2 In Korean learning journey (:/ Korean Lessons

Korean Causative Forms

Since I have nothing in particular to blog about, let me share with you what I am studying today – Korean Causative Forms.

As you may know, Korean is a language that is highly dependent on inflection (modification/marking of a word to reflect grammatical information) and to get the causative form out of a verb, suffixes are used. These suffixes (이, 히, 리, 기, 우, and 추) are added behind action/adjective verbs to change it to the causative form. Since there is no particular rule as to which suffix are added to which verbs, you have to memorise them (:

I’ve complied a table for the transformation of adjective verbs.

형영사 (adjectives) 사역형 (causative form) 명사형 (noun)
높다 to be tall 높이다 to lengthen 높임
낮다 to be short 낮추다 to shorten 낮춤
넓다 to be wide 넓히다 to widen 넓힘
좁다to be narrow 좁히다 to narrow 좁힘
늘다 to be increasing/ improving 늘리다 to increase/ improve 늘림
줄다 to be decreasing 줄이다 to decrease 줄임
크다 to be big 커우다 to bring up 커움

 Of course the actual list will be longer, but that’s just an example.


Anw, since I am blogging about what I’m learning today, here’s a grammar structure that I’ve picked up

~ 기 마련이다: ‘be supposed to/ it is natural to…’

This pattern indicates that a certain situation is destined to take place or that it’s occurence is natural under the particular circumstances of the sentence.

예) 사람은 누구나 죽기 마련이다.  [it is natural that people will die]


On a side note, I’ve been keeping myself busy with the ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ vampire series by Charlaine Harris. It is a rather long series, currently at 8 books, with the 9th due this year. It’s enjoyable, but not yet so addictive.

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  • Reply
    12 January, 2009 at 6:10 PM

    Actually this is really useful for me hehe 😀

    I never seem to catch how Korean makes derived causatives. Not to say I don’t know derived causatives when I see them, but some forms of derivatives are mind-boggling because like you said, there is no fixed rule of adding the suffixes. Mind teaching me? 😛

    On the other hand, paraphrased causatives and the 시키다 adding causatives are also common in Korean.

    • Reply
      12 January, 2009 at 9:55 PM

      Hi Jim! (:
      haha glad you find this useful! (: Yeah there are so many suffixes in Korean. Perhaps I will write up more about other suffixes another time
      I’m not good enough yet.. but I’m sure we can always help each other out 😀

      I think the best way to remember them is to read up more, in that way you will be able to remember which suffixes goes with which verbs.

      this site has a longer list Not sure if you have seen this before though (: Hope it’s of help

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