Since I’m studying Korean myself, I thought it would be useful to do a ‘Word Of The Week’ feature – as part of the ‘Korea Corner’ feature on my own blog – to help others learning Korean and to keep on top of my own skills, but I thought it was worth sharing with you guys too! The first word we’ll be learning is ‘공부하다’, as it’s one of the words you’ll use the most – since you are studying.

공부하다 is the verb for ‘to study’, with 공부 meaning ‘study’ and 하다 being the verb for ‘to do’. We’ll go into uses of 하다 at a later date.

So now you know the meaning of 공부하다, let’s conjugate the verb!

Conjugation is basically just when you change verb endings etc to change the meaning as appropriate, e.g. tense and honorifics. Since we’re only learning the basics of 공부하다 here, I’ll use polite language.

Study korean

Note that only the ending has changed, and you can use these conjugations with any verb with the 하다 ending. For example, a verb you likely all know, 사랑하다. It would then be, 사랑해요 (present), 사랑했어요 (past), and 사랑할거예요 (future). The verbs on their own can reference anyone, so 공부해 can mean ‘I’m studying’, ‘He’s studying’, ‘She’s studying’ etc, all depending on context. If you wanted to specifically say ‘I am studying’, it would be ‘나는 공부해요.’

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Add a question mark, and it becomes a question. So ‘공부해’ (studying) becomes ‘공부해?’ (studying?). Even without indicating who the question is directed at, it usually means ‘Are you studying?’. But if you’d like to be specific, ‘Are you studying?’ is ‘너는 공부해요?’. Also, tip, if you don’t know how to use informal language you can either just remove 요 from the end of the word or change 요 > 용. It’s a little cuter, and usually something girls or ‘flower boys’ use.

So with just the chart above, you can say, ‘I/he/she/they/etc are studying’, ‘Is he/she/they/etc studying?’, ‘I/he/she/they/etc were studying’, ‘Was he/she/they/etc studying?’, ‘I/he/she/they/etc are going to study’ and ‘Is he/she/they/etc going to study?’ and so on.

That’s the basics of the verb 공부하다, and if anyone has any questions, just comment below and I’ll be happy to help you!

So, now that you’ve learned 공부하다…공부할거예요? (Are you going to study?) 😛

Until next week!



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Freya is the founder of UnitedKpop, steering the ship since 2011. She is a full time graphic designer with lots of love for her two cats. You can see Freya's portfolio at