Changing Parts of Speech: Using Verbs as Nouns -기

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In English it is easy to use a verb as a noun. In Korean it is also possible to use verbs as nouns. Better yet it is very easy to do so, unlike the hassle you need to go through to turn a verb into a noun modifier. In fact the thing we are going to discuss now will make it possible to easily use entire sentences as nouns.

Use Verbs as Nouns with -기

As mentioned turning a verb, whether they are adjectives or regular verbs, is very easy. You needn’t worry about rules such as vowel/no vowel or anything else of the sort. You just need one thing to use verbs as nouns: the verb stem. Once you’ve got the verb stem, you simply attach -기 to it. Your verb is now a noun, having done that. It is the same for irregular verbs as well! No irregular verb has anny issue with -기 being attached to it. So go nuts.

Translating the -기 form of a verb isn’t hard for action verbs. Think of -기 of the Korean -ing form, so 가기 translates to ‘going’.

For adjectives, of course,as they don’t have an -ing form in English. Instead you need to find the noun form of the adjective, which sounds more complicated than it is. Take, for example, the adjective ‘thick’ (굵다), the translation of its noun form (굵기) would be thickness. translating nounified adjectives might be more challenging, but nothing a bit of context will solve regardless.

However, since you use verbs as nouns when using their -기 form, please be aware they will end up using particles to mark their function in the sentence. Certain verbs/adjectives will naturally gravitate towards certain particles.

Use Sentences as Nouns with -기

Even if -기 turns a verb or an adjective into a noun, don’t forget they are still verbs at their heart. This means they still represent a state (adjectives) or an action (verbs). Thus if you want to go all complicated you can actually turn an entire sentence into a noun so you can use that inside another sentence. Let’s visualize that.

Example: 혼자 밥 먹기를 싫어해요. (I don’t like eating meals alone.)

Please a be aware the lack of the object marker 을 for 밥. When you nounify a sentence, the objects and subjects in those sentences lose their particles as only the main sentence can have those. Of course, it is to avoid confusion. However, other particles are still required.

Verb Nouns: -기 Summary
A summary on how to use verbs as nouns using the 기 form.

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April 10, 2017

1 responses on "Changing Parts of Speech: Using Verbs as Nouns -기"

  1. So why do you need to make verbs into nouns? I see how to but why would you? Can you give examples.

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