[Korean grammar] ‘ㅎ’ 불규칙 (Irregular Conjugation)


백설공주는 머리는 까맣고 피부는 하얘요.
Snow White has black hair and a white complexion.

왕비는 백설 공주에게 빨간 사과를 줬어요.
The queen gave Snow White a red apple.

왕자는 크고 파란 눈으로 공주를 봤어요.
The prince looked at Snow White with his big blue eyes.

Grammar Focus:
When an adjective stem ending in ㅎ is added to an ending that begins with a vowel, ㅎ is omitted.

1. When endings beginning in vowels other than -아/어 are added to adjective stems ending in ㅎ, ㅎ is omitted.

2. When endings beginning in -아/어 are added to adjective stems ending in ㅎ, ㅎ is omitted, and ㅣ is added.

Although the stems of 좋다 (to be good), 많다 (many), 낳다 (to bear, to give birth to), and 넣다 (to put in, to insert), etc. end in ㅎ they are conjugated regularly.

A: 보세요! 가을 하늘이 정말 파래요. 
Look! The autumn sky is really blue.
B: 하늘은 파랗고 구름은 하얘서 그림 같아요.
The sky is blue, and the clouds are white, just like a painting.

A: 얼굴이 많이 까매졌네요.
Your face has tanned really brown (black).
B: 휴가 때 바다에 갔다 와서 그래요.
That’s because I went to the beach during vacation.

A: 파란 티셔츠 입은 남자가 누군지 아세요?
Do you know who that boy wearing the blue T-shirt is?
B: 네, 제 동생이에요. 관심 있어요?
Yes, that’s my little brother. Are you interested in him?

When the stems of 이렇다, 그렇다, 저렇다, and 어떻다 are added to endings that begin with -아/어, they conjugate to 이래, 그래, 저래 and 어때 instead of 이레, 그레, 저레 and 어떼.
• 날씨가 어떼요? (X)
->날씨가 어때요? (〇)
How is the weather?

• 에릭 씨는 안 간다고 그렜어요. (X)
->에릭 씨는 안 간다고 그랬어요. (〇)
Eric said to me, “I’m not going.”

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