25. Adjective Modifier

In this lesson, You will learn Korean adjective modifiers and how to use Korean adjectives to modify a noun in a sentence.

Korean Adjective Modifier img

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Adjective is Verb in Korean grammar

In conjugation lessons and a lot of tense lessons, you saw Korean adjectives work just like verbs and learned it’s called descriptive verbs. Then, what do you have to do when you want to use it as an adjective before a noun, not as a verb?


맛있 음식
tasty food


재밌 영화
a good movie


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Adjective Modifiers

Some words exists as an adjective modifier from the first place without any word stem. There is no rules, you just need to memorize them.


* the numbers, from 1 to 4 to show the amount before a noun, (eg, 4 persons) are very different than normal numbers.


English Korean
Word Stem Adverb Form
[Numbers] , , ,
Old / worn out / used


it’s 4 persons


은 버릴거에요
I’m going to dump worn out clothes


신발 샀어요
I bought new shoes

Adjective Conjugations

Adjectives before a noun use their own conjugation. I told you conjugations are everything and super important in Korean grammar and now you are seeing the second reason of them (first one was tense conjugations). They all use ‘ㄴ 받침’ or ‘은/는’ at the end. So it’s very clear to see if the word should be placed before a noun as an adjective or a verb.


Basic Form (하다 style) 해요 colloquial style
after a noun with 받침 after a noun without 받침
Root +
Root + Modifying conjugation
Root + 는 / 은 / 운
Root + Modifying conjugation
Be + Adjective = + ㄴ
= 예쁘다예쁜
= Pretty → Pretty
= +는 / +은
= 맛있다 → 맛있는
= Tasty → Tasty


저 오리 예뻐요 오리
That duck is prettyPretty duck
= root word + ㄴ (without 받침)


이 음식 맛있어요맛있 음식
This food is tastyDelicious food
= root word + 는 (with 받침)


이 체계는 과학적이예요과학적 체계
This system is scientific Scientific system
= 이다 adjective + ㄴ


Of course, there are some exceptions always. Yet, they use ‘ㄴ’ at the end of each word as a 받침 so you can recognize them easily. Some adjective modifiers don’t have a word stem. They are an adjective modifier from the first place.


English Korean
Word Stem Adverb Form
New (brand new) 새롭다 로운
Beautiful 아름답다 아름다운
Interesting 흥미롭다 흥미로운


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