korean irregular verbs

Today, we’re going to learn Korean irregular verbs-‘ㄷ’ irregular conjugation. When the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’ And when the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets with a consonant, ‘ㄷ’ remains as it is. Let’s learn deeply by looking at one simple Korean conversation.

Minjo suggests:

“나운 씨 우리 공원에서 걸을까요?” Naun,  shall we go for a walk in the park?

Naun replies: and she also suggests one more thing.

“좋아요. 공원에서 걷고 커피도 마실까요?” That’s great. Shall we go for a walk in the park and have a coffee?

Here, today’s grammar is in the form of ‘걸을까요, 걷고.’

ㄷ irregular conjugation

when the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ in the stem meets is followed by a vowel, ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ’

First let’s find out how the ‘ㄷ’ regular and irregular verbs are different.

In the case of ‘ㄷ’ regular verbs, when the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel, ‘ㄷ’ remains. For example, remove ‘다’ from ‘닫다 (to close), 믿다 (to believe, to trust)’. There is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When the endings beginning with a vowel such as ‘아요/어요’ is followed, ‘ㄷ’ remains.

So, they become ‘닫아요, 믿어요.’ ‘ㄷ’ remains.

On the other hand, in the case of ‘ㄷ’ irregular verbs, when the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

For example, remove ‘다’ from ‘걷다 (to walk), 듣다 (to listen).’ There is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When a vowel such as ‘아요/어요’ is followed,

they become ‘걸어요, 들어요.’ ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

Korean irregular verb ㄷ Summary

when the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ in the stem meets a vowel, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ’

For example,

when you remove ‘다 from ‘걷다 (to walk), there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When a vowel such as ‘아요/어요’ is followed, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

Then ‘어요’ is attached after that and becomes ‘걸어요.’ ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

Another example is the verb ‘듣다 (to listen).

Likewise, remove ‘다.’ There is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When ‘아요/어요’ is followed, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

Then ‘어요’ is attached after that and becomes ‘들어요.’

Let’s try to attach the vowel endings, which we’ve learned so far,

When you remove ‘다’, there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When the vowel endings are followed, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’

걷다 + 아요/어요     =  걸 + 어요

았/었어요     = 걸 + 었어요

(으)세요     = 걸 + 으세요

을까요        = 걸 + 을까요

So, they become ‘걸어요, 걸었어요, 걸으세요, 걸을까요.’

‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ’

Let’s look at ‘듣다’ as well.

Attach the vowel endings after ‘듣다.’

When you remove ‘다’, there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When the vowel endings are followed, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ’

듣다 +    아요/어요     = 들어요

았/었어요     = 들었어요

(으)세요      = 들으세요

을까요        = 들을까요

they become ‘들어요, 들었어요, 들으세요, 들을까요’

‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ’

So far, we’ve looked at the case where ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel.

How about when ‘ㄷ’ meets a consonant? Let’s find out together.

When the ‘ㄷ’ irregular verbs meet an ending beginning with a consonant, ‘ㄷ’ remains.

For example, when ‘걷다’ meets the ending beginning with a consonant such as ‘습니다/ㅂ니다’

‘ㄷ’ remains.

걷다 + ‘습니다/ㅂ니다’ = 걷습니다

So, it becomes ‘걷습니다.’

Let’s attach the endings beginning with a consonant.

걷다  + ‘습니다/ㅂ니다’

걷다  + 고

걷다  + 지만

걷다  + 네요

They all start with the consonants. First remove ‘다.’ So, they become ‘걷습니다, 걷고, 걷지만, 걷네요.’

sum up

To sum up, ‘ㄷ’ irregular conjugation occurs only the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel.

These are ‘ㄷ’ irregular verbs:

‘걷다 (to walk),

깨닫다 (to realise, to understand),

듣다 (to listen), 싣다 (to carry),

(길을) 묻다 (to ask (the way))’

There are ‘ㄷ’ regular verbs:

닫다 (to close),

믿다 (to believe, to trust),

얻다 (to gain,

(땅에) 묻다 (to bury (in the ground))

‘길을 묻다 (to ask the way)’ ‘땅에 묻다 (to bury in the ground)

길을 묻다 (to ask the way)’ and ‘땅에 묻다 (to bury in the ground) is the same form but the meanings are different. Let’s look at them.

They have the same form ‘묻다.’ But, depending on the meaning, one is ‘ㄷ’ irregular verb and another one is ‘ㄷ’ regular verb.

‘길을 묻다 (to ask the way) becomes ‘길을 물어요.’ – which is the irregular verb.

On the other hand, ‘땅에 묻다 (to bury in the ground) becomes ‘땅에 묻어요’ – which is the regular verb.

So, the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ from ‘길을 묻다’ changes to ‘ㄹ’. So, it is conjugated like this ‘물어요, 물었어요, 물으세요, 물을까요’

On the other hand, as ‘땅에 묻다’ is the regular verb, ‘ㄷ’ remains. So, it is conjugated like this ‘묻어요, 묻었어요, 묻으세요, 묻을까요.’

Korean irregular verb Practice

싣다 (to carry, put)

How they are changed when ‘을까요’ attaches after ‘싣다.’? When you remove ‘다’, there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’

When the vowel ending ‘을까요’ is added, It becomes ‘실을까요.’

깨닫다 (to understand, realise)

How they are changed when ‘았어요’ attaches after ‘깨닫다.’?

When you remove ‘다’, there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’ When the vowel is added, ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’ So it becomes ‘깨달았어요.’

걷다 (to walk)

How they are changed when ‘고’ attaches after ‘걷다.’?

When you remove ‘다’, there is the final consonant ‘ㄷ.’ When the consonant is added, ‘ㄷ’ remains. So it becomes ‘걷고.’

Now let’s look at some examples of Korean phrases

라디오를 듣다.’ (radio, to listen to). Attach ‘어요’ after ‘듣다’. Now it becomes ‘라디오를 들어요. (I listen to the radio.)’

같이 걷다 (to walk together).’ Attach ‘을까요’ after ‘걷다’. It becomes ‘같이 걸을까요?’ (Shall we walk together?)

길을 묻다 (to ask the way.)’ Attach ‘어요’ after ‘묻다’. It becomes ‘길을 물어요. (I ask the way.)

물건을 차에 싣다. (to carry/put the things in the car). Attach ‘으세요’ after ‘싣다’. It becomes ‘물건을 차에 실으세요.’ (Please put the thing in the car.)

Korean conversations 

Minjo asks Naun:

“요즘 무슨 음악 들어요?” “What kind of music do you listen to these days?

Naun replies:

“요새 케이팝 들어요.” These days I listen to Kpop.

Minjo asks Naun:

“이 상자를 어디에 실을까요?” Where do I put this box?

Naun replies:

“차에 실어 주세요.” Please put ii in the car.

Korean irregular verb Conclusion

Today, we’ve learned ‘ㄷ’ irregular conjugation.

When the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a vowel ‘ㄷ’ changes to ‘ㄹ.’ For example, ‘걷다 – 걸어요, 걸었어요’ and ‘듣다 – 들어요, 들었어요’

When the final consonant ‘ㄷ’ meets a consonant ‘ㄷ’ remains. For example ‘걷고, 걷습니다, 듣고, 듣습니다’