Complete Guide to TOPIK - Self Study Package BX0121

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Today we'll be looking at the usage of "A/V-(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다" Korean grammar pattern with some example sentences.


This expression is used when attempting to infer or guess the circumstances of a particular situation after directly seeing it or hearing about it. It can be translated as 'seems like', 'appears like' and is very similar to grammar pattern -ㄴ/은/는 것 같다. However -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 expresses not just a random guess but something based on certain evidences/circumstances. 

It is often used together with- (으)ㄴ/는 걸 보니까 which comes earlier in the sentence and expresses the basis for making the inference or guess.

For example:

가게 앞까지 줄을 서서 기다리는 걸 보니 손님이 많은 모양이에요.

Seeing you waiting in line in front of the store, there seems to be a lot of customers.

It is to be kept in mind that it is not used for talking about yourself. 

It is not used to express subjective thoughts and opinions, for that you can use ~ (으)ㄹ 것 같다 instead.

A/V-(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다
Conjugations according to the tenses :

Adjectives :

과거 : ~ 았 /었던 모양이다

좋다- 좋았던 모양이다 (I guess it was good.)

예쁘다 - 예뻤던 모양이다 (It must have been pretty.)

현재 : ~ (으)ㄴ 모양이다

먹다 - 먹은 모양이다 (It looks like you ate it.)

잘하다 - 잘한 모양이다 (I think you did a good job.)

미래 : ~ (으) ㄹ 모양이다

좋다 - 좋을 모양이다 (It's going to be nice.)

예쁘다 - 예쁠 모양이다 (It's going to be pretty.)

Verbs :

과거 : ~ (으) ㄴ 모양이다

먹다 - 먹은 모양이다 (It looks like you ate it.)

잘하다 - 잘한 모양이다 (I think you did a good job.)

현재 : ~는 모양이다

가다 - 가는 모양이다 (It looks like he's going.)

읽다 - 읽는 모양이다 (It looks like he's reading.)

미래 : ~ (으) ㄹ 모양이다

가다 - 갈 모양이다 (It looks like he's going to go.)

먹다 - 먹을 모양이다 (It looks like he's going to eat.)

Nouns :

과거 :였던/이었던 모양이다

여자 친구 - 여자 친구였던 모양이다 (She must have been his girlfriend.)

학생 - 학생이었던 모양이다 (I guess he was a student.)

현재 : 인 모양이다

의사 - 의사인 모양이다 (I think he's a doctor.)

학생 - 학생인 모양이다 (I think he's a student.)

Lets see some example sentences :

It looks like it’ll rain. / It is likely to rain.

비가 올 모양이다.

My mother prepared a lot of food, I think she invited some customers.

어머니께서 음식을 많이 준비하시던데 손님들을 초대하신 모양이에요.

Seeing that there are many people in the restaurant, the food seems to be delicious.

식당에 사람이 많은 걸 보니 음식이 맛있는 모양이다.

Seeing the students studying late at night, it seems like tomorrow is the exam.

학생들이 밤늦도록 공부하는 걸 보니 내일이 시험인 모양이다.

Seeing that there are many people in the department store, there seems to be a sale.

백화점에 사람이 많은 걸 보니 세일 기간인 모양이에요.

Since you exercise a lot, I guess you'll lose weight.

운동을 많이 한 걸 보니까 살이 빠진 모양입니다.

It seems like from now on, the baby is going to walk.

이제 부터 아기가 걸어갈 모양이에요.

It seems like later, this person is going to write a novel.

나중에 이분은 소설을 쓸 모양이에요.

Seeing you work fast, you seem to be fully familiar with it now.

일을 빨리 하는 걸 보니 이제 완전히 손에 익은 모양이에요.

Seeing you waiting in line in front of the store, there seem to be a lot of customers.

가게 앞까지 줄을 서서 기다리는 걸 보니 손님이 많은 모양이에요.

Seeing that house furniture is being moved, it seems like they are moving.

저 집은 가구를 옮기는 걸 보니 이사를 하는 모양이에요.

Seeing the window shaking badly, it seems that the wind is blowing hard.

창문이 심하게 흔들리는 걸 보니 바람이 세게 부는 모양이에요.

People's clothes are soaked, it seems to be raining a lot.

사람들 옷이 흠뻑 젖었던데 비가 많이 내리는 모양이다.

Seeing Min-joon dressed up to the fullest, he seems to meet his girlfriend.

민준이가 한껏 멋을 내는 걸 보니 여자 친구를 만날 모양이다.

Seeing that my mother carried a shopping basket, it seems she is going to the market.

어머니께서 장바구니를 드신 걸 보니 시장에 가실 모양이다.

Seeing the dark clouds in the sky, it looks like it's going to rain.

하늘에 먹구름이 끼는 것을 보니 비가 올 모양이다.

Given that no one is coming yet, there seems to be no applicants.

아직까지 아무도 안 오는 걸 보면 지원자가 없을 모양이에요.

Since he got such a high score, I guess he studied yesterday.

아주 높은 점수를받은 걸 보니까 어제 공부 한 모양이에요.

He's smart, so I think he's probably a professor.

똑똑한 걸 보니까 강사 이었던 모양이에요.

Seung-gyu has been tired these days, but he seems to be having a hard time at work.

승규가 요즘 계속 피곤해 하던데 일이 힘든 모양이에요.

Seung-gyu has been walking around with a smile all day, and I think something good has happened.

승규가 하루 종일 웃는 얼굴로 다니던데 좋은 일이 있는 모양이에요.

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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