Korean irregular verbs are pretty simple and straightforward when compared to the irregular verbs in other languages. Luckily, there are only seven groups of irregular verbs in Korean. All verbs within one of those groups follow the pattern of that group. So to properly use Korean irregular verbs, you’ll just have to learn 7 additional rules. The first group we’ll discuss is the ㅡ irregular verb group.

The ㅡ Korean irregular verbs, known in Korean as either ㅡ 불규칙 or 으 불규칙, might seem like a pretty difficult group at first. However, since there are no exceptions, all verbs with the appearance are irregular verbs, it is the most straightforward group to learn. The rules you need to learn, however, might give you some pause until you have mastered it. After that, though, it is actually pretty simple all in all.

An example:

가: 편지를 썼어요?

나: 네, 그리고 벌써 보냈어요.

A: Did you write a letter?

B: Yes, and I already sent it.

How To Use

However, to properly use ㅡ irregular verbs, you need to learn when it acts irregular and how to then properly use them. There is not a lot to it, but you do need to keep a few rules in mind. First, we’ll answer when a ㅡ irregular verb starts acting up. It happens whenever you want to use it with a verb ending that starts with 아/어. So, it happens with -아/어서, -아/어 주세여, -아/어하다, etc. With all other verb endings, these verbs behave like any other verb.

Now the question that remains is what do they do when you use a verb ending starting with 아/어. First, you remove the letter that gives the name to the verb group, the ㅡ. Then, you take a look at the syllable that comes before the syllable that had the vowel ㅡ. This results in either of three scenarios:

  1. The preceding syllable contains the vowel ㅏ or ㅗ.
  2. The preceding syllable does not contain either ㅏ or ㅗ.
  3. There is no preceding syllable.

According to those three scenarios, you will do either of these three things respectively:

  1. You use the version of the verb ending starting with 아 (scenario 1).
  2. You use the version of the verb ending starting with 어 (scenario 2 and 3).

That everything the ㅡ irregular verbs is about. Once you completely memorized those simple rules, you won’t bat an eye when faced with a verb of this Korean irregular verb group. Just keep in mind that verbs whose final syllable is a 르 are not part of the ㅡ irregular verb group. Instead, those verbs are 르 irregular verbs and they have a different set of rules.

List Of Common ㅡ Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are typically important to learn because often they are very common in daily conversations. To help you out, we have provided a list of common ㅡ irregular verbs. We hope this list can help you. Also, if you happen to know a verb that has not been included, do let us know so we can add it to the list. There are many verbs out there and we are not walking Korean dictionaries here at Morning Lands.

ㅡ Irregular Verb / ㅡ 불규칙 English / 영어
크다 To be big
쓰다 To write; To use
끄다 To turn off
예쁘다 To be pretty
바쁘다 To be busy
아프다 To be painful, to be sick
고프다 To be hungry
나쁘다 To be bad
기쁘다 To be happy
슬프다 To be sad
잠그다 To lock
모으다 To gather, to collect
Korean Language Bank Overview: ㅡ Irregular Verbs
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Korean Language Bank Overview: ㅡ Irregular Verbs
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