41. How Do Questions

In this lesson, you will learn how to make How Do questions with ‘How’ 어떻게.

Korean How Do Questions img

How Do Questions with 하다 Verb

어떻게 is an interrogative for methods or manners. English use ‘How’ for amount, quality and method at same time. Korean grammar separates them into two.

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You must not drop the subject to say ‘How + Be adjective’ in Korean. But, the translation in Korean can very different. ‘어떻게 + adjective’ actually means ‘how can it be + adjective’. Quite aggressive.


Basic 해요 style Where Question
외계인을 키워요 어떻게 외계인을 키워요?
I raise aliens How do (you) raise aliens?

이건 어떻게 먹어요?
How do (you) eat this?
= Verb


경복궁 어떻게 가요?
How can (I) go to 경복 palace?
= Verb


어떻게 이게 이뻐요?
How is this pretty?
= How (do you think) this is pretty?
= How can it be pretty?
= Be + Adjective

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‘What About’ Question

어떻게 해요 Question also means ‘What about someone or something?’. In this case, particle 은 or 는 should be used as an object marker. Normally (noun)은 어떻게 해요 question refers a known object.


준씨는 어떻게 해요?
= What about me?
= What should Jun do?


코끼리는 어떻게 해요?
= What about the elephants?

How Do Questions with 이다 Verb

어떻게 이다 question can’t be formed ‘How is (Subject)’. It needs a subject and an object both in a sentence. It means ‘How can A be B?’ or ‘How is A B?’. This phrase refutes an already mentioned statement, usually.


이다 do verb or adjective works same as 하다 verb.


Basic 해요 style Where Question
외계인이에요 어떻게 이게 외계인이에요?
It’s an alien How is this an alien?


어떻게 코끼리예요? (Wrong)
How is an elephant? (Wrong)


어떻게 이게 코끼리예요?
How is this an elephant?
= Be + Noun


어떻게 이게 지적이에요?
How is this intelligent?
= How can it be intelligent?
= Be + Adjective


어떻게 붙여요?
How do you glue it?
= Verb

How Do Questions with 있다 Verb

어떻게 있다 question is used when you ask about How + location. it’s very similar to 어떻게 이다 question. 어떻게 있다 question for possession can sound unnatural.


Basic 해요 style Where Question
외계인이 여기 있어요 어떻게 외계인이 여기 있어요?
An alien is here How is an alien here?


어떻게 컴퓨터 있어요? (Wrong)
How do you have a computer? (Wrong)
= Possession


어떻게 이게 여기 있어요?
How is this here?
= How can this be here?
= Location


어떻게 준씨가 여기 있어요?
How are you here?
= How can you be here?
= It’s a common Korean phrase that native Koreans say when they encounter someone who they didn’t expect to see in a particular place.