Negative expressions in Korean 

 September 13, 2021

By  Smriti

Learning grammar is one of the most difficult things for Korean language learners. On this blog we will try to help you learn Korean grammar in the quickest and easiest way possible.

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

Today we're looking at how to conjugate negative expressions in Korean.

There are three ways to conjugate negative expressions in Korean.

  • 지 않다 
  • 지 못다
  • 이 /가 아니에요

A/V + 지 않다

This pattern is similar to the pattern 안 A/V

Below are the conjugation rules :

  • A/V + 지 않다 is used irrespective of whether the stem ends with a consonant or vowel.

덥다 → 덥지 않다

  1. 예쁘다 - 예쁘지 않다
  2. 덥다 - 덥지 않다
  3. 춥다 - 춥지 않다
  4. 깊다 - 깊지 않다
  5. 시끄럽다 - 시끄럽지 않다
  6. 멀다 - 멀지 않다

Let's see the examples to understand :

1) The world is not as wide as it appears. 

세상은 보이는 것만큼 넓지 않다.


2) The vase is not big enough for the flowers.

그 꽃병은 꽃을 꽂기에 충분히 크지 않다.


3) The price of apples are reasonable. 

사과 가격이 비싸지 않다.


4) Is it not too spicy?

너무 맵지 않아요?


5) It is not very heavy because it is hollow inside.

안은 비어있기 때문에 많이 무겁지 않다.

V- 지 못하다

This pattern can be used when you want to say you cannot do something : 'Not being able to.'

This pattern is quite similar to the pattern 못 V

Let's see the examples to understand :

1) I can't go to school today.

제가 오늘은 학교에 가지 못해요.


2) I was busy, so I couldn't answer the phone.

바빠서 전화를받지 못 했어.


3) I can't eat spicy food well.

저는 매운 음식을 잘 먹지 못해요.


4) This shirt is too tight for me. So, I can't wear this.

이 옷은 작아서 입지 못해


5) I don't know Korean letters, so I can't read this.

저는 한글을 몰라서 이것을 읽지 못해요.


6) I didn't study well yesterday.

저는 어제 공부하지 못했어요.

이 /가 아니에요

이 /가 아니에요 has the same meaning as 'Someone / something is not.

이 /가 아니에요 is used with nouns.

  • If the noun ends in a consonant, it combines with-이 아니다.
  • And If the noun ends in a vowel, it combines with-가 아니다.

Let's see the examples to understand :

1) That's not a guarantee.

그건 확약 이 아니야.


2) She's not a student.

그녀는 학생이 아닙니다.


3) It really wasn't his fault.

그건 진짜 그의 잘못이 아니에요.


4) It’s not our fault to be born poor. 

가난하게 태어난 것은 우리의 잘못이 아니에요.


5) I'm no longer a little child.

난 더 이상 어린애가 아니에요.


6) I'm not a perfect actor.

저는 완벽한 배우가 아니에요.


7) l am not an American.

저는 미국 사람이 아니에요.


8) This is not Tuan's hat.

이게 투안 씨 모자가 아니에요.

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

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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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