It has been a crazy journey, but we arrive at the final group of irregular Korean verbs; the ㅅ irregular verb. These verbs are named after the final ㅅ consonant. Next to the ㅎ irregular verb, the ㅅ irregular verb has the weirdest conjugation Korean irregular verbs have to offer. The reason why I saved the craziest for last is also because the verbs of this group are less useful to beginners. Yet, they are important nonetheless. So let’s give them a look.
ㅅ Verb Associal Vowels
Theㅅ irregular verb adheres to the same basic principle as the ㄷ irregular verb or the ㅎ irregular verb. That means when you use a verb ending that starts with a vowel, the ㅅ disappears. You use the consonant verb endings, even though there is now just a vowel. However, if it were just that, then I wouldn’t have said that this group of verbs behaved in the weirdest way.
As you most likely know, vowels like to combine into a compound vowel when they meet and can such as is the case in 봐요. However, the ㅅ irregular verb never does that. It seems the ㅅ had a bad influence, because the vowels are repulsed by the idea. So you cannot combine the vowel. Let’s visualize this asocial behaviour:
Example: 잇다 = 잇 + 었어요 = 이 + 었어요 = 이었어요
However, there is more. Not all verbs with a ㅅ final consonant are irregular. Some are simply regular like these fine verbs: 벗다, 웃다 and 씻다.
Let’s Study Together
While I did say that the ㅅ irregular verbs are less required for those who are just getting their feet wet, you will eventually need to master this verb group. While it might have the weirdest conjugation of all Korean irregular verbs, it is still relatively easy to master. To help you on the way, here are a few ㅅ irregular verbs:
- 잇다 – To connect; to link
- 낫다 – To be cured; To be better
- 붓다 – To swell; To pour
- 긋다 – To draw (a line)
- 젓다 – To stir; To whip
- 짓다 – To name; To build; To write
Just remember to never combine the vowel of the verb stem, with the vowel of a verb ending. If you know any other ㅅ 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!