A student commented in our Korean Shortcut course:

김치 이에요. Shouldn’t it be 김치예요?

She’s correct.

Here’s the rule:

If the previous word ends with a consonant, use 예요.

If vowel, use 이에요.

When you say them quickly, they sound almost the same.

Both comes from the same dictionary form: 이다 (to be).

So why does this rule exists if it comes from the same word?

It’s all about fluency

Just like most rules in Korean, this rule helps you speak more fluently.

김치예요 is more easier to say than 김치이에요.

In the video lesson, we wrote 김치이에요 because we want to introduce the pattern of 이에요.

You’ll add ~이에요 to say “This is (something)” in polite form.

We wanted to help you understand the ~이에요 pattern first.

Then you can easily understand where 예요 comes from.

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