Complete Guide to TOPIK - Self Study Package BX0121

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Today we'll be looking at the usage of "A ~아/어/여 보이다" Korean grammar pattern with some example sentences.


An expression used to indicate that one feels or guesses something by the appearance of something mentioned in the preceding statement.

It is used in the situation where someone is expressing their feeling on the outward appearance of a person, event or thing. The word 보이다 indicates that something looks/seems like (something). 

Equivalent to saying " seems like ….." or " looks like….."  in English.

It is used with Adjectives only. 

A ~아/어/여 보이다

This grammar pattern is different from ~것 같아 in the sense 아/어/여 보이다 is used for what the speaker perceives from outward expression or feature like for example : 

  • She looks sad/depressed. 슬퍼 보이다. / 우울해 보이다. 
  • You look tired. / You looked tired. 피곤해 보이다. / 피곤해 보였다. 

In contrast the sentences with  ~것 같아 are based on supposition or prediction. 

  • It looks like it's going to rain. 비 올 것 같아.

If you are still finding difficult to differentiate the usage between the two grammar pattern. Please go through more example sentences and come across enough context in which these two grammar patterns are used. It might take some time to fully understand but it's quite easy once understood.

The basic conjugation rules are :

The conjugation changes according to the tense of the sentence. 

  1. Past : A- 아 / 어 보였다
  2. Present : A- 아 / 어 보이다
  3. Future : A- 아 / 어 보일 것이다

When the stem ends with a 오 or 아 add ~아 보이다/보였다/보일 것이다.

When the stem ends with anything other than 오 or 아 add ~어 보이다/보였다/보일 것이다.

When the stem ends with 하 add 여 보이다 which makes ~해 보이다/보였다/보일 것이다.

Lets see some example sentences :
  • 제임스 그렇게 왜 피곤해 보여요.
    James, why do you look so tired like that?
  • 민준이는 안경을 쓰고 있어서 그런지 똑똑해 보인다.
    Min-joon looks smart because he is wearing glasses.
  • 그 식당이 아주 유명해 보이는데 갈래요?
    That restaurant looks so famous, should we go there?
  • 승규가 앉아 있는 소파는 무척 편안해 보였다.
    The sofa where Seung-gyu was sitting looked very comfortable.
  • 민준이는 얌전하고 말해서 어른스러워 보였다.
    Min-joon looked more mature, because he was calm and talkative.
  • 나는 디자인도 예쁘고 원단도 고급스러워 보이는 가방을 샀다.
    I bought a bag with a pretty design and luxurious fabric.
  • 부러울 것이 없어 보이는 유민이도 실제로는 외로운 아이였다.
    Yoo-min, who seemed to have nothing to envy, was actually a lonely child.

To understand TOPIK Test structure, application process, Levels and Passing scores etc. check these pages:

  1. TOPIK – The Complete Guide & 2. TOPIK Levels and Passing Marks. You can also Practice Online with TOPIK GUIDE Mock Tests.

If you are going to take the TOPIK Test for the first time, or if you want to give your score a boost so that you can pass a higher level, we would strongly advise you to get the Complete Guide to TOPIK – Self-Study Package. It is a digital study package that has everything you need to get a great score in the TOPIK test – all the past TOPIK papers with answer sheets, grammar and vocabulary study material, video tutorials explaining the test structure, strategies to solve them and much more. You can check out more details about this study package HERE.

Learning Korean can be tricky, especially when the goal of your learning is conversation. If you’ve ever attempted to speak Korean but were unable to, then hopefully you’ll find this post helpful.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions. Comment down below.

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