Korean Verbs – The Complete List of Passive, Action, Irregular, and Adjective Words

In this lesson, we will introduce you to Korean verbs! They are the most important part of most sentences in the Korean language, so you will want to learn and memorize as many different verbs as possible.

A person eating, watching a movie, holding a soccer ball, reading a book, and singing

Have fun learning these useful and common Korean verbs presented below! Because Korean verbs are typically listed with -다 added to their stems in dictionaries, we will also do so here.

Below is a free PDF guide that you can download and take with you:

Korean Verbs

Verbs are an important part of speech in Korean grammar. Learning Korean verbs can come off as challenging when you’re just starting. There are many different rules to follow, such as verb endings following the tenses (i.e., past tense, present tense, future tense), honorific form, verb stem, and a lot more. But there are ways you can use to learn them.

In Korea, a verb is called 동사 (dongsa). They have 4 different classifications, namely active, descriptive, existential, and copulas. All these verb classifications are made up of a verb stem and a suffix.

One thing unique about it is that once you get to have a lot of verb vocabulary and know how to conjugate them, you’ll be able to make your own simple Korean sentence. A Korean verb doesn’t need to have a subject to make it stand on its own. A Korean verb, when properly conjugated, can be a sentence on its own.

“Verbs” in Korean

“Verbs” in Korean are called 동사 (dongsa), while phrasal verbs are called 구동사 (gudongsa).

If you want to talk about linking verbs, you can say it as 연결 동사 (yeongyeol dongsa).

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Common Korean Verbs

Common Korean verbs are words that are often used when speaking or learning Korean. Below is a list of the most common Korean verbs.

to go (gada)
to sleep (jada)
to eat (meokda)
to walk (geotda)
to write (sseuda)
to read (ikda)
to give (juda)
to call (jeonhwahada)
to work (ilhada)
to study (gongbuhada)

Basic Korean Verbs

Basic Korean verbs are useful action words that you’ll need to learn as you begin learning Korean. These are action words that you can easily learn and use when speaking.

Here are some basic Korean verbs you can start with.

to do하다 (hada)
to come오다 (oda)
to go가다 (kada)
to see보다 (boda)
to know알다 (alda)
to drink마시다 (masida)
to hear, to listen듣다 (deutda)
to love사랑하다 (saranghada)
to hate/dislike싫어하다 (sireohada)
to say, to speak말하다 (malhada)
to feel bored심심하다 (simsimhada)
to be boring지루하다 (jiruhada)

Get “Korean Verbs” Free PDF Guide

Korean Verbs List

Below is a useful Korean verbs list that will help you build a simple Korean sentence. These are commonly used in conversations in South Korea. These verbs are in their dictionary form. If you want to verify their meaning, you can use these forms to look them up in the dictionary.

