In this edition of our Word of the Week feature we’ll be looking at how to say we are a student and also at some examples within the topic area. Let’s get studying!
The simple Korean word for ‘student’ is 학생 (hak-saeng). But that’s not enough to make a sentence! You need to say, “전 학생 입니다,” (jeon hak-saeng im-ni-da). Let’s break it down…
저 (jeo) – In polite language, this means ‘I’.
은/는 (eun/neun) – This is a topic marking particle. In simple terms, it just means that you add this to the end of a noun to show that this is the main topic of the sentence. Here, for instance, you use it with 저 to show that it is you who is the student, not anybody else. 는 is the basic form but if the noun (here it is 저) ends in a vowel, you can shorten it and just add ㄴ. (Other examples: We – 우리 (u-ri) – 우리는 (u-ri-neun) – 우린 (u-rin) / I (informal) 나 (na) – 나는 (na-neun) – 난 (nan) )
학생 – As we have just learned, this means ‘student’.
입니다 – This verb used to formally introduce yourself. In this example, it translates as ‘I am (a student)’.
Now you know how to say you are a student, perhaps you’d need to know how to say what it is that you study. We use this template sentence; “한국어 공부해요.” (han-gu-geo gong-bu-hae-yo) This means, “I study Korean.”
공부하다 (gong-bu-ha-da) – To study.
한국어 (han-gu-geo) – Korean language.
Here are some more useful words you might want to use…
선생님 (seon-saeng-nim) – This is how you should address your teacher. 선생 means ‘teacher’ and 님 is a term of formality.
숙제 (sook-je) – homework
시험 (shi-heom) – exam
도서관 (do-seo-gwan) – library
책 (chaek) – book/notebook
Person A: 불고기 먹을래? / Do you want to eat bulgogi?
Person B: 아니, 공부하야 돼… 도서관에 가. / No, I have to study. I’m going to the library.
Person A: 숙제 너무 많나? / Do you have a lot of homework?
Person B: 응, 그래. / Yeah, that’s right.
There was a lot of vocabulary in this lesson, but the best way to learn it all is practising for a few minutes every day, to keep the words in your mind. You could learn in all in one big go but the chances are that you wouldn’t remember more than half of the words by next week!
Let us know how your Korean studies are going and if there are any topics you’d like to see covered here.