Adjectives & Adjective Modifier

What is the difference between ‘study’ and ‘smart’? Yes, study is an action and smart is a status. And also you need the verb ‘be’ for ‘smart’. However, it’s quite different in the Korean language. So, here is the quick question. Try to find the correct explanation for Korean adjectives.


  1. The Korean language doesn’t use be
  2. The Korean language uses an extra word (something like be) for verbs also
  3. Korean verbs and adjectives work in the same way




Korean language Doesn’t Use Be

Before we learn the Korean adjectives, let’s check how we do it in English to use adjectives. Imagine someone said ‘I smart’. Ironically, that’s way far from being smart. Why? because he didn’t use ‘be’. The verb be is extremely important in English.


Korean Language Course 07. Adjectives 1 img


Now, let’s see how the Korean grammar works.


Course 07. Adjectives 2 img


You may notice there is no ‘be’ verb. That’s right. The Korean language doesn’t use be for adjectives. If you think about it, it’s really simple, you can just say ‘I smart’ instead of ‘I am smart’.


Oh, by the way, it seems like we are using a verb right? That’s correct. The Korean language uses verbs and adjectives in the exact same form and the same method.  So, Korean adjectives are often called ‘descriptive verbs’ because they work like a verb. (However, that’s a very wrong explanation. Many Korean linguists say the Korean language has adjective but it’s just different from European languages)




An Extra Word

If you disassemble the words, then you can find that the Korean grammar actually uses some sort of extra word just like English ‘be’. But in this case, Korean grammar uses it for verbs and adjectives both.


Korean Language Course 07. Adjectives 3 img


해요 is a name tag that tells you ‘hey! This word is a verb! or…  might be an adjective’. Does it sound super familiar with what we’ve learned so far? That’s correct. It seems like markers 은/는 and 을/를.


The Korean grammar always uses many suffixes to tell you what is what, which is which. Korean verbs and adjectives are also the same. They use suffixes to tell you ‘This one is a verb or an adjective’. I think now you are getting to understand how the Korean language really works by now




Adjective Modifier in Korean Language

However, using adjectives in the Korean language isn’t always so easy. For example, in English, you can use adjectives right away before a noun like ‘a smart guy’ right? But in Korean, you have to change the form of adjectives to do that. We will call it an adjective modifier.


To understand this part better, you must read the Word Anatomy tutorial first.


Course 07. Adjectives 4 img


To make the adjective modifier, Korean grammar drops the ending and add ㄴ at the last syllable block. the pronunciation always ends with n (eg. yebbeun, chakhan). So, ‘ㄴ 받침’ is positioned to tell you ‘this one is a modifier, I’m describe the next word’. As long as you remember this ‘ㄴ 받침’ modifier, you can easily notice which word is a noun or a modifier even though you don’t know any word in a Korean sentence.




The Answer

There aren’t many differences between verbs and adjectives in the Korean grammar. Verbs and adjectives seem to always work in the same way.


However, It’s a huge misunderstanding that many people think the Korean language doesn’t have adjectives. That simple misunderstanding is based on the perspective of the European languages.


The National Institute of the Korean Language and many Korean linguists don’t agree with that. They define that The Korean language has a different conception of adjectives from European languages. It does have adjectives. So, the answer is…  every explanation was correct.





Adjectives in the Korean language might be super different from English adjectives. Then what about adverbs? Are they different also? Why don’t we jump into the next tutorial and find out? And before we go, if you liked this tutorial, join us in Patreon!



Jun Hamm

Author img

⠂Made in Korea
⠂Made of 100% Korean
⠂Adjusted as 100% Korean
⠂Ready to active Professor Mode
⠂Love to make people laugh as much as I love to teach

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun! Thanks for learning Korean with me! I really want to say I admire your enthusiasm and passion for learning languages. No one forced you to yet you are here on your own to expand your knowledge. I’m happy I’m a part of it ?

I spent years making all the tutorials and I really hope it’d be super duper helpful for you. Also, I should mention that this website has been possible thanks to so many people with a good heart. They are the second author of all tutorials! ?




This Course Was $15

$15, maybe it’s nothing that you can earn after a couple of hours of labor. Or, maybe you have to work for full days to earn it only because of where you were born. And $15, It’s the average price of Korean textbooks. Life is unfair. But that’s why we can help each other, we are helping each other.

This Is Why I Published My Textbook For Free

I didn’t make it possible alone. A lot of people helped me and encouraged me and, of course, support me. I really appreciate my supporters, Team Junicorns. If my tutorials are helpful or if you want to share the same dream, join the Team Junicorns and support me to keep going.

Contact / Follow Me

ig img


yt img


pt img


dc img
Join Korean Jun Community!

Go Team Junicorn!

Why Korean Jun?

Super Real Korean

Do you really use some words such as ‘a little boy’, ‘lions’ or ‘carrot’ everyday? So, I’m not going to teach those.

The Magical POWER

The ancient magical language from the far far land. Learn Korean and it’ll make you look 500% more charming.

No Fake, No False

Some wise man in the internet age said ‘Don’t believe the internet’. However, in Korean Jun, any tutorial is triple checked! Accurate than any textbooks.


Build Korean Brain

Instead of forcing you to memorize words. I’m going to make you understand how Korean grammar really works. Learn Korean grammar triple faster!

Super Duper High-Quality

This is not just an internet free learning material. I spent years for the Core Grammar course.