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.


  • Arpi M-yan

    학교 가고 싶어요 (I want to go to school) is it right??
    correct me please >_<

    • Hayden Rogue

      학교에 가고 싶어요.
      Besides forgetting to put the destination particle, your statement is correct. : )

  • Connie

    오늘 신 더 읽고 싶어요.
    Did I got it right?

  • Jason Sultana

    What about haseyo? As in anyong haseyo? How is that different from 해요?

    • Nick

      I’m pretty sure -세요 is a suffix that basically changes the verb into a command / request to the listener. I think it’s called the imperative form.

      So 주다 = to give, while 주세요 = [please] give me
      and 하다 = to do, while 하세요 = [please] do.

      Which is why it is “안녕하세요.” You are instructing or requesting (-세요) your listener to do or have (하-) well-being (안녕). Something like saying “be well,” but literally “do/have wellness.”

  • Baruna Riotama

    Does korean verb come always at the end of sentence?
    could it be possible for it to appear at the middle of a sentence? if
    so, what particles do we need to transform the verb?
    thank you in advance.
    P.S. actually i’ve asked this to one of my fellow friend, but while waiting for his reply, I think it is good to ask to everybody, thus I can get more responses from you guys at various proficiency level.

  • janooooooo

    that is so hard >_<

  • 코코몽

    In Norwegian we say “bøying” which literally translates to bending verbs.
    I was wondering, I’ve heard people say just 가!, so I’m guessing this is either rude or something you say to close friends? 빨리 가! Haha :p
    I will practice this thoroughly, I want to learn!!

  • Loi Shang

    안녕하세요 :)

    Check this for me please.
    Some of the verb that i changed into present tense but I’m not sure if they are correct.
    열다=열어요
    닫다=닫아요
    걷다=걷어요
    받다=받아요
    주다=주어요
    돕다=돠요
    놓다=놓아요
    입다=입어요
    씻다=씻어요
    신다=신어요

    And also i noticed that when the verb stem’s last vowel is “l” it is followed by “여요”.
    For example:
    때리다=때려요
    마시다=마셔요
    기다리다=기다려요
    보이다=보여요
    I’m i right?

    • JooyeonPark

      걷다 –> 걸어요
      주다 –> 주어요 –> 줘요
      돕다 –> 도와요
      Other than that, they are perfect! :)

    • Loi Shang

      감사합니다. ^^