Level 1 Lesson 16 / Basic Present Tense / -아요, -어요, -여요

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In this TTMIK lesson, we are looking at how to change a verb in its dictionary form into the basic present tense. In Korean, when you look up a verb in a dictionary, everything ends in the letter 다 [da], and you have to get rid of that in order to conjugate the verb. And after that, you add 아요, 어요, or 여요. Listen in to find out how to determine which one of these should follow the verb stem when you say something in the present tense. Be sure to pick up the FREE PDF, and also try making some sample sentences of your own. Video responses are welcome as well!



Click here to check out the page on 아/어/여 + 요 in Korean Wiki Project.

You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.


  • Matt

    From the examples in the lesson it seems that when a verb stem ends in a vowel there is a “merging” with the 아/어 of the conjugation. The examples given were:

    가 + 아요 = 가요 (ㅏ + 아 = ㅏ)
    보 + 아요 = 봐요 (ㅗ + 아 = ㅘ)
    보이 + 어요 = 보여요 (ㅣ + 어 = 여)

    Does this hold for ㅓ, ㅜ and ㅡ as well?

    어 + 어요 = 어요 (ㅓ + 어 = 어)
    우 + 어요 = 워요 (ㅜ + 어 = ㅝ)
    으 + 어요 = ?

    수업이 이해해요. 희망해요. = I understand the lesson. I hope.

    감사합니다 for the lesson!

    • metal_samurai

      yes it holds true for ㅓand ㅜ. ㅡ is trickier, and how it is handled depends on the rest of the verb stem. i’m sure they cover that in a later lesson

  • Myla Rose

    Hi! Im having a hard time conjugating these verbs to present tense and past tense. Please help me. The verbs are:
    빌리다
    기다리다
    마시다
    쯔다

    감사함니다!! ^_^