Adjective Tense: Part 1

Korean adjective tense

Please read verb tense before studying adjectives.

In Korean, adjectives operate as ‘descriptive verbs‘ and they can be conjugated into different tenses like the way typical verbs are.

But first, you need to know that there are 3 word forms in Korean: Dictionary form, Written form, Spoken form.

Dictionary form :
~다, word entry that you see in a dictionary.  ex) 바쁘다 = to be busy
The part of the word preceding 다 is called the “word stem“.

*I have used the term ‘verb stem’ in verb tense pages.


Written form :
Adjective form used in written Korean such as books, newspapers and etc.

ex) 바쁘다 = to be busy : Please make sure that the dictionary form and the casual written form are the same. For adjectives, we use a dictionary form as a casual written form. However, in verbs, there are separate dictionary forms and written forms.

ex) * 바쁩니다, polite = to be busy
: Polite adjectives can be also used in polite speech. For instance you’ll hear a news reporter using polite adjectives in their speech.


Spoken form :
Adjective form used in spoken Korean
ex) 바빠, casual = to be busy
ex) 바빠요, **casual polite = to be busy
Here are what we are going to learn.


Casual Speech: PRESENT

Casual Speech: PAST

Casual Speech: FUTURE

Polite Speech: PRESENT

Polite Speech: PAST

Polite Speech: FUTURE

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