to go (gada)
to teach (gareuchida)
to point, to indicate (garikida)
to take, to carry (gajyeogada)
to bring (gayeooda)
to have (gajida)
to change (one’s clothes) (garaipda)
to change/transfer to (car, metro, train etc.) (garatada)
to close one’s eyes (gamda)
to appreciate, to thank (gamsahada)
to hide, to disguise (gamchuda)
to have (gatda)
to develop, to create (gaebalhada)
to collect; to achieve (geoduda)
to lie (geojitmal)
to worry (geokjeonghada)
to walk (geotda)
to hang (something on the wall) (geolda)
to go on foot, to walk (georeogada)
to come on foot (georeooda)
to experience, to undergo (gyeokda)
to endure, to bear, to stand (gyeondida)
to resolve (gyeolsimhada)
to be decided (gyeoljeongdwida)
to decide (gyeoljeonghada)
to marry (gyeolhonhada)
to experience (gyeongheomhada)
to calculate; to pay (gyesanhada)
to be continued (gyesokdwida)
to continue, to do continuously (gyesokhada)
to confess (gobaekhada)
to consider (goryeohada)
to choose, to select (goreuda)
to have a hard time, to suffer (gosaenghada)
to repair, to fix; to revise (gochida)
to study (gongbuhada)
to wait (gidarida)
to expect, to anticipate (gidaehada)
to remember (gieokhada)
to see the sights, to look around (gugyeonghada)
to seek; to get; to rescue, to save (guhada)
to roast, to grill, to bake (gupda)
to draw, to paint (geurida)
to stop, to drop, to quit (geumanduda)
to work (geunmuhada)
to dream (kumkuda)
to boil (kkeulida)
to finish (keutnada)
to exit (nagada)
to divide, to split; to share (nanuda)
to pay (naeda)
to go down (naeryeogada)
to come down (naeryeooda)
to put (something in) (neotda)
to sing a song (noraehada)
to endeavor, to strive (noryeokhada)
to play (nolda)
to go to; to attend (danida)
to close (datda)
to go through, to suffer (danghada)
to answer (daedaphada)
to add (deohada)
to take (a person) (deryeogada)
to bring, to fetch (deryeooda)
to be attended (by), to be accompanied (derida)
to arrive (dochakhada)
to run away (domanggada)
to help (dowajuda)
to take care, to look after (dolboda)
to help (dopda)
to become, to come to (dwida)
to fall, to drop; to fail (ddeoreojida)
to run, to dash (ddwida)
to hear, to listen (deutda)
to enter (deureooda)
to prepare, to arrange (maryeonhada)
to drink (masida)
to make (mandeulda)
to meet (mannada)
to touch (manjida)
to speak (malhada)
to entrust, to leave (matgida)
to tie, to fasten, to wear (maeda)
to stay (meomureuda)
to eat (meokda)
to not know (moreuda)
to gather, to collect (moeuda)
to be incapable, to not be able to (mothada)
to ignore, to neglect (musihada)
to ask (mutda)
to bite (mulda)
to ask (mureoboda)
to delay, to postpone; to shift blame (miruda)
to believe, to trust (mitda)
to change, to switch (bakkuda)
to change, to be changed (bakkwida)
to wish, to hope, to want (barada)
to look at (baraboda)
to oppose (bandaehada)
to get, to take, to receive (batda)
to discover, to find (balgyeonhada)
to develop, to advance (baldalhada)
to happen, to occur (balsaenghada)
to develop, to grow (baljeonhada)
to announce, to make public (balpyohada)
to visit (bangmunhada)
to throw away, to abandon (beorida)
to undress, take off clothes (beotda)
to make (money), to earn (money) (beolda)
to change (byeonhada)
to change (byeonhwahada)
to see, to watch (boda)
to sing; to call (for someone) (bureuda)
to ask for a favor, to request (butakhada)
to send (bonaeda)
to fry (bokda)
to blow (bulda)
to stick (buchida)
to compare (bigyohada)
to borrow, to lend (billida)
to fall (ppajida)
to remove, to subtract, to take out (ppaeda)
to learn (baeuda)
to pull; to select, to choose (ppopda)
to buy (sada)
to disappear (sarajida)
to use (sayonghada)
to love (saranghada)
to live (salda)
to examine, to search, to check (salpyeoboda)
to imagine (sangsanghada)
to think (saenggakada)
to be formed, to look (like) (saenggida)
to stand (seoda)
to hurry, rush (seodureuda)
to give a present (seonmulhada)
to choose, to select (seontaekhada)
to explain (seolmyeonghada)
to succeed (seonggonghada)
to introduce (sogaehada)
to shout, to yell (sorichida)
to rest, to relax, to take a day off (swida)
to start (sijakhada)
to make (somebody do); to order (sikida)
to have a meal (siksahada)
to wear (shoes, socks, etc.) (sinda)
to make a mistake (silsuhada)
to dislike (sileohada)
to fail (silpaehada)
to fight, to argue (ssauda)
to mix, to blend (seokda)
to chop, to slice (sseolda)
to write; to wear (hat, eyewear) (sseuda)
to wash (ssitda)
to hug, to hold (anda)
to sit (anda)
to know (alda)
to let somebody know, to inform (allida)
to check, to investigate; to recognize (araboda)
to promise (yaksokhada)
to get along; to match (eoullida)
to borrow; to gain, to get, to take (eotda)
to not have (eopda)
to remove, to get rid of (eopsaeda)
to travel (yeohaenghada)
to study, to research (yeonguhada)
to practice (yeonseubhada)
to open (yeolda)
to come (oda)
to cook (yorihada)
to exercise (undonghada)
to drive (unjeonhada)
to move (around) (umjigida)
to cry (ulda)
to laugh (utda)
to want (wonhada)
to mean (uimihada)
to be (ida)
to win (igida)
to move (house) (isahada)
to talk, chat (iyagihada)
to use (iyonghada)
to understand (ihaehada)
to work (ilhada)
to get up, to stand up (ireonada)
to read (ikda)
to lose, to be deprived of (ilta)
to lose something (ireobeorida)
to wear (ipda)
to forget (itda)
to forget (ijeobeorida)
to have (itda)
to sleep (jada)
to cut, to sever (jareuda)
to go well (jaldoeda)
to go wrong (jalmotdoeda)
to do wrong (jalmotada)
to do something well (jalhada)
to go to sleep, to fall asleep (jamdeulda)
to sleep (jamjada)
to catch, to hold (japda)
to be caught (japida)
to measure, to weigh (jaeda)
to write (down), to note (jeokda)
to call (jeonhwahada)
to arrange, to organize (jeongnihada)
to decide, to determine (jeonghada)
to investigate, to look into (josahada)
to be careful, to watch out (josimhada)
to doze off (jolda)
to graduate (joreopada)
to like (joahada)
to be sorry (joesonghada)
to give (juda)
to order (jumunhada)
to die (jukda)
to prepare (junbihada)
to enjoy, to have fun (jeulgida)
to increase, to grow (jeunggahada)
to lose, to be defeated (jida)
to pass (by) (jinagada)
to pass, to go by (jinada)
to spend one’s time; to get along (jinaeda)
to delete, to remove (jiuda)
to steam (jjida)
to take (a photo) (jjikda)
to attend, to participate (chamseokhada)
to find, to look for (chatda)
to take, to pack; to take care of (chaenggida)
to clean (cheongsohada)
to invite (chodaehada)
to congratulate (chukhahada)
to dance (chumchuda)
to depart (chulbalhada)
to cancel, to revoke (chwisohada)
to hit (chida)
to raise, to bring up, to grow (kiuda)
to take, to ride, to get on (tada)
to be born (taeeonada)
to go through; to communicate (tonghada)
to turn (an object); to twist (an object) (teulda)
to be wrong, to be incorrect (teullida)
to deep fry (twigida)
to sell (palda)
to give up, to abandon (pogihada)
to include, to contain (pohamhada)
to express, to show (pyohyeonhada)
to untie, to unfasten; to solve (pulda)
to bloom, to blossom (pida)
to avoid, to escape (pihada)
to need (pillyohada)
to do (hada)
to settle, to solve (haegyeolhada)
to confirm, to check (hwaginhada)
to regret (huhoehada)
to stir (hwijeotda)
to flow, to run; to elapse (heureuda)
to shake, to swing (heundeulda)

