Korean Question Words

In Korean, there are several common question words that are used to ask questions. The most common ones:

  1. 뭐 (mwo): What
    Example sentence: 뭐 먹을래? (mwo meogeullaeyo?) – What do you want to eat?
  2. 누구 (nugu): Who
    Example sentence: 누구세요? (nuguseyo?) – Who is it?
  3. 어디 (eodi): Where
    Example sentence: 어디에 가요? (eodie gayo?) – Where are you going?
  4. 언제 (eonje): When
    Example sentence: 언제 돌아와요? (eonje dorawayo?) – When will you come back?
  5. 어떻게 (eotteohke): How
    Example sentence: 어떻게 해요? (eotteohke haeyo?) – How do you do it?
  6. 왜 (wae): Why
    Example sentence: 왜 그래요? (wae geuraeyo?) – Why are you like that?
  7. 얼마나 (eolmana): How much/How many
    Example sentence: 얼마나 오래 걸려요? (eolmana olae geollyeoyo?) – How long does it take?
  8. 무엇 (mueot): What (thing)
    Example sentence: 무엇이든 물어보세요. (mueosideun mureoboseyo.) – Ask me anything.

In Korean, the concept of “which” is often expressed using the word “어느” (eoneu), which means “any” or “some” and can be used to indicate a choice between options. Here are some examples:

  1. 어느 것 (eoneu geot): Which one/which thing
    Example sentence: 어느 것이 좋아요? (eoneu geosi johayo?) – Which one do you like?
  2. 어느 쪽 (eoneu jjok): Which side/direction
    Example sentence: 어느 쪽으로 가야 해요? (eoneu jjogeuro gaya haeyo?) – Which way should I go?
  3. 어느 날 (eoneu nal): Which day
    Example sentence: 어느 날에 만날까요? (eoneu nale mannalkkayo?) – Which day should we meet?

Note that in Korean, the specific word “which” is not used as frequently as in English, and “어느” (eoneu) is often used to convey the meaning of “which” in a more general or ambiguous sense.

When asking questions in Korean, there are a few things to be mindful of:

  1. Appropriate politeness level: Korean language has different levels of politeness, and the politeness level used in a question should be appropriate for the situation and the person you are addressing. For instance, using polite forms such as “-요” or “-세요” endings when addressing someone older, higher in rank, or in a formal setting, and using casual forms when speaking to someone of the same age,
  2. Sentence structure: Korean sentence structure can be different from English, so be mindful of the word order when forming questions. In Korean, the basic sentence structure for questions is often Subject + Object + Verb, and question words usually come at the beginning of the sentence. For example: “뭐 먹었어?” (mwo meogeosseo?) – “What did you eat?”
  3. Intonation: In Korean, intonation plays a crucial role in conveying meaning. Be aware of the rising intonation at the end of questions, which signals that it is a question. Practice the correct intonation patterns to sound natural when asking questions in Korean.
  4. Politeness and cultural norms: Korean culture places a strong emphasis on politeness and respect. When asking questions, it’s important to be mindful of cultural norms and use appropriate polite language and manners, especially when addressing someone older or in a formal setting.

By being mindful of these aspects, you can effectively ask questions in Korean and communicate more accurately in various social situations. It’s always helpful to practice and seek feedback from native speakers to improve your question asking skills in Korean.

FREE Korean Grammar PDF Download

Download a free extract from our Korean Grammar book – Bootstrap Korean Grammar.

The PDF includes the first 10 topics:

1. The verb ‘to be’ – 이에요/예요
2. The Topic marker – 은/는
3. The Subject marker 이/가 and Existence/Possession 있다
4. The Subject marker 이/가 and Absence 없다
5. Word order of Korean sentences: Subject – Object – Verb (SOV)
6. Personal pronouns – , 우리, and 그녀
7. This and that: , , and
8. The verb ‘to not be’ – 아니다
9. The location of existence – the particle
10. Korean Verbs – The Infinitive

Get your copy here:

Learning Korean: A Guide to Mastering the Language

Korean is a rich and fascinating language that is at the heart of the dynamic and vibrant culture of modern-day Korea. From the booming K-pop music industry to the innovative technology companies, Korea is a hub of cultural and economic activity, and its language is a vital part of this dynamic environment.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the rich cultural heritage of Korea, or looking to gain a competitive advantage in the global business arena, learning Korean can open up new doors of opportunity. With its unique alphabet, Hangul, and its fasinating grammar system, Korean is a challenging language to learn, but the rewards for your efforts are many.

So why not dive into the dynamic culture of modern-day Korea and start your Korean language learning journey today? With patience, persistence, and a love for language and culture, you can achieve fluency in Korean and become a part of this exciting and dynamic community. Whether you’re a fan of K-pop music, a lover of Korean cuisine, or just looking to expand your horizons, the rewards of learning Korean are many and varied. So, take the plunge and start your journey today!

In this guide, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the Korean language, including its grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. We’ll also provide tips and resources to help you master the language and reach your goals. So, let’s get started!

The Importance of Learning Hangul

Learning Hangul is an essential step in your journey to mastering the Korean language.. This script is relatively simple to learn, making it an accessible entry point for those who are new to the language. In fact, many people find that they can learn Hangul in just a few hours, giving them a solid foundation for their language learning journey.

Trying to learn Korean using a latin-script transliteration is a big mistake. When it comes to learning Korean, relying on Latin-script transliteration can actually hinder your progress and lead to confusion and mistakes.

Here are a few reasons why using a Latin-script transliteration is a big mistake when learning Korean:

  • It undermines the importance of learning Hangul: Hangul is a unique and important aspect of Korean culture and language, and it’s essential to learn how to read and write it in order to gain a deeper understanding of the language. Relying on Latin-script transliteration sidesteps this important learning step, and can lead to difficulties when reading Korean text or trying to understand Korean pronunciation.
  • It can lead to pronunciation errors: Latin-script transliteration can be misleading when it comes to pronunciation, as the transliteration system may not accurately reflect the pronunciation of the target language. This can lead to pronunciation errors that can be difficult to correct later on.

In conclusion, relying on Latin-script transliteration when learning Korean is a big mistake, as it undermines the importance of learning key aspects of the language, such as Hangul and vocabulary in context. If you want to achieve fluency in Korean, it’s essential to embrace the challenges and opportunities of learning the language, including learning Hangul and focusing on vocabulary learning in context.

Overcoming the Challenges of Learning Korean Vocabulary

While learning the Korean language, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is mastering its vocabulary. Korean has a rich and complex vocabulary system, with many words that are unique to the language. However, with the right approach and resources, you can overcome the challenges of learning Korean vocabulary and become a confident, fluent speaker.

Here are some tips to help you with your vocabulary learning:

  • Immerse yourself in the language: The best way to learn new vocabulary is to immerse yourself in the language. Try to find opportunities to hear and speak Korean as much as possible, and make an effort to understand and use new words in context.
  • Use flashcards: Flashcards are a tried and true method for learning new vocabulary. Write the Korean word on one side and its English definition on the other. Review the flashcards regularly to help the words stick in your memory.
  • Practice with a partner: Having a conversation partner who is also learning Korean can be a great way to practice new vocabulary. You can work together to learn new words, and use them in conversation. This not only helps you memorize the words but also gives you the chance to practice your speaking skills.
  • Make use of online resources: There are many online resources available to help you learn Korean vocabulary. You can find vocabulary lists, quizzes, and games that can help make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging.

Learning Korean vocabulary takes time and effort, but with persistence and dedication, you can overcome the challenges and become a confident, fluent speaker of the language.

Pronunciation: The Key to Effective Communication

Correct pronunciation is crucial for effective communication in any language, and this is especially true in Korean. The Korean language has a unique sound system that can be difficult for non-native speakers to master, but with practice and perseverance, you can achieve accurate pronunciation.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your Korean pronunciation:

  • Listen carefully to native speakers: The best way to learn how to pronounce Korean sounds is to listen to native speakers. Make an effort to listen to as much Korean speech as possible, and pay close attention to the sounds that are used. Try to imitate the sounds that you hear, and practice speaking along with native speakers.
  • Study the phonetics: Korean phonetics, or the study of speech sounds, can be a valuable resource for improving your pronunciation. Familiarize yourself with the Korean alphabet and the different sounds that each letter represents. This will help you understand the relationship between the written and spoken language.
  • Practice, practice, practice: As with any skill, the key to improving your pronunciation is to practice regularly. Try to use the language as much as possible, speaking with native speakers or with other learners. Focus on speaking clearly and using proper pronunciation, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
  • Use pronunciation resources: There are many resources available to help you improve your Korean pronunciation. You can find pronunciation exercises and audio files online, as well as videos and podcasts. These resources can be a great way to practice your pronunciation and to get feedback on your progress.

With time and effort, you can achieve accurate pronunciation in Korean. Remember, the key is to be patient, persistent, and to practice as much as you can!

Korean Grammar – It is different but not hard

Korean grammar is relatively simple compared to other languages. It uses an subject-object-verb word order, which makes it easy to understand the meaning of a sentence. Some of the key grammar points to keep in mind include:

  • Nouns do not have gender and do not change form based on the number of objects being referred to.
  • There are no articles (a, an, the) in Korean, making it easier to form sentences.
  • Verbs always come at the end of a sentence, providing a clear indication of the action being performed.

In addition to these basic grammar points, there are also several key particles in Korean that are used to indicate the relationship between words in a sentence. For example:

  • The particle “은/는” is used to indicate the topic of a sentence.
  • The particle “이/가” is used to indicate the subject of a sentence.
  • The particle “을/를” is used to indicate the object of a sentence.

In addition to these basic particles, there are also several other particles in Korean that are used to express different meanings and relationships between words. For example:

  • The particle “에” is used to indicate the location of an action.
  • The particle “에서” is used to indicate the origin of an action.
  • The particle “로/으로” is used to indicate the direction of an action.

To master Korean grammar, it’s essential to practice reading, writing, and speaking in the language on a daily basis. Some useful strategies include:

  • Engaging in conversation with native speakers
  • Reading Korean news articles and books
  • Using grammar guides and textbooks
  • Practicing writing simple sentences and paragraphs

With dedication and practice, you’ll be able to master Korean grammar and confidently communicate in the language.

Conclusion: Embrace the Rich Culture of Korea

Korean is a fascinating and complex language that is steeped in rich cultural traditions. From its unique alphabet, Hangul, to its complex grammar system, Korean offers a wealth of learning opportunities for those who are interested in the language and culture of modern-day Korea.

As you embark on your Korean language learning journey, take time to appreciate and embrace the rich cultural heritage of the Korean people. Study the history of the Korean language and its unique script, Hangul. Immerse yourself in Korean culture by watching Korean movies and TV dramas, listening to K-pop music, and trying traditional Korean dishes.

The challenges you face as you learn Korean are opportunities to grow and to deepen your understanding of this fascinating and vibrant culture. With patience, persistence, and a love for language and culture, you can achieve fluency in Korean and enjoy all that this rich and dynamic culture has to offer.

In modern-day Korea, the importance of learning the language is emphasized in the global business and entertainment industries. With a growing number of Korean-speaking multinational companies, being able to speak Korean can open up new job opportunities, and allow you to communicate with a wider range of people. So, why not embrace the challenges and opportunities of learning Korean, and become a part of this dynamic and exciting culture!

Bootstrap Korean Grammar

We just released the Korean edition of Bootstrap Grammar:

Bootstrap Korean Grammar is a new way to learn Korean grammar. Starting from the beginning, the idea is progress in small self-contained steps (called ‘topics’). Each topic builds on the last, by incrementally adding new grammatical patterns, new vocabulary and lot of useful examples.

In total there are 185 grammar topics and 3,200 examples phrases.

The companion mobile application is now available called “BootStrap Korean Grammar”. The app contains all the content contained in this book – including 185 grammar topics and 3200 example phrases. And in additional, there is high quality Korean native-speaker audio for every example.

The companion iOS mobile app is available here: