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I’ve already discussed two irregular verbs, let’s add another Korean irregular verb group into the mix. The next group of irregular verbs is known as the ㅂ irregular verb. The batchim ㅂ gives them their name. The consonant undergoes quite the transformation when it meets an ending starting with a vowel. Let’s take a closer look.

ㅂ Transformation, Go!

The ㅂ irregular verb group is a pretty important one since you’ll learn quite a lot of them when you are a beginner. So even if you are just a beginner you really need to understand these irregular verbs. Yet, let me assure you: they aren’t that difficult. Their quirk is pretty easy to understand.

[pullquote-left]When a verb ending starts with a vowel, the ㅂ transforms into a syllable; either 우 or 오.*[/pullquote-left]

Like with the ㅡ irregular verb, these verb start acting up when confronted with vowels. The ㅂ irregular verb, will start acting up with all potential vowel endings, not just effective vowel endings. This can make it confusing with verb endings such as (으)니까, but more on that later. The rule is simple when a verb ending starts with a vowel, the ㅂ transforms into a syllable; either 우 or 오. Though the ㅂ of only 돕다 and  곱다 changes into 오.

However, that isn’t everything to it. After the transformation you need to treat these verbs as if they had a vowel ending stem. Thus verb endings will then use their “no batchim” endings. A little visualizing might clear this up.

Example: 맵다 = + (으)니까 = 매우 + (으)니까 = 매우 + 니까 = 매우니까

Unlike the earlier ㅡ irregular verbs and ㄹ irregular verbs, not all verbs with a batchim ㅂ are irregular! 입다, 좁다, 씹다 and 잡다 might seem like ㅂ irregular verbs, but they are not. They are simply regular verbs!

Let’s Study Together

This irregular verb group is pretty important from an early point in your Korean language adventure so you will need to master them early. You simply can’t do without them in Korean.Here are a few important ㅂ irregular verbs:

However, as mentioned be aware that not all verbs with a batchim ㅂ are irregular. However, the ones in this list are all irregular. If you know any other ㅂ irregular verb you think ought to be part of this roster, please let us know in the comments, via social media or Korean Study Group Facebook group. That way we can update our verb lists and you’ll help others at the same time!

ㅂ Irregular Verb List

*곱다 and 돕다 are the two ㅂ irregular verbs where the ㅂ transforms into 오 instead of 우.

한국어 Meaning
덥다 To be hot
춥다 To be cold
쉽다 To be easy
어렵다 To be difficult
맵다 To be spicy
곱다* To be lovely; To be soft
가볍다 To be light [weight]
무섭다 To be scary, to be frightening
싱겁다 To be bland [taste]
귀엽다 To be cute
줍다 To pick up
무겁다 To be heavy [weight]
돕다* To help
눕다 To lie down
당황스럽다 To feel embarrassed
변덕스럽다 To be unpredictable, to be capricious
믿음직스럽다 To be reliable, to be trustworthy
복스럽다 To be pleasant
고맙다 To be thankful
가깝다 To be close, to be near
아깝다 To begrudge; To spare no cost, to hold dear
새롭다 To be new
즐겁다 To be pleasant
아름답다 To be beautiful
더럽다 To be dirty
시끄럽다 To be loud, to be noisy
어둡다 To be dark
능청스럽다 To be cunning
가엽다 To feel pity
Irregular Verbs: ㅂ Irregular Verb
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An overview on the ㅂ irregular verb conjugation.
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