Korean Regular Verbs

Korean regular verbs are called 규칙동사 (gyuchikdongsa) in Korean. They are easy to conjugate. This means they just follow the verb conjugation patterns when you need to conjugate them. In order to do that, you’ll need to learn the different Korean verb conjugation patterns.

How to conjugate Korean verbs

Verbs in Korean are conjugated by dropping the 다 from the verb stem or the dictionary form of the word and adding the appropriate conjugation patterns or Korean verb endings. The conjugation patterns depend on verb tense (past tense, present, and future).

Let’s take the following words:

가다 (to go)

보다 (to see)

배우다 (to learn)

만나다 (to meet)

먹다 (to eat)

공부하다 (to study)

These are regular verbs as they can be easily conjugated using different Korean verb conjugations. The character 다 (da) is removed, and the correct conjugation is added with the last vowel of the verb considered. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

Here are the examples of the verbs above with their Korean conjugation:

가다 (to go) – 가요

보다 (to see) – 봐요

배우다 (to learn) – 배워요

만나다 (to meet) – 만나요

먹다 (to eat) – 먹어요

공부하다 (to study) – 공부해요

It’s also good to note that the verbs are also conjugated based on speech levels. There are conjugations that are in honorific form.

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Korean Present Tense Verbs List

In this section, we’ve listed the common Korean verbs with their conjugations in the present tense.

EnglishKorean Present tense
to go가다 (gada)가요 (gayo)
to sleep자다 (jada)자요 (jayo)
to eat먹다 (meokda)먹어요 (meogeyo)
to walk걷다 (geotda)걸어요 (georeoyo)
to write쓰다 (sseuda)써요 (sseoyo)
to read읽다 (ikda)읽어요 (ilgeoyo)
to give주다 (juda)줘요 (jwoyo)
to call전화하다 (jeonhwahada)전화해요 (jeonhwahaeyo)
to work일하다 (ilhada)일해요 (ilhaeyo)
to study공부하다 (gongbuhada)공부해요 (gongbuhaeyo)
to do하다 (hada)해요 (haeyo)
to come 오다 (oda)와요 (wayo)
to see보다 (boda)봐요 (bwayo)
to know알다 (alda)알아요 (arayo)
to drink마시다 (masida)마셔요 (masyeoyo)
to hear, to listen듣다 (deutda)들어요 (deureoyo)
to love사랑하다 (saranghada)사랑해요 (saranghaeyo)
to hate/dislike싫어하다 (sireohada)싫어해요 (sireohaeyo)
to say, to speak말하다 (malhada)말해요 (malhaeyo)
to feel bored심심하다 (simsimhada)심심해요 (simsimhaeyo)
to be boring지루하다 (jiruhada)지루해요 (jiruhaeyo)

Korean Past Tense Verbs List

In this section, we’ve listed the common Korean verbs with their conjugations in the past tense.

EnglishKorean Past Tense
to go가다 (gada)갔어요 (gasseoyo)
to sleep자다 (jada)잤어요 (jasseoyo)
to eat먹다 (meokda)먹었어요 (meogeosseoyo)
to walk걷다 (geotda)걸었어요 (georeosseoyo)
to write쓰다 (sseuda)썼어요 (sseosseoyo)
to read읽다 (ikda)읽었어요 (ilgeosseoyo)
to give주다 (juda)줬어요 (jwosseoyo)
to call전화하다 (jeonhwahada)전화했어요 (jeonhwahaesseoyo)
to work일하다 (ilhada)일했어요 (ilhaesseoyo)
to study 공부하다 (gongbuhada)공부했어요 (gongbuhaesseoyo)
to do하다 (hada)했어요 (haesseoyo)
to come오다 (oda)왔어요 (wasseoyo)
to see보다 (boda)봤어요 (bwasseoyo)
to know 알다 (alda)알았어요 (arasseoyo)
to drink마시다 (masida)마셨어요 (masyesseoyo)
to hear, to listen듣다 (deutda)들었어요 (deureosseoyo)
to love사랑하다 (saranghada)사랑했어요 (saranghaesseoyo)
to hate/dislike싫어하다 (sireohada)싫어했어요 (sireohaesseoyo)
to say, to speak말하다 (malhada)말했어요 (malhaesseoyo)
to feel bored심심하다 (simsimhada)심심했어요 (simsimhaesseoyo)
to be boring지루하다 (jiruhada)지루했어요 (jiruhaesseoyo)

Irregular Korean Verbs

Korean irregular verbs are known as 불규칙 동사 (bulgyuchik dongsa) in Korean grammar. They change their spelling or form when they’re conjugated. They usually have 받침 (batchim) in the last syllable of their stem. They are classified according to the 받침 (batchim) they have. However, it’s also important to know that not all verbs with their stem ending in 받침 (batchim) are irregular.

4 people eating pizza on a table and laughing

Korean irregular verbs are usually given special rules when using a certain verb conjugation pattern. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

Below are lists of the different Korean irregular verbs. These verbs are also in their dictionary form.

