어요…

    새해 복 많이 받으세요! 🙂

  • sri

    kyung hwa coloured her hair!! pretty 🙂

    • Kyung-hwa Sun

      Thanks! 😉

  • 라넬

    효진씨 오랜만이네! 니 목소리가 너무 귀엽다!

  • Aras

    Anyonghaseyo Sonsengnimdil 🙂

    thanks for continued level 9 lessons, but i think when you start level 9 you become slower. please make more level 9 lessons or grammar lessons. thanks a lot everyone for helping us to learn korean. happy new year 🙂

    • Gigietto

      I feel the same way about it. Hearing sample sentences being spoken really s l o w l y and with a lot… of… unnatural… pauses…, like in this lesson, gets on my nerves so much that after a while I just want to throw my computer out a window or punch a wall. Anyway, I’d rather have lessons like this than no lesson at all (of course), but it would be nice if they could speed things up a little.

    • Aras

      my slow means not that slow. level 9 starts in October and we we are now 2013 and still have 4 lessons on level 9. thats means what i meant… ^^

      but offcourse we love our teachers, and we know they allways work for us, live advanced lessons or iyagi lessons or video lessons or radio shows etc etc etc…

      i think now they must focus on level 9 lessons a little until maybe lesson 10 15.

      by the way i m missing “korean drama phrases” and “Korean Phrases for …..” series. ^^

  • Aras

    in the past when you are in koreanclass101 you made “Video Tales” series. like snow white, three little pigs etc. now can you make videos like this again under ttmik ? ^^

  • Jon

    Good lesson. But is there any reason for why you have slowed down on the release of new lessons? Before it was a new lesson every week. Sometimes even two.

  • Ibnu

    Thank you for each lesson you share to us,mmm…me especially…:),I have just reached level 4 and I still keep studying the Lessons from TTMIK and it’s really good teaching method as I am a still at a beginner level. I want to say to all teachers of TTMIK thank you so much for the lessons. Especially for Miss Kyeong-eun Choi, Mr. Hyunwoo Sun. 안녕하세요! by the way from the picture, is it winter now in Korean?:) Miss Kyung-hwa Sun 안녕하세요! Well this is my first comment by the way… nice to see you and Thank you.

  • Kennie

    This is a bit of a random question but why is it that some people add -라 to commands. (하지마라,조심하라 etc) Is there any particular difference between these and regular 조심하 and 하지마.

    • There is a command pattern ends with -라 and it is casual form.

      조심하 is not complete word and it doesn’t have a meaning. 조심해 is correct form.

      하지마 is a casual form word meaning “Don’t do (that)”.

  • HanjaNamja

    “영옥도 웃고 만다.” = YongOk ended up laughing too. (She had been sour faced, but others were laughing and joking)

    This in narrative form because it is from a scrpt (KBS’s그대의풍경). I couldn’t understand it until I listened to this lesson.

  • Chloe4311

    I’ve listened your lessons for more than one year. I went through whole 8 levels twice. I feel I’ve improved my Korean a lot. Thank you very much ^_^

  • Stratos

    Ah, I finally caught up. This has been a lot of fun. I’ve dedicated about 90% of my studying efforts just into these lessons, reviewing them and practicing. And it was certainly worth every second. Looking forward to more lessons and now I’m off to thoroughly explore the rest of the site. Watch out iyagis, here I come!

  • 김가희

    그 남자 생각을 더 이상 하고 싶지 않는데 아무래도 그 남자를 잊지 못한다.

    녀석이란 말이면 부정적인 느낌이 들지 않는가요? 만약에 남동생 같은 사람과
    까워졌다면 사랑하는 마음에서 녀석이라 부르면 이상하게 들리지 않겠어요?

    • 그렇죠. 가까운 사이가 아닌데, 녀석이라고 부르면 무례하게 들리죠.
      남동생같은 경우에는 가까운 사이이니까 녀석이라고 부를 수도 있는데, 사랑하는 사이라도 녀석이라고 부르는 것은 안 좋은 것 같아요.

  • Adrian

    The fifth lesson when will be published ? 🙂

  • Anton

    드디어 레슨을 따라잡았어요! 다 레슨에서 정말 많이 배워서 너무 너무 고맙습니다 티티믹 선생님들. 12일 후에 한국어 공부하러 한국에 갈 거예요. 준비를 도와주셔서 감사합니다.

    계속 열심히 공부하겠어요!

  • Ef Dee

    Please, please upload the next lessons. 감사합니다!

  • Adrian

    hi ttmik ^^
    when you begin to continue Level 9 lesson?. please 계속 해요. ;,-(

    • Of course, we will continue. It just take some time.
      I am sorry for that and thanks for waiting.

  • ELKY

    저는 학교에 가고 싶은데 결국 갈 수 없고 말았어요

  • KL

    Hi TTMIK,
    I have a question that I’ve been wondering for a long time. It is not really related to this lesson but I wanted to know.
    I was wondering how to write something.
    For example, say I wanted to make a list of what to do, such as “WHAT TO EAT.”
    In English, I would write at the top of the paper: “EAT.” Even though the proper verb is “to eat,” I would still just put “eat.” Afterwards, I would then write all the things that I wanted to eat.
    However, how would I write this in Korean.
    Would I write at the top of the paper:
    1) the infinitive: 먹다
    2) regular conjugation: 먹어
    3) inquisitve (since its almost like a command for what I want to do): 먹어라

    How you can answer.

