How about …? / ~ 어때요?
What do you think about …? / 어떻게 생각하세요? / 어떤 것 같아요?
One of the most … / 가장 ~ 중의 하나
Do you mind if I …? / -아/어/여도 돼요?
I’m in the middle of …-ing / -는 중이에요
Word Builder Lesson 9 / -님
One way or the other / 어차피
I’m not sure if … / -(으/느)ㄴ지 잘 모르겠어요.
While you are at it / -(으)ㄴ/는 김에
Sentence Building Drill 6
I mean… / 그러니까, 제 말 뜻은, -라고요, 말이에요
What do you mean? What does that mean? / 무슨 말이에요?
Word Builder 10 - 과(過)
“/ (slash)” or“and” / -(으)ㄹ 겸
The thing that is called, what they call … / -(이)라는 것
let me tell you… / -거든(요)
Either A or B, Or / -거나, -(이)나, 아니면
To improve, to change, to increase / -아/어/여지다 Part 2
Sentence Building Drill 7
Passive Voice – Part 1
Word Builder 11 / 무 (無)
Passive Voice – Part 2
I DID do it, I DO like it / -기는 하다
Easy/difficult to + V / -기 쉽다/어렵다
I thought I would …, I didn’t think you would … / -(으)ㄴ/ㄹ 줄 알다
Can, to be able to, to know how to / -(으)ㄹ 수 있다, -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다
It depends on … / -에 따라 달라요
Sometimes I do this, sometimes I do that / 어떨 때는 -고, 어떨 때는 -아/어/여요
Sentence Building Drill 8
In this lesson, let’s take a look at how to make sentences in the passive voice.
What is Passive Voice?
Passive voice is a form of sentence in which the focus is on the recipient of an action, rather than the subject. For example, when you *make* something, that something is *made* by you. When you recommend a book to someone, the book *is recommended* by you. That is passive voice, and the opposite of passive voice is active voice.
Something that is done, sold, bought, etc. by someone are all being talked about in the passive voice. Active voice is “I do something.”
How to Make Passive Voice Sentences in Korean
In English, to make passive voice you can change the verb into its “past participle” form and add it after the BE verb, but in Korean you need to conjugate the verb in the “passive voice” form by adding a suffix or a verb ending.
There are two ways to make passive voice in Korean.
Verb stem + -이/히/리/기-
Verb stem + -아/어/여지다
Passive voice in English and passive voice in Korean are a little different; just by adding one of these suffixes to the verb stem, the “passive voice” verb itself can actually work like a stand-alone active verb in Korean.
In English, passive voice sentences are just ‘passive voice’ sentences. However in Korean, the verbs take on the meaning of “can/to be possible/to be doable/would” as well. Therefore it’s almost even incorrect to call it the ‘passive voice’ in this case. For Part 1, let’s look at the ‘passive voice’ meaning of these verb endings.
Difference Between -아/어/여지다 and -이/히/리/기-
There is no clear rule about which verb stem should be followed by -아/어/여지다 and which should be followed by -이/히/리/기. Native speakers usually determine which ending to use based on their previous experience of hearing the words being used. Using and hearing these over and over will help you determine how to use them.
Conjugation Rule #1: Verb stem + -아/어/여지다
In Level 4 Lesson 28, we introduced -아/어/여지다 as the conjugation for changing an adjective into the “to become + adjective” form, but when you use -아/어/여지다 with ACTION verbs, the verbs take on the passive voice meaning.
1. Change the verb into the present tense.
2. Drop -(아/어/여)요.
3. Add -(아/어/여)지다.
자르다 = to cut
자르다 is a “르 irregular” verb so it’s conjugated to 잘라요 in the present tense. You drop -요 and add -지다, and you have 잘라지다.
자르다 → 잘라(요) → 잘라지다 = to get cut (by a knife or scissors)
주다 = to give
주다 → 주어(요) → 주어지다 = to be given
보내다 = to send
보내다 → 보내(요) → 보내지다 = to be sent
Conjugation Rule #2 Verb stem + -이/히/리/기-
There is no ‘single’ rule that determines which verb stem or letter is followed by which among 이, 히, 리 and 기, but the general rule is as follows:
When the dictionary form of the verb ends in -ㅎ다, -이- is added to the verb ending and it is changed to -ㅎ이다.
놓다 (to put down) → 놓이다 (to be put down)
쌓다 (to pile up) → 쌓이다 (to be piled up)
When the dictionary form of the verb ends in -ㄱ다, -ㄷ다 or -ㅂ다, -히- is added to the verb ending and it is changed to -ㄱ히다, -ㄷ히다 or -ㅂ히다.
먹다 (to eat) → 먹히다 (to be eaten)
닫다 (to close) → 닫히다 (to get closed)
잡다 (to catch) → 잡히다 (to get caught)
When the dictionary form of the verb ends in -ㄹ다, -리- is added to the verb ending and it is changed to -ㄹ리다.
밀다 (to push) → 밀리다 (to be pushed)
풀다 (to untie) → 풀리다 (to come untied)
When the dictionary form of the verb ends in -ㄴ다, ㅁ다, ㅅ다 or ㅊ다, -기- is added to the verb ending and it is changed to -ㄴ기다, -ㅁ기다, -ㅅ기다 or -ㅊ기다.
안다 (to hug) → 안기다 (to be hugged)
담다 (to put something in a basket/bag) → 담기다 (to be put into a basket/bag)
씻다 (to wash) → 씻기다 (to be washed)
쫓다 (to chase) → 쫓기다 (to be chased)
-이/히/리/기- + -아/어/여지다 (Double Passive Voice)
Sometimes, these two types of verb endings are used TOGETHER in one verb.
놓다 → 놓이다 → 놓여지다
안다 → 안기다 → 안겨지다
There is no ‘standard’ explanation, but this is most likely because people want to clarify and emphasize the passive voice of the verb. Some grammarians argue that this ‘double passive voice’ is incorrect, but it is already being widely used.
Passive Voice of 하다 Verbs
하다 verbs are combinations of other nouns and 하다, such as 이용하다 (to use), 연구하다 (to research), etc. In order to change these 하다 verbs into the passive voice, you need to change 하다 to 되다.
이용하다 → 이용되다 (to be used)
연구하다 → 연구되다 (to be researched)
Even for 하다/되다, double passive voice is often used.
이용되다 = 이용되어지다
연구되다 = 연구되어지다
This is Part 1 of the Passive Voice lesson. In Part 2, we will look at how passive voice in Korean takes on the meaning of “possibility” or “capability”.