ㄷ Korean irregular verbs

These Korean verbs have their stem end with ㄷ 받침 (batchim).

to walk (geotda)
to load (sitda)
to listen (deutda)
to ask (mutda)
to realize (kkaedatda)

ㄹ Korean irregular verbs

These Korean verbs have their stem end with ㄹ 받침(batchim).

to play (nolda)
to carry (deulda)
to make (mandeulda)
to live (salda)
to know (alda)
to open, unlock (yeolda)
to cry (ulda)
to sell (palda)

ㅂKorean irregular verbs

These Korean verbs have their stem end with ㅂ 받침 (batchim).

to help (dopda)
to hate (mipda)
to envy (bureopda)

르 Korean irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 르 as their verb stem ending.

to divide (gareuda)
to choose (goreuda)
to roll (gureuda)
to bring up (gireuda)
to carry (nareuda)
to press (nureuda)
to flow (heureuda)
to stab (jjireuda)
to cut (jareuda)
to climb (oreuda)
to hurry (seodureuda)
to call (bureuda)
to apply, put on (bareuda)
to not knsa (moreuda)
to put around (dureuda)

ㅅ Korean irregular verbs

These Korean verbs have their stem end with ㅅ 받침 (batchim).

to recover (natda)
to build or construct (jitda)
to rule (geutda)
to join or connect something (itda)

으 Korean irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 으 as their verb stem ending.

to try (aesseuda)
to write (sseuda)
to close (kkeuda)
to rise (tteuda)
to gather (moeuda)

ㅎ Korean irregular verbs or adjectives

These Korean verbs have their stem end with ㅎ 받침 (batchim).

to be yellow (norata)
to be red (ppalgata)
to be black (kkamata)
to be white (hayata)
to be that way, to be so (geureota)
to be a certain way (eotteota)

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“To do” in Korean

“To do” in Korean is 하다 (hada). This verb is considered a regular verb.

You’ll often see the word 하다 (hada) in many Korean words, and these are called 하다 (hada) verbs.

A kid sleeping and waking up from the bed

The verb 하다 (hada) is usually added to words that are nouns to make them a verb. For example, the words 걱정하다 (geokjeonghada | to worry), 공부하다 (gongbuhada | to study), and 노래하다 (noraehada | to sing). When 하다 (hada) is removed from these words, what’s left is a noun: 걱정 (geokjeong | worry), 공부(gongbu | study), and 노래 (norae | song).

Here are some other examples of words made up of a noun and 하다 (hada):

to worry (geokjeonghada)
to study (gongbuhada)
to sing (noraehada)
to answer (daedapada)
to speak (malhada)
to deliver (baedalhada)
to do the laundry (ppallaehada)
to ask a favor (butakada)
to love (saranghada)

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Korean Adjectives

Korean adjectives are called 형용사 (hyeongyongsa). They are also known as descriptive verbs as they function to modify nouns. This is because most of them come from verbs. Korean adjectives are used to describe people, things, events, or experiences.

However, a Korean adjective may originate from a verb, but it can never function as an action verb.

Korean Adjectives List

Below is a Korean adjectives list to help you describe people, things, events, or experiences.

to be glad, happy (gippeuda)
to be angry (hwanada)
to be sad (seulpeuda)
to be sick, painful (apeuda)
to be scared (museopda)
to be annoyed (jjajeungnada)
to be surprised (nollada)
to be shy (sujupda)
to be interesting (jaemiitda)
to not be interesting (jaemieopda)
to be loud, noisy (sikkeureopda)
to be hot (tteugeopda)

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Korean Descriptive Verb

Korean descriptive verbs are also known as Korean adjectives. Adjectives in Korean look and act similar to verbs. However, sometimes, the conjugations will be different based on whether it’s a verb or an adjective.

You can know if it’s considered a verb or adjective by looking it up in a Korean dictionary such as Naver. Typically if the word is an adjective in English, it’s often an adjective in Korean.