  • Brandon

    Been following since the first lessons as well : ).
    Really happy to see all the new vocabulary integrated into the grammar lessons. Please continue with adding new vocabulary into new lessons as they are so helpful to me : ). Shout out to Hyunwoo ! Thanks so much for helping out with EPIK : ) !!!

  • Césahr

    Thanks for all these lessons but please continue, really I’ve learned too much and I hope to keep doing it… You’re big! Fighting! A lot of hugs for everyone!!! 🙂

  • Jack

    Great lesson, as usual. I can’t wait for more!

    I wish there was a lesson, or maybe a download-able guide at mykoreanstore, that summarizes the construction and use of all quoting-related grammar in korean. These include level 5 lessons 10, 12, 17, 19 and maybe other lessons as well.

    Just an idea!

    • Thanks for your comment and idea.
      I will forward your message to other staffs. 🙂

    • TinaMusicFairy

      I think this can be your own homework to do, I made something similar and it really helps

  • Mark Kamyshansky

    Excuse me!
    Can I ask TTMIK team to make a lesson about ㅁ/음 verb endings?
    정말 감사합니다!

    • Hi Mark Kamyshansky,
      I will forward your message. Thanks for your idea!

  • Jon

    So, almost 6 months since the last lesson… What’s up? Have you stopped making them? When will you start again?

    • Hello Jon,
      We didn’t stop making new lessons. It takes some time to choose a good topic for the next one and recently we are spending busy days.
      I hope you understand us and I will appreciate you if you wait for it.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Elliot

    ‘~고 말다’를 자세히 설명 해주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
    저는 토픽 공부를 하고 있거든요. 교재가 있어도 ‘~고 말다’가 ‘~아/어 버리다’와 어떻게 다른지 설명하지 않아요.
    그런데 ttmik님께서 쓰신 것을 읽고 나니 이해해요.
    수고 많으셨습니다!

    • 와! 한국말 꽤 잘 하시네요! 앞으로도 저희가 도움이 되었으면 좋겠어요.
      댓글 써 주셔서 감사합니다.

  • Alans

    저는 아래에 있는 한국어의 문법에 대해서 질문하고 싶다만 사실 제가 질문하고 싶은 문법은 아직 많이 있거든요. 다 문법을 알면 알수록 좋아진다고 생각했는데요..맞죠? 참, 만약에 문법에 대해서 내가 모른것을 있으면 다시 앞으로 질무해도 괜찮은가요? 글고 아래에 있는 문법 무늬에 궁금했으니까 이해를 잘 하도록 자세히 설명해 주세요……
    ~ㄴ/는가 싶다
    ~ㄴ 셈이다
    ~는 바람에
    ~(으)ㄹ까 말까 하다

  • Jo A

    모든 걱정일은 이야기고 말았어요.
    They ended up talking about all their worries.

  • Eman

    요즘에 제가 진짜 돈을 써하고 싶지 않아는데, 그 불필요한 것들을 사고 말았어요. I didn’t want to spend money these days but I ended up buying all those unnecessary things ㅠㅠㅠ

  • Sanjeeda Masroor

    1) I failed in the exam(after trying so many times not to fail)
    – 실패고 말았어요

    2) I made all the dishes you like(after trying many times)
    – 당신 좋아했던 요리를 다 만들고 말았어요

    3) I eventually fell in love(after trying hard not to)
    – 사랑에 파지고 말았어요

    4) Even after I told him not to go he went(eventually)
    – 계속 가지말라고 해도, 가고 말았어요

    5) I was trying to study, but I fell asleep(while repeatedly trying not to)
    – 공부해보고 있는데, 잠들고 말았어요

    Did I use the grammatical structures properly? Something doesn’t seem right to me. 그리고, if there are any mistakes in my sentences please correct me.감사합니다!!

    • 박기태

      *실패하고 말았어요..
      * 당신이 좋아했던 요리 만들었어요~
      * 사랑에 빠지고 말았어요
      * 계속 가지말라고 했는데 결국 갔어요…
      * 공부하다가 잠들고 말았어요..

  • Dania Freih

    1. 처음에는 안 하고 싶은데 결국은 하고 말았어요.
    2. 우리 동생이 벌써 집으로 가고 말았어요.
    3. 그 남자는 왕따가 되고 말았어요.

  • oldschool

    Does 좋다 말았다 then translates to I was feeling good (about something) then suddenly I stopped feeling good (because of something else)?

  • Brandon Carter

    This lesson says that -고 말다 means “to end up doing” whereas L9L28 says it means “to just do something and get it over with”. Is it only when -고 말다 is used with -(으)ㄹ 바에 that it means to get it over with?

  • Kam

    저는 이 레슨을 잘 듣고 있었는데 할머니가 제 방에 들어오셔서 집중력을 잃어고 말았어요