Words That Help You Ask Questions In Korea
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In this article, we are going to give you some basic words that are used to ask questions in Korean. These are some basic words that you will often hear if you are going to have a conversation in Korean. Basically, it is the same formats you see for other countries’ interrogative sentences. It includes the ‘Five Ws and One H’, and for “how much/how many”.
Asking questions in Korean, at first glance, is very easy. For the most part, asking questions in Korean without the use of a “question” word (who/what/when/where/why/how/how much/how many) is incredibly simple. So, without any further ado, let us get to the main topic. Keep scrolling and stay tuned with Byeol Korea!
Nu-gu (누구 in Korean) is from the words ‘nu’ (누) and ‘gu’ (구 ). The meaning of this word is “Who”. It can be used to ask the basic personal information of people, such as their name.
According to basic Korean language education, 누구 has the function of a pronoun. As a pronoun, 누구 can be used in the place of a noun in a sentence. That is, it can be used to replace the object.
In Korean, instead of always placing ‘who’ at the start of the sentence, it should be placed in the location of the subject (usually the start of the sentence), the object (usually somewhere in the middle of the sentence), or as a noun (before 이다.)
The easiest example for using this word:
Who will you meet tomorrow? = 너는 내일 누구(를) 만날 거야 (No-neun ne-il nu-gu(reul) man-nal go-ya)?
The word “who” is being placed in the location of the object (in the middle of the sentence).
There are three ways to say “what” in Korea, such as:
뭐 (mwo) – which is a pronoun,
무엇 (mwot) – which is a pronoun,
무슨 (mo-seun) – which is a word that can be placed before nouns to describe them.
According to basic Korean language education, 뭐 can be used to represent an unknown thing in a sentence. Like 누구, 뭐 acts as a pronoun in a sentences. The examples are:
What did you eat? = 뭐 먹었어요 (mwo mogossoyo) ?
What did you buy? = 뭐 샀어요 (mwo sassoyo)?
On-je (언제 in Korean) is basically “when” for Korea. This word is an adverb that can be used to ask “when” something happens. The examples are:
When did you go home? = 집에 언제 갔어? (Jib-e on-je gasso?)
When did you take a nap? = 낮잠을 언제 잤어요? (najjameul on-je jassoyo?)
When will you go home? = 집에 언제 갈 거야? (Jib-e on-je gal goya?)
O-di (어디) means “where”. 어디 works very much like 언제. It can be used to ask “where” something happened if the place is unknown. The examples for this interrogative word are:
Where do you want to go? = 어디 가고 싶어요? (O-di gago ship-o-yo?)
Where do you live? = 어디 살아요? (O-di sal-a-yo?)
Where do you want to do that? = 그것을 어디서 하고 싶어요? (Geu-goseul o-di-so hago ship-o-yo?)
Wae (왜) stands for “why”, and is probably the easiest question word in Korean. 왜 is an adverb which means it can be used/placed as an adverb in sentences, and as you know. adverbs can be used very freely in sentences and do not have any specific location that they need to be used in. However, the most common position for these adverb-question words is before the verb.
According to basic Korean language education, you can typically just take a statement and change it into a question by inserting the word into the sentence with these adverb-question words. The examples are:
Why are you studying Korean? = 한국어를 왜 공부하고 있어요? (Hanguk-o-reul wae gong-bu-ha-go isseoyo?)
Why do you like comic books? = 만화책을 왜 좋아합니까? (Manhwa-chek-eul wae jong-a-hamnida?)
O-tto-ke (어떻게) means “how”, and is the second-easiest word that you can learn in basic Korean. The word 어떻게 is actually 어떻다 (o-ttoh-da), a word for “you don’t know yet”, and is turned into an adverb by adding “게” to the stem (어떻 (o-tto) + 게 (ge)), according to howtostudykorean.com.
But, although both of them are basically the same word, you have to divide them and just remember that 어떻게 stands for “how”.
You can use 어떻게 to ask how somebody does a verb, but it cannot be placed before an adjective or adverb in Korean to mean “how (adjective/adverb)”. The example is as simple as you have to remember, it can be used to mean the word “learn” because it is a verb, and it cannot be used with the word “handsome” because it is an adjective.
The examples for the words are:
How did you learn Korean? = 한국어를 어떻게 배웠어요? (Hanguk-o-reul o-tto-ke bewossoyo?)
How do you do that? = 그것을 어떻게 해요? (Geugoseul o-tto-ke heyo?)
Ol-ma-na (얼마나) is a word that can be placed before adjectives and adverbs to mean “how.” In these cases, the speaker is asking to what extent something occurs. It can also be used before verbs when the speaker is not making a distinction between countable objects in his/her question. Instead, the speaker’s inquiry falls within an uncountable continuum, according to howtostudykorean.com.
The examples are:
How much bread did you eat? = 빵을 얼마나 먹었어요? (ppang-eul ol-ma-na mogossoyo?)
How much money will you take? = 돈을 얼마나 가져갈 거예요? (doneul ol-ma-na ga-jyo-gal go-ye-yo?)
That was everything you need to know about several words used for asking questions in the Korean language. These are some of the basic Korean words, and there are still many interesting words to learn in Korean. We hope you find this useful. Once again, thank you so much for visiting Byeol Korea. Don’t forget to leave a comment down below, and we will see you for the next article. Bye!