[Korean grammar] 피동 and 사동

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The expressions you will learn in this section are made by adding suffixes to certain words to make them into their respective passive and causative forms. In the intermediate level, we learned how to add -이/히/리 /기- to verb stems to make passive forms at the word level, and we also learned how to add -아지다/어지다 and -게 되다 to verbs to make passive expressions. As for causative forms, we learned how to add -이/히/리/기- to verb stems to make causative forms at the word level, and we also learned how to add -게 하다 to verbs to make causative expressions.

되다
This expression attaches to some nouns to express a type of passive form in which the action or state expressed was performed by some other subject. It is used mainly after Sino-Korean words.
• 1492년 콜럼버스는 아메리카 대륙을 발견했다.
In 1492, Columbus discovered the American continent.
=>1492년 아메리카 대륙은 콜럼버스에 의해 발견됐다.
In 1492, the American continent was discovered by Columbus.
• 나는 이 노래를 사랑하는 아내를 위해 작곡했다.
I composed this song for my wife that I love.
=>이 노래는 사랑하는 아내를 위해 작곡됐다.
This song was composed for my wife that I love.
• 노사 문제를 해결하려고 아침부터 노사 양측이 모여 회의를 시작했다.
Trying to solve labor and management problems, both sides met to start meetings in the morning.
=>5시간에 걸친 회의를 하고서야 노사 문제가 해결됐다.
After 5 hours of meetings, the labor and management problems were finally resolved.

When is added to some nouns, it means that the subject performs the stated action, and in such cases, the object particle 을/를 can precede the verb. However, when 되다 is added, the passive meaning is indicated, and thus the particle before the noun changes to ‘이/가’
• 정부가 낙후된 지역을 개발하겠다고 발표했다.
• 내년 하반기부터 낙후된 지역이 개발될 예정이다.

The following chart shows action verbs with 하다 attached and their passive counterparts with -되다 attached.


당하다
This expression is added to words indicating actions to make them passive. In particular, it is used to express the act of being rejected by someone else or the experiencing of something unwanted or unpleasant.
• 직장 상사한테 무시당하는 것도 한두 번이지 이제 회사를 그만두어야겠어요.
I’ve been ignored by my supervisor more than once, so I think it’s time I quit the company.
• 부당하게 해고당했다며 몇몇 사람들이 회사를 상대로 고소를 했다.
A number of people sued the company after being unfairly laid off from their jobs.
• 수익률이 높다며 친구가 투자하래서 했다가 사기당했다.
I invested my money after a friend said the rate of return was high, but I ended up being swindled.

This expression can be used as both a verb and a suffix. When used as a verb, the particle 을/를 precedes it, and when used as a suffix, it attaches directly to the preceding noun.
• 직장 상사한테 무시를 당하는 것도 한두 번이지 이제 회사를 그만두어야겠어요.
• 회사에서 부당하게 해고를 당했다며 몇몇 사람들이 회사를 상대로 고소를 했다.

2. The following chart shows action verbs and their passive counterparts with -당하다attached.


시키다
This expression attaches to some nouns to indicate a causative meaning. It is used when the subject makes another person, animal, or object do something or when causing some state of affairs to occur.
• 정부는 우리 문화를 외국인들에게 알리고 이해시키기 위해 문화 공연을 할 예정이다.
The government plans to have a cultural performance to have foreigners learn more about and to understand Korean culture.
• 집안 사정이 어 려웠던 윤호 씨는 아르바이트를 하면서 동생을 대학까지 교육시켰다.
After experiencing difficult financial circumstances at home, Yunho worked part-time jobs to send his younger brother off to get a college education.
• 대현 씨는 결혼기념 일에 직접 쓴 편지와 꽃다발로 아내를 감동시켰다.
Daehyeon impressed his wife with a handwritten letter and a bouquet of flowers on their wedding anniversary.

1. This expression can be used as both a verb and a suffix. When used as a verb, the particle 을/를 precedes it, and when used as a suffix, it attaches directly to the preceding noun.
• 정부는 우리 문화를 외국인들에게 알리고 이해를 시키기 위해 문화 공연을 할 예정이다.
• 집안 사정이 어려웠던 윤호 씨는 아르바이트를 하면서 동생을 대학까지 교육을 시켰다.

2. Some of the verbs which take -하다 have a causative meaning. While both -하다 and -시키다 can be used in such cases, the use of -하다 is more grammatically sound.
• 담배는 신체 조직을 파괴하며 심장병과 각종 암을 유발한다.
= 담배는 신체 조직을 파괴하며 심장병과 각종 암을 유발시킨다.
• 정부는 불법 체류자들을 나라 밖으로 추방했다.
= 정부는 불법 체류자들을 나라 밖으로 추방시켰다.

3. The following chart shows action verbs with ‘-하다’ attached and their causative counterparts with ‘-시키다’ attached.

>> Full of ‘Korean grammar in use – Advanced’: Click here
>> Full of ‘Korean grammar in use – Intermediate’: Click here

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