아/어/해 주다 grammar lesson
Today, we’re going to learn ‘Verbs-아/어/해 주다.’ The word 주다 means to give and if we use it with verbs it means to do something for someone.
Let’s look at a short conversation.
Minjo thinks that Naeuna is feeling cold. So she asks: “나우나 씨 추워요?” “Naeuna, are you feeling cold?” “창문 좀 닫아 줄까요?” “May I close the window for you?”
Naeuna replies. “네. 춥네요 창문 좀 닫아주세요.” “Yes, I’m cold. Please close the window for me.”
Here in this conversation, we learned today’s grammar ‘닫아 줄까요? 닫아 주세요.”
Now, let’s find out more about ‘Verbs-아/어/해 주다’ which indicates that an action is performed for someone. ‘어/어/해 주다’ attaches after the verb stem. It is an expression that an action is performed for someone. For example, ‘창문 좀 닫아주세요.’ (Please close the window for me.)
When you look at ‘닫아 주세요.’ the verb ‘닫다 (to close)’ is followed by ‘아 주세요.’ It’s an expression that I politely request you to close the window for me.
Let’s look at the second example.
‘창문 좀 열어 줄까요?’ (May I open the window for you?)
When you look at ‘열어 줄까요?’
the verb ‘열다 (to open) is followed by’어줄까요.’ It’s an expression that I suggest to open the window for someone else.
Let’s look at the last example.
‘천천히 말해 주세요.’ (Please speak slowly for me.)
When you look at ‘말해 주세요,’
the verb ‘말하다 (to speak/talk)’ is followed by ‘여 주세요.’ It’s an expression that I request you to speak slowly for me.
‘아/어/해 주다’ attach the verbs they express that the actions are performed for someone.
아/어/해 주다 grammar rule
Then when do we use ‘아/어/해 주다?’ Let’s look at them.
When the vowel ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ in the stem, ‘아 주다’ is used.
Take the verb ‘닫다 (to close)’ as an example.
Delete ‘다’ from the basic form. There is the vowel ‘ㅏ’ in front of ‘다.’
Then, ‘아 주다’ is used. So, ‘닫다’ becomes ‘닫아 주다.’
On the other hand, when the vowels in the stem are other than ‘ㅏ or ㅗ’, then ‘-어 주다’ is used.
Take the verb ‘열다 (to open)’ as an example.
Delete ‘다’ and there is the vowel ‘ㅕ’ in front of ‘다.’
‘ㅕ’ is not either ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ.’ Then, ‘어 주다’ is used. So ‘열다’ becomes ‘열어 주다.’
Lastly, you can use ‘해 주다’ for the verb ‘하다.’
The conjugation is that from the verb ‘하다,’ delete ‘다’, and add ‘여 주다.’
Then, ‘하다’ becomes ‘하여 주다.’ Here, ‘하’ and ‘여’ are combined to become ‘해.’ So, ‘하다’ becomes ‘해 주다.’
You don’t need to remember this conjugation. It’s easy to remember that ‘하다’ becomes ‘해 주다.’
Take ‘말하다 (to speak/to talk) as an example.
You can use ‘해 주다’ instead of ‘하다.’ So, ‘말하다’ becomes ‘말해 주다.’
How to use 아/어/해 주다 grammar
when do we actually use this grammar? let’s find out together.
firstly, you add ‘아/어/해 주다’ after the verbs ‘닫다, 열다, 하다.’ After that, you have to add other endings such as ‘어요, 세요, ㄹ까요? 었어요.’ For example, ‘닫다’ becomes
And there is a word ‘좀 (kindly, please)’ often used with ‘아/어/해 주다.’
‘좀’ is normally used in front of ‘아/어/해 주다.’
It makes the tone more polite and soft (kind). For example,
‘전화번호 알려 주세요.’ (Let me know your mobile number.)
You can add ‘좀’ in front of ‘알려 주세요.’ So you can ask it more politely.
전화번호 좀 알려주세요. (Please let me know your mobile number.)
There is some exceptional case of this grammar.
듣다 = 들어 주다 (ㄷirregular conjugation)
돕다 = 도와 주다 (ㅂ irregular)
자르다 = 잘라 주다 (ㄹ irregular)
짓다 = 지어 주다 (ㅅ irregular)
쓰다 = 써 주다 (으 disappear)
아/어/해 주다 grammar examples
Let’s look at other examples.
사진 좀 찍어 주세요. (Please take a picture for me.)
책 좀 읽어 주세요. (Please read a book for me.)
You can use ‘좀’ to say more politely and softly (kindly). Now, let’s look at some more examples.
‘커피 좀 (사다+아/어/해 주다+세요)’ = ‘Coffee please (to buy +아/어/해 주다+세요)
How would you say it?
커피 좀 사 주세요 (Please buy me a coffee.)
가방 좀 (들다 + 아/어/해 주다 + ㄹ까요?) =A bag please (to hold아/어/해 주다+ㄹ까요?)
How would you say it?
가방 좀 들어 줄까요? (If you don’t mind, may I hold your bag?)
조용히 좀 (하다 + 아/어/해 주다 + 세요) = quiet please (to do+아/어/해 주다+세요)
How would you say it?
조용히 좀 해 주세요. (Please be quiet for me.)
아/어/해 주다 grammar in conversation
Now, let’s look at a short conversation.
Naeuna says: “민조 씨, 저 한국어를 배우고 싶어요.” “Minjo, I’d like to learn Korean.”
Minjo suggests Naeuna: “그래요? 그럼 제가 한국어를 가르쳐 줄까요?” Would you like to? Then, may I teach you Korean?
Naeuna replies. “좋아요. 저한테 한국어 좀 가르쳐 주세요.” That will be great. Please teach me Korean.
When you look at ‘가르쳐 줄까요,’ the verb ‘가르치다 (to teach) is followed by ‘어 주다’ and ‘ㄹ까요.’
Minjo suggests teaching Korean for Naeuna.
When you look at ‘가르쳐 주세요’ in Naeuna’s answer, the verb ‘가르치다 (to teach) is followed by ‘어 주다’ and ‘세요.’ Naeuna politely requests Minjo to teach Korean.
아/어/해 주다 grammar summary
To sum up,
When the vowel is ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ in the stem, ‘아 주다’ is used. So, ‘닫다’ becomes ‘닫아 주다.’
On the other hand, the vowel is other than ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ in the stem, ‘어 주다’ is used. So ‘열다’ becomes ‘열어 주다.’
Lastly, ‘하다’ becomes ‘해 주다.’ So, ‘말하다’ becomes ‘말해 주다.’