Complete Guide to TOPIK - Self Study Package BX0121

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This blog will be helpful for those who are studying Korean language and want to improve their grammar skills.

Today we’ll see how to form sentences with Korean grammar pattern "(으)ㄹ까 보다" with some example sentences and it's usage with Adj., verbs or nouns.

This expression is used when you are worried or concern about something. 

It is attached to either an adjective, verb or noun to indicate the speaker's concern about something.

The equivalent meaning in English could be " It seems like (something) ", " I'm afraid that it is (something)".

This pattern can be added after the Adjective stem, verb stem and nouns but there are certain rules how it has to be conjugated in different tenses ( present and past tenses ).

The rule to conjugate

Present tense :

Adj./Verb + ㄹ/을까 봐

  • ~ㄹ까 봐 is added if the A/V stem ends with a vowel.
  • ~을까 봐 is added when the A/V stem ends with a consonant.

For example :

1) I'm afraid the dress would be small. 

드레스가 작을까 봐.

2) I'm afraid it will be bad.

나쁠까 봐 굉장하네. 

3) I'm afraid I will be late. 

지각을까 봐요. 

Present tense :

Noun + 일까봐

  • Simply ~일까봐 is added after the nouns.

For example :

1) It seems like a person.

사람일까 봐.

2) It seems like my friend.

친구일까 봐.

3) Seems like an actor.


Past tense :

Adj./Verb + 았/었을까 봐

  • ~았을까봐 is added if the A/V stem ends with 아 or 오. 
  • ~있을까 봐 Is added when the stem ends with anything other than 아 or 오. 
  • ~했을까봐 Is added after the stem ending with 하.

For example :

1) I am afraid it was expensive.

비쌌을까 봐.

2) I'm afraid it was insufficient.

부족했을까 봐.

Past tense :

Noun + 였을까 봐

  • ~였을까 봐 is simply added after the noun. 

For example :

1) It seemed like my friend.

친구였을까 봐.

2) It seemed like a singer.

가수였을까 봐.

Following are the examples of the grammar patterns mentioned above. 

1) It is late so I am thinking of taking a taxi.

늦었는데 택시를 탈까보다.

2) It looked like he might fall so I held his hand and went.

넘어 질까 봐 손을 잡고 갔어요.

3) I didn't want to lose the money so I put it deep inside my briefcase.

돈을 잃어 버릴 까봐 가방 속에 깊이 넣었어요.

4) I thought it might cause a misunderstanding so I didn't say anything.

오해 할까 봐 말하지 않았습니다.

5) Are you afraid to go home because you think you will be scolded?

야단 맞을까 봐 집에 못 들어 가니?

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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