L1-G: is Y

Structure:  Noun + 이에요/예요.

This article will cover the sentence structure  “is Y”

We’re just going to look at the behind part of the sentence. Ongoing lesson will cover how to add more description into your sentence from “is Y” to saying specifically “X is Y” which we will need to learn the subject marker.

The structure basically is very simple. You just add a noun then add the ending “이에요” or  “예요”.

Add the ending “이에요” if the noun ends with a consonant (eg. ㄴ,ㄱ,ㅁ….etc).

Add the ending “예요”  if the noun ends with a vowel or y+vowel or double vowel  (eg. ㅏ,ㅗ,ㅠ,ㅚ …etc).

How it works:

 If say you hold a book in your hand, and someone asked you what is it that you are holding, you would reply “a book”. In korean it’ll be translated to “is book”.

so from the vocab list,  book in korean is called 책 . Since  책 ends with a consonant of “ㄱ” we will add the ending “이에요”.

Therefore it’ll be :  책이에요.   (is book).

You can go one step further by saying its a “korean book” . Korean (language) is 한국어 . Description of the book is added in front of the noun.

Therefore it’ll be: 한국어 책이에요. (is korean language book)

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If say you go to a korean food stall, and you see some “fermented cabbage” and you don’t know what it is. You ask the waitress and she told you “its kimchi” (is kimchi). [kimchi is a korean sidedish food but koreans really make use of kimchi to make other things like fried kimchi rice, kimchi soup, kimchi pizza]

Kimchi written in hangeul is 김치.  Since 김치  ends with a vowel “ㅣ” we will add the ending “예요”.

Therefore it’ll be : 김치예요. (is kimchi)

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The use of this sentence structure does not only covers things and nouns in general.

Say you meet a person, and in introducing yourself, you want to say that you’re a student.

Student in korean is 학생 . Since 학생 ends with a consonant ㅇ thus we will add the ending “이에요”

Therefore it’ll be: 학생이에요.  (is student)

You can also use that to say about other people that you want to describe. Like to answer the question of “whats your friend’s occupation”, you can also use 학생이에요. (is student). We’ll incorporate subject marker later to denote the specific thing your are talking about later.

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If  a person come up to you and ask what’s your name, you can use this sentence structure to reply.

Say my name is Mark, which let’s make it interesting by writing in hangeul that is 마크. Since it ends with a vowel “ㅡ” we will add the ending “예요”.

Therefore it’ll be: 마크예요. (is Mark)

 Note: the honorific form of 이에요/예요 is 입니다 (pronounced im-ni-da cause when ㅂ is preceed with 니다, it changes to “m” sound) if it ends with consonant and ~ㅂ니다 if ends in vowel

Further notes: The opposite of 이에요/예요 is Noun이(vowel)/가(consonant) 아니예요.  [eg. 책이 아니예요. (this) is not a book. ] .

Try it on your own:

1) Use this sentence to introduce yourself (your name).

2) Add the appropriate ending both using 이에요/예요 and Noun이/가 아니예요.

  • 라면 (ramen)
  • 대학 (university)
  • 친구 (friend)
  • 교회 (church)
  • 볼펜  (ballpoint pen)

3) Try identifying things in your room, you can use google translate to find the word.

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2 Responses

  1. you can comment here with your answers if you want

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