Making Question in Korean
Korean interrogative sentence is super easy to make with 해요 speech style. Follow next steps.
- Make a sentence
- Add a question mark at the end
- Celebrate dance
- Now, make every sentence into questions to bother Koreans.
Oh man, so easy. That’s it. That’s all you need to know for making a question in Korean. But, I can’t finish this lesson just like that, so I will give you awesome tips for natural Korean and also, it’s really helpful to understand Korean.
Korean grammar use ‘person’s name + title’ instead of pronouns for 2nd person / 3rd person subject and object. So, if you ask a question like that, the subject can mean ‘you, he, she’ at same time. You must figure out what’s what by reading context.
준씨는 영화 보고 있어요
Jun is watching a movie
→ 준씨는 영화 보고 있어요?
→ Are (Jun / you / he) watching a movie?
= Sounds so nice and polite. So good.
나탈리아씨는 식사 했어요
Natalia had a meal
→ 나탈리아씨는 식사 했어요?
→ Did (Natalia / you / she) have a meal?
은영씨는 커피 좋아해요
Eunyoung likes coffee
→ 은영씨는 커피 좋아해요?
→ Dose (Eunyoung / you / she) like coffee?
Korean interrogative sentences often drop a subject in a sentence. It has simple rules. It drops a subject especially when the subject is 2nd person. But remember, the dropped subject will be 1st person when the sentence is not a question.
TV 보고 있어요
(I) am watching TV
→ TV 보고 있어요?
→ Are (you) watching TV
(I) am busy
→ Are (you) busy?
(I) ate something
→ 뭐 먹었어요?
→ What did (you) eat?
= 뭐 means ‘what’ but sometimes it means ‘something’
(I) am Korean
→ 한국 사람이에요?
→ Are (you) Korean?
(I) have some time
→ 시간 있어요?
→ Do (you) have time?
Question with Have to
But when you ask what you have to do or will do, it can mean 1st person too. You should read the context on each sentence. If you want to make your words very clear, then just don’t drop anything! Easy!
(I / we / you) have to do this
→ 이거 해야돼요?
→ do (I / we / you) have to do this?
이거 꼭 먹어야되요
(I / we / you) have to eat this
→ 이거 꼭 먹어야 되요?
→ do (I / we / you) have to eat this?
→ 이거 먹어요?
→ Should (I / we) eat it?
You Should Remember This
Formal honorific Korean speech style 합니다 use other conjugations for making questions. But, you don’t have many chance to hear it or speak it in a daily life much because 해요 style is already respectful but also friendly.
Are you busy?
= sounds a bit cold. 합니다 style is too formal and cold often.
TV 보고 있습니까?
Are you watching TV?
= sounds like your boss has a talk with you. like ‘you’re watching fucking TV in an office?’
Many Korean students learn 입니까? / 합니까 questions but I really don’t suggest you to learn it at first because it makes a whole different nuance than the question you want to make. Native Koreans really don’t use 합니다 style in casual conversation.