Korean Descriptive Verb List

You’ll learn some of the many Korean descriptive verbs in this section. Below is a Korean descriptive list of words you can use and learn to get started.

to be easy/convenient편하다 (pyeonhada)
to be hard힘들다 (himdeulda)
to be close (to someone)친하다 (chinhada)
to be enjoyable즐겁다 (jeulgeopda)
to be scary무섭다 (museopda)
to be glad기쁘다 (gippeuda)
to be lonely외롭다 (oeropda)
to be happy행복하다 (haengbokada)

Korean Passive Verbs

Korean passive verbs are called 피동사 (pidongsa). The common suffixes to make a verb in its passive form are 되 or 돼, 이, 히, 리, and 기.

The suffix 되 (doe) or 돼 (dwae) are used to make a verb ending in 하다 (hada) into passive.

For example:

사용하다 (to use)

비교하다 (to compare)

When they are used as a passive verb, they’ll have the following forms:

사용되다 (to be used)

비교되다 (to be compared)

A postman running and singing while walking

The other suffixes 이, 히, 리, and 기, are used for non-하다 verbs. For example,

보다 (to see)

잊다 (to forget)

열다 (to open)

잠그다 (to lock)

They take the following passive forms:

보다 – 보이다 (to be seen)

잊다 – 잊히다 (to be forgotten)

열다 – 열리다 (to be opened)

잠그다 – 잠기다 (to be locked)

How many verb tenses are there in Korean?

Similar to the English language, Korean verbs also have the 3 main verb tenses. They’re the present tense, past tense, and future tense.

Korean verbs also have progressive tense and perfect tense. These tenses also take an honorific form. If you’re learning Korean verbs, you might also want to learn the honorific form of the verbs according to their tenses.

For example, -습니다 (-seumnida) and -ㅂ니다 (-bnida). 습니다 (-seumnida) is used if the verb ends in a consonant. On the other hand, -ㅂ니다 (-bnida) is used if the verb ends in a vowel.

How are Korean verbs formed based on the tenses?

Korean verbs are formed based on tenses by verb conjugation. If you want to learn about Korean verb conjugation, you can check our resource here.

How do you say the tenses in Korean?

There are different words used for the English word “tense.” However, in this section, we’ll talk about the Korean word used for the verb tenses.

The Korean word for tense is 시제 (sije).

Korean Verb Tenses

Below are Korean words for the different verb tenses (present, past tense, and future tense).

Present Tense (hyeonjae sije)
Past Tense (gwageo sije)
Future Tense (mirae sije)

The other verb tense includes the following:

Progressive Tense (jinhaeng sije)
Perfect Tense (wallyo sije)

Wrap Up

For the duration of this lesson, you did not need to stress over how to actually put these verbs to use. For this, you would need to know and use Korean conjugations. If you want to get started on forming sentences around these Korean verbs, your next step should be to learn the conjugations, which you can do right here!

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34 thoughts on “Korean Verbs – The Complete List of Passive, Action, Irregular, and Adjective Words”

    1. Hello, Lou! 있다 expresses the existence or location of something, which could be translated as ‘to be located in/on’ in English.
      [place]에 A이/가 있다 or A이/가 [place]에 있다=A is in/on [place]
      e.g. 책상 위에 컴퓨터가 있어요 =The computer is on the desk. 제이미가 집에 있어요 =Jamie is at home.
      I hope this helped!

    1. Thanks for the comment! ^^ You can download the PDF version of the Korean Verbs – The Complete List of Passive, Action, Irregular, and Adjective Words article by clicking the red button inside the article that says “Get Korean Verbs Free PDF Guide.” You’ll then have to enter a working email address since the free lesson will be sent to your email. Kindly check your Promotions or Junk Folder since the emails can sometimes be placed there.

      For more Korean lessons, you can also check our blog and visit our YouTube channel for articles and videos with great Korean content.

        1. Hi! When ㄷ,ㅌ,ㅅ,ㅆ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅎ are used as Batchim (a final consonant), it’s pronounced like “t”. So 거짓말하다’s 짓 is pronounced like ‘jit’. ^^

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