How to make a negative sentence in Korean?

If you’ve went through our ‘Korean Shortcut” video course, you’ll recognize these 4 patterns in the lesson “Top 10 sentence patterns to survive in Korea.” You need to know how to say ‘No’ if you’ve served live octopus, right?

~지 마

This is usually use for action (verbs). Don’t eat, don’t jump, don’t sleep. Example:

지 마.
Don’t eat it.

You’ll say this to close friends because this is in casual (반말) form. To use this pattern in polite form, you’ll say

지 마요

Or if you want to sound even more polite, use this below. Because when you’re asking someone not to do something, you want to be a little polite so you don’t trigger a quarrel:

지 마세요

안 ~

You add 안 in front of your word to make it into a negative word.

안 먹어요
I’m not eating

안 비싸요
Not expensive

~지 않다
Not (pretty/tall/expensive)

Use this to make a negative description. You add ~지 않다 at the end of the word. For 안, you add this in front of your word. And they both means the same. Look at this example:

비싸지 않다 
Not expensive

Not expensive



This is easy, right? Let’s jump straight to a sentence example:

I can’t hold it any longer.

P.S. Did you confused 참아 with sleep? It comes from the dictionary form 참다 (to wait/hold).

The Korean word for sleep is 잠다.

If you need help to speak like a native Korean, comment below.


Updated readers questions

What’s the difference between ~지 마 and ~지 마라?

Focus on using ~지 마. This is used in written or spoken.

~지 마라 is used more in spoken.
마라 comes from the dictionary form ‘말다’ which means ‘to stop.’
Here’s the difference:

하지마 (Don’t do it)

하지마라 (Don’t do it !!!!!)

Using ~지 마라 gives an exclamation feeling.
If you asked a kid to stop playing but he doesn’t listen, you’ll say “하지마라!!!” on the second